A Voice in the Wilderness
ARE WE READY TO PUT A NAME
TO THE CAUSE OF OUR DYSFUNCTION?
Editor’s Note: For the next several months this space will be used to explore, one-by-one, the messages, metaphysical principles, and spiritual meaning of the material found in the nearly 3,000 pages of the Conversations with God dialogues. This series of observations and interpretations is offered with my continuing disclaimer: I could be wrong about all of this.
CWG Explored/Installment #11: The next step for humanity.
This is going to be the longest entry in this series, so if you do not have the time, or if you cannot muster the patience, to read through this very long entry, you may want to close down this page right here. I’m not going to cut short what I have come to say.
I have come to say that humanity has gone just about as far as it can go down the particular road on which it has so long been embarked, and on which it continues to blindly stumble.
Between all the latest saber-rattling of North Korea, China, Russia, and the United States, the activities of terrorists, the plight of millions of refugees, the social unrest across the globe, the political upheaval, the financial disparity, plus the natural disasters and environmental degradation visiting Mother Earth, our present lifestyle is not, in the long term, politically or economically desirable, nor ecologically sustainable.
We have to make some changes in the way we are creating our daily experience on this planet, or we may very soon simply do ourselves in.
The issue is not whether we have to make changes, but what those changes might most beneficially be.
Clearly, it would be beneficial for us to alter our behaviors. Yet that has been true for hundreds (actually, thousands) of years. Why haven’t we done so? And what could cause us to do so?
These are the questions now facing our species. Conversations with God offers us some answers, and it strikes me that it could be useful for us to at least explore them to see if even a few of them might be helpful in our present situation. (I, of course, think they would all be helpful, but then again, I’m biased…)
Some of the ideas emerging from the CWG cosmology have been included in the book titled The Storm Before the Calm, found elsewhere on this website. The entire text is there, and I believe it is well worth reading — as I said, if only for its value of placing some proposals before us that we might debate and consider…and maybe even (who knows?) embrace and act on.
But now, here, let me place before the house some things I have said many, many times in previous statements, speeches, workshops, books, magazine articles, TV interviews, and other articulations. I ask you to forgive the repetition here if you have heard all this from me before. There is a chance that someone here is encountering it for the first time. And if it is repetitious for you, I invite you to let yourself nevertheless consider it again, to see if you still agree or disagree with the point of view I offer, based on the messages of my dialogue with Deity. And there is this: If you agree with what you find here, and you’d like others to be able to consider it, you can copy and paste, from this point downward, the commentary I am offering.
Let us begin by noticing something that is obvious to all of us, but that we do not seem to be able to do anything about: We do not have peace in our world.
Indeed, there has not been a single day for thousands of years when there has not been agitation, violence, and killing somewhere on this planet.
Is this because we are, by nature, a violent species? No. There are some who say so, but it is not true. Our basic nature is not violent. Our basic nature is peaceful and loving. We do not want war. We do not want violence. We do not want conflict and angry opposition and endless struggling.
Then why do we have it?
We have it because not one of the systems we have put into place to make life better on this planet is working.
Wait. It’s worse.
Not only have the systems we have put into place failed to produce the outcomes for which they were designed—they have actually produced exactly the opposite.
Our political systems – put into place to create safety and security for the world’s people – have produced exactly the opposite: continual disagreement and disarray.
Our economic systems — put into place to create opportunity and sufficiency for all — have produced exactly the opposite: increasing poverty and massive economic inequality, with 8 of the world’s richest people holding more wealth than 3.5 billion…that’s half the planet’s population…combined.
Our ecological systems — put into place to create a sustainable lifestyle — have been so abused that they are now generating exactly the opposite: environmental disasters right and left.
Our educational systems — put into place to create a lifting of the knowledge base of the planet’s population higher and higher — have produced exactly the opposite: a drop in global awareness and sensitivity that each year sinks our intellectual common denominator lower and lower. We can’t even remember telephone numbers anymore.
Our health care systems — put into place to create a good and long life for an increasingly higher percentage of people – have produced exactly the opposite, doing little to eliminate inequality of access to modern medicines and health care services, and providing the highest-level medical services each year to a lower and lower percentage of the world’s population.
