The Rise of Universal Consciousness

the rise of universal consciousness

Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town, South Africa 2011. Photograph by Jean-Jacques.

Carl Gustav Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, was quoted as saying: “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”

We certainly live in interesting times. No matter our place, position or status in society, we are now globally more directly affected by world events than ever before. Many world crises are currently reaching their tipping points or have already done so. Events are hitting close to home, even when they seem remote or far away and we are realising just how fundamentally interconnected we are on this planet.

Many widely-held concepts, such as autonomy, sovereignty, independence and individualism, are being challenged by events and processes which know no borders.

Common knowledge, group think, popular culture and even the results of higher education are increasingly failing to provide concrete answers or solutions to the current fast-developing events which often don’t seem to fit our known or old paradigms any more.

Until the recent past, it had conveniently been common practice to consciously or subconsciously consider non-mainstream information to be irrelevant, unimportant, un-verifiable or even threatening. Increasingly though, our ability to selectively deny and ignore is not only becoming severely impaired, but we are in fact becoming less inclined to want to do so.

Non-mainstream is fast becoming the new mainstream. Much of the information and knowledge available to us from traditional sources are increasingly being revealed as lacking quality or substance and in some cases being little more than “white noise” which has to be sifted through to find gems of truth.

For a long time, we have been suffering from self-imposed and/or conditioned, wilful ignorance, and have been neglecting our responsibilities as individuals, communities or societies to the whole. However, our new awareness is starting to supersede old models and thought patterns, adopted ideologies and accepted dogmas.

The reality of our responsibilities are being brought home to us via a much higher level of access to information than before due to technology and the internet and a very  high level of global information sharing, in addition to real-time global events such as the recent tsunami in Japan.

As our planet reaches crises points, we are coming to realise that in terms of self-preservation we may have no choice but to become very idealistic very fast and to purposefully act upon our global ideals for a better world, in order to rescue the human race and Mother Earth from very negative outcomes indeed. Dr. Jung’s exact interpretation is open for debate, but the seeds of change definitely lie in our idealism, as long as idealism is not simply a form of utopian escapism and therefore a narcotic.

It’s worth keeping in mind that in the context of parental, societal, cultural and social programming, social engineering and mass culture, we are susceptible to a vast array of influences and types of conditioning which will eventually make up the sum total of our thought processes. Many of these thought patterns are nothing more than mental or emotional narcotics, with constraining or debilitating effects.

Importantly, addictions and their symptoms do not constitute the core of a person. So whether your narcotic of choice is, for example, materialism, classism, consumerism, atheism, elitism, scepticism, utopianism, or something else, it can be transcended by universal consciousness. You are not your addictions.

Consciousness does not consist of any one particular aspect of being aware or becoming aware; it encompasses all. All aspects of being aware are equal parts of consciousness. The more that more of us become more aware, the more universally conscious we become. As we shift our focus towards the direction of becoming more aware, our awareness grows organically and leads to other people becoming more aware as well, as we share. Expanded awareness does not constrain like a narcotic, it de-constrains.

As our consciousness grows, situations and things around us remain similar, but our elevated, more holistic perception leads us to a different disposition in relation to the world. We arrive at being much more inclined to consider the whole and to act for the whole, rather than only for the self. Global positive change then starts happening naturally through global collective positive intent. Large-scale natural disasters, which are becoming more common, such as the one in Japan and others, give rise to global empathy and a new collective intuition in terms of understanding our universal interconnectedness on this planet.

It makes no sense that humanity would choose to self-destruct if we were fully aware of our definite collision course, but that’s the problem. We are not fully aware, mainly due to a plethora of distractions.  On the other hand, maybe we are after all quite a primitive species, unable to wake up, unable to evolve consciously and to step over our own addictions and restrictions. But it is much more likely that our collective consciousness will  divert the course of humanity collectively.

