Our Current Societal Systems Are An Ever-Intensifying, Multidimensional Crisis


It becomes banal and repetitive to note we are in a state of crisis. Post-industrial civilization lurches inexorably from one crisis to the next, without resolving the previous crises. When were we ever not in a crisis? When I look back at my life, I recall an endless series of geopolitical emergencies — wars, diseases, environmental disasters, pollution, recession, cancer clusters, civil unrest, homelessness, gang wars, stagnation, terrorism, and so on.

Perhaps it is most accurate to define the basic characteristic of our society as one ever-intensifying, multidimensional crisis.

It does feel as if this multi-dimensional crisis is worsening rapidly, however. We may soon move toward a new crescendo of emergency, and a little beyond that, a deeper plunge into the unknown.

Why is this happening to us?

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I don’t think we can ever resolve the crisis (if we can even do so at this point; I still tend to believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that we can, but only by embracing an unstinting, courageous dedication to radical honesty, to truth, wherever it leads us) until we correctly answer that basic, niggling question of “why?”

I find it infuriating to read newspapers like The New York Times because, while The Times catalogues many of the ongoing disasters in fantastic detail, it provides no greater context. There is little effort to pull back far enough so readers can get a hold on the overall pattern, except in some scattered editorials. (I realize that is not what journalistic enterprises are “supposed” to do, but I question that, as even the most avowedly “objective” news purveyors is shaped and saturated by an invisible, unstated ideology that permeates every page).

I believe that the primary reason we are in this increasingly accelerating planetary catastrophe is that we don’t know how to think, and then act, from a systemic and comprehensive point of view.

Our leaders do not reflect a whole-systems perspective. We, the people, are not educated into a systems-level vision that encompasses the relatively distant future, the evolutionary trajectory of the Earth, and other aspects of deep time or depth-of-field. Our education system is an obsolete weapon of indoctrination, designed to produce shallow conformity, to “manufacture consent.”

Economists — someone like Paul Krugman, who I enjoy reading — will talk intelligently about inflation, GDP, Quantitative Easing, labor policies, and so on. But they rarely, if ever, step back to interrogate the basic question of whether we can or should keep seeking more growth, more material progress, and more development, considering the fact that we live on a fragile planet with finite resources that are being rapidly depleted.

At this moment, Europe has a massive problem as Putin is choking off access to Russia’s natural gas, which the economies of Europe, particularly Germany, became dependent on over the last decades. Europe allowed Russia to amass financial and political power because Russian gas was the cheapest energy available and, therefore, politically expedient. With the current cut-off, energy bills across many parts of Europe and the UK have spiked as much as five times, immediately forcing many businesses to close. There is a likelihood that huge sectors of industry — for instance, car manufacturers in Germany — will be unable to produce this winter, as gas is rationed to keep people from freezing.

I don’t want to say I consider this a good thing, but in some ways, I do think it could be a good thing — but only if, somehow or other, a systems-level realization starts to kick in. And that is, still, almost nowhere to be found.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the amount of reserves of natural gas estimated in the world. According to worldometers.info, in 2017, there were nearly seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas. We use about 1/52nd of these reserves every year. In other words, we will run out of natural gas in under a half century.

Where are we with oil? According to The Christian Science Monitor (2013):

“BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels.”

Thus we have forty years left of oil, give or take. Apparently, when it comes to coal, we have a bit more time. Something like ninety years. But coal, obviously, comes at a much bigger environmental cost.

Along with accelerated global warming, I find this to be much bigger, more profoundly important news than the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset,” Chinese totalitarianism, or even the Ukraine war. It suggests that the world is barreling toward a monumental contraction. Yet it is rarely discussed or trumpeted in the mainstream media — probably because the media is largely underwritten by oil companies and car companies.

What should be happening now is a global cooperative effort to re-design our energy and economic systems so that we can, as a species, survive this massive shockwave that is inevitably going to hit all of us.

But we are so far from that, it feels absurd to even mention it at this point.

Over the last few decades, it seems we have become even more stupid, more ignorant, more blinkered as a species. In some areas, however, there are signs of progress — as I will explore in future essays.

I believe we need a collective awakening that assigns the current form of  Capitalism to the scrap heap. The profit motive driving the strategies of corporations are antithetical to humanity’s future survival in a fast-changing world where warming accelerates as fossil fuel energy grows scarce. I realize that nobody wants to give up more power to national governments or to global control systems. The only logical alternative, then, would be some kind of decision-making and resource-assigning infrastructure, perhaps built on a blockchain, to facilitate people in rapidly assimilating all evidence on every topic of immediate concern, making an educated choice, and then acting together toward a shared, agreed-upon goal.

