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Introduction

by Ervin Laszlo

Every once in a while a prophetic voice is raised in the midst of crisis and chaos. It cuts through the walls of indifference, neglect, and just plain ignorance, and exposes the heart of the issue. The book in the hands of the reader is such a voice. Not surprisingly, it comes from one who is not part of the hustle and bustle we charitably call the business of living, and less charitably the daily rat-race. It comes from one who decided early in life to keep the distance needed for clear vision, and enter the silence needed for true audition. We see things best when we have them in perspective: then we see the forest and not only the trees. And we hear best when we silence the cacophony of competing voices clamoring for attention. The source of deep insight is the emptiness that is also a fullness and the profound silence that allows the voice of true reason to be heard. 

The voice of the World-Friend, Adi Da, which speaks to us through these pages, addresses none other than the issue of our collective survival—the survival of the species that calls itself homo sapiens: homo the knower, homo the wise. We have reached the very edge of our species’ viability on this planet. The problems are becoming every day more evident; I have enumerated them myself in recent writings. Adi Da states them succinctly: “ . . . environmental pollution, global warming, climate change, the abuse of power by corporations and governments, the necessity for new technologies and new methods in every area of human life, the scarcity of fuel resources and of natural and human resources altogether, disease, famine, poverty, overpopulation, urbanization, globalization, human migration, territorial disputes, violent crime, the pervasive accumulation (and the sometimes actual use) of excessively (and even catastrophically) destructive weapons, the tendency of nation-states to avoid cooperation and mutual accommodation, the tendency of nation-states (or factions within nation-states) to use war (and, otherwise, unspeakably dark-minded violence) as a method for achieving the goals of national and otherwise culturally idealized policies. . . .” The list could be continued; it is long and somber. Every scenario of BAU (business-as-usual) leads to a dead end.

Yet our fate is not sealed. Unlike other species that reached a critical point of existence and succumbed, homo sapiens has a chance: it is a unique chance, for his is a unique situation. Other species went toward and into extinction through little or no fault of their own: the environment around them changed, or other species invaded their niche. Homo does not have more powerful species to contend with, but his environment is changing, and may do so irreversibly. The planetary environment is changing because homo is changing it. Homo the wise, the knower, is too smart for his own good. He is creating untenable conditions in the biosphere, and stressful and potentially catastrophic conditions in the sociosphere.

What makes homo create such conditions? Not his instincts: those are oriented toward individual and collective survival. But human instincts are no longer dominant: they have been overlaid by human reason that has the awesome freedom to ignore the basic instincts. It is the egoic, shortsighted rationality of modern man that guides his steps, it is what creates his values, governs his perceptions, and creates the complex superstructure proudly called modern civilization. This rationality is now testing the limits of the viability of our species.

The unique freedom of homo is also his unique salvation. For what has been repressed has not been lost; what is now ignored is not beyond recovery. It is not raw instinct that we need to recover, for it alone is not sufficient to turn around the current rush toward unviability and extinction. Deep insight welling from the most basic instincts of our species for individual and collective survival is what we need, for that alone can lead us to a civilization that is peaceful and sustainable—to a condition that is truly viable.

Deep insight is our most reliable remedy, for it is the purest contact we can have with reality—contact uncorrupted by pretension and unadorned by sophistry. Were it not for the emergence of such insight at crucial epochs in our history, we would not be here today. But in our history such insight has emerged again and again, and so we are here today. And because it is emerging again today, we have a chance of being here tomorrow.

The insight the voice expresses in this book is that we are not only threatened; we can also be saved. The threats come from our egoic separateness; and the salvation from the rediscovery of our unity: the unity that is prior to all other facts and considerations. It is there: it is a fact. Unfortunately for us, it is a nearly forgotten fact. But, fortunately, it is a fact that can be, and is now being, recalled and rediscovered. It is recalled by spiritual masters such as Adi Da, and rediscovered by front-line thinkers and scientists among whom I aspire to be included.

Particles are entangled—nonlocally connected—with each other throughout space: theirs is a prior unity that is never repressed. Living things of all kinds are nonlocally connected throughout the biosphere; theirs is a subtle connection that is real although it is has been only recently discovered. So-called primitive people, too, are nonlocally—telepathically—connected with one another, with their homeland, and with their environment, as anthropologists have found. They did not repress their prior unity. But modern man, homo the knower, homo the wise, did repress the recognition of his prior unity and then, emboldened by his misguided rationality, denied its very existence. We are now witnessing the consequences: allegiances fragmented into “my country” and “my company” and “others”; nature overexploited and despoiled, and thousands of millions pressed into deep and seemingly hopeless poverty.

Return to unity—to seamless wholeness, as in the legendary paradisiacal state. Utopia? No: the uncompromising requirement of homo’s physical, biological, and socio-psychological survival. Will this requirement be met? Time will tell, and it will not be long before it tells.

I strongly believe that the answer will be yes. We are not alone. Not only are we not alone in the universe—for there is an overwhelming probability that many civilizations exist on some of the innumerable planets of this and billions of other galaxies—we are not alone because there are unseen yet now increasingly manifest forces guiding our destiny. The evidence speaks loud and clear. Voices of true reason rise, a new spirituality evolves, a higher frequency of radiation emerges on the planet. The insight to which Adi Da gives voice is the same insight that is dawning on increasing numbers of people: a decade or two ago thousands; now millions.

The transformation of the human species has begun. A new epidemic is spreading among us: more and more people are infected by the recognition of our unity. The fragmentation of human communities, the separation of man and nature, were but an interlude in human history; and that interlude is now coming to a close. We are recovering our unity not by returning to a prior culture and consciousness, but by moving beyond the fragmented, egoic civilization that dominated humankind for the past two centuries—moving toward a cooperative world that could be, and should be, initiated by the worldwide consultation of people representing no interest other than that of the species itself. The establishment of a Global Cooperative Forum for this purpose is at the heart of Adi Da’s calling in this book. As he writes, “rather than playing the global competition-game to its terrible end, . . . there must be the establishment of a true Global Cooperative Forum, based on the working-presumption and enactment of prior unity—and, thus and thereby, the globally-extended establishment of a no-nonsense, getting-down-to-business disposition and practice in humankind at large. And, in this Global Cooperative Forum . . . , everyone will—and, indeed, must—focus on the genuine necessary issues that everyone has in common.”

It is high time to move on: the hour of decision approaches. If a critical mass among us recovers the lived experience and attains the felt realization of our prior unity, we shall take action, and can await the hour of decision with confidence. The spread of messages coming from the deepest intuitions of which our species is capable is both the means of achieving this paramount condition, and an indication that achieving it is not a question of serendipity, but the fulfillment of the destiny of humankind: the destiny of accomplishing the further evolution of the spirit, mind, and consciousness that is both the blessing and privilege of our species, and its ineluctable responsibility to safeguard and evolve for the benefit of all things that inhabit the Earth, our precious home in the universe.

 

March 2007

 

 

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