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Politics & Metaphysics (part one)

The current global crisis is basically a psychospiritual crisis; it reflects the level of consciousness of the human species. It is, therefore, hard to imagine that it could be resolved, without a radical inner transformation of humanity on a large scale and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness.

The task of imbuing humanity with an entirely different set of values and goals might appear too unrealistic and utopian to offer any real hope. Considering the paramount role of violence and greed in human history, the possibility of transforming modern humanity into a species of individuals capable of peaceful coexistence with their fellow men and women regardless of race, color, and religious or political conviction, let alone with other species, certainly does not seem very plausible. We are facing the necessity to instill humanity with profound ethical values, sensitivity to the needs of others, acceptance of voluntary simplicity, and a sharp awareness of ecological imperatives. At first glance, such a task appears too fantastic even for a science-fiction writer.

However, although serious and critical, the situation might not be as hopeless as it appears. I suggest that the integration of spirituality, with the new paradigm emerging in Western science, could help alleviate the crisis. Radical psychospiritual transformation of humanity is not only possible, but is already underway. The question is only whether it can be sufficiently fast and extensive to reverse the current self-destructive trend of modern humanity.

The old vision driving the Western technological civilization received powerful support and justification from science based on the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm and monistic materialism. This worldview is based on the metaphysical assumption that the universe is a mechanical system that is strictly deterministic and in which matter is primary. Life, consciousness, and intelligence are seen as more or less accidental side-products of matter, essentially flukes that happened in an insignificant section of a giant universe after billions of years of evolution of inert and reactive inorganic materials.

In the old paradigm, the universe and nature have no guiding intelligence or creative blueprint. All the incredible complexity of forms revealed by various scientific disciplines from astronomy through biology to quantum-relativistic physics has been attributed to meaningless play of material particles. Particles of inorganic matter just happened to generate organic compounds and these just happened to organize themselves into cells. The entire Darwinian evolution from unicellular organisms to humans is seen as having been guided by accidental genetic mutations and natural selection. According to this worldview, the principal mechanism of evolution in nature is survival of the fittest and the militant strategy of the selfish gene. This seems to explain and justify pursuit of individual interest in competition with and at the expense of others from personal life to collective economic, political, and military pursuits.

Our current scientific worldview provides implicit or explicit support for our ethics and life strategy. In Western capitalist society, personal success at the expense of others has been glorified. It appears perfectly natural to create a better future for one’s own group at the expense of others (e.g., plundering non-renewable resources of fossil fuels and turning them into pollution in pursuit of our own living standard, or seeing the killing of innocent civilians in other countries as “collateral damage” in the pursuit of our own security). We are unable to see and appreciate the critical importance of cooperation, synergy, and peaceful coexistence for planetary survival. We are also brainwashed into believing that our well-being is directly proportionate to and depends critically upon material means – personal income and possessions, growth of the gross national product, and so on.

Any questions??