THE TRANSFORMATIONAL GROWTH OF HUMANITY
No Man is an Island’
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. John Donne
Whether we like it or not, we live our lives as a collective, a forever expanding collective, a complicated collective of incredible diversity. At one time there were few humans on earth and now we are 7.8 billion people. There are 7.8 billion people with their own private desires, wants and needs. In 2020, we were hit with a global pandemic. Never before had every human on earth been sharing the same trauma and crisis. We saw how the world could work together, we poignantly saw how we all share the same human experience with the same fears, pain and challenges.
When the developing world saw death in the form of Covid-19 creeping in, it jumped into action. Yet it was reported by WHO, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group that 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes. Even in the UK where I write, in 2019 it was reported that 14.3 million people were in poverty of which 4.6 million were children. There is incredible wealth in the world yet there is still cruel inequality. Capitalism and consumerism and the pursuit of wealth and gold, so often railroad common good, common sense and good values. We, as a collective, need to be placing human need before profit and reconstruct a society based on humane values (Chomsky, 2020). There are solutions to these problems but as a collective we choose what we want to see as a priority, or at least those in power choose what we do. Things are changing and it is up to us who we support and who we champion. Movements such as the Progressive International Movement are mobilising and if we desire a world of equality and solidarity then we must show our support
THINGS CAN CHANGE
It is always fascinating to me as a philosopher and psychologist how as a humanity and as a collective we choose to live. Our ancestors lived simpler lives based in localities. Whilst this also had great challenges, our world is so very complex world now we face different challenges. We are consistently evolving as a humanity.
Often we look forward and into the future, forgetting the past, forgetting that throughout history we have trialled many ideas, philosophies and shifted into many paradigms. It can be incredible liberating to realise this, as we have the revelation that we are not stuck. As human beings we are incredible fluid as a collective as a humanity. Whilst we can get worn down by the present system, the injustices and the competitive nature of capitalism, we can also take comfort in remembering that humanity and human beings are in a constant state of evolution. I really like what Anodea Judith says about humanity, she points out that we as a collective are in a stage of adolescence, we have yet to evolve into adulthood i.e. into a stage of cooperation and responsibility. These viewpoints can make me feel much more positive and kind towards humanity, that humanity is like a child continuing to grow, make mistakes and develop. It is then to take a more maternal, move loving hand to the growing problems.
It may be that Anodea Judith feels a little too new age for you, but the same conclusion can be drawn when looking at the whole history of eastern and western philosophy. This is shown so beautifully on this map of philosophy which I highly recommend you study as it will bring you incredible insights. Over the next few months I will be bringing you lots of articles and videos that will help you stay in tune with the collective. By understanding Plato’s cave, or Joanna Macy’s telling of ancient prophecy, or the writings of the Kali Yuga, the struggle between the secular and the sacred and understanding the role of modern science and capitalism, we are able to greatly expand our understanding of the evolution of humanity. We can become liberated and this not only inspires transformational growth on a collective and a personal level.
I will also be keeping you up to date with certain movements and campaigns that are worth joining and following; Progressive International, Humanity Rising, The Scientific and Medical Network/Paradigm Explorer and The Monastery, Manchester.
You can also read about my own thoughts on why we need to start being in reverence of life again, about what we can learn about death and about how we can bring sacredness into our lives, how we must bring sacredness into our lives without it being religious. I call this the Sacred Solution.
My musing, writings and thoughts are never fixed and I hope to explore these ideas in conversation with you, a dynamic process, when we fix something there is less opportunity for growth. There must always be room for transformational growth to occur. I would love to hear from you, listen to you or potentially collaborate with you. I am always open to transformational growth and you may well be a catalyst.