Holding onto old paradigms and set mindsets will then only slow things down on an individual level. As change speeds up, the new stream of consciousness will eventually sweep us along, whether we are “on-board” or not. We may as well let go of the fear of letting go of old negative patterns and addictions and be the change, because we are the change anyway.

An analogy worth considering at this point should be the famous Frog in Boiling Water anecdote with the premise that when a frog is placed in cold water and the water is slowly heated up to boiling point, the frog will not be able to sense danger and will in fact quite comfortably fail to save itself before it’s too late. It has apparently been proven through some experimentation in the 19th century that this is true, as long as the heating process remains slow enough.

Heraclitus famously said: “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”

If we look around us and pay attention, there can be no doubt that change is indeed speeding up.

We are all (the) One. Wake up Neo!

Quotes:

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” – Carl Jung

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

Article and photograph by Jean-Jacques Montagnier

(Please see comments for more…)

© 2011. All rights Reserved.

**

Jean-Jacques

Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer

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Comments

19 Responses to “The Rise of Universal Consciousness”

  1. Michelle says:

    Bravo Jacques. Very well written. I really enjoyed reading this… except the poor frog thing. 😡

  2. Hi Michelle – thanks very much! Yes, at first I was going to leave the frog out of this, I don’t think any of us like the ending very much, but with empathy for it’s predicament, I’ll allow it to stay and help us reflect a little bit.
    (Fortunately the outcome is not always the same in real life…)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

  3. Vivian Bryte says:

    Hi Jaques, Are you interested in a universal catalyst-of transformation. If so, some girls in Australia would like to share some cutting-edge ‘ISNESS’ with you. (unconditional and no strings) Kind regards, Vivian Bryte…secretary… Collective Energies Oz We need an address to do that!

  4. Rob Mason says:

    Hi Jacques,

    Good to read your thoughts and the additional comments.
    In terms of your question about addiction; “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” A definite NO. We all have likes and dislikes and sometimes these can become almost addictions but as you say a keen awareness is an antidote for this.
    I’m reading a very good book right now by Joshua Foa Dienstage called “Pessimism.” The form of pessimism Dienstag analyzes focuses on two qualities of human consciousness distinguishing us from animals: our recognition of time, and our capacity for self-awareness. These two qualities of life condemn us to many sorrows. Another significant point Dienstag makes is that we expect to much from life, we believe we exist to enjoy some form of happiness and are disappointed when this does not eventuate.

  5. Zoltan says:

    well written mate. but consciousness doesn’t mean a “better” world (whatever that means) because consciousness doesn’t determine morality.

  6. Zoltan, good to hear from you mate and thanks for your comment.

    Depending on our interpretation of morals, I think there is a relation between the two. Our morals are very much adopted from, or cultivated by the cultures we live in. Much of our morals are loosely determined, especially our global morals. Within our comfort zones we are not challenged to define our morals clearly – we simply don’t need to think about them that much.

    For example it might be morally acceptable to exploit infinite resources in an infinite world, but not in a finite world. Once we become globally conscious of just how depleted global resources really are, there’s a strong likelihood we will adjust our global morals accordingly.

    For the moment it seems petrol, oil and food is still relatively cheap for us in the West, but for how much longer? Once reality really starts hitting home for us too, we may sit up and take notice.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-09/record-food-prices-likely-to-be-sustained-fao-says-correct-.html

    In the case of the current events in the Middle East and North Africa, I’m not sure if their demands for democracy from their leaders could be considered as a shift in morals, but the spreading of these demands certainly must point to a rise in regional consciousness. People became aware of what is possible and it became contagious…
    Besides, we have democracy, why shouldn’t they?

    In cases, for example where a local environment changes fundamentally, in terms of morals, whole communities might (have to) shift their morals – the white population in post-apartheid South Africa being such an example. Even if some of this shift in morals in terms of racial equality in SA was due to political correctness, many people who had originally been conditioned to accept the old set of morals personally made a true shift and the generation that follows will have made a substantial genuine shift. To me this is an evolution in consciousness, because when you speak to some people in their early twenties here now, they are often shocked and appalled about how things “used to be” and the change-over happened only 17 years ago.