Such a “people-powered” platform could, at least in theory, make governments and corporations obsolete — this is probably why nobody will build it. But crisis can force rapid innovation and unanticipated developments.

What seems a more plausible outcome is we continue racing in the wrong direction until breakdown occurs. 

Doug Rushkoff just re-published his piece from a few years ago, “The super-rich ‘preppers’ planning to save themselves from the apocalypse,” which is a must-read. A small group of billionaire tech investors and hedge-fund managers invited Rushkoff to speak on the future of technology. But in fact, they were most interested in building escape bunkers and preparing themselves for imminent global breakdown. Rushkoff writes:

The billionaires who called me out to the desert to evaluate their bunker strategies are not the victors of the economic game so much as the victims of its perversely limited rules. …

“Yet this Silicon Valley escapism – let’s call it The Mindset – encourages its adherents to believe that the winners can somehow leave the rest of us behind.

Never before have our society’s most powerful players assumed that the primary impact of their own conquests would be to render the world itself unlivable for everyone else. Nor have they ever before had the technologies through which to programme their sensibilities into the very fabric of our society. The landscape is alive with algorithms and intelligences actively encouraging these selfish and isolationist outlooks. Those sociopathic enough to embrace them are rewarded with cash and control over the rest of us. It’s a self-reinforcing feedback loop. This is new.

Amplified by digital technologies and the unprecedented wealth disparity they afford, The Mindset allows for the easy externalization of harm to others, and inspires a corresponding longing for transcendence and separation from the people and places that have been abused.”

When I wrote Breaking Open the Head, I hoped that a second wave of the psychedelic revolution might be a catalyst that shifted people — particularly elite holders of financial and culture capital – into taking a systemic design approach to our imperiled world. Instead, it seems that Capitalism has assimilated psychedelics, reducing them to tools for creativity and mental health. This is also a trend I intend to critique in greater depth, soon enough.

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Change the Lens Through Which You View the World

Change the Lens Through Which You View the World

One of my favorite pieces of wisdom to live by is that our life is a reflection of the perspective we hold about it. When you look at the current state of your life, what does it reflect? What does it reflect about who you are and how you see yourself? Your relationships? Your work? Your hobbies? Your life purpose? Is your life a sequence of extraordinary moments strung together to make a richly diverse tapestry, or a mundane ordinary paint stroke on a bleak canvas day after day?

We do not need to be in any artificial state of bliss in every moment, but there is a difference between being alive and actually living life. So how are you living your life? Are the majority of your hours of each day joy-filled? Do you most often feel great, blissful and satisfied? Is there awe, wonder and excitement in how you live? Or is there a monotonous, frustrating, pessimistic, or lifeless and perhaps even angry or cynical pattern to your life?

If you can relate more to the second way of living, perhaps it is time to change the lens through which you are viewing the world. If you are content with the way your life painting looks like, then of course there is nothing to change. But if you are yearning for a richer experience, and more importantly know that you are worth more and life has so much more potential than you are tapping into, then I invite you to read on as we explore ways to bring some extraordinary into an ordinary life.

Rainbows, Butterfly Wings and Wild Things

I am not a proponent for TV watching, but the act of watching television illustrates well the idea of “changing the lens”. If you are watching something on TV that you are not particularly enjoying, what do you do? Simple, you change the channel. By changing the channel you are changing the experience and what you subject yourself to. Of course you could just turn off the TV as well. These two examples can be applied to our everyday life as well, which in and of itself is a show of sorts. If we do not like the experience, we can change it, or remove ourselves from it – at times these are one and the same.

But what if there was a third option, something even more powerful, especially when faced with those situations where we seem to feel we have no choice? All too often people will excuse their lack of happiness, joy, bliss and satisfaction by using the ever so famous – “you don’t understand, I have no choice”. Some common examples include:

I have no choice and have to do *this*, or cannot do *that* because… I don’t have the money, I have kids, I cannot leave my job, I cannot leave my spouse, etc…(you fill in the blank). I think you get the point.

So let’s just say that you are totally right. You are completely stuck and there is no way to change the current predicament you may be in. What now? This is where choice three comes into play. You can change how YOU view what you are watching, or experiencing.