Our social systems — put into place to create cooperative community and harmony among a divergent population – have produced exactly the opposite: discordance, disparity, prejudice, and despair . . . and, far too often, rampant injustice.
And, most sadly dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems — put into place to create a greater closeness to God, and so, to each other — have produced exactly the opposite: bitter righteousness, shocking intolerance, widespread anger, deep-seated hatred, and self-justified violence.
If the betterment of human life upon the Earth were a laboratory experiment, it would have long ago been considered an abject failure.
Indeed, an appalling disaster.
Not everyone agrees. There are those who believe that humanity is evolving to higher and higher levels of sophistication and achievement, producing a better and better quality of life for the members of our species.
It is possible that these would not, however, be among the 842 million people who do not have enough to eat. (That’s one of every eight in the world.) It is certain that they would not be the parents of the over 650 children who die every hour of starvation.
They would presumably not be among the 20.9 million women and children who are bought and sold into commercial sexual servitude every year.
They would also, one imagines, not be among the over 3 billion people who live on less than $2.50 a day, or the billions who have no access to health care. (Some 19,000 children die each day from preventable health issues, such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.)
They would probably also not be among the 1.7 billion people who lack clean water, or the 2.6 billion without basic sanitation, or the 1.6 billion people—a quarter of humanity—who live without electricity.
That’s right. In the first quarter of the 21st Century, 2.6 billion people live without toilets, and 1.6 billion without electricity.
How is this possible?, you might ask. And that is a very good question.
It is an especially good question given that humanity imagines itself to be a “civilized” species. To the people in the above categories, the “civilization of Civilization” has not even begun.
A planet where 5% of the population owns or controls 95% of the wealth and resources—and where most of that 5% think this is perfectly okay, even as unconscionable numbers languish in lack and suffering—would not seem to be a planet on which a great deal of humanitarian advancement has been achieved.
Are any of these conditions in any way related to the continuing lack of peace on this planet?
What do you think?
Are these conditions the cause of our lack of peace? No. They are the effect of that which causes them. They are the outfall. They are the result, the product, the consequence of something much larger that is dysfunctional in our species. And the challenge facing the world today is that many of those who seek, with every good intention, to change global conditions for the better, continue to attempt to do so at the level of Effect, rather than at the level of Cause. That is, they seek and hope to change WHAT is occurring, rather than WHY it is occurring.
Or to put it another way, we are trying to solve our collective global problems at every level except the level at which those problems exist.
My own awareness is that unless and until we approach the question of why humanity’s collective behavior is utterly dysfunctional, we can only put a bandage on humanity’s wounds. We cannot and will not heal those wounds unless and until we heal what is causing them.
Yet my sad observation is that no one wants to put a “name” to the Cause. Everyone wants to talk about what we can do at the Level of Effect, but most (if not all) of the world’s Messengers of Peace are reluctant (if not loathe) to suggest or articulate what they see as the cause of our uncaring, of our lack of action, of our continuing downward spiral.
All of our contemporary Messengers want to turn our global situation around…but few seem willing to do it at the Level of Cause. Everyone wants to change the outcome of our collective dysfunction, but not the input that creates it. This limits both the individual and any combined efforts of those Messengers to attempts to alter only the second half of the Cause-and-Effect phenomenon that is creating global conditions and experiences.
Let’s be specific here, so that you may know exactly what it is I am talking about.
There is one thing that I see most human beings currently unwilling to do, even though the doing of it could bring an end to humanity’s collective suffering virtually overnight. What is fascinating about this is that humans actually have done this particular thing in every area of human endeavor save one.
We have been willing to do it in the area of science…and our willingness has produced breathtaking scientific advances. We have been willing to do it in the area of medicine…and our willingness has produced modern medical miracles. We have been willing to do it in the area of technology…and our willingness has produced dazzling life enhancements.
We have, in fact, been willing to do it in every area of human endeavor except, as I said, one. Regrettably, this is the most important area of all.