    So for me I guess the question remains whether we are going to pre-emptively adjust our global morals or wait for circumstances to force it upon us.

    Whether we end up in a “better” world mate as you say, will probably be subjective to where we live in the world. It’s probably not too far fetched to say that this is as good as it gets, from a materialistic point of view… Many parts of the West seem pretty bankrupt at the moment financially (and morally… ;-))

    In terms of a better world, what I mean is a more globally conscious world towards the preservation of the environment and the planet – and to be more pro-active in finding alternative solutions to our consumption of depleting resources. I’m not arguing for the unrealistic utopian ideal of absolute material equality. If this was the case I would be suffering from idealism as a narcotic… 😉

    @ Rob
    Will get back to you shortly!

  7. Zoltan says:

    Consciousness doesn’t determine that something is _objectively_ “good” or “bad” (that’s what I mean when talking about morality). Take the example of nazi Germany. Their conciousness cannot be doubt as the whole system worked as a rigid machine but they morality should an has to from a natural law point of view. And its the same with “culture”. Culture is determined by societies and customary law not by consciousness. Just because people are more aware of something doesn’t mean that they thinking is more “right” it just says that they’re more aware of their choises.
    Beside all of this of course I understand the point you’re trying to make and I do not deny that there is progression and development in our world and thinking.

  8. Hello Rob,

    Appreciate your response – and you bring up some very valid points – I have not read Dienstage yet, but the topics he analyses are fundamental to this, so I’ll give a few personal opinions and answers by authors I have read in relation to them.

    In the context of my article above, habitual unnecessary pessimism would be a thought pattern (“addiction”) just like excessive optimism. A good balance in-between would be “ideal”, but an elevated consciousness would transcend both.

    1.) Our capacity for self awareness:

    We are self aware, but we are not always self-aware enough of how our egos are not our core, or how we are not only our egos. We usually think we are our egos… or we get confused by the compulsive needs of ego, which is influenced by all our “addictions”. That’s not to negate ego completely, but by becoming aware of ego and its influences, will help us to determine our real needs better.

    2.) We believe we exist to enjoy some form of happiness:

    That’s true: We do believe so. It’s also true that we DO in fact exist to enjoy some form of happiness, or contentment, or bliss.

    The problem is we don’t really know what happiness constitutes – we think we know, according to the needs of the ego, so that’s what we go after and our needs often express themselves as a sense of entitlement. We DESERVE a good life – it’s our RIGHT.

    Laurence G. Boldt in his career design workbook (Zen and the Art of Making a Living) talks a lot about how myths shape our attitudes and aspirations: “We would be kings and take for ourselves as much power, leisure, and security as we thought we deserves and could get away with.” (The Little King’s Paradise: A promise unfulfilled). The reason for living by this pseudo-myth (“Myth of the Little King”) he says, is because “…the mind of man abhors a vacuum.” He goes on to explore how and why we adopted this myth.

    We try to find happiness in material things. We try to consume our way to happiness. This fails obviously as soon as the novelty wears off, so we go out there and consume some more… In fact, if we could achieve happiness from material goods alone, the majority of us should be very happy indeed – in the developed world at least.

    Happiness also has to do with how we value “success” (and our ego related need to be perceived as being successful). Our self-esteem and therefore self-worth is to a large extent dependent on status and wealth (class consciousness and materialism) and we are very rarely content with “enough”, because there’s always someone “higher” than us to compare with, so there can never be “enough”. The ego compulsively needs to compare all the time…

    We are also exceptionally fearful of losing what we (already) have, to the extent that just the idea can cause (severe) anxiety. In cases where a person really “loses it all” materially, it’s almost guaranteed that that person will go through a period of (severe) trauma.

