Of the great store of wisdom that the world has long possessed, where within
this treasure should we search for what is now needed to heal a planet in
crisis? As I pondered this question, four additional questions arose that
may point to sources for a new cosmology that can help us find three
critical tools we have lost: our ability to hear the voice of the earth, a
philosophical basis appropriate for this time, and an accurate reality map
to navigate by.
What is the nature of the questing process that will enable us to co-create
with the integral planetary mind? The only way to get it together is
together. I believe joint effort by groups of researchers is required;
individuals working independently cannot accomplish the broad reach
necessary to comb through many disciplines. I plead for collaborative
researchers who can serve as ‘psychonauts’ operating in mind networks that
will integrate existing wisdom about forming character, educating the heart,
raising emotional IQ, and teaching skills of cooperation. These are the
bases for producing the adepts, saints, Zaddikim, rishis, Bodhhisattvas, and
shamans who are needed now and for the future.
What is the basic ethos for planetary health that will arise out of the new
cosmology? A blatantly egoistic ethos was produced by the cosmology of the
industrial revolution (productivity at any cost) and the cosmology of
corporate capitalism (consumption at any cost). Their devastating cost is
teaching us that we must replace egocentric functioning with a new view of
ourselves as individual cells in the community of life, each contributing
positively to the whole. Cells that do not wish to be integrated into
processes that are healthy for the planet are likely to be seen as cancerous
rogue cells and will be deprived of energy.
What are the skillful means (upaya) needed to lift us from our cultural
trance and launch us into awareness of the emerging cosmology? Instead of
operating out of consensus mind, as too much of the world currently does, we
must elevate individual awareness that will lead to right action. Such a
shift can be effected by updating our spiritual traditions and recovering
their skill in accessing the resources of deep interior life. Despite having
dismissed this wisdom as ‘otherworldly’ and thus irrelevant, we now need to
reclaim the joyous affirmation of the divine nature of this world that all
spiritual teachings contain.
In the realm of our intellectual traditions (academia, for example), what
fields of study will require adjustments in order to contribute to healing
our planet? My nominations include psychology, anthropology, biology,
physics, medicine, philosophy, political science, theology, spiritual
technologies, economics, the arts, communications—and most of all, ethics.
It is not easy to sleep peacefully amid the mind quakes caused by such large
and such radical unanswered questions.
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi - Sage, Jewish Renewal Movement