Monday, October 17, 2011

Daniel Pinchbeck On Revolution


"The path before us requires voluntary renunciation and voluntary simplicity to reduce our burden on the earth. Therefore, the old paradigm that sees accumulation of wealth and immediate material satisfaction as the goal needs to be rejected collectively. We are going to step into a new realization of our purpose -- of the meaning of human life, in itself. We are going to remember, and relearn, what every ancient civilization and traditional culture tells us: that our lives have a spiritual meaning, above all. Existence in this world is an initiatory process to prepare us for the transition to other conditions of being, other worlds or bardo realms beyond this one.

The duality of spirit and matter also needs to be overcome. Indigenous people do not recognize this dualism -- they do not imagine spirit to be above or outside of this realm, but within it. Instead of a sky religion, their spiritual practices are rooted in sensuous connectivity with the earth. In a sense, indigenous cultures are much more truly materialist than our society, as they see the essential value of the natural world as an expression of the Creator, and do not try to impose abstract systems on to it.

Our civilization has been ruled by a mindset that sees life as a means rather than an end. In the past, guilt and postponement were inscribed in a religious creed that put off redemption to some distant future. Recently, science replaced religion with a fundamentalist vision of technological progress, leading to a time when humans merge with silicon or create artificial intelligences that succeed us. This is also a delusion that keeps us alienated from the living present.

We don't know what it will be like to live in a society where life is realized as the ends in itself -- where we seek to benefit the collective by nurturing and supporting each individual. We can only anticipate that it will be wonderful to find out.

The consciousness movement has the sacred task of integrating our understanding of spirit and Psyche into the rapidly unfolding movement for planetary justice and social regeneration. This global movement is part of an initiatory process for humanity as a whole that will bring about a transformation of both the individual and collective ego-structure. The goal is not the destruction of the ego but the attainment of an ego-free state -- liberation from the tyrannical demands of the ego, which can never be satiated. Similarly, we don't want to see the smashing of current institutions, but their alchemical transmutation, so they support our human community and safeguard the resources of the natural world. Humanity, as a whole, is rapidly losing our appetite for violence and destruction. We are increasingly sick of the negative patterns of the past, and ready to overcome the inertia."

- Daniel Pinchbeck

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