We Live in Special Times

The Influences We Live Amidst

We all live in influences we rarely recognise clearly. Language is a good example of this. The English language has an enormous number of words taken from other past and present cultures. The word ‘church’, or ‘kirk’ in Scotland, is taken originally from the Greek work kurikon. The word battle is from the Old French word bataille.

 

Such words embody ideas or concepts that are now part of our fundamental view of life and the world. In a very real sense they are the building blocks that go to shape the way we think about and see things. They shape the very way you consider things and respond. With a different language you might have a very different worldview.

 

 

 

Then there is the influence of tradition and past developments. For instance your home and work conditions today are the result of development over thousands of years of past human experience. The present environment is a vast accumulation of past insights and discoveries. And then there are the powerful world views that arrive with the religious or philosophical beliefs of other cultures. In the West, the impact of Eastern beliefs and views of human existence is enormous, as is that of other cultures such as the Native Americans and other indigenous people.

It is easy to forget that the development of modern psychotherapeutic techniques arising from pioneers such as Freud, Jung and Adler, have revolutionised home, educational, business and even religious practices. This is a very crude example, but we no longer believe we need to flog ourselves with a whip to arrive at a sense of well-being as did many monks and nuns in the past. We no longer believe we need to completely retreat from the world to grow and realise our innate potential and transcendent nature.

The efforts, insight and work of past innovators and explorers have acted in the way of road building or pathfinding. We can now move along the path of self expression or self discovery and creativity with far greater speed and ease than in the past. The wealth of information from the many cultures that now impinge upon our own act as an enormous wealth offering us a whole spectrum of human possibilities.

Overall the effect is that many more people are now highly educated and widely cultured without great effort, sacrifice or travel. A huge number of men and women have reached insights about the meaning and direction of their life that only very few managed in the past. This widened and educated perspective has led many to the point of seeing beyond national boundaries and any one cultural or religious belief. They form a growing body of people whose perspectives have evolved and are influencing society and the direction of change. From such changed perspective there grows an urge, a motivation, toward a different type of existence and social relationshiip than presently exists.

The important point being made is that there is an enormous opportunity at the moment to reach for a new life, and to become part of the powerful cultural and cosmic forces that are flowing though humanity making it easier to transform your life – easier to evolve.

The Build-Up From the Past

In many cultures there is reference to the influence ancestors have on the living. Ancestors are therefore often worshipped or turned to for advice or help in those cultures. In the west this is often thought of as a superstitious idea, yet in most homes I have been in there is a small area where family photographs are displayed almost like a shrine.

 

Gravestone in Japan showing offerings of food

Ancestor worship is a recognition of the way the actions and character of our past family and ‘tribal’ members is a living influence in our life today.

The tools we use in our work today have been formed and evolved through countless generations. Who was it who first invented the hammer? How long ago was that? We owe that imaginative ancestor great respect, and we need to remember that every time we take up a tool, or work with needle and thread, or read, we are experiencing a living stream of influence from our ancestors.

Some of this influence is not as obvious as a needle and thread, or our modern oven. Much of what we inherit as a gift from our ancestors is the mental and spiritual atmosphere in which we exist. I was born in a country town in which four people were burned alive for daring to read the bible themselves and interpret it in their own way. You and I have inherited the freedom they died for. You and I have inherited the power of transformation, or spiritual insight such people have left behind. The way is easier for us – though we too are building the road ahead for those who come after us. So we need to remember that if we take the path of self transformation, or self realisation, we can go much faster and further than our forebears did. We have the input, power and wisdom of many cultures and historic periods to guide and encourage us. (See definition of the word spiritual.

The Place of the Ancestors in our Lives

For you and I, for society, to have developed to the point we have, rests on enormous self giving and sacrifice. The fact that we are here now — being here now, rests upon all the love, the sacrifice, the sheer gut wrenching work that has been given by our personal and racial ancestors.
Why don’t we have a national ancestors day to recognise this and to give thanks and praise?