    In his book “Status Anxiety” Alain de Botton explores all of this thoroughly – according to him it’s mostly our status anxiety (and we all suffer from it to a certain extent) that causes our unhappiness – not necessarily our actual lack of living standards or inadequate quality of life. Good read – it’s a historical overview of how this mindset came about – he offers solutions in how to counteract it too.

    3.) “…we are disappointed when this (happiness) does not eventuate.”

    Helen Palmer calls this person the “successful malcontent” in her book “Waking Up”: “Isn’t there more to life than money, career, consumer goods, social life? Where is the MEANING?” This is the reason, she says why many people start self-exploring their inner selves through systems of self-analyses (psychometric or personality tests) such as the Enneagram system or the MBTI system, the latter based on theories developed by Carl Jung.

    Viktor E, Frankl in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” calls this “the existential vacuum”. Towards the end of his book he cautions (in a way) against too much pessimism or cynicism, which could lead to helplessness, complacency or despair: “A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but MAN is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment – he has made out of himself.” Dr. Frankl’s overall theme relates to self-responsibility and… beyond that, responsibility to the whole. Which gives meaning.

    Laurence G. Boldt, in my opinion has found the key to finding the key to meaning through the Art of Creative Living. In his guide to career design (Zen and the Art of Making a Living) he helps us work through the process of determining our true values (not morals) and defining what we are here to do and how to put that into practice, creatively, step-by-step and how to live it, with an emphasis on our interconnectedness with the whole. (without “losing” anything in the process).

    Most of our “addictions” and neuroses are ego related. Most of the worlds problems are ego-addiction related. How do we transcend our addictions? By being more aware of them. How do we (start to) transcend ego? By being more aware of it (in ourselves and others).

    4.) …our recognition of time…

    Humans’ perception of time is linear in our current paradigm – if it wasn’t for ego, we probably wouldn’t even have this discussion, because there would hardly be any restrictions to finding solutions “before time runs out”.

    So either we enter a timeless paradigm, or lose ego, or do both. Or become Universally Conscious within our current paradigm and transcend all.

    Or stay as we are, comfortably numb. Just like the famous frog in boiling water.

  9. Zoltan, thanks. Yes, I understand what you mean too.

    I’m not really coming from a “good or bad” point of view, but rather from a maturity point of view.

    It has been said that despite all the advances the human race has made, it is still in an infant stage consciously (or spiritually, if you like).

    We have to at some stage, through a natural process of evolution, reach a higher level of conscious maturity, which would lead to more responsibility. Not because that would be good, but because that would be mature.

  10. “The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.”
    – Carl Jung (1875 – 1961)

    “The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.”
    – Carl Jung (1875 – 1961), The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man (1934)

  11. Hello Jacques,

    I resonate strongly with many of the crucially important points you raise here regarding our collective addictions and the urgent need for universal consciousness.

    I have long argued that, in the broadest sense of the concept of addiction, ALL humans are addicted in multiple ways. Further, I have hypothesized that all of these addictions are mediated by common brain processes involving neurotransmitter substances such as dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, etc, as well as by endorphins and enkephalins. This hypothesis has now been quite strongly confirmed for a wide range of addictions and compulsions.

    I have also constructed a loose working model for understanding the common psychological basis of all of these addictions and how they develop in terms of what I call “terminating reactions.” I define a terminating reaction as any behavior that effectively reduces or terminates psychological discomfort for at least a short period of time. Each time that this occurs, the behavior acquires, through the process of “negative reinforcement,” an increment of “habit strength” and thereby an increased probability of recurrence. Through this simple and well-established principle of learning theory, virtually ANY behavior can develop into a strong terminating reaction or “addiction.”

