Ever since humanity emerged from its evolutionary roots, fear has been its primary drive and despite huge evolutionary advances and sophistication in all realms, that remains true to the present day. Fear has become more sophisticated and sublimated but scratch the surface and it is behind most realms of human engagement. If we are to survive the next century I believe our evolution now demands nothing less than a shift in consciousness. There is nothing new about this idea. What is new is the imperative. Unless we shift we will not be able to negotiate the many challenges of a globally interrelated World. This is not the “Great Reset” as the WEF has suggested and is currently circulating but rather a “Great Shift”.
Fear in all its many forms can always be tracked down to the fear of death. As self-conscious beings we are aware and in some sense tormented, unlike animals, that sooner or later it is the inevitable conclusion to our individual lives. No matter how “successful” we are and despite our own personal “exemption” there are no exceptions. Psychologically we have found many ways of denying and avoiding this bald truth and keeping it at bay or at least at arm's length. In many ways our entire lives are dedicated to this denial and the whole of our civilisation is predicated on it. Capitalism, for example, fails to address it at all except in its attempts to monetise temporary stays through a medical system that sees death as failure. Capitalism and death do not make good bedfellows, after all, what's the point in building great empires of wealth since we all know “you can’t take it with you”! Rather than address this we have collectively colluded and pretended it doesn’t exist. This is perfectly understandable because the human self-conscious condition is, in truth, highly precarious and a deep suffering making no sense from a purely objective perspective. To be fully aware that sooner or later we will lose everything is a very sobering reflection….so the rationale goes don’t think about it.
The problem is that it is true and the consequence of denying what is true is anxiety and fear. Furthermore, we now face existential collective threats we have never faced before. The imperative then is stark and clear ….evolve or die.
Facing death (truth) offers the only way out and the consequence of this far from the expected loss of meaning and passion for life is actually quite the opposite. Wisdom traditions across the ages have counselled that meaning and true power lie within if only we would go there. We have not, until now perhaps, been willing or able to follow this injunction. “Go within or go without”
What we find when we go within is big questions, the asking of which can significantly change our lives by deepening their context and deeply reflecting on the choices we make rather than reacting to events. Most significant is the beginnings of a shift in perspective from one driven by fear to one based on what's most important in the face of death. Seizing the day arises not from the fear of missing out but rather the gratitude we feel in relation to having a day at all to seize. How we work and interact with others is similarly altered. The meaning of love and wellbeing begins to manifest as does the supreme intention of sharing it with others. So it is we might find that service becomes the only aligned intention and so the Great Shift is underway. Death is no longer the enemy but the full stop at the end of a sentence that gives meaning to it. Imagine a World such as this and you taking your place in it.