Monday, October 19, 2009

Guiding Principles - Part 2

It’s no secret that we are living in a world in crisis. I’m sure that I could start listing the problems that we are currently facing and the list could go on almost forever. We have countless wars being fought, pandemic disease outbreaks, starvation, environmental disasters and breakdowns of most every system that we depend upon. When you look in depth at any of these issues they seem almost insurmountable and at times hopeless.

On the individual level, I’m a big believer in focusing on the positive because energetically whatever we put our attention on will grow. When you look around you however and you see the results in the breakdowns on a planetary scale, it can be hard to find a positive to focus on, yet it’s always there. This is where the second lesson that history can teach us comes in. According to Barbara Marx Hubbard “Crisis precedes transformation and problems are evolutionary drivers”.

If you examine the life-cycle of anything you see the three phases: creation, maturation and transformation (meaning either destruction or evolution). When a system has been created it slowly begins to build energy and function for the reason it was created. This goes until it outlives its usefulness or the need changes so it either ends or evolves and then something new begins the cycle again. It isn’t until the need for change arises though that action begins to occur. As long as the system is functioning according to need, the energy will stay in the maturation phase of the cycle. Think about examples of this in your life…a work project, a child, and relationships.

Once problems in the system begin to surface then the energy of transformation begins to arise. Depending upon the system, these problems can be simple and often easily fixed or we can reach a crisis state where something must be done or the system will fail. Take a moment to look at some of the issues we are facing as a nation and as a species and you can see this for yourself. One that is impacting us all at the moment is the world’s economic and financial system. Our healthcare systems are failing on almost every front. Wars are being fought and we are killing each other over differences in ideological beliefs. Governments are corrupt and failing those who depend upon them. But most importantly our environment has reached a crisis state. If it goes, none of the rest of the systems will matter because without an environment we can’t continue to exist.

When you look at the smaller systems and the needs that we were placing upon them, when crisis hit and problems arose we took action and transformed the systems into something new and better. It wasn’t until the need for change arose however that anything was done. The problem became an evolutionary driver for manifesting change in the system. Without a need for change, change does not occur. When crisis hits, change must occur.

As I mentioned in the first part of this series, change occurs in two ways. Incremental change is slow, almost constant transformation and growth. Breakthrough change is radical transformation. This type of radical transformation is only possible when we are able to view the problem from a different perspective and find a solution that wasn’t even possible with the previous limitations. As Einstein stated “Our problems can never be solved in the same state of consciousness in which we created them.” We can’t do more of the same and expect different results.

That’s where we are now as a species. We’ve hit a crisis point on many levels. As a species we are still relatively young. Any young species is biologically trying to achieve stability and flourish. To do this, members of the species will compete for food, resources and reproductive success. History has shown that if the species doesn’t learn to cooperate and share resources, often the species will go extinct. As a species we have been incredibly successful in our reproduction process; too successful in fact. We have over populated the planet due to unregulated reproductive habits. We have been so successful that we are draining the resources that we depend upon for food, water and shelter. We are draining resources and in the process destroying our environment.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that millions are dying of starvation each year while food rots in the fields and in storage silos here in America. Millions of people don’t have access to clean drinking water and water supplies are reaching critical low points around the globe. In America alone we have states fighting over water usage rights and aquifers are drying up. Due to an increase in global temperatures the ice caps are melting and this is causing sea levels to rise. Since we can’t un-melt an icecap, soon low lying coastal cities will be under water and the water systems will be contaminated by the inflow of salt water. Disease is out of control across the planet with new epidemics and pandemics showing up constantly. It should be abundantly clear to anyone paying attention that we cannot continue in the competitive state of consciousness in which we are currently existing and expect that things will just fix themselves and it will all magically work out. We are at a crisis point and something must change or we’re done.

Imagine for a moment if we could make one tiny change in our collective consciousness and in our behaviors and we stopped destroying each other and we began to work together as a species. Cooperation rather than competition. Consider what we could achieve if we could harness all of the technological, economic, scientific and intellectual energies from every nation. If we could only just stop fighting each other and cooperate, our achievements could literally transform our world completely. We have the ability and the knowledge to do most anything but as long as we allow ideological beliefs to separate us we will ultimately fail and fade into planetary history like millions of species before us.

Unfortunately it looks like it is going to take a deeper planetary disaster to wake up our full potential. It’s happening now on a small scale but it has to bubble up to our leaders before large scale change can occur. Just look at how we respond to natural disasters. While they are tragic when they occur, look at how we respond as a planetary body. It’s always beautiful to see the level of International response and cooperation to these disasters. It would seem however that only a global disaster of epic proportion is going to be big enough to force us all to stop fighting and work together despite our differences.

We are a planet in crisis and for the most part a species in denial. This crisis however will ultimately become the evolutionary driver which will cause us to evolve our thinking and our consciousness. At this point, evolution is the only viable way out of the situation that our own actions have created for us.

While I work on parts 3 & 4 of this series, I’ll leave you with this question…what positive vision of our future can you imagine if we all began working together? That vision can only become possible once we grasp it and hold our awareness on it.


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