What is our current state of affairs, on the local, regional, national, collective, and global levels? What is really going on all around us in the world today? Can we even say it is one thing and not the other? Maybe it depends on what eyes we are looking at it all with.
When it comes to the story unfolding all around us now, it sure does seem like we are in the “muddle” phase of our sacred story. And, we’ve been aching for the “resolution” phase for quite awhile now.
