A Crisis of Consciousness

We have come a long way in our understanding of the physical world around us. But as far as our understanding of the worlds within are concerned, we have not progressed very far at all. We still know very little about how we think, about why we feel the way we do, or about how our attitudes and beliefs affect our perception and hence our reality.

Today we have reached a point where we can no longer afford to ignore this inner world. It is human actions and human decisions that lie behind so many of the world's problems. Likewise it is human failings that often lie behind our sluggish (or sometimes non-existent) attempts to remedy them.

The decisions we make are in turn guided by our values and our sense of what is important. If we believe that sustained material growth is the root to salvation, that money can buy us peace of mind, or that the survival of our egos is more important than the survival of the planet, then it is little surprise that our behaviour is so crazy.

Our global crisis is, at its root, a crisis of consciousness. Global warming, the destruction of the rainforests, the wide-scale extinction of species, acid rain, soil erosion, the depletion of the ozone layer, pollution, toxic waste, atomic waste, the energy crisis, the North-South crisis, the economic crisis, the food crisis, the water crisis, the housing crisis, the sanitation crisis, and the many other crises that humanity faces are all symptoms of a deeper psychological crisis.

The writing is on the wall. If we are to navigate our way safely through these critical times we have to mature inwardly. Why do we feel so insecure? Why do we want to feel we are in control of things? We must discover how to move beyond this egocentric phase in our development. And fast.

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