Source: Global Consciousness

Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society — its world view, its basic values, its social and political structures, its arts, its key institutions — rearranges itself. And the people born then cannot even imagine a world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through such a transformation.~Peter Drucker

With the explosive growth of mass communications, a new global consciousness and culture are emerging. Already a majority of the world’s people have access to television and are being profoundly influenced by the communications era. The rapidly emerging ” global brain” is weaving the human family together into a new level and intensity of relationship. The communications revolution is pervasive. The combined power of the computer Internet, television networks, global satellite systems, cellular telephones, fiber optics, and many more devices has created a perceptual framework within which even those who are agrarians or industrialists in their daily work will increasingly orient themselves.

Table 1: Contrasting Paradigms

  • The cosmos is made up of mostly dead matter and empty space and is not “alive.”
  • Our cosmos is a unique kind of “living organism” and, as a whole system, is fundamentally alive.
  • We are floating through vast reaches of empty space, and most of life seems to lack any larger sense of meaning and purpose.
  • The entire cosmos is a unified system. Each action is woven into the deep ecology of the universe. Everything we do matters.
  • Consciousness– when viewed from a reductionist, mechanistic perspective — is a byproduct of biochemistry and is located in the brain.
  • Consciousness-when viewed from an integrative, living systems perspective-is an ordinary capacity that permeates the universe and provides a reflective capability appropriate to each entity within the universe.
  • The goal in life is material success and social achievement.
  • The goal in life is to develop a balanced relationship between our inner and outer lives-to live in a way that is sustainable and compassionate.
  • The emphasis is on conspicuous consumption. The “good life” depends on having enough money to buy access to pleasures and avoid discomforts.
  • The emphasis is on conscious consumption. The “good life” is an ever-changing balance of inner and outer, material and spiritual, personal and social, etc.
  • Identity is largely defined by material possessions and social position.
  • Our sense of self grows through our conscious, loving, and creative participation in life.
  • Emphasis is on personal autonomy and mobility.
  • Emphasis is on personal growth and community.
  • The individual is defined by his or her body and is ultimately separate and alone.
  • The individual is both unique and an inseparable part of the larger universe. Our being is not limited to our physical existence.
  • It is natural that we who are living use lifeless material resources for our own progress.
  • It is natural to respect all that exists as integral to the larger body of life.
  • Cutthroat competition is the norm. You compete against others to make a killing.
  • Fair competition is the norm. You cooperate with others to earn a living.
  • The mass media are dominated by commercial interests and are used to promote a high-consumption culture.
  • The mass media awaken to the challenge of sustainability and begin to explore more workable and meaningful approaches to living.
  • Nations adopt a “lifeboat ethic” in global relations.
  • Nations adopt a “spaceship Earth ethic” in global relations.
  • The welfare of the whole is left to the workings of the free market or government bureaucracies.
  • Each person takes responsibility for the well-being of the world, enabling high levels of decentralization and freedom at the local level, and a sustainable harmony at the global level.
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