From the vantage point of our birth as a universal humanity, we are not dying; rather we are in a dangerous but natural condition, Just post-birth, not yet awake, yet become aware that if we do not shift our behavior from over-populating, polluting and fighting we will self destruct. We can see that we are naturally hitting a limit to one form of consciousness and of growth in the womb of Earth. We are naturally running out of non-renewable energy. We are naturally beginning to limit our population growth. We are naturally struggling to coordinate ourselves at a planetary scale, to manage a planetary ecology, to get food to all members of our planetary body, to handle our own waste, to stop the extinction of other species, etc.
These "problems" are no more a mistake than a baby's growth in the womb at the ninth month is a mistake. The very pain caused by these conditions is vital to our birth. Without the pressure of this pain, we would never wake up to our full potential. Our crises are leading to our evolution. They are signs of the next stage of our evolutionary life. They are forcing us towards conscious evolution, or devolution and self-destruction. It makes a huge difference as to what memetic code we choose to evaluate our current condition.
The metaphor of a birth is revealing here.
A baby will die if it stays in the womb when it is time for it to be born. It is outgrowing the womb. ... If a mother did not know about birth, she would think that she is dying. And when she saw the new–born she might be horrified! But since she knows about birth, she understands the meaning of the pain, and she is hormonally programmed to love the unknown child. Her breasts fill and she experiences unconditional love for the infant, naturally. Not because it will grow up to be a lawyer or doctor, but because it IS value, it IS life!
However, since we have never seen another planet go through its crises of a "planetary birth," many people do believe we are dying or that we are guilty and a failure as a species. When we see our potential for life, we will not fail. But we need a new memetic code to guide us, or as Teilhard de Chardin said, we might fall out of love with our species, losing our attraction for our future.
Opening our collective eyes we discover that we already have the capacity to solve every problem and realize unimaginable new capacities.
In fact, we are already beginning to do so.
Humanity is thus at a crossroads. Either we can come together consciously in collaboration with Earth systems, or we can continue to follow unconscious patterns of conflict and consumption. If we collectively choose conscious collaboration, we will experience the "gentle path," a positive vision of the future in which humanity understands its purpose and its power, and makes a relatively smooth transition into the next stage of its evolution.
--Barbara Marx Hubbard
Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the author's use of the birth metaphor to describe the present human condition? The author implies the need to hold and nurture that which is being born, bearing all the pain that comes with such a holding, and at the right moment, let it separate naturally without holding on to it - how can we bring such an attitude to all that we are creating? Can you relate a personal experience where you felt that you were giving birth to something sacred?
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