We are in transition to a heart based world. The changes we are going through may seem imperceptible, but that are happening.
What does it mean to be transitioning to a heart centered world? What is it like to live in a heart centered world? What changes can we expect?
The End Of The Eighties Mantra
I remember in the 1980’s there was a saying that was very popular. It was “don’t leave anything on the table.” The idea was, of course, to grab as much as you could for yourself.
It is easy to condemn it because it is an awful attitude. It has created a country without safety nets and strong communities through greedy behavior when people need some security in their lives.
Of course it was more than that. Greed fits in nicely with ideas about American exceptionalism and puritanical ideas about work and morality. Greed can also feed our desire to feel productive and being busy “producing” can bring a kind of high.
Greed avoids the disdain for those who were poor, or who weren’t greedy.
The End Of An Era
All of the productivity and greed has run its course and landed us in hot water as we deal with all the collateral damage to our environment: human, animal and vegetable. And then there are the systemic issues.
Now we have to change and we are doing that. New movements have spread around the world on human rights, animal rights and protection of the environment.
Some wise thinkers have presaged this age by offering Conscious Capitalism as an antidote. It’s a start but may not be enough.
Fixing The Deeper Problem
There is a deeper problem at work. We have been living in a mind-centered human world. That means that we have believed and acted as if all factors in our world can be controlled and modified by using our minds. Our minds have been used to take care of our appetites which we have valued above all else. Interestingly, our mind have been so overused that the heads of newborns have been increasing over time.
However, the mind is reductionistic and analytical which means that it is not holistic – at least the linear left-sided brain is not – and that is the side of the brain that has been dominant. It reduces everything to its parts.
It also considers limits to be something that will inevitably bend to its will. We are finding out that there are limits to that way of thinking.
Why We Must Transition To A Heart Based World
Thinking of life as just a way to satisfy our appetites is a very limited way of thinking, and reduces our lives to materialistic ends. It is also destructive since our appetites can be limitless and we can do much harm in order to satisfy them.
Forcing people into materialistic lifestyles to survive may fatten some wallets but does little to enrich the world.
In order to create a world that is more sustainable, we have to become heart rather than mind-centered. We have to use our hearts to set limits to our appetites for our benefit, the benefit of our world and all of its life forms.
We really do not have an alternative, and certainly not a better one.
It’s Already Happening
Already we can see evidence of the change occurring:
- the refusal to continue to allow animal abuse is one of the biggest movements leading the way to a more humane world. Perhaps it is because we can more easily agree that our animal friends deserve our compassion and love. In agreeing on this subject we are agreeing to compassion as a primary human and societal value. it is an important step.
- the challenging of attitudes and behaviors toward women including rape cultures and sexual and economic exploitation. When we challenge the exploitation of one person, we challenge the exploitation of all. The welfare of women, one half of the world’s population, has been disregarded and devalued even as we have supported the improved living conditions of other groups. Sexism may be the last ism to go, but as it does a tremendous burden of pain and ill feeling will begin to lift as well.
- the small house movement is growing. Our considerable building and engineering skills are being used to create wonderful livable homes that people can realistically afford without enslaving themselves to an economic system.
- the internet is opening up education to billions of people so that knowledge is available to all. No longer will information be used as a way to disempower people.
- In addition the education and personal development efforts of the past 50 years has made so many people strong, that now the people are ready for self government and are challenging top down, hierarchical governing systems. Expect government to become more organic and web-like in its structure.
- the alternative health movements are picking up steam as more and more people are fed up with worrying about whether or not health care costs will bankrupt them.
- the slow movement is working to reinvigorate local economies with local food and investment.
- the commons movement is seeking to create a structure that will protect all that we share: earth, oceans, air and fresh water.
With all of the negative news it is sometimes hard to see how far we have come when we see how far we still have to go.
A New Way Of Life Awaits Us
We are going to be living very differently. The global economy will go. It will be replaced by local and regional economies designed to be resilient and self sustaining, We will be needing some global governance in order to protect all forms of life and all of our resources.
We will spend more time taking care of life’s necessities and the care of our environments and all the creatures they support. Life will be more grounded; we will be reconnected with our environments.
We will become very resource smart to learn to live well on fewer resources. Our time will become ours, not the banks and we will all be happier for it.
Many large institutions will fail as the age of small takes hold. But we need to clean house so in some ways the changes will also be a relief. We can no longer afford institutions that drain us rather than serve us.
I think we will rediscover the joy and beauty of our world, and that is a welcome development.
I am looking forward to a heart centered world. I am looking forward to a more human way of life. I am looking forward to people putting more friendship into our way of living. I think we will all be happier and sleep better.