One of the fruits of the contemplative life is the gift of broad vision. As we attend to our spiritual practice, we find that we are able to see the world through a larger lens. Hopefully along with this larger lens also comes the gifts of faith and non-judgment. With faith and non-judgment, we are able to simply stand as witness to our individual lives and the world around us as they unfold. It is with this lens that I share my own observations and the observations of my clients and program participants as to what seems to be unfolding before us in our world.
With limited sight, this is what we see: The US and world economies have crashed. Corporations are failing. Education is struggling. The state of healthcare is abyssmal. The light of truth is being shed on the sin of religious institutions. Unemployment is rising. Wars are being fought worldwide. Terrorism thrives. Hunger, poverty and homelessness is expanding at an alarming rate. The institution of marriage (in the Western world) is failing.
From a broader perspective…..I propose that this is what is really happening. The era of a world dominated by patriarchal, hierarchical structures is coming to and end….and we are witnessing its death. All that we witness as struggling are those systems based on the patriarchal, hierarchical model. While this model may have served its purpose at one time…..it is obvious that it is no longer working. Structures based on power and control are falling down around us and we get to be the witnesses. While the dramatic change being brought forth may initially cause us to fear, the invitation is to look upon this experience with hopefulness. The old order needs to die so that the new order may emerge and rather than embracing the perspective of the victim, clinging to what we have known, we are being invited to embrace the perspective of the witness and simply observe the old order as it falls away and watch for what is yet to be revealed.
So my brothers and sisters in contemplation….this is our invitation.
1) Let go of our judgment of the events unfolding before us.
2) Embrace the role of witness – simply observing and watching as the old order dies.
3) Accept the invitation to hopefulness and faith, trusting that a power greater than ourselves is at work beneath the events in the world.
4) Say no to the old order when it tries to draw us in.
5) Watch for signs of the new order as it begins to reveal itself.
And for those too anxious to simply wait…..I will offer what I have observed as some of the signs of the new order:
1) An increase in entrepreneurialship – people are naming and claiming their own unique giftedness and call to share these gifts in the world and are doing so through their own business ventures.
2) A common desire for something new – people are fed up with the old order and desire to seek and initiate change.
3) Contrary to the vocal minority….the quiet majority of people are more compassionate, more accepting and more tolerant of diversity.
4) Again, contrary to the vocal minority, the quiet majority is beginning to think with their own brains and instead of deferring to perceived authority, are embracing the call to discern truth for themselves.
5) Service – there is a quiet, yet powerful movement of servant leaders. The coming generation (the millenials) have provided more volunteer hours and services than any generation before them. They are setting the course for generations to follow.
My personal sense is that the new order will be more collaborative, more egalitarian, more compassionate, will be based on consensus and will be a bottom up, rather than a top down model. The new order will recognize the unique giftedness of each individual and will empower these gifts. The new order will be for the good of all, rather than the benefit of the few. The new order will be from the grassroots…..and that means that it starts with you and me. So….what are we waiting for? Shall we start today by being part of the solution instead of a victim or participant of the problem? As the solution….all we need to do is watch and wait, listen to our own truth, embrace our unique giftedness, cultivate it and begin to share it in the world. We also need to be compassionate, loving, understanding, tolerant and forgiving. And….by doing so…..we will experience great contentment and joy! What are we waiting for?