Bringing Soul Awareness to the Coming Changes

These are notes from a work in progress on the deeper meaning of the climate emergency and the ongoing destruction of the natural world.  

22nd August 2019

A new and testing journey for humanity begins...

As it grasps the enormity of the climate emergency, and the scale of our species' damaging impact upon Earth's life-support system, humanity stands on the verge of almost unimaginable changes - huge earth changes which may threaten its very survival. Will we rise to the immense challenges that are now facing us? To prevent runaway global heating, we will need to dismantle an entire global economy premised on growth and the ruthless exploitation of our planet's finite resources. We will also need to set aside many of the assumptions, values and luxuries associated with that way of life.  We need to take the opportunity offered by the impending climate and ecological crisis to free ourselves from the old behaviours that caused it.

The time for us to act decisively is now, for the sand is running perilously low in the hour glass that represents our very brief window for effective action. But whatever we do - or fail to do - at this critical time, there is no doubt that our species is soon to set out on a new journey of discovery. As the structures of our global society start to weaken, as its edifices begin to erode, and we grasp the sad fact that humanity has bequeathed a toxic legacy to our beautiful planetary home, the fear and grief we experience can also provide the cathartic stimulus to liberate ourselves from our old way of being, to enter the soul-consciousness that lies within us, and start to find a new way of living in the world. 

In recent centuries, humanity has made the fatal error of over-identifying with the body and the ephemeral ego or outer personality. By subordinating our true self to the physical being, we came to see mind and consciousness as confined by the physical body and brain.  Yet it is only as souls, drawing on soul's remarkable qualities of love, wisdom and compassion, that humanity will find the strength to end its damaging attachment to the old materialistic industrial paradigm and extend its identification of the self beyond the body - not out of duty or morality but out of generosity and joyfulness - in order to rediscover, not just its deeper spiritual identity, but also its soul connection with all planetary life.

Only the work of soul-recovery can heal us from the imbalances that have led to this crisis. To understand and flow with the planetary changes that are now unfolding, we will need true spiritual guidance. Even with environmental collapse and its grim consequences looming over humanity, and despite its obstinate resistance to new knowledge and change, something extraordinary can happen when the spiritual heart reveals its innate soul wisdom. With a restored soul-awareness, we will remember to reverence Nature or Divine Mother once again as the blessed sustaining ground of our physical being, and we will remember too that the Divine, or Great Spirit, is the supreme source of all, of being and consciousness itself.  Joy-filled relationships will flourish when a natural environment is restored, when animals are safe once again in the wild, and when life, plants, animals and humans are set free from the machinery of global exploitation.

May humanity now move through system collapse towards a new paradigm of sustainability. May it embrace a new world view and new ways of both seeing and being, guided by each self's remembrance that it is intimately connected with both Nature and Spirit.  May the ego be set aside and the soul nature awakened, so humanity is able to negotiate its way through the coming changes.


9 October 2019

The Leopard & its Spots

Asking humanity to change its instinctive survival behaviour, think ecologically and end its destruction of its host, is like asking the leopard to change its spots.  As homo faber, ‘man the maker’, the doer, the shaper of matter, humanity has genetically and socially evolved to deploy whatever technology it can to advance itself, to satisfy its desires, to grow its economy, to open up new resources to increase environmental carrying capacity, even or especially at the expense of other humans and other species.  Stone tools gave it the edge over animals, plants and other hominins.  Urban settlement gave it the capacity to develop culturally, but outside of and at the expense of Nature, the forests, and the leopards.  The horse and new weaponry enabled it to sweep across Central Asia and Europe, replacing whole populations.  The locomotive enabled it to open up North America, killing native peoples and the bison they depended on, and exploiting vast but rapidly utilised resources.  Ocean-going ships, tarmac roads and capitalist economics allowed ruthless colonisation and appropriation of every part of the planet.  Hydrocarbon and nuclear fuels generated incredible wealth and toxins at the expense of future generations and the biosphere.  Today, electronic technology is servicing a financial elite and colonising the human mind and even the body.  All in service of what the dominant prevailing human narrative believes it needs to survive: food, housing, clothing, security, economic growth, profit, prestige, sex, pleasure and power. 

In essence, individualistic, desire-driven, genetically and socially innate human behaviour – including its antagonistic, low-level, binary, language-based mentality, developed over hundreds of thousands of years – enabled by its technology, is entirely at odds with the behaviour necessary to avoid climate change induced catastrophe.  Even if the warnings given by world wars and by science were heeded, there is insufficient time for humanity to change its self-narrative in order to develop a new set of behaviours that will enable it to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis.

Like all plants and animals, humans seek energy with the least effort – it is not viable to spend more energy than the result obtains.  Surplus energy once survival needs are met equals growth, negative energy over survival needs equals decline and eventually death.  Historically, hydrocarbon fossil fuels presented humanity with the most energy gained for the least effort expended.  Extracting coal, gas and oil conformed entirely with its instinctive survival behaviour, allowing humans to pursue their reproductive desires and expansionist goals in the creation of a global civilisation.  Asking them to reduce energy use, that is, eat lower on the food chain, travel less, stop flying, turn down the thermostat, consume less, down-size, end economic growth, promote equality and lower their reproductive rate, goes against instinctive human survival behaviour on every level – behaviour that is absolutely central to its self-defining narrative and has become naturalised in the operation of its economic systems since the first tool use began.

Now, precisely because of its technological extraction of mineral resources and its overpopulation, humanity has come up against the action taken by Nature to eradicate it.  Wild Nature is removing what humanity in its current form needs to exist.  In the same way as the trees of a forest produce toxins when attacked by a parasite such as a caterpillar, and signal to each other to do so, so Nature is producing toxins to remove the human parasite.  Because of human exploitation of the cheap energy source provided by hydrocarbon fuels, Nature is flooding the atmosphere with water vapour and lethal greenhouse gases that will increase global temperatures, melt the polar ice, raise sea levels, acidify oceans, increase humidity and flooding in some areas and create desertification in others, removing the environment that humanity needs to exist.  This is happening too quickly for humanity to produce an adequate behavioural response, whether economic, social, political or technological, and especially not genetic.  Like the toxin-poisoned caterpillar, humanity cannot change its self-destructive behaviour in time to respond to the measures taken by Nature to remove it as these behaviours and narratives are too deeply ingrained, instinctive and perceived as fundamental to its existence.

If it is to emerge on the other side of the imminent and unpredictable pattern of multiple catastrophes, humanity will have to change itself completely and extremely quickly.  If humanity fails to flag up the emergency and remains mired in old social, political and technological behaviours then its civilisation will fall; it may even be driven to extinction by natural forces entirely uninterested in its survival as a species. Only a new world view, a profound transformation intimately connected with both Nature and Spirit, will enable its old behaviours to be set aside and help humanity to find its way through the coming changes.