I have just returned from Bulgaria and Italy, where I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to hundreds of people about the foremost challenge facing our species today. That challenge is to solve this continuing riddle:
How is it possible that 8 billion members of a single species could all say they want the same thing — survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love — and be utterly unable to produce it…even after trying for thousands of years?
Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about about Life, the understanding of which would change everything? Could there be something we do not fully understand about ourselves, and about each other, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?
If we do not solve this mystery, we run the risk of bringing a sad ending to The Human Experiment on this planet within the next half century — or sooner. We will absolutely end our adventure here if we simply refuse to even acknowledge that the questions exist, much less that it is fair to ask them and vital to answer them.
I have written the following in the Introduction to my next book, Understanding Humanity/Demonstrating Divinity (to be published in 2017):
The problem is, most human beings do not know who they are. There is enormous confusion about our True Nature and our Real Identity.
Actually, there’s more than confusion. There’s denial. Innocent, but widespread, denial.
Put confusion and denial together and you’ve got the perfect recipe for making big mistakes. Or, to put it another way, decision-making in life on Earth.
We’ve made some progress, yes. Apologists will point out how far humanity has advanced as a civilization. And they are accurate in pointing out that things are not as bad as they used to be. But is that it? Is that the most we can say about our global experience? Can we at least also say that our civilization has at last become civilized?
You be the judge.
More than 1.5 billion people do not have electricity on this planet in this, the 21stCentury. A higher number, over 1.6 billion, have no access to clean water. A much higher number still, over 2.5 billion, do not have basic sanitation. That’s right, in the first quarter of the 21st century over a quarter of the world’s people are without toilets.
But these are simply inconveniences. Some 19,000 children die each day on this planet from preventable health issues, such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Wait. We’re not done. Over 650 children die every hour on Earth of starvation.
In the meantime, 85 of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than 3.5 billion…that’s half the planet’s population…combined. And the value system of millions insists there’s nothing wrong with this, and that this final statistic has nothing to do with the earlier ones.
So what do you think? Are we a civilized species?
We’re still creating and threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction as our only defense in a global community that has found it impossible to create a way to simply get along. Is this civilized?
We’re still killing human beings intentionally as a means of teaching human beings that killing humans beings intentionally is not okay—and we fail to see the contradiction. Does this make sense?
We’re still claiming that a loving God does not want people who cherish each other to marry each other if they are the same gender as each other—or even if they are not the same gender, but are of different races, religions, tribes or cultures. Is this our definition of love?
We’re still brutally killing and eating the flesh of other intelligent animals, pretending that they’re not intelligent enough to know that they are suffering from how they are raised and how they are slaughtered—or that it doesn’t matter even if they do experience suffering. Is this how we measure what we label that which is humane?
We’re still smoking and ingesting known carcinogens, ignoring how huge numbers of us are suffering from what we are doing to ourselves, and we’re still abusing alcohol and drugs, pretending that these are substances we can handle—all the while we’re not handling them at all. Is this a measure of our intelligence?
And it’s not just each of our individual behaviors that raise the question of whether we’re civilized. Today even a casual observer can see that not one of the collaboratively created systems, institutions and devices that our civilization has put into place to help us become civilized is doing anything of the sort.
It’s worse than that. They’re actually doing exactly the opposite.
Our political systems are creating nothing but disagreement and disarray. Our economic systems are actually increasing poverty and the divide between those who have more than enough and those who have not nearly enough. Our social systems are actually increasing disparity, prejudice, injustice and despair.
And perhaps most dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems are producing not a deeper sense of godliness and goodwill, unity and oneness among Earth’s people, but, instead, the kind of intolerance, anger, cruelty, hatred, and righteousness that leads not just to holier-than-thou separation, but to holier-than-thou killing.
What gives here? What’s going on with the human race that it cannot see what it’s doing to itself? Where is humanity’s blind spot?
Might it be time to ask those questions above? I’ve asked them before, in other writings, in television interviews, and in workshops, seminars, and lectures across the globe. But the questions keeps arising, now more insistently than ever, leading us to ask another question:
Is there any hope? Are we really nothing more than a species of immature beings run amok, blowing up H-bombs under the ground to prove our invincibility while dismantling our planet’s under-layer in the process—then wondering why we’re seeing such an increase is earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes?
Have we so lost our collective mind as to think that the way to stop terrorism and killing on our streets and in our schools is for everybody in the world to carry a gun, reverting back to America’s Wild West when the most important question was, “Who is quickest on the draw?”
Have we so lost our collective will as to simply throw up our hands in frustration as wars and battles for supremacy create refugee crises rendering millions homeless?
Have we so lowered our collective standards as to find it actually preferable for divisiveness, rudeness, insults and tasteless verbal bullying to become the hallmark of political leadership?
Is this what we have come to? Gun-toting, fist-pumping, verbal-bashing, jaw-jutting, loud-mouthed intimidators and strong-armed tyrants daring anyone to stand up for what is gentle, peaceful, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and—God forbid—loving?
If we can’t even agree on how to disagree, can we possibly agree on how to be agreeable? Can we ever become experientially aware that there is such a thing as Divinity—much less be Divinely inspired, Divinely motivated, Divinely activated, Divinely expressed, and Divinely realized in our daily lives?
Yes, we can.
But what the world needs now is a different approach to explaining our gentle, loving Deity, replacing our fearful, righteous and condemning way of warning each other about what so many have claimed for so long to be a fearful, righteous, and condemning God.
We need a sweet, kind, and tender way of exploring how we may all know and experience our highest self and express our True Nature. And that starts with understanding.
We’re being invited by the increasingly challenging events of Life Itself to move to a new level of comprehension regarding who we really are, why we are really here, and what we are really able, and choosing, to express and experience.
We’ve solved scientific mysteries, we’ve performed medical miracles, we’ve created technological marvels, but we have failed to solve the most fundamental problem: How to simply get along. We have also failed to understand the one thing we would most benefit from understanding: Ourselves.
For our species, understanding Humanity and its relationship to Divinity must be the next most worthy goal, the next most important objective, the next most urgent undertaking if we are to collectively create a life that allows our species to move forward, not backward, on its evolutionary path, and if we are to each live a life that makes sense to our soul.
Understanding Humanity will equip us to eliminate our human-made problems, and will give us the tools to meet many of the challenges that we have claimed and declared to be presented by Nature as well (ignoring, in the past, the fact that human choices, decisions, and actions have produced so many of them).
Understanding Humanity thus is—for our entire species and for you, individually—the Most Urgent Exploration. Everything else pales in importance by comparison. So then, shall we get on with it?