The Buddha and his followers taught with philosophy; Lao-Tse with
poetry; Confucius and Mohammed and Moses with social and political
precept, Jesus with parables. Each of these forms and formats has
a value and a place in the overall balance.
Physics, Politics & Prophecy
Peter Russell, in The
White Hole in Time: Our Future Evolution and the Meaning of Now,
The window in time that opened when life
on Earth took the leap into Homo sapiens sapiens is at the point of
closing. We are in the last moments of our 50,000-year dash from emerging
consciousness to full enlightenment. We are in a race against time
It is we alive today who have the responsibility
of guiding this species on. It is we who have to find ways to release
ourselves from this self-centered phase of our development and open
ourselves to the full significance of the timeless moment--and to
the full significance of the present time.
The paradox is that in order to free ourselves
from what Russell calls "having and doing," it seems we have
a responsibility to do something. And yet, is that thing we have to
do, simply be? To enter the non-propagandistic world of what Joseph
Campbell calls aesthetic contemplation?
There is a place both for left and right-brain
approaches here, as in artistic creation. Jerry Mander
does a good job of analyzing the current dilemma
in In The Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of
Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations (Sierra Club,
1991). He concludes with a list of specific actions to undertake:
Contact [action groups]....Get involved.
Send money. Bring friends....
Arrive at a [lifestyle] standard and
live by it.
Take time to learn what's happening [locally,
in your bioregion], and make yourself felt....Decide that that place
is one you will protect. Learn its natural history and its cultural
history. Visit the place regularly. Watch it carefully. If it's threatened,
Keep challenging yourself about technology,
and begin to think about each glitzy new machine in other than its
Read everything you can by and about
Indians and their struggles, and ...find a way to become engaged.
Most important, keep in mind that the
big issues are far from settled.
Mander's approach is oriented more toward
worldly considerations of lifestyles and politics than by future openings
in psychic space.
In trying to synthesize and assimilate
the lessons of both approaches, I arrive at several conclusions:
- Time is short, not to be wasted.
- Each of us has responsibility for collective evolution
here & now. All have access, intuitively and by increasing planetary
experience, to the effects of our current habits, along with glimmerings
of what is valuable in our forward vision. The most basic common
denominators are available: caring, loving, appreciation of beauty,
simple joys, survival instincts in the better sense. We need to
become more alive, more fully aware and engaged wherever we are:
about the place and about our place in it.
- Actual group involvement works best when guided
by right timing and appropriate circumstance. Yet more can be done,
by specific resolution. So, it's important to seek out opportunities
for action on local issues. As Mander says, Make yourself felt.
In this effort we all need the help of
the native vision of sustainable life and spiritual insight to creation.
Our long-term evolution will likely depend not so much on technological
wizardry but rather in advances in consciousness and social behavior,
which includes the wizardry of cultural innovation in ways that are
sustainable, and in ways that keep personal and social values sacred.
As for attitude--optimism and despair--this
is, as Mander says, the big issue. Because despair leads to saying what
the heck, it's not gonna matter anyway what I do. But it does matter--especially
because that attitude itself is causing the problem. A collective turnaround
on that single question would make the biggest impact. In the moment
of self-reflection, a seed is planted that multiplies to every action
in the rest of life. To live in a way that everything matters, we all
have a part to play, we are all in the picture, part of the action,
engaged in the drama, responsible, accountable, in jeopardy, subject
to our shit coming around to get us. It all matters, at every moment.
Not that we can't relax, withdraw, have
solitude, or individual persuasions anymore: but that these don't imply
endless or blind consumption, destruction, hurtfulness direct or indirect,
or unwitting self-alienation. This is not to produce more anxiety, but
rather more awareness and involvement in life in positive, constructive,
healing ways. It means evaluation and re-evaluation especially when
considering long-term strategies for technology and survival. Some considerations
are purely practical: which tools and innovations will work, will last,
will remain trouble-free? What will be in our control and means to maintain?
Which choices and actions will be in harmony with environmental, aesthetic,
personal and social values? If we dared to imagine a truly sustainable
future, we might ask in the Iroquois manner, Which decision will take
into account the well-being of the seventh generation from now?
Waking Up In Time: Finding Inner Peace In Times of Accelerating Change
-- by Peter Russell
- thoroughly rewritten and newly illustrated edition of The
White Hole in Time
- "wonderful book, masterfully balancing ecological doom with
spiritual rennaissance" -- Ken Wilbur
About ordering books from this website:
Cougar WebWorks offers full-service secure and instant book ordering,
in association with Amazon, "the world's biggest bookstore."
You will have a chance to view prices and other information from
an order page at Amazon.com's website. Links are to paperback
editions wherever possible.
If you want to buy the book online, Amazon's order department
will take care of everything. Orders are processed quickly and
securely by Amazon.com, "the world's biggest bookstore."
Most books are discount priced and will ship to you in 24 hours.
Video Review and Order
Click to read about Cougar WebWorks' association with Amazon.com