The occupation of Iraq has gone ahead; Iraq’s people have been freed from Saddam Hussein’s Stalinist rule. The Shi’ite muslims are free to worship again; the political prisoners have been released from their torment.
To achieve this, thousands of children, civilians and young soldiers have had their heads blown off, their limbs torn off by cluster bombs. 7,000 years of history have been looted from Iraq’s museums, and the US corporations are lining up for the reconstruction contracts.
Is this good? Is it bad? What an awful question to consider.
Is this just business as usual on planet Earth, the perpetual pursuit of power by war and conquest?
Is it the beginning of The New American Century, in which the US will deliver its might and awe to every corner of the Earth?
Or is it the beginning of something entirely different, when the people of Earth finally decide that enough is enough, and apply their compassion and resources with a whole new energy to the construction of a humane, sustainable world, beyond violence, beyond war, beyond ecological stupidity?
To explore this possibility, I want to take an enormous leap into another way of looking at the world, to the delight of some and the probable bewilderment of others.
If we leave aside the various fundamentalisms, whose believers lock onto a particular creed and declare it the only Truth, we are left with two major attempts to understand the world.
The first, the scientific worldview, says that the world is a material place, which happens to produce consciousness. It says that evolution is the result of a random biological process, as genes seek to replicate themselves, and that the struggle for survival is just the way things are, with some cooperative survival thrown in for good measure.
It’s a material world, filled with material conflicts, softened by an inexplicably strange human desire to make the world a kinder, gentler place.
The other worldview says that the world is a spiritual place. Spirit is primary, and evolution is the process by which spirit works through matter and consciousness to express itself on Earth, to realize the unity, justice and peace that we all long for, deep down.
In this worldview, matter is still real, but in the heart of every atom there is a form of consciousness. Surrounding all consciousness, whether in the atom or within our own sensibility, there is spirit. The world’s religions and shamanic traditions all talk about the value of prayer, meditation, chanting and ritual to open the doorways to the realms of spirit.
From this perspective, the pursuit of power and material gain is a foolishness that we pursue when we mistake ego for soul, and spend our lives trying to satisfy the ego’s unsatisfiable craving for a happiness it will never achieve.
Which is correct? Time – and science – will tell. Science currently tells us that the evidence is all stacked up in favour of the material view; but true scientists are deeply committed to the quest for truth, and if three conditions coincide, science could adopt a new paradigm.
These conditions are the presence of a plausible theorem, to define spirit and propose for it a formative influence; replicable evidence that consciousness, as a corollary for spirit, can exist in its own right, outside its material home; and the existence of a test which validates the theorem, or a null hypothesis which invalidates any alternative explanation. We don’t need to know all the answers to accept a theorem; we all accept that gravity exists, even though no-one knows what it really is.
Into this debate steps a pioneer Japanese researcher, Dr Masaru Emoto, whose work with ice-crystals is changing the way we think about water (www.hado.net). Dr Emoto has been photographing the crystal structures of water, no two of which are ever alike. Using high-speed photography, he has been demonstrating that the molecular structure of frozen water changes if it is polluted – and if it is exposed to words, music, or prayer.
Dr Emoto is producing evidence that human consciousness has an effect on water. The world’s surface is 70% water; our bodies are over 50% water. His work proposes that water is alive; that it carries its own unique magnetic resonance field; that it can carry a memory. I shall not go into this more here – Dr Emoto is speaking in Victoria on May 3rd (see Diary).
If the material worldview is correct, evolution is pretty, but meaningless. If the spiritual worldview is correct, evolution may be a process by which spirit seeks wholeness.
And how does it do it? Through the urgent desire that so many of us feel to heal conflicts, to overcome prejudice, poverty and injustice, and to live on the Earth in a peaceful, sustainable manner. Through the work that we do to realize these goals. And through our determination to go on asking questions, to question the assumed wisdoms that encourage us not to think, and to follow our own paths in life.
Guy Dauncey is author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Climate Change” and President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. Visit his website at: www.earthfuture.com