And just what is it that we have abjectly and stultifyingly refused to do in the area of human beliefs, even though we have been willing to do it in every other area of human life?
Question the prior assumption.
The first thing we do when we reach a scientific conclusion is to question it, put it to the test, assess it based on results.
The first thing we do when we create a medical miracle is to question it, put it to the test, assess it based on results.
The first thing we do when we produce a technological marvel is to question it, put it to the test, assess it based on results.
But the last thing we do when we embrace a core belief is to question it, put it to the test, assess it based on results. The last thing we want to do is question the prior assumption.
We’ve decided that we’re going to hang onto our core beliefs if it kills us. And it does. By the thousands. Every day.
So here is where the problem lies. And I’m not sure that even a coalition of global Messengers would be effective in helping to bring about world peace, because I have not seen that our teachers, authors, and messengers are willing to speak to the matter of Cause.
So the question is: What would be the coalition’s Core Message? I mean, other than that we all want PEACE (of course), and need to all work toward it (of course).
What is the main thrust of what the world’s New Thought teachers and authors jointly believe is the CAUSE of our current lack of peace on this planet? Or, in fact, IS there a joint understanding among them about this?
Do they hold a unified understanding of the reason behind humanity’s dysfunction?
If the observation is that they do not, is it sufficient for everyone to get together to work toward altering the outcome of humanity’s dysfunction without ever touching on, or even mentioning, its cause?
Let me now articulate what I am clear is the major, the primary, the predominant and principal cause of humanity’s present and long-standing dysfunction.
The most impacting of our vast collection of Don’t-Dare-Change-or-Challenge Beliefs is our belief in Separation.
It begins, as I have observed it, with our belief in Separation Theology.
A Separation Theology is a theology that says “I am ‘over here’ and God is ‘over there’, and never the ‘twain shall meet—until I die and God decides whether I have been good enough to go to Heaven or to deserve paradise, and to be back with God ‘over there’.”
The challenge here is that the highest percentage of the world’s people believe in a Higher Power. They may call it by different names, they may conceive of it in different ways, but they agree in largest number on one main postulate: This Higher Power is separate from Us.
The problem with a Separation Theology is that it produces a Separation Cosmology. That is, a cosmological way of looking at all of Life which holds that everything is separate from everything else. And a Separation Cosmology produces a Separation Psychology. That is, a personal thought about the human psyche that says everyone is alone, separate from everything and everyone else. And a Separation Psychology produces a Separation Sociology. That is, a way of creating entire societies that separates every person from every other person by declaring their individual interests to be separate. And a Separation Sociology produces a Separation Pathology. That is, pathological behaviors of self-destruction, engaged in individually and collectively and evidenced everywhere on our planet throughout human history.
What I am observing on our planet more and more these days is the atomization of society — which is precisely the effect I have described above.
Now the questions become: Is this view as to Condition and Cause shared by others? Need it be?
If we wish to approach, and seek to solve, the problems in our world at the level of Cause, the answer to the second question is yes. If we simply seek to approach and solve the problems at the level of Effect, that answer is no.
Humanity has for generations created coalition after coalition, group after group, organization after organization, effort after effort, seeking to solve the problem of the suffering of humanity that has resulted from our species’ dysfunction.
I am sorry to report that the efforts of such groups and NGOs have in large measure failed. And for good reason. Most humans (and the coalitions we have formed) have, as previously noted, insisted on seeking to solve the world’s problems at every level except the level at which the problems exist.
We first try to solve our problems as if they were political problems, because we are accustomed to using political pressure on this planet to get people to do what they seem unwilling to do without pressure.
We hold discussions, we write laws, we pass legislation and adopt resolutions in every local, national, regional, and global language and assembly we can think of to try to solve the problem with words—but it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may come up with evaporate very quickly, and the problems re-emerge. They will not go away.
So we say, “Okay, these must not be political problems, because they aren’t being solved with political means. We see now that they are economic problems.” And because we are accustomed to using economic power on this planet to get people to do what they don’t seem to want to do without pressure, we then try to solve the problems as if they were economic problems.
