Developing A Deeper Reverence For Ourselves

Developing a Deeper Reverence For Who We Are

The development of any child into a pinnacle of conscious life on Earth is a miraculous process but in our modern materialist culture it is all too easy to take who we are for granted. If tomorrow a planet was discovered with a Noetic life form as extraordinary as Human Beings we might have more reverence for who we are. The possibility that we may be alone – so far we have not found other intelligent life in the material Universe – is an equally compelling reason for creating a ‘meta’ narrative of both reverence and responsibility that combines a deeper scientific and spiritual appreciation of what Being Human truly is. If we don’t realise what we are, how can we have reverence for each other, for Nature or for ourselves?

Richard Tarnas has suggested that we can conceive of an even more significant role for humanity – not only that we ourselves are a fundamental part of Nature but that we are actively playing a co-creative role in the unfolding of the universe. “We are beginning to see that we play a crucial role in the universe’s unfolding by our own cognitive processes and choices, tied to our own psychological development. Through an “ esoteric, mystical form of engagement with nature, an entering into a participatory understanding of the universe, characterized by aesthetic delight, intellectual ecstasy, imaginative flourishing, empathic unity, a hermeneutics of trust instead of suspicion…our own inner work–our moral awareness and responsibility, our confrontation with our shadow, our integration of the masculine and feminine–plays a critical role in the universe that we can create.”

This requires a non-sectarian renaissance of the sacred, in the sense of our becoming more conscious both individually and collectively of who we are in relation to each other and to Nature. The best chance of doing so seems through the integration of inclusive examples from different traditions and perspectives that include the secular and re-enfranchise the Feminine.

This is not a function of intelligence as conventionally understood. Researchers at MIT have recently discovered the concept of Collective Intelligence (vii).

Recent studies show that in collective tasks, having smarter people doesn’t make any difference to outcomes. Collective Intelligence, known as CQ rather than IQ, does. Apparently what determines CQ in a group is the degree of social sensitivity, the sharing of communication and the number of women

Perhaps when we have an education system that puts as much value on the worth of every child, on Unity as much as on Autonomy, on the gestures of Collective Intelligence in the form of Love, Honour and Noble action as it does on getting academic certificates in order to become autonomous, professional, warrior mercenaries we will be much closer to achieving social harmony and thereby a greater chance of saving the planet.

The strands of such a new culture are already present with us although currently there seems no obvious inclusive context into which such aspirations can easily come together.

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