Yes you heard it said many times in different ways, “change your perspective”, “change the way you look at things”, and so on. But there is no coincidence of why this message is starting to sound like a broken record. This simple, yet powerful ideology can be applied to everything in our lives. Whenever you do not like what you are seeing or experiencing, if removing yourself from the situation or changing the situation don’t seem like plausible options, then change the lens you use to view the situation. In this case, the lens being the filter you are using to process the information with.

SimpleReminders.com — "Those who see the world through the lens of love... | Best love quotes ...Instead of seeing a particular situation through the lens of fear, change to the lens of love. This is perhaps the most powerful lens to change, and the two lenses that most of us use most of the time to view the world through. Love generates joy, bliss and happiness. Fear generates worry, anxiety, and disharmony. You will always easily know which lens you are using, based on how you are feeling.

Here are some more lenses to consider changing: instead of the lens of frustration, change to the lens of patience; instead of resistance, change to the lens of acceptance; instead of boredom, change to the lens of awe; instead of ordinary, change to the lens of extraordinary.

By changing the lenses you view life through, you literally change your life. You may not change what you have, but you will change how you feel, and that will change your view of what you have. Before you know it, you will be surrounded by rainbows and butterfly wings, and experiencing some wild things, making for one awesome life experience!

Living Through the Lens of Extraordinary

One way to create a marvelous work of art out of your life is to view life through the lens of extraordinary. When we choose to live life by seeing through the lens of extraordinary it is full of joy, bliss and excitement. Living life through the lens of extraordinary does not mean that you need to quit your job and go sky diving from the Himalayan mountains.

Living life through the lens of extraordinary means that you see beauty, awe, or joy in the everyday, often little things that make up life. One of my most favorite examples to use is doing the dishes because for some reason so many people seem to “dread” or not like doing dishes, finding it a mundane chore. Sure, we all have our preferences, but is it possible to look at this task through a new lens? A lens of appreciation and gratitude for the ability to have food, create a meal, and nourish your body, and perhaps that of your loved ones?

What about your work? What areas of it can benefit by looking at them through a new lens – the lens of extraordinary? Is it how you view what you do, or who you have to do it with, or where?

What about when you are lying in bed, unable to do the things you wish because your body has lost its natural harmony and needs some rest or recuperation? Can you switch from the lens of victim or from the lens of resentment, to the lens of gratitude, healing and empowerment, embracing the extraordinary in that moment?

The examples are many. The point is that no matter what life example(s) we have, each one has something so profound in common. That being, the aspect of choice. No matter how your life may be this very moment, if you are unable to change the circumstances you still always have the option of choice. In this case the choice to look at it in a new way by changing the lens through which you view and experience it.


Therefore, whether we see life, and all of the events in it from the smallest to the biggest as ordinary or extraordinary, all depends on the lens we are choosing to view them through. How rich you make your life experience is completely in your hands regardless of where you live or what you do for work, or the size of your home, or bank account, or whether you have a spouse, or kids, or a pet.

So how do you put on the lens of extraordinary, transforming the ordinary in your life, and living from a state of happiness, joy and bliss?

1. Bring back living with the innocence of a child through awe, marvel and wonder as you experience things in your life.

There is perhaps no faster way to live in an extraordinary way than when we bring in these aspects. No wonder the natural state of being for children is happiness, where smiles and laugher are their main expressions. Well, now they can be yours (again) too!

2. Think, speak and act with appreciation and gratitude in every situation – positive or negative.

Nothing happens that isn’t in some way for our highest good – nothing. Express gratitude and/or appreciation for EVERYTHING in your life and watch your life take on a completely new form. Before you know it, you will be painting on a canvas of bliss as you genuinely love all that you are, have and experience.

3. Embrace humility in all your interactions.

Whether you are with a family member, romantic partner, friend, co-worker, or any aspect of nature (animals, plants, elements), realize that we are all one and connected to a Universal source. No one is better or worse than another. Everyone is worthy of life, love and respect, and has free will to paint their life canvas however they choose. When we embrace living with humility, we grasp that we are but a piece of the whole. We then sit back and look in amazement at this extraordinary creation and everyone, and everything in it!

Of course as always you get to choose what is right for you, and which lens you wish to view the world with at any given time. However it is not a mystery that viewing life through the lens of fear, cynicism, pessimism, or boredom… will not only keep things ordinary, but all too often simply unpleasant.

So change the lens through which you view the world, and transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Your life can be as colorful as you choose to make it – enjoy and have fun with it!

If we could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything ...

Original source Evolving Beings

SF Source Rise Earth Feb. 2017