We throw money at them, or withhold money from them (as in the form of sanctions), seeking to solve the problems with cash. But it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may create evaporate very quickly, and the problems re-emerge. They will not go away.
And so we say, “Okay, these must not be economic problems, because they aren’t being solved by economic means. We see now that they are military problems.” And because we are accustomed to using military might on this planet to get people to do what they don’t seem to want to do unless pressured, we then try to solve the problems as if they were military problems.
We throw bullets at them and drop bombs on them, seeking to solve the problems with weapons. But it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may produce evaporate very quickly, and the problems re-emerge. They will not go away.
And so, having run out of solutions, we declare: “These are not easy problems. No one expected that they could be fixed overnight. This is going to be a long, hard slog. Many lives may be lost in trying to solve these problems. But we are not going to give up. We are going to solve these problems if it kills us.” And we don’t even see the irony in our own statements.
After a while, however, even primitive beings of very little consciousness become tired of the killing and the dying of their own sons and daughters in battle, and of their women and children and elderly caught in the line of fire. And so, after enough killing has been done with no solution in sight, we say it is time to call a truce and to hold peace talks. And the cycle begins anew…
We are back to the bargaining table, and back to politicking as a solution. And peace talks often include discussion of reparations and economic recovery. And so, we are back to money as a solution. And when these solutions fail to work in the long run, we are back to bombs again.
And on and on and on it goes, and on and on and on it has gone throughout human history. This is not a new cycle. This has been happening for millennia. Only the names of the participants have changed, not the process itself.
Only primitive cultures and primitive beings do this. I know that you have heard many times the definition of insanity. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to get a different result.
We can’t seem to change our ways because we refuse to even look at whether the solution might be to change our beliefs. We continue to seek to create, promote, and generate peace at the Level of Effect — postponing indefinitely any serious look at, much less work on, the Level of Cause.
The great tragedy and the great sadness of humanity is that we have been willing to settle for postponements in place of solutions.
Of course, only primitive cultures and primitive beings do that. Highly evolved beings would never, ever settle for a ten-thousand-year postponement in solving their biggest problems. Here on this planet we’ve never really faced the largest challenge of humanity head on.
Why? Why are we acting this way? Why are we behaving like children? Because we are children. Ours is a very young species.
A lot of people like to think of humans as highly evolved. In fact, humanity has just emerged from its infancy on this planet. In their book New World New Mind, Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich placed this in perspective in one mind-boggling paragraph:
“Suppose Earth’s history were charted on a single year’s calendar, with midnight January 1 representing the origin of the Earth and midnight December 31 the present. Then each day of Earth’s ‘year’ would represent 12 million years of actual history. On that scale, the first form of life, a simple bacterium, would arise sometime in February. More complex life-forms, however, come much later; the first fishes appear around November 20. The dinosaurs arrive around December 10 and disappear on Christmas Day. The first of our ancestors recognizable as human would not show up until the afternoon of December 31. Homo sapiens—our species—would emerge at around 11:45 pm…and all that has happened in recorded history would occur in the final minute of the year.”
We see, then, the reason for our immature behavior. I repeat for clarity and emphasis: we refuse to face the largest challenge of humanity head on. We pretend we don’t even know what it is. And so we do our endless dance all around it. And we continue, century after century, to try to solve the world’s problems at every level except the level at which the problems exist.
The problem facing humanity is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is certainly not a military problem. The problem facing humanity is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.
The problem is rooted in our most fundamental and sacred beliefs about life, about each other, and about the thing we call God. And because some of those beliefs are based on a never-questioned assumption—the assumption that we are separate from and other than each other, and separate from and other than God—humanity’s spiritual problem could be bigger than most people think.
There is a reason that humans abjectly refuse to question the Assumption of Separation that rules so much of their lives. They are afraid. They are afraid that if they embrace the notion of the Oneness of everyone and everything, they will “disappear” as a single entity; they will no longer retain their personal identity, and will lose everything that makes them individuals.
But oneness does not mean sameness, unity does not equal uniformity, and lack of separation does not require lack of individuation—even as the fingers of a hand are neither separate from, nor other than, the body.
