"…and considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression, tremendous advancement in technology, and so on… it seems to me, though man has cultivated the external world and has more or less mastered it, inwardly he is still as he was: He is still brutal, violent, aggressive, inquisitive, competitive. And he has built a society along these lines." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
If you could sum up in three words the biggest problem with the world today, what would those words be? If this problem were a disease, what is the cure? Before providing your own answers, let's qualify the question further...
When I say "problem" I mean a primary challenge, a root cause of deterioration, the greatest threat to ourselves and to the earth. There is certainly no shortage of complaints about what is wrong with the world. But lamenting about the state of modern humanity is actually among the worst of problems in itself: We are quick to complain but slow to solve. If we spent half the amount of time thinking of solutions as we do citing the problems, the world would be a better place to live.
Furthermore, even when we go beyond the complaints and accurately identify problems, we still miss proper identification of the real cause(s) of the problem(s). In different words, we overlook the disease by focusing on symptoms.
So let's go ahead and get our list of complaints and symptom recognition out of the way before arriving at a solution or cure. Again, to narrow and clarify our thoughts, let's use only three words to describe them:
- Extreme Voices Dominating
- Expanding World Conflict
- Too Much Ignorance
- Fearing Wrong Threats
- Rising Senseless Violence
- Broken Political Systems
- Unsustainable Debt Levels
- Rich Getting Richer
- Disappearing Green Space
- Declining Social Contact
All of the items in the list are symptoms that are commonly recognized, analyzed and complained about in the world today. Most of these are interrelated, and some are causes or effects of eachother, but the disease is still not diagnosed and thus the cure remains out of sight.
The key phrase to identifying the solution or cure is out of sight. It is rare to find something if you are not looking; it is impossible to see anything if you are not awake.
And thus we have the biggest problem...
Disconnection from Reality
What makes the disease, Disconnection from Reality, so difficult to cure is its near-perfect design: The virus only invades unconsious minds, which are in vast supply in the world today.
The human ego increases the disconnection because it easily finds information sources that confirm its biases and narrow pre-conceived notions about the world. Therefore there is rarely any reason to interact with information sources that disagree with one's worldview, except for the occasional, ego-gratifying task of arguing against an opposing worldview from another unconscious human being or group.
The disease spreads further because unconsciousness tends to degrade the host's well-being, which has them searching for escapes (more illusions) that only further disconnects them from reality.
Therefore, if you think of the worst problems in the world today, including the three-word examples you already read, they all stem from some form of disconnection or misunderstanding, which are sub-symptoms, if you will, arising from programming, conditioning and ego, none of which can take place in a conscious mind.
Now, take another look at the symptoms again and understand how they are symptoms of the disease, Disconnection from Reality:
- Lack of Understanding: When we fail to see, respect or at least tolerate the perspectives of other people, we create separation, conflict, and related problems. This is the work of ego: We fail to listen because the ego only listens to respond. We are knowingly or unknowingly rejecting and disconnecting from reality, the only place where peace, love and understanding can be found.
- Extreme Voices Dominating: The world is made to be much more complex, frightening, and contentious than it really is because the loudest voices, which are also the extreme ones, are magnifying the wrong problems (or creating ones where none exist). The way we connect to (or rather disconnect from) the world is primarily through some form of media, which includes network television, the Internet, and social media. A 10-second sound bite from one radical individual or an image of a few dozen people performing a disturbing act can color our perspective of an entire community or nation.
- Expanding World Conflicts: This is an example of a symptom rooting from other symptoms, such as Lack of Understanding and Extreme Voices Dominating. The only conflicts in the world are in the minds of human beings. These conflicts exist but they are not real. Can you see the difference?
- Rising Senseless Violence: An example here includes school shootings. When children have absent parents, a broken home, extreme exposure to illusory and violent games, and either undiagnosed or overly-diagnosed psychological problems, their potential for criminal violence increases because their disconnection from reality is far beyond the "normal" disconnection.
- Broken Political System: Politicians today do not get elected based upon the substance of their ideas but on the effectiveness of their illusions. Money does not win elections; money buys higher quality illusions in greater quantities. In a world of illusion, the best illusionists rule. The individuals best suited to serve in government may not even run for office because they refuse to play the deceptive game. This has always been true to some degree but more so with today's information technology.
Overcoming the 'Crisis in Consciousness'
The challenge that still remains is how do we implement the cure? How do we connect to reality? The first steps toward connecting with reality is identifying the disconnections. Illusions are no longer illusions when they are recognized.
Here are a few points on recognizing illusion from a post I wrote two years ago called The Crisis in Consciousness:
- The Information Age is one of knowledge, which is not the same as wisdom. Knowledge is superficial; it is shallow; it has breadth but it has no depth. It is all brain and no mind.
- Most people stumble from pleasure to pleasure, doing their best to manufacture happiness. However happiness stretches and it thus becomes increasingly difficult to reach.
- Computers, hand-held devices, social media, print media and everything you see on television is designed to distract and attract your attention, to convince you to buy the things, to become the advertised identity.
- However, you are not the things; you are your attention; and if you are constantly distracted, you leave little possibility to be authentic, to be your Self; you become fragmented, others become fragmented, and so the world becomes fragmented.
If you see this, you may have already been aware of the disconnections. Now all that is required to come closer to curing the disease of Disconnection from Reality is to make someone else aware...
Related: The American Awakening