Today I would like to share with you a few excerpts from “Understanding the Crises of the Heart”, chapter 19 of my first book, “Awakening the Universal Heart”, as I find them particularly relevant to our world situation today and in tune with the recommendations that follow.
The Signicance of Crisis
“A time of crisis is also a time of opening up, when thinking that was consigned to the fringes moves to centre stage. When things fall apart, the appetite for new ways of seeing is palpable.” ~ Paul Kingsnorth ~
What many of our crises today are also helping bring home to us is how inextricably interconnected our planet has become…
Here is my latest offering with my wise friend Steve. We both think this topic is very important as never has our world been in a more precarious and chaotic state. We both believe in the Chinese translation of the word crisis which is to regard it as a ‘dangerous opportunity’. We see many dangerous opportunities surrounding us all!
We are living in a time of political turmoil and ecological crisis. What are the challenges of spiritual awakening in this context? Steve and Serge will discuss how spiritual awakening can help heal the world, and how crisis can be the spur for collective awakening.
The Oxford Dictionary defines liberation as:
‘the act of setting someone free from slavery, imprisonment or oppression’.
Liberation, therefore, has both inner and outer dimensions which are intrinsically inter-related because if we are not free inside ourselves, it will inevitably limit our ability to live a liberated outer life, even if the society we live in is a relatively free one. The same can hold true the other way around as well.
Many of us, therefore, need liberating not only from what oppresses us internally and which prevents us realising who we really are, but also from a society where economic, religious, societal and cultural forces oppress us. It is just as incarcerating to being a slave to negative habits, restrictive thoughts and tendencies to feel paranoid and depressed, as it is to live in countries with regimes that spy on us all the time, or where societal fault lines means we have to devote so much effort simply to survive that we are allowed no space to be creative or time to experience enjoyment.
I see one of the great problems of the world today is that too many of us are enchained both ways and the result is a huge amount of unhappiness all around. In many Western nations, fault lines in society may activate predispositions inside many of us to feel soulless and empty resulting is us having hearts full of greed, aggression, insecurity, pain, fear and resentment as opposed to love, compassion, altruism and wisdom. And this huguely weighs us down.
In my last book, Gateways to the Soul, I explored certain societal conditions required that I felt would encourage external liberation and in so doing, create a context favourable for possible internal liberation. Here are a few of the most relevant ones…
This essay looks at:
a) the state of the world today
b) what I see happening on the planet over the next eighty years and
c) the new society that I see rising, phoenix like, out of the ashes.
It is a hopeful essay but suggests that to get to the light, humanity may need to go through some more dark times…
OK, it is time now to look forward and say a few words about what I think might possibly lie ahead for humanity in the future. As I feel very much part of the whole, I regard this issue as an integral part of my memoir. Indeed, I am increasingly realising that the more I can own my human-collective self – realise I am not separate from but deeply part of humanity as a whole – the more fully me I become! Continue reading →
“Everyone carries a Shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.” ~ Carl Jung ~
In this essay, I want to talk about the challenges currently facing America, as it is a country I have very fond memories of. I lived and worked there for thirteen years in the 70s and 80s and got an enormous amount out of the experience and was privileged to have encountered some of the wisest people I have ever met anywhere. Like many of my American friends, I have found it very painful to see what has been going on in their country for the last four years, and in these pages I want to suggest a slightly different approach both to viewing and to dealing with the many challenges which America is currently facing. Continue reading →
While I feel my heart open in appreciating the beauty and magnificence of life, a large part of me continues to feel sad at some of the dreadful things currently going on in the world. Right now, I think of the increasing proliferation of conspiracy theories.
Yes, in no way unintelligent friends of mine, many not unspiritual – I call them “conspiritualists”(!) – are sending me emails telling me that everything Q Anon says is true, that the earth really is flat, that the pandemic is a huge hoax, that Bill Gates is planning to take over the world (twenty years ago, it was Rockefeller that got clobbered), that the Jewish millionaire George Soros is plotting to destroy Hungary through the deliberate importation of migrants, i.e., that he wishes to replace white Christian Europeans with brown-skinned Muslims! I have not the slightest doubt that this is what they believe.
“Evolution is life-oriented. It is ‘good’ but not kind. It does not care for the feelings of individuals.”
~ Barbara Marx Hubbard ~
. The Big Questions
So what lies ahead for us human beings? Are we well on the way towards extinction – finito – the end of the great experiment of humanity? Or are we going to continue stumbling along – a wounded, bleeding society – going nowhere fast? Conversely, is the crumbling away of our existing world which is certainly happening and is currently being speeded up by this virus, somehow going to lead us to ‘break through’ to something new – to a new, higher-order human being and a hugely improved world which works not just for the few but for the many?
Certainly, human consciousness has been rapidly evolving over the last sixty years where we’ve seen the birth of women’s rights, animal rights and in the 60’s we had the hippy movement followed by the emergence of the Human Potential movement. Today, millions of people all over the world are becoming increasingly interested in evolving their consciousness and in developing their spirituality. Most importantly, we are seeing a powerful shift away from the isolated, highly individuated ego, responsible for so much human suffering, war and patriarchy, with increasing numbers of us realising that the next step of our human evolution is towards thinking and operating much more as a human collective. Today, there are so many important questions which we all need to be asking ourselves. Perhaps one of the most significant is:
Are we as a species capable of extricating ourselves out of this very, very deep hole that we have over the years been digging, and if so, what might be the conditions necessary for this to happen?
In his book The Art of Being’, Erich Fromm said this:
Faith in life, in oneself, on others, must be built on the hard rock of realism; that is to say, on the capacity to see evil where it is, to see swindle, destructiveness and selfishness, not only when they are obvious, but in their many disguises and rationalisations.
And we’ve just seen undisguised evil in the premeditated murder of the Saudi reporter Jamal Kashoggi who in his death, has perhaps drawn more attention to everything that is wrong with the Saudi regime – especially with all power now being concentrated in the hands of one man – than ever he could have achieved in his life. Continue reading →
Oh dear, more crazy weather. A typhoon ends in one part of the globe only to be replaced by a tsunami or an earthquake in another. And more innocent people die.
Our planet is fed up with the way we have been treating her and in the same way that if we treat another person badly, they won’t particularly like us, Gaia is fighting back. She’s pissed off with humanity. And quite damn right. Thank goodness for organisations like Avaaz who are coordinating huge campaigns in this area as not enough of our politicians take climate change seriously enough as always it is the poor people, those least responsible for having f-d up our planet, who pay the price. Continue reading →
“The Resacralisation of the Planet” is a video lecture that I made for the 2016 Feeding The Soul World Summit. It addresses the price we pay for the secularisation of our society and how we can again bring sacred meaning back into the world; exploring the current world situation according to the three states of being in Satish Kumar’s book The Spiritual Compass.
The Rescralisation of the Planet