Yet the refusal of humans to question the Assumption of Separation means we could be all wrong about the Primal Force, the Singular Energy, and the Essential Essence that many people call God. And let’s be clear. It’s not a small thing to be wrong about God. And if nearly everyone on the planet is wrong about God, it’s really not a small thing.
If nearly everyone on the planet has mistaken notions about God, then nearly everything that everyone on the planet is doing will not work the way it was intended. Which is exactly the point I made earlier. This is because the basis of so much of what humans are doing in the area of politics, economics, and other critical areas of our collective endeavors has as its foundation many of humanity’s beliefs about God.
Nearly all of civilization’s modern laws emerged from the early rules and laws of some faith tradition.
Nearly all of humanity’s moral codes derive from the mandates of a religion.
Nearly every political movement and economic theory is based on ideas of justice, right-and-wrong, and basic fairness first espoused by spiritual figures.
Even human beings who don’t believe in God are impacted and guided by many of the fundamental principles placed into the Cultural Story, and thus our society, in the past by those who did — and in our present day by those who do.
And a striking number of the personal decisions made by billions of individuals across the globe are made within the context of what they believe to be the purpose of life, what they believe happens when this life is over, what they believe about God, and about what God wants.
So it’s not a small thing to be wrong about God.
Our opportunity on the Earth today is for those who Self-Select to become models of a new kind of spirituality by living into, and demonstrating daily, a new idea about what it means to be human, about who we are and how it is with us. And most important, how it can be.
Conversations with God-Book 4: Awaken the Species offers this observation: “This moment, this period right now in human history, is the perfect time for humanity’s advancement as a species. And the next step in this process is for each of us to self-select (that is, to choose ourselves) to be among those who commit to moving forward our own individual and personal evolution by embracing and demonstrating behaviors that serve to awaken the species to who and what human beings really are (Individuations of Divinity), and how that may be made manifest in our experience.”
I believe that many humans will self-select to do this, and so I remain optimistic about our collaborative experience.
I am clear that if we all declare, at long last and with a single voice, the truth of our being: that we are all One; one with each other and one with our Creator, there is so much more that we can create for ourselves, as individuals and as a species.
I am also clear that only when our collective Separation Cosmology is replaced by a Unity Cosmology will our self-destructive pathology be healed.
We must come to understand that all of life is One; that, as Conversations with God – Book 1 announced: “All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing there is.”
In terms of the new beliefs that would create a whole new reality and experience of life on Earth, I see this as the jumping off point. It is the beginning of the end of how things are now. It is the start of a new creation, of a new tomorrow. It can be the life-altering centerpoint of humanity’s New Cultural Story.
If we all want to be effective in working for world peace, I think it is critical for us to agree on the essential message we choose to jointly send to the world.
Will it be THAT all humans everywhere are urged to work toward world peace, or HOW we are invited to work toward world peace? Will it be about the need to change our behaviors, or will it be about HOW to change our behaviors?
Will we dare to say that beliefs create behaviors, and that until beliefs change, behaviors will not?
Will we dare to suggest or explore which beliefs held by humanity are producing humanity’s dysfunctional behaviors?
And will we dare to propose a New Cultural Story that could bring peace at last to our world?
Those are the questions now facing those who Self-Select to assist in the global modeling of a new way to be human that can awaken the species.
Whether or not a person believes in this thing called “God,” can we find a way to believe in the Oneness of Life? Can we agree that we are all part of the same expression, simply in differing form? And can we agree that as part of that singular expression, we might do well to abandon some of our individual objectives in favor of singular outcomes? Outcomes that shower goodness not on the smallest number, but on the largest?
Is this too much to ask of our species?
By your own behaviors, you decide. And model your decision for the rest of us.
In the end, that is the message of Conversations with God. Whether you hold the notion that a Deity exists and is real, or not — in the end, that is the message of Conversations with God.
The CWG dialogue even says, in direct terms, that it is not necessary to “believe in God” to change yourself and change your world. It is only necessary to change your beliefs about life, and about who you are in relationship to everything and everyone else in it.
Are you ready to do that? Let that be our question for the day.