Right to the heart of the matter – right where illusion starts…
There is a profound shift underway in our cultural story, sense of purpose and organisational logic. Deep and complex influences within our own psyche, our collective consciousness and in the structures pervading organisations are being challenged to radically reshape; at its heart this paradigm shift challenges the very way we view the world and ourselves as embodied within it. It has the potential to change everything, and can be summarised as a shift from separateness to sacredness.
The indigenous elders of Peru explain the complete cycle of humanity as going through three movements: time of creation, time of conservation, time of renewal. The big change happens in the time of renewal which the wise elders say is upon us now. Fundamental to this is a radical change in perception – a shift in conscious awareness – which affects how we attend to life, how we be, do and become. This time of renewal we find ourselves in can be very upsetting and painful while also profoundly liberating as we free ourselves from old mental constructs, regulations and habits that keep us imprisoned in the status quo.
‘I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.’ —Gus Speth, U.S. Advisor on climate change
This time of renewal is the time to allow new springs of civilisation to flow. Yet the threshold from death of old ways to reconfiguration and renewal can seem like a scary chasm especially when we are all too engrossed in frantically patching up the current way of doing things to meet the ever-rising bills and debts. There is inherent inertia in crossing the threshold. Our feelings of security in the known and sense of safety in numbers by staying in the herd keep us fearfully clinging to old ways.
It is easy to become inured and institutionalised by the status quo and hard to break through beyond. And so the biggest challenge facing humanity is not climate change, consumerism or capitalism but our own ingrained mind-sets, behaviours and beliefs and our ability to overcome them. The future depends not on techno-fixes but on our ability as leaders, change agents, employers, employees, neighbours, families and friends to become aware of our true nature and sense of purpose in this world, in other words, to become deeply aware of who we are and what we are here for.
‘The new systemic understanding of life that has been developed at the forefront of science comprises biological, cognative, social and ecological dimensions. It applies to all living systems – individual organisms, social systems and ecosystems. Hence, it is relevant to virtually all professions and endevours.’ – Fritjof Capra
As the Chinese Zen master Huai-Chin Nan insightful said, ‘there’s only one issue in the world. It’s the reintegration of mind and matter.’ Upon our re-membering the sacred sentience of life and the consciousness (or mind) flowing through everything and every moment, we perceive the world afresh with an ecological awareness. This awareness is not simply an intellectual comprehension of our holistic inter-relatedness but a lived experience and daily embodiment of this inter-relatedness; an awareness that pervades how we relate. This is to wake up to our true nature as conscious beings actively participating within a conscious, co-creative world. It is an awareness that is before our very noses, so close that it is like looking for our glasses, not seeing they are right on our face.
We are living through a supreme moment of our evolution of consciousness. The old worldview has had its day. This was a worldview of organisations, societies and individuals perceived as competitive self-maximising units embroiled in an evolutional process of selfish ascendency where we either dominate or become dominated. The emerging worldview perceives a deeper inter-relatedness beyond the narrowing down lens of our alienating ego-consciousness (and left-brained reductionism) in opening up to an ecological consciousness (of head, heart and hand ‘bodymind’ awareness) which perceives the nature of our selves immersed within a sentient sea of entwined mind and matter.
It is our forgotten sense of the sacred sentience of life that underlies all our current crises. Deal with this and you deal with causes (materialism and anthropocentrism) and their downstream effects (social, environmental and economic degradation). And there are many people actively involved in helping this transformation in consciousness take root (for more on this see The Future of Business article on TriplePundit). This sacred vision and deeper way of relating is not some luxury add-on which can be dispensed with in times of economic strife, it is foundational to who we truly are; without it we become rudderless, tossed this way and that by inauthentic egotistic whims – distracted, dis-eased and deluded. Enter the contagion of consumerism in our midst.
The Paradigm Shift
Dominator > Participatory
Narcissistic > Empathic
Materialistic > Soulful
Ego as master > Ego as assistant
Patriarchy > Reciprocity
Separation > Inclusion
We can realise this sacred vision of the world through our joyful attunement of our body and environment. By letting-go of habituations and narrowing-down constrictions in our minds, we create space for a deeper awareness of life beyond the illusion of separation to radiate through us. After all, it’s our true nature and, when activated, it feels like a home-coming.
It is through our deepening awareness that we begin to realise the truth of the poet William Blake’s words, ‘everything that lives is holy’, and through our awareness of what is in this present moment of life we realise this holiness. This is our beginning. From here we can breathe into the new paradigm of reverence and respect, becoming all that we truly are in this enchanting and deeply wise world.
Giles Hutchins applies twenty years business experience to the emergence of new business logic inspired and in harmony with nature, for a short video see here.