    The single most common category of terminating reactions are what have been called “movement addictions.” These highly repetitive garden variety behavioral patterns can be observed in nearly everyone. The typically occur completely without awareness and most of them are generally benign. Examples include, foot jiggling, beard stroking, eye blinking, grimacing, toe tapping, hair twisting, idiosyncratic speech mannerisms, etc. Not uncommonly, they seem to express suppressed or repressed feelings. One of the most interesting that I have observed in a number of TV comedians consists in rubbing or scratching the cheek under one of the eyes or beside the nose, as if unconsciously wiping away a tear. I’ve hypothesized that these particular repetitive gestures may be understood as the unconscious surfacing of sadness or emotional pain that is being covered with humor.

    In summary, then, terminating reactions are incredibly prevalent and highly varied. They include not only every conceivable form of behavior that gives rise to increased pleasure, through substances such as drugs and food, through exciting experiences such as sex, gambling, shopping, etc, but also—quite counter-intuitively—to a wide range of behaviors that entail discomfort or pain—such as cutting or burning oneself, self-starvation, vomiting and the like.

    There is now strong evidence that these particular addictions are mediated in the brain by endorphins or “endogenous morphine” that is released whenever they occur. This happens automatically, for example, whenever someone engages in self-injurious behavior such as cutting, burning, head-banging, etc. The bottom-line result from such behavior, then, is temporary relief from psychological pain or discomfort, which has become highly intense and nearly universal. So we humans have, indeed, ingeniously found endless ways to “spell relief.”

    The general class of addictions that clearly contribute most directly and markedly to the destruction of our biosphere are those of excessive consumption and consumerism. Not only are these exceedingly common, but they are actively engendered by endless advertising and by our currently prevailing version of capitalism—a version, incidentally, that departs markedly from what Adam Smith originally proposed.

    I hypothesize, further, that the epidemic of addictions that now afflicts us collectively grows out of the intense, chronic emotional distress that is inherent in our highly-alienated modern lifestyles. More specifically, I see this distress as an inevitable result of the pervasive sense of separateness that modern humans experience in relation to other beings, the biosphere, Mother Earth, and to the universe in general. I believe that, in large part, it comprises the collective human “pain body” that Eckhart Tolle often refers to as the basis of our common “human madness.”

    This enormous pain results basically from living in delusion; that is, we humans–just as is true of every other life form on this planet—are, in reality, seamlessly interconnected and inherently one with the entire biosphere and, in fact, with the entire universe. To believe deeply, as we do however, that we are intrinsically separate–and to behave accordingly–is effectively, then, a form of psychosis. Just as is true of all other forms of psychosis, this basic break with reality entails enormous suffering.

    Referring to this delusion of separateness, Ken Wilber, who has been called “the Einstein of consciousness, says: “People typically feel trapped by life, trapped by the universe, because they imagine that they are actually in the universe, and therefore the universe can squish them like a bug.” He goes on to point out that if/when we become fully awakened to the vast emptiness of our Real Self (which may be the same as what you call “Universal Conciousness,” Jacques) , we realize that, as this Self, we actually contain the entire universe instead of being in it.

    Acting out of a delusional sense of separateness, we humans have related to our extended body (the biosphere), in a manner that is remarkably similar to how cancer develops in our local bodies; that is, a key identifying characteristic of all cancer cells is that they become disconnected from the rest of the body and, thus, progressively grow out of control until they destroy the very body that they need to sustain them.

    Viewed through this lens, then, it becomes abundantly clear that humanity is caught in a vicious circle whereby, as a direct result of our delusion of separateness, we are progressively destroying our extended biospheric body to the point where we are now in imminent danger of becoming destroyed in the process. More specifically, this self-destructive process is occurring largely through our collective addictions, which arise in large part from the enormous chronic pain of our delusional separateness.

    With this as background, Jacques, I’ve arrived at a conclusion very similar to yours—namely, that the only complete solution, or antidote, for the impending ecological catastrophe that we now urgently face is for at least a very large segment of humanity to awaken from this tragic delusion of separateness. My reasoning here is quite simple: If this were to happen, we would see very clearly that the biosphere is in fact none other than our extended body. With this clear recognition, we would then tend to relate to it protectively just as we normally do in relating to our local bodies. This assumes, of course, that we would also transcend the many addictive disorders that cause us to destroy our local bodies as well.

