CRISIS OF WORLDVIEW
In spite of mankind’s conquest of the world, and in spite of our technological power and abundant material wealth, we are not satisfied. Amid the grandeur and technological advancement, we still find ourselves asking “is this all there is to it?” The moment we pause to pose this question, we are in trouble. Even if we extend our conquest to galaxies afar, finding a habitable planet a thousand times better than Earth, we would not be content. The problem is not external conquest, but the internal void in the human heart. The deep feeling that something is not right cannot simply be ignored or considered trivial. This feeling resides so deep in the core of our being that we lack the language to describe it or pinpoint its location within ourselves. Many of us have been brought up thinking that our problems are political, economic, religious, or cultural. These are merely symptoms of something that remains rotten at the core of our existence. Unfortunately, millions of people assign this blame to people that are different to them, whether that stems from racial prejudices, conflicting beliefs, or political alignment. Our group identities play a huge part in perpetuating our miseries, and any history book will clearly show that men have been attacking each other in the name of group identities for thousands of years. Our history books are filled with tragedy and betrayal, but also with triumph. Sincere introspection reveals that group identity is merely superficial. When we look at the world through a prejudice-free lens, we can see that all life on Earth experiences injustice, pain, and suffering at the individual, family, and community levels. By residing at the top of the food chain and power hierarchy, we inflict this pain on our fellow non-humans. The division of humanity into group identities is the product of a deep-seated fear within our psyche – the fear of the unknown. We still lack crucial knowledge about ourselves and our purpose, as well as the world around us. Our modern science informed us that we are but a tiny blue speck floating in the vast sea of the universe – a fragmented entity unable to reconcile with our source. Why do we feel like strangers to our indigenous lands? The more that humankind has tried to unite through culture and ideologies, the more we have divided, enough where war is a large part of the human identity and legacy. This trend threatens to continue indefinitely unless we uncover and acknowledge the root of this curse.
This separation-based worldview has dominated our thought for millennia. Our technological revolution has created a platform to connect with people in parts of the world we may never physically reach, but this false sense of intimacy has also fostered distrust among neighbours. We sent man to the moon, and for the first time in history, we saw what our little blue and green marble looks like from the outside. If there was ever a moment where humanity was given the opportunity to embrace each other with love and kindness instead of blood and war, that could have been it. Somehow, we have it ingrained in our minds that humans are more significant than anything else in existence: more than the moon, more than the Earth, more than God himself. And so, we continue to devastate the finite resources that our Mother Earth provides for us, and kill her children. Deforestation, globalisation, slavery, racism, war – all in the name of pure selfishness and disregard for anything but ourselves. Science and technology gave us a new way of looking at our world, from the smallest molecule to the largest stars, yet we use them with greed and evil intentions. It has become a race to see who can be the world’s greatest superpower: who has the largest army, who can conquer the most countries, enslave the most people, monopolise the most resources, exert the most control over the economy. Humanity has weaponised itself for its own destruction, at an unprecedented level.
Not too long ago, the planet was considered a sacred home for all living and breathing creatures. Our ancestors were singing and dancing in a communion of life, and the entire natural environment was accorded the same value as political, cultural, and socioeconomic institutions, because they were built into nature. Unfortunately, around 500 years ago, our brothers and sisters from another continent called Europe declared that this planet was not sacred or special and was not the home of gods and guardians. From this moment on, our Earth and the whole universe were recreated by a sophisticated machine, which was governed by its own laws. Europeans declared that their mission was to study this law. They believed that only through knowledge could we take control of the mechanical universe. This marked the beginning of a fundamental shift in the human conception of both mankind and the universe.
Through the study of nature, mankind has unlocked secrets that allow us to cure the sick, prolong life, travel great distances over difficult terrain, sample vast varieties of food and drink, and provide us with physical comfort and convenience. This allows me to type this message on my computer and share it with you all in an instant. Our ancestors did not experience this magical world created by science and technology, and we must acknowledge that technology has improved our quality of life in many ways. However, I am aware that we have paid and continue to pay the price for these achievements. Such technologies inevitably create a race for power, since he who controls the technology controls the people. Unless we address the problem of worldview, the cult of profit and consumerism that characterises modern society will cause more pain and suffering to future generations. Our children and great grandchildren will pay the price of our greed and cruelty to each other, and to the creatures with whom we share this planet.