“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Last night in the spirituality group, we talked a little bit about the direction of the world's movement. Someone brought up her perception that we have recently moved backward in terms of civil rights, and human dignity. We're seeing an upsurge in authoritarian dictatorships, racial prejudice, senseless violence and antisemitism. Is this a cyclical phenomenon, or are we in a downward spiral? No doubt, humans are the most violent species on this planet, so when we feel threatened, we respond violently. And, there certainly have been cycles: in the last 200 years, we've been through countless wars, followed by treaties, reconstruction, and diplomacy. What we haven't done is move past violence as a means of settling differences. In that way, I don't think it's a cycle so much as a failure to move forward.
We still operate in the physical domain; the domain of all that can be recognized and accessed through our five senses. For most people on earth, if you can't see it, hear it, taste it, touch it, or smell it, it isn't “reality.” As long as we are stuck there, we will invest our energy in acquiring as much as possible. Acquiring land and water, acquiring money and power, acquiring influence and recognition, acquiring bigger and better bombs and weapons, because the ethics of the physical domain values expansion of wealth and control. Staying this course will result in continuing cycles of war, famine in some regions and excess in others, and a permanent over-class and under-class.
The next step forward is to evolve to the quantum level. This involves understanding at an essential, existential level, that we are all one. What is good for one black woman in Somalia, positively affects every other living thing on this planet. When we evolve sufficiently to recognize that we are all energetic beings—that is, that we are composed of atoms and molecules—and that everything else in the universe is also energetic, the way we conduct ourselves will change. We are in continuous exchange of atomic particles from one to another; we breath in, and exhale infinitesimally small parts of ourselves, which are then breathed in by someone else. We are not separate creatures with separate lives that have nothing to do with one another. Instead, we are strands in a universal web of energy and information. When we reach this level of understanding, we will stop depriving one another of that which is essential to life.
I would love to think this leap forward will happen in my lifetime. Wouldn't you?
In the Spirit,