We are in healing times simply because humanity is in a healing crisis! As is always the case in a crisis, we can continue doing the same things and getting the same results – as Einstein’s definition of ‘insanity’ quips, or take the opportunity to change, to grow, to heal the dis-ease which is afflicting us.
But what am I suffering from, why should I change and what should I change? As has been said, ‘if you don’t know humanity is at crisis point, you haven’t been paying attention.’
We are all very aware of our collective symptoms: increasing natural disasters, climate change, peak oil, top soil depletion, world financial crises, roboting workforce, population pressures, inequality of all kinds between people, political confusion, information overwhelm, chronic illnesses, social, cultural and economic disruption, etc. These critical impacts on our life on Earth show in people’s increased pessimism, dread, depression, anxiety, hair-trigger reactions and general malaise; and in our escapist embracing of glamour, materialism and unsustainable consumption. That’s a lot of the same thing that we need to change!
We can see how these things have been caused by human activity – how one thing has led to another. But this does not satisfy. It does not give us an answer to our deep questions that arise in the midst of this, the ‘why is this happening?’ and ‘where will this lead?’ – and the ‘what does this all mean?’ and ‘how can I live in this crazy world?’
At an evolutionary or spiritual level, you can say that we (humanity) are in crisis so that we actually look at ourselves, consider what we are doing, thinking and feeling – and so start to do a few things differently! A classic healing crisis! But how bad does it have to get, before we do something different? How do we need to change now?
Simply put, we need to change our consciousness! Fortunately, the same explosion of human consciousness that has produced many of our crises – in science, technology, manufacturing, physical health, food production, and societal systems – has also given us a greater understanding of our own spiritual nature, and how we could better create our world as an expression of our higher selves.
We have been gifted many philosophies, much knowledge and countless personal practices that provide us with ways forward to save our individual selves, as well as to save humanity from its grosser behaviour, its selfish, consuming, narcissistic tendencies towards self-destruction.
Ancient spiritual teachings supporting our growth of consciousness to become heart-centred beings have spread throughout the world in the past 150 years. In, say, the last 50 years, we have seen an enormous eruption and spread of new perspectives and practices to support us in this inevitable growth in consciousness. We have learned how our growth in consciousness is leading us to open our hearts and connect with our higher selves, in an inevitable process in which we evolve, willingly or otherwise, and in which we become inextricably linked to greater cycles of being and energy flows in the cosmos.
If we are going to reverse the course of larger, unsustainable world trends and to have an impact on the world crisis – help to heal it, to transition to a better outcome – we must choose to open our hearts and recognise that human life isn’t set apart from all other life on Earth (see Start in Your Heart). We must live in balance with nature, knowing that consumerism isn’t sustainable and doesn’t lead to happiness. As a conscious species, humans must be stewards of the ecology while fulfilling our role as intelligent and compassionate co-creators of the world, in harmony with its greater processes and cycles.
Now ‘there’s the rub’ for our healing, for our choosing to change, for our getting out of this crisis alive! That’s right, we have no choice in this – we do it gently or we do it with self-inflicted pain, crashing through one crisis after another, even taking humanity towards extinction. That is the real choice we face – not whether we change, but how willingly!
You may be saying to yourself, ‘but what can I do?’ As I discussed in What should I do now?, you have a purpose, your piece of the giant jigsaw of life on Earth. No matter what that purpose is, if you fulfil it, you will be contributing to humanity’s growth in heart consciousness. Purpose is a straight line to your heart, and can only be found there. So, opening your heart and finding your purpose go hand-in-hand, and can be achieved by any number of methods available to you on the world-wide web.
If you choose not to open your heart, then conditions in your life will compel you to, now or in future lives. For humanity as a whole, this means suffering some significant disasters at many levels, so as to break through to a compassionate response where the good of all takes priority over more self-centred feelings and behaviours.
Now is the time to make the greatest choice of your life; to heal yourself and do your bit for the world crisis – to open your heart (see Start in Your Heart) and build greater heart consciousness on Earth.
 Hamlet, William Shakespeare: When Hamlet is reflecting on the possibility of suicide as a means to an easy end; that perhaps death – which he likens to a ‘sleep, perchance to dream’ may be preferable to life! Ha!