    For the past year or so, I have dedicated myself, as have a great many other spiritually-oriented folks, to promoting this kind of awakening as fully as possible. My main venues in this regard have been Facebook and my blog, Wise Ways to Happiness. Since I intentionally try to balance my idealism with realism, however, I recognize fully that this is, at the very least, an enormous undertaking and may, in fact, be as out of touch with reality as the primary delusion that it aims to overcome.

    Ken Wilber argues very persuasively that the universe evolves lawfully, holistically, and multi-dimensionally through a nested series of wholes of increasing complexity, each of which includes and transcends its predecessor. The spiritual aspect of this has long been recognized in various wisdom traditions as the “Great Chain of Being. At the gross physical level, for example, sub-atomic particles become organized as atoms; atoms become organized as molecules; molecules become organized as life forms; and life forms increasingly become organized at ever-increasing levels of complexity.

    Along with many other human development theorists, Wilber posits that humans are also subject to this very same kind of lawful process in their evolution. In this regard, he shows how, in a very general sense, human consciousness gradually develops from ego-centric to socio-centric to world-centric; that is, at the lowest level of consciousness, we are primarily focused on “I, me and mine”; at the next higher level, our consciousness includes others in our immediate family; then in our tribe; then in our nation state; then globally; and, ultimately, it includes all other beings and the entire universe.

    Wilber estimates that about 70% of humanity is currently at the ethnocentric level of development—that is, strongly identified with other humans in their particular ethnic group; he estimates that only about 2% of the population is at the highest current level of development, which he calls “integral” or world-centric. Not surprisingly, then, with regard to reversing our current ecological and global predicaments, he is definitely less than optimistic. He concludes at the end of a very enlightening series of recent audios entitled, Kosmic Consciousness, that our current situation is “very scary” and states that recurrent wars, with brief periods of peace, will likely continue to be the prevailing norm.

    So, idealistically, I strongly agree with your assessment, Jacques. Clearly, “it makes no sense that humanity will choose to self-destruct” anymore than it makes sense that we, as individuals, choose to do so. Realistically, however, we strongly tend as a species–both individually and collectively–to run on automatic and thus behave very self-destructively in manifold ways.

    Universal Consciousness (i.e., “world-centric consciousness”) is definitely the minimally prescriptive antidote that we urgently need in order to survive. Although finding effective ways to propagate this level of consciousness to humanity at large presents a very steep mountain to climb, I intend to keep broadcasting seeds in every way I possible.

    Ken Wilber reports that the single most effective way to accelerate the development of human conscious to higher levels is through intense meditation or contemplative prayer. This is the particular means that I have personally applied and that I strongly recommend to others.

  12. Hello Dr. Shears,

    Thank you very much for your considered contribution here! It was a pleasure to read and I think you have definitely taken this discussion to another level. Fascinating and informative.

    “Although finding effective ways to propagate this level of consciousness to humanity at large presents a very steep mountain to climb, I intend to keep broadcasting seeds in every way possible.”

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, that is my intention too.

    For further reading, readers can visit Dr George Shears’ blog, ‘Wise Ways to Happiness’ here:
    http://www.wisewaystohappiness.com/

    Highly recommended!

