Human Beings Can Meet This Moment
An inquiry with a friend generated remarkable insights into the question: Is this a moment of Olympian magnitude in human evolutionary history? The question is a much deeper version of a shallow and obtuse featured op-ed in the New York Times entitled, “Is the world really falling apart, or does it just feel that way?” After providing a laundry list of recent items in the news, the author, speaking for the status-quo-loving Times, nationalistically concludes that “a handful of far-off crises that Americans might’ve dismissed as unrelated to one another 30 years ago can, today, seem connected.” CNN’s Jake Tapper came much closer to the truth today when he led off his show with an overview of the global hyper-heat event, which has smashed records in Europe, with Britain reaching 40 C for the first time since humans have been living on the island. “The entire world is on fire right now,” Tapper said. But the Steven Pinkerish piece in the NYT didn’t even accord a complete sentence to the ecological crisis, referring only to “accelerating crises from climate change.” America, “the indispensable nation,” has ceased to lead with respect to the climate crisis. Man’s decimation of the Earth’s biodiversity and degradation of the integrity of the Earth’s interlocking systems, with no prospect of an adequate response, is the primary cause of the despair people all over the world are feeling about the human prospect. The human species has reached the point where there is no going back, civilizationally or indigenously, and there is no accepted way ahead. Humanity is stuck in a contracting present, and Space X colonizing Mars is sure as hell not going to save us. In short, this is a moment of total crisis without movement. The past has become non-generative and life destroying, while the present and future are frozen, with no essential creative flow. I’m not writing this out of despair, or some perverse desire to inspire more hopelessness than what informed, caring people around the world already feel. I say it because I feel that humankind can break through into a new, true order of consciousness at this, the darkest hour of man since the human primate began to make tools. What preparations have been made for this moment? And to what purpose and end have they been made? This moment, both negatively and positively, has been millennia in the making. However only living human beings can break up the logjam and release the limitless wellspring of insight that is our birthright as human beings. Another question emerged in our inquiry: Is the crisis first an inner or outer emergency? Most activists believe and act as if it’s external, first a problem of policies and structures. But essentially, it’s a culminating crisis of human consciousness. Therefore it has to be met inwardly first, before structural and policy changes can be made outwardly. Are even a million people (.o1% of humankind) doing the spadework within and coming up to the mark to meet the moment? All one can do is ask, am I coming up to the mark and meeting the moment? Some years ago I was walking on the beach at Santa Cruz after another insightful inquiry with the same friend. We weren’t walking together, but alone. It was a stupendously beautiful afternoon, with shorebirds scurrying in and out along the surfline as the waves broke under a cloudless sky. All separation of thought, indeed all thought (which is inherently separative) ended, allowing the actuality and feeling of complete oneness. Suddenly I was walking at some future time. It wasn’t imagination, but felt like I was actually there, transported momentarily to a different world. It wasn’t a perfect world, but an essentially harmonious one, where human beings lived in basic accord with nature and each other. There were buildings in the distance, their outlines visible as if through the fog that often hugs the California coast. The structures looked very different, with unusual, graceful lines. The next moment I felt the present of great incorporeal beings, and the human beings living on Earth were in harmony with them. They were aware of us and we were aware of them, and there was communication between us. Then came a total surprise. I felt the yearning of the incorporeal beings to be walking on this beautiful Earth, with senses fully awake and attuned to its loveliness, as I was. Up to that point, I thought that if the gods or masters existed, they represented the highest state of being. But I realized that the highest state of being is to be a fully awakened human being on this magnificent planet. I didn’t fully understand the experience at the time. Having a skeptical, if not overly doubtful nature, I questioned whether it was real. Then I saw: This is what you are working for. It’s what we are all truly working for, if we’re working for anything but our puny selves, whether we realize it or not.
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Martin LeFevre, a contemplative, philosopher and writer in northern California, serves as a contributing writer for The Seoul Times. His "Meditations" explore and offer insights on spiritual, philosophical and political questions in the global society. LeFevre's philosophical thesis proposes a new theory of human nature. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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