You know how sometimes when you read books and you have one of those profound “AHA” moments? As in “Ah, now I get it.” #thecoindrops
Well, reading E.F. Schumacher’s “A Guide for the Perplexed” (thanks to a great Eco Philosophy class I’m currently taking) did just that. Bless education and all the marvellous wisdom available to us in the form of almighty books. (Side note: Books used to bore THE LIFE outta me. There’s hope for everybody out there.)
On to the story – why saving the world will never work.
There have been many great individuals out there who have been saying it all along.
“Be the change you want to be in the world.” (Ghandi) / “Start with the Man in the Mirror…” (M.J.)
Schumacher has elaborated some more on the topic and provided some indispensable insights, which I’d like to share. I’m going to refrain from writing a summary on the book to focus on the essentials that had a big impact on me (having said that I can HIGHLY recommend you to read it yourself).
In his book, the author establishes the idea that there are “Four Levels of Being” – ranging from the mineral and plant to the animal and human life forms (I don’t quite agree with the hierarchical point of view but Schumacher has a good reason for seeing it this way). With every life form, complexity and awareness increases resulting in the human being at the top of the pyramid with unique abilities of developing self-awareness, becoming fully human in the process.
Now Schumacher argues that through modern science our world has been occupying itself with and operating from a very basic Level of Being (figure plant/animal level) where things can be measured and are easily predictable. In other words we haven’t been behaving (nor have we been treated) as proper human beings. There’s a bunch of potential circling around, hanging in the air…turns out most of us don’t have the faith to believe we can achieve this kind of existence par excellence. (Remember Brene Brown’s presentation – “The people who have a strong sense of love & belonging BELIEVE they’re WORTHY of love & belonging.”)
Another important thing to know about these Levels of Being (I’ll be getting to the point soon!) is that at the lower levels, given that we’re not living at full potential, we’re seeing the world in limited, finite ways. The more we flourish into true humanity, the more infinite and unlimited the world will become because of higher forces like love and compassion entering the stage.
NOW (Tadaaaa!) the point I’m trying to make here is that going out there and saving the world won’t do the job, a saved world is more likely to be the consequence of us picking ourselves up and literally lifting ourselves higher, transcending the logical mind to a state of self-awareness where higher unifying forces reign and opposites seize to exist. It’s not about the doing, it’s about the being.
“The idea of making people better belongs to the (low) level of manipulation (as opposed to the high level of understanding), the same level at which opposites exist and at which their reconciliation is impossible.”
I think the recipe for World Peace has never been so clear.
Shall we folks?