We could then recognise the gift of life and social order that we have been given. It would help us to recognise our own part in life also. It would be a time that we recognised those who had simply just lived their lives without any great accliam or desire to be in the forefront. It would not be about those who had done something heroic, or who had invented something, or had fought in a war. It would be the recognition of those who had simply lived their life, and in doing so being part of the structure and development of not only our own personal existence, but also the foundation of our present society. They were the ones who built it, bit by bit, to become what we take for granted. Many of us are still working to improve the society we live in, and to improve the lives of our own children. But we receive so much from the past, from the work and life of others. The homes we have, the roads, the electricity and water in our homes, the whole huge structure of the background of life in which we live. Even the knowledge of how to do things was forged and developed by our ancestors. What ever our work is, whether it is as a parent, a construction worker, a teacher, as somebody cleaning the roads and removing garbage, we are maintaining the very structure of our society and handing on a gift to those who follow. When we realise that, we can then see what an enormous heritage we have received from the past and from those who lived it. Without that simple everyday living, working, loving, there would be nothing. Let us salute our forebears in recognition of what they have left us. Let us kneel before them in thanks to received the blessings they have given us. Let us seek a national ancestors day!

Advances in discovery are almost at the point of infinity

The number of human inventions, starting with bone tools, evolving through stone implements to metal, was at first very slow, occurring over huge periods of time. More recently the rate of invention has increased to such a degree that new ideas and objects are constantly emerging. If one drew a graph of this it would have a very slow rise over millions of years. Then, in the present the curve rises steeply. In fact it is rising so steeply that some people predict it will soon reach infinity. What this will mean in terms of change entering our lives is difficult or impossible to forecast or imagine. However, it is safe to say its impact will be enormous. Even though we have not yet reached the point of infinite change, we are still faced by an ever growing number of choices and changing impacts.

What we can already see is that new ideas or artifacts such as television, the Internet and the mobile phone, alter the way society operates and people live their lives. Such things bring new challenges, new threats as well as new opportunities and greater personal outreach.

Some years ago, while exploring these ideas, I wrote a piece about the super augmentation that we humans have acquired. To quote:

Humans have always extended their powers in some way. When Spanish conquerors appeared in South America riding horses, the indigenous people thought they weren’t human, that they were gods. The native people hadn’t previously seen this connection between man and beast. The Spanish had extended their ability to move across terrain by riding horses, a common practice in the Old World. This ability to extend ourselves is ancient, as with stone axes, bows, spears, boats, and later guns, cars, planes, and so on ad infinitum.
This drive to extend ourselves, and our life within the super organism of human society, is the womb and beasts giving birth to and suckling a new type of human person and society.
Remember, as we now come into view of the future, that when a significant extension of individual powerwithin human society occurred in the past, it radically changed how human beings experienced themselves, and human society functioned. For instance the horse and boat extended the range of food gathering, conquest, trade, and exchange of information. The printing press amplified one individual’s ability to communicate enormously. It enabled groups to promulgate ideas. The radio amplified the human voice so it could be heard simultaneously by millions. The television has projected the human image so that one person can be known across the world.
Take someone like the US president. If we place him or her in a desert alone like an old aborigine, without any modern equipment, he or she might soon die. If they had lived within an Aboriginal community they might have become an elder within the tribe. But because of the super-organism in which they were raised and presently live, they have a much greater connection and power to influence enormous numbers of people.
In fact the present president is a totally different being than you and I. Different because he is part of the super organism, or political party, in which he exists. This super organism has developed enormous technological aids, and the president is plugged into these means of super augmenting his human powers. Compared with the Aborigine group, the president has god like powers to extend his or her influence. If the president landed in ancient Mexico in his private jet they would hail him as a god. The president can appear to millions of people at the same moment and speak to them; he or she can travel to any part of the world; their thoughts and words have great influence; their decisions are augmented not only by her/himself, but also by a huge network of other human beings all over the world, along with a war machine and industry. His image, his words, his deeds are all recorded and will exist as an influence long after he is dead physically.