    Jean-Jacques

  13. Recommended reading:

    Personality Theories – Dr. C. George Boeree
    Carl Jung 1875 – 1961:
    http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html

    Forever Jung – Parts 1 & 2
    by John Stewart:
    http://www.high50.com/archives/health-wellbeing/forever-jung

    Andrei Yashurin’s series on Happiness:
    Principles of Self-Mastery – Weekly Blog
    http://unityway.net/blog/?tag=happiness

    Why the Age of the Guru is Over
    by Charles Eisenstein:
    http://www.realitysandwich.com/across_threshold_0

    Quotes on Happiness by famous thinkers:
    http://gypsycafe.org/2011/12/25/quotes-on-happiness/

    The Purposeful Universe
    by Carl Johan Calleman Ph.D:

  14. Hello Gypsycafe,
    Along the same lines,, Universal Consciousness, often referred to as God, is the essential ‘ingredient’ of everything and can therefore not be more important or valuable in one of its expressions than in another, regardless of whether it uses a highly developed human brain or the relatively simple nervous system of an ant. All of existence is held together by the intelligence of consciousness. Its presence in our body allows us to live a physical existence. In the same way, the presence of consciousness in the body of an ant allows the ant to live its life, too.
    Thx.

  15. Thank you for visiting and for contributing, Elevando. Well said. Sometimes we don’t fully recognize the Universal Essence in ourselves and by extension in everyone and everything else.
    Best,
    J.J.

  16. Katharine Otto says:

    As the world becomes more interconnected, and different societies less isolated, I believe people will naturally compare themselves with others, not only financially, but morally. For instance, women in repressive societies may for the first time see that they don’t have to submit to paternalistic authority.

    We tend to forget that the internet and social media are in their infancy, and that the world has never been so interconnected, where individuals can communicate with others on different continents. There has never been such a high literacy rate, and social media gives children relevant reasons to learn to read and express themselves.

    This is universal consciousness in action, but it’s important for individuals to maintain a sense of personal integrity, not just go with the crowd.

    • Jean-Jacques says:

      Katharine thank your for reviving this thread and commenting. I think there are two sides to the massive technological advances we have seen in recent years. Just 6 or 7 years ago most of us probably thought that technology would bring a new type of global democracy that would sweep away repression and dictatorships, but now we see that technology can also be used to to keep those in place and even create new such situations – an example being South Africa – as I wrote about on WriterBeat.

      However, as with everything it is all about balance – by now, in my opinion, people should generally have matured into using mass technologies responsibly, after the initial euphoria – and I’m not sure we can observe that (yet), which makes me inclined to think that the over-use of technologies is actually causing a general regression in societies, notwithstanding its positive advantages too.

      I would like to touch on a subject that may be a bit sensitive: although it is of course a good thing for women to be freed from repressive paternalism or “the patriarchy”, something needs to replace it when it (paternalism and patriarchy) is removed – humans need structure – in a vacuum they have no direction, purpose or sense of meaning. To date, for example, we have not seen women empowering themselves purposefully in the form of positive feminine leadership to replace patriarchy – we have in fact seen female gender movements emulating masculine traits… and seeking power over men. Also we have seen technology being used negatively in that respect.

      I think – and that’s my personal view – that humans can only maintain a sense of personal integrity by limiting their exposure to modern technologies and platforms – I would not have said that 6 years ago…

      • Katharine Otto says:

        JJ,
        I limit my exposure to technology. No television or cell phone. I just posted a WriterBeat article sort of about that. I agree technology is over-rated and over-used, and spreading a lot of mind pollution around the world. TV could have been a positive, educational tool, but it has been taken over by the dumb-downers, and is used instead to propagate hate and fear.

        About women, I agree so far the “feminists” are behaving like the patriarchs they are fighting. On the other hand, whenever I see or read about something truly forward going, such as environmental protection on a grass roots level, it seems women are leading the way. They are not the loud ones, the acknowledged “leaders,” but they are quietly making headway in terms of altering mass consciousness. It’s too early to tell. Men are having to change, too, and adapt to the new expectations and requirements for both sexes.

        Yes, we need structure, but not externally imposed structure. I imagine I was a simple stone-layer at Machu Picchu, where everyone worked together for something tangible that was greater than themselves, a structure that provided food for all and using natural laws, like terracing to make use of water’s tendency to flow downhill. You know more about Machu Picchu than I do. It is but one example of how collaboration for everyone’s benefit can work.

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