In regard to the fate of humanity, and the current state of the world, there are two prevailing perspectives. On the one hand, it appears that we are headed toward catastrophe, the end of the world as we know it, or at the very least, the end of humanity. But there are some who believe that humanity is undergoing a great awakening which carries with it the hope of a new world; a world in which human beings might live in harmony with nature and with one another. And while it may seem that these two perspectives are contrary to one another, they are actually intimately connected.
As a species we human beings are indeed on the verge of extinction. And what makes this likely extinction so unique is that we are the very cause of it. We are destroying our own species, though many remain in denial, closing our eyes to the chaos that has unfolded around us. But this denial is perhaps one of the greatest contributors to our self-destructive behavior. Because as long as we’re not willing to admit this to ourselves, we will do nothing to correct it. We simply go on wreaking havoc upon the earth with no sense of responsibility or repercussion, until the world can no long support us.
But this behavior isn’t something new. It isn’t merely a symptom of our modern industrial society. We’ve been on this destructive path since the very dawn of civilization and now we’ve reached the culmination, the boiling point, the defining moment. Whether by nuclear war, economic collapse, famine, disease or environmental devastation, our species will not survive as long as we continue in this direction. We have been blinded by ignorance and guided by fear, greed and lust for power. We have lost sight of who we are at the very core of our being and we have forgotten our place within the natural ecosystem. We have created our own systems, based upon arrogance and egotism, and those systems have brought about chaos and destruction upon the planet. And despite the world crumbling around us, many remain in ignorance, believing that if we close our eyes and sit idly by, maybe the monster we have unleashed upon the world will just go away.
But the monster we have created does not live out there in the world beyond us. It lives within each and every one of us. It lives within the collective subconscious of humanity. And as long as we deny our own responsibility for it, we allow it to continue its path of destruction.
Now this is where the great awakening comes in, because many of us are waking up to the realization that we can’t continue on this way. We’re waking up to the mess we’re in, and we’re realizing that we are responsible for the mess. We’re realizing that the systems we’ve put in place are not only incapable of solving the problem, but are the very cause of it. And we’re realizing that if we don’t take a sudden shift in direction, we will pass the point of no return, the point at which humanity will inevitably destroy itself.
There’s the old expression that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom in order to realize how bad things have gotten, and then perhaps we might do something to change the situation. Well, we’ve hit rock bottom and we’ve been scraping along for a while now. The ship has broken against the rocks and is sinking fast. That ship is civilization, with all of its various systems built upon trying to control and conquer nature, upon the domination and exploitation of our fellow man, in order that the few in charge might maintain power and wealth. But when that ship submerges beneath the surface, no one who remains upon it will survive, not even the elite.
We are at a pivotal time in human history, but if we wait too long we won’t have the privilege of choosing our fate. Once we cross that line, there is no going back. Extinction will be inevitable.
Many people believe that we are at the threshold of the apocalypse, or perhaps we have already entered into it. And while this idea generally conjures up visions of catastrophic devastation, I think it has been greatly misunderstood. The word apocalypse means revelation or unveiling. It means an uncovering or an exposing of something. And what are being exposed are the roots of destruction, the very foundations of corruption. The veil is being lifted and we are beginning to see the truth of what is taking place in the world.
This revelation is the great awakening of humanity. We are waking up from a very deep slumber. We are waking up from the illusions which have kept us trapped in a cycle of destructive behavior. And only by purifying our perception can we hope to escape that cycle.
The apocalypse is not the unfolding of global catastrophe. It is not the devastation of humanity and the world. These events are indeed unfolding, but they have become the catalyst for awakening. And only by awakening is there any hope of changing the situation. And so, the apocalypse itself, that is the unveiling, is not something to be feared or evaded, but something to be embraced and celebrated.
We are now realizing, not only the destructive nature of our ways, but also the futility, the impracticality and the absurdity of it. We have taken something very simple and made it overwhelmingly complicated. We have created so much unnecessary suffering and strife. And it no longer makes any sense to continue on in this way.
We are now recognizing the importance of simplicity. We are now recognizing how intricately entangled we are with one another and with the natural world. We are now recognizing the meaninglessness of a variety of long held social constructs which have only served to enslave and degrade us. And we are awakening to a higher level of clarity and understanding, which promotes greater unity, harmony and cooperation in place of division, conflict and competition.
We are realizing, not only the fundamental flaws in our way of living, but also the alternatives. And we are beginning to embrace and explore those alternatives. We are realizing that we can live more sustainably, more sufficiently and more constructively.
With each generation over the course of history our cultural conditioning has become more deeply embedded, but what we are seeing in recent decades is that with each new generation those roots are loosening and the conditioning lessening. Rather than blindly embracing traditional ideas, behaviors and systems, the younger generations are questioning everything, and rejecting whatever has been shown to be destructive and unnecessary. The seeds of hope have been planted and are now beginning to rise up from the soil, from the death and decay of the old paradigm.
When the older generations fall away, the world is left to its children. They become the hope for a new world. And truly it is up to them to choose a new path, so we must encourage their awakening. We must encourage and inspire one another. And we must realize that we are also the children of change.
As each of us awakens more and more, we must continue to expose the errors of the old paradigm, and to recognize those errors even within ourselves. We must break down the barriers within us that prevent us from living from a place of genuine wisdom and love, and rise up out of the ashes of a crumbling system. Together we can create a new world, a better world, for future generations to come. But it begins with each of us, individually and collectively, united by that common thread that runs through every living entity. After all, we are one another at the deepest level of being. And it’s time we recognize this and live as if it were so.