When the president is in the society or organism of his birth, but also when he is ‘plugged in’ or connected to the controls of the super organism of his political party, he IS a god being. His ideas are known and implemented. He is the centre of a flow of money and opportunity. He is a media figure, a politician, an entertainer. He is locked into an enormous body which flexes at his command and touches people and events all over the world, with the power of life or death.
Robot
The person we know as the president is not just a normal human being. If he were, most of us would never have ‘met’ him. He is a technological and social phenomena. He is a human being who has been enhanced and extended enormously to god-like proportions. If he were uncoupled from these enhancements he would revert to aboriginal existence. So would we all, because to some extent we all share these enhancements.

This poses us with the question of what we will become with further enhancements. They are certainly on their way. They will certainly affect your life and the lives of those around you. Are you ready to meet them? Are you ready to deal with or take part in the enormous social changes that are on their way? What will be your stance?

See: Acceleration Watch: What is the Singularity?: Sorg the God.

The Pressure of Change Pushes us to Adapt

There is still speculation about global warming and what earth changes it will bring if it develops further. But there is no doubt about the ever changing political and economic climate of the world and the pressures that brings for us to adapt. There is no doubt about the enormous changes new technology is bringing in terms of health, longevity and the possibility of enhanced mental and emotional experience. There is no doubt that change is a fundamental part of life and the universe.

A recent feature in New Scientist described how Dr. Ilham Abuljadayel, while doing some research on blood cells from a leukaemia patient, discovered how to form stem cells from a patient’s blood. She later used this technology to cure patients with what was previously incurable severe aplastic anaemia. At first her work was not recognised, but more recently specialists from different parts of the world are using her methods. The company TriStem has been set up in the UK to support her research.

Also, Chosun University professor Song Chang-hun in South Korea says many spinal cord patients will have the opportunity to receive stem cell therapy by 2006. During a recent news conference, one of Song’s patients — a 37-year-old spinal cord patient who became paralyzed 19 years ago — stood up from her wheelchair and walked with the help of a walker. She took her first steps about 40 days after being treated with stem cells from the blood of umbilical cords.

The opportunities and challenges of the future, even of the present, press us to find a way of constantly upgrading our attitudes and responses to what surrounds us. This could be likened to upgrading the software you use on your computer. Unfortunately it is more personal and challenging because we so often identify with our perceptions and beliefs as if they were something that if lost, would somehow be like losing a limb. After all, how many people have killed when their religious belief or political ideology was questioned? Perhaps we need to let go of the past in some way. Or at least, we need to be able to reprogram our habitual responses – those that are painful or destructive anyway. There are simple tools to do this, or more complex or expensive methods. See: Reprogramming the Unconscious; EMDR; Sedona Method.

Of course those links are just suggestions not recommendations. One of the greatest methods is to learn a way of continuous re-evaluation that enable you to meet the here and now challenges of everyday life in a creative way. I believe this calls for a way of living that links your conscious personality with your deeply unconscious life processes and mind. This union is like an evolutionary step, one pressing for development in our life today. See: The Core Experience.

While, as said above, we owe so much to our ancestors, they have also left us situations that are completely inhuman. Many aspects of society and governmental rulings were set in place as means to manipulate and keep control of people’s minds and actions. Why do just a few people need to be paid vast sums of money for doing their work? Why do we have a society in which basic needs such as a house need to be worked for most of ones life? We sometimes think of animals as dumb, as having less intelligence – yet a rabbit can toil for a short period and have a home for life. The economic system that is involved in the system involved in a house costing you twenty or more years of labour is a means of keeping you a slave. We pride ourselves as having abolished slavery, yet we are nearly all slaves to the system we live in.

Even stone age societies such as the Ladahk in todays world, have it easier. They labour for only six months in every year. Unfortunately governments cannot tolerate free and self sufficient people. As has happened in Indonesia and elsewhere, the government pushes self sufficient forest dwellers into houses so they have to pay rent and become a slave to the system. Then the government can takes away their land.

NewScience

The latest edition of New Scientist is an example of the new thinking

 

Visions of the Future

There have always been prophets of the future. But prophesy is notoriously difficult to get right. As Edgar Cayce said, the future is like shadows cast by our present actions. If we shift a little, the shadows and the patterns shift also.

A frequent prediction one hears at the moment is that America is gradually slipping into an economic and political decline, while China and India are rapidly growing in power and wealth.

But perhaps the most potent predictor of the future is ourselves. We are constantly creating the world by what we think and do, and how we relate to each other. The enormous power of change is happening right now. We are right in the middle of momentous times. Look around carefully and take note of what you see. Particularly look at the points of development, the growing tip of change – often expressed in good music and literature. See: Earth Changes

Each of us, in our dreams and meditations sometimes have glimpses of what may be emerging into the world, of what we ourselves are grwing toward. Sometimes these are very personal, and sometimes they deal with the wider life of society. But often these are dreams or visions to help us find our own way in the changes we are confronted by.

What we can be certain of is that change will occur, and we are involved in it in one way or another right now. Certainly new technology will as radically change our world and lives in the future as it has in the past. The car, the airplane, the telephone and TV have revolutionised the world beyond any political or religious influence. They have changed the way we live and think. They have altered how we live in the world and how we relate to each other. Technological advances still to come will probably bring even greater change. Undoubtedly it is change beyond what we can imagine at the moment.

However, we all face the question of what can I do? How do I choose the right direction? What effect will my small personal life have on this huge moving mass of humanity?

Well, you are part of the mass. You are one of the runners in the human race. What you do and think touches the lives of those around you. Those around you influence and play parts in the lives of others. In this way we all touch each other.

Each of us, in our hearts, have urges that arise from our awareness of the world we live within. At heart we know we are part of the world and the universe. Perhaps this innate love and vision has been battered by events or circumstances in our past. If so, seek healing. But if you have that vision, if you can feel yourself as part of this moving wonderful process of life that is constantly changing, live out what your individual vision is. The life within you is calling you to live your vision. Listen to it. Take time each day to listen to what lies under the rush of thoughts and feelings that often blanket out your sure knowledge of where you stand in the world, and what direction to take. Be cautious about following leaders unless they have exactly your vision. Feel the pulse of those around you in the streets. Know what moves people and what they seek. Look and listen. Your heart will hear and tell you what your place is in the midle of it all. Your intuition is your compass and map..

At a time I was feeling hopeless I asked my own heart to give me advice. This is what it said:

Whatever you believe life is about, you are nevertheless faced with your human life here and now. Everyday life demonstrates again and again that what you believe and think you begin to live and make real. If you believe that getting drunk every weekend is the way to go, then that is the way you will go.

You are therefore in a trap of your own creation. It is not like somebody else can take it away from you. It is no good appealing to God to take it away from you, because it is you who have the power of creating it or recreating it. It cannot be taken away from you. You made this trap out of what you fear, long for, believe and do. So you have to find the combination yourself and undo it.

Whatever you find when you open the door; well, you will find whatever you will find. But that is for you to discover. But it remains that you cannot live in a different way than you are unless you recreate yourself.

In simple words, if you are living a belief that life is hopeless and without point, then you are actually living a belief in limitations. So you create your own limitations. If you live a belief that you have wider possibilities – even if that belief is that you have a right to talk to your neighbour, then perhaps you will go to them and say, ‘Can I have a spoonful of sugar’. If you do, you will have stepped beyond your previous limitations. You will have created a wider life. So who knows where the boundaries are? Who knows, if you say I will go beyond that boundary, what will be there? If you take one small step after another, who knows where it will take you?

Who knows where you will travel if you take the next small step?

You are Never Alone

And always remember – you are not alone, and you are not impoverished.

The story of the loaves and fishes is a simple reminder that we are only poor if we hold onto our own handful of food and wealth. When we put our small sustenance and wealth with others we are enormously rich and powerful.

Governments and multinational corporations attempt such allegiances all the time, and unless we the people also collectively realise our power and wealth, we remain at the mercy of such often soulless giants.

To do this we need to recognise the need for transcendence of national, religious and racial boundaries, the need for self giving to create a new humanity.

Remember also that through links of love you create a boat of eternity. I believe love transcends time and death. It is part of the eternal Life that permeates all creation. Allowing it to flow through your life connects you with that immensity and eternity. Create loving links that are mutually supportive. Create a boat in which you can sail beyond change.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved