Humans are capable of the most extraordinary things. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is this. Look at what we’ve done already, what we continue to do, what is undoubtedly on its way. From the moment the incredible matrix of mother nature issued us forth, unique in our consciousness, cunning in our ability to adapt, we have been spellbound by our power to shape and relate the reality we’ve come to find ourselves in. Our species has been incessantly and irrepressibly conceiving, creating, manipulating, and innovating for time out of mind, all the while philosophizing, theorizing, and debating about all of it. The ride thus far, peering back from our current vantage point, has been quite incredible.
Only recently have things begun to change. The ever-accelerating pace of our forward motion has us reaching levels that are unsettling in their implications. The spear we released, tossed from our brutish hands so many eons ago, has not decelerated, but in fact quickened in its pace. Along the way it has been wholly augmented, hurtling now into the outer edges of the atmosphere, set soon to breach the barrier of a void we know nothing about. In the last few decades — an infinitesimal amount of time from an evolutionary standpoint — we have begun unlocking not only the secrets of our own biology, but of nature, of life itself. Our machines, soon to be a species wholly their own, are on the verge of outpacing us completely. Once they do — unless we are willing to augment ourselves — they will leave humanity in the dust.
Yet ask any of the experts, and they will inform you that our chances of reaching such a point are currently quite slim. Culturally, we are nowhere near ready for the repercussions of what we’ve unlocked. We are children playing with a pack of matches in a forest that hasn’t seen rain in years. The simple solution to this, of course, would be to take the matches away from the children, but there is no going back. We have already tasted it, and nothing can change that. No Luddite revolution will find success, no faction of fearless warriors will convince the whole of the world to reverse the clock and settle into an agrarian lifestyle once again. The technology — and our love of it — is here to stay. Yet the technology itself remains neutral. Yes, it could very well destroy us, but it could also be used to create a self-sustaining, peaceful world of such abundance that it’s nearly impossible to imagine. The decision is up to us. But it must be made soon.
The current state of the world speaks to both ends of this dilemma, depending on the perspective. We are rife with revolution, inundated with information; exposure is happening on all fronts, good and bad. The new age of hyper-connectivity is revealing us to ourselves everywhere, dismantling all manner of longstanding beliefs, demanding the true picture be made known, the real version called out. For the first time, the masses can truly see beyond the illusion, glimpsing a glimmer of the type of world that is possible. This mass melting-down of the previous paradigm would appear to be indicative of an imminently enormous change headed our way — or at least the opportunity for such a change to take place.
All of this is thanks to our technology. The tools we have created have come to reveal the illusion of their makers. They are dismantling the world we have been living in — one built on the back of a long, magical story of innovation and triumph, to be sure, but also one of terrible strife, pain and suffering — and are inviting us to look upon ourselves anew, that we may see clearly our reflection in the waters of a world we not only know is possible, but one that has now become achievable.
Yet the window of time is small. Our technology is advancing at an exponential rate, and it will continue on that curve regardless of of the state it finds us in. Our chances of survival are much greater if we can do the work it seems to be asking of us, harnessing within the reins of our conscious control not only ourselves, but it as well. This is what the world is missing, and its absence is very real. Humanity is fast approaching an hour in which the power of Gods will be at our fingertips. What matters now more than ever is the same thing that has always truly mattered — the development of our values.
And what are our current values? To find out, all one need do is take a simple look at the world. And I mean that literally — a simple look. The longer you consider a thing, the more complicated it often gets. Economics can be dauntingly confusing, yet every problem within it ultimately breaks down to one of values. When viewed under this light, things become much more clear. What kind of values do we hold, as earthlings? We teach our children, everywhere, at the earliest of ages to share, be kind, and tell the truth. This would indicate — as it is one of the first lessons we instil in our youngest citizens, almost universally — that we hold these values to be of extreme importance. Yet do we follow these guidelines ourselves? Many of you will jump to say yes — in terms of your personal life — yet take a moment to reflect on this. Are you being honest with yourself, truly? And what would our world look like if our nations actually followed these simple guidelines? The global economy would certainly not be in the state it currently is.
All of it, out of our inability to follow the most basic, core values we profess to possess. What this shows us is one of the deepest and most fundamental complications of our species — our failure to apply what we know to be true. We can see the truth, we can name it, and talk about it, but we just can’t manage to live it.
Why is everything so backwards? Simply put, because we have the entire point of what it means to be in relationship backwards — all relationship, between people, between nations, between ourselves and nature, and between ourselves and technology. The point of relationship is to define oneself, period. That is why it exists: so each of us, people and nations alike can ask the question ‘who do I want to be in relationship to this other?’ Yet we are so busy looking for fulfilment through the other, whether person, nation, nature or technology that we are willing to throw our ‘values’ out the window in order to get it. Or, after a time, if we feel we haven’t gotten what we wanted — or that we’ve been ‘wronged’ in some way — we often end up acting out the total antithesis of our professed values, to horrendous results.
All of this, of course, is the revelation of our true values — ones we could never admit to, but that our actions announce loudly. So is revealed a world of nations acting as murderers, bullies, thieves, liars, prostitutes and plunderers. So are revealed nations of citizens acting out of a state of fear and lack, jealousy and mistrust, hoarding goods and practicing cruelty through ignorance, and dishonesty through omission. So is revealed a body of humanity that is deeply wounded, deeply and unconsciously ill, and continues to define itself as such. Does this sound like a species that is ready to inherit the power of Gods?
On an ostensible level, of course, many of the values we claim to hold appear to exist, but apart from rare exceptions, this is not the reality. It is the same facade that our technology is dismantling all around us. And it is this very place of disillusionment through which we must continue our passage if we have any hope of creating ourselves anew. It is the doorway. All we need to do is make the conscious decision to step through.
Yet doing so requires a shift in our focus. All action that focuses on the other is a movement against, and so therefore, with rare exceptions, must be abandoned. Fighting any other, no matter how noble the cause, is a channeling of energy into something outside of ourselves and is therefore a misuse of that energy, serving often only to plant the other, whatever it may be, more firmly in place. Our energy will be of much more use when focused on the only thing any of us truly have sovereignty over: ourselves. We must bring that focus home, we must start paying attention, and then we will see clearly how we are already deeply steeped within the act of self-definition. Every day, every moment it is happening, over and over again. The world we are living in is the result of every choice we have made thus far. Do we really want to keep repeating them?
How hard is it to see that when we choose to be kind, sharing and honest with another — truly these things, without needing reciprocation — that it serves to engender the same behaviour in them? How hard is it to understand that, in a world that rewards ruthlessness, allowing our vulnerability to show is in fact our greatest strength? And, far more importantly, that it defines who we are. It displays to the world a courageous honesty, and fills us with with the love of doing good, for which there is no equal on this earth.
It is time for us to set fire to the world with our hearts. And we do so through the actual acting out of the very values we profess to hold. A revolutionary concept, to be sure, but humans, as we well know, are capable of the most extraordinary things.