The end of the world as we know it or simply the opportunity to make another choice? Do we want to live in the old world or the new world?
Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who are in awe of the Lord, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.
The Coming of the New World
In the esoteric and “new age” communities, there is a lot of talk of late about the “coming of the new world.” While there are a wide range of perspectives on this ancient idea, the central awareness is that the way we are currently living as human beings is no longer working. Between our failing political structures, environmental policies, struggling health care and educational systems, dying religious institutions, global warming, global disease, poverty, insane weather changes, etc. we have created a world that is poised to quite literally destroy itself. It seems that the source of this potential destruction are the systems we have created that are rooted in power and control, motivated by and capitalizing on fear.
Choosing Another Path
The good news (at least the news promoted by modern-day schools of esoteric thoughts) is that we have the opportunity to choose another path for ourselves and our species. In making another choice, we have the opportunity to bring into reality a new world. No matter how we understand these “new age” prophecies, the important thing to grasp is that in reality, this is our choice each and every day of our lives. Do we choose the path of destruction rooted in fear or do we choose the new world grounded in love? This is the message reflected in the reading above from the Prophet Malachi (of Hebrew Scriptures fame).
The Prophet Speaks
What the prophet reminds us is that within the human condition (as we currently know it) there is suffering and destruction. Along with this fact, he also reminds us that we have another choice. Instead of being destroyed by the human condition, we can live in the light of justice (which includes harmony, peace, mercy and love). It is this choice that determines whether we live in the old world (of suffering and pain) or the new world (of compassion and love).
Bringing Forth the New World
The key that unlocks the door to the new world is contemplation. Contemplation is the practice that allows us to connect with the deep well of compassion and peace that dwells within us. The prophet speaks of this as having “awe in the Lord.” In theistic terms, it means focusing our attention and intention continually on God. In more general terms, it means focusing our attention on the practices and activities that cultivate joy and peace within us, that ground us in an inner state of fulfillment (such as creative activities) and lead us toward experiencing love and harmony in our lives(engaging in life-giving and mutually supportive relationships).
So, the choice is ours. Do we want to live in the world of suffering and pain or do we want to create a new world for ourselves? I know what my choice is – what is yours?
Authentic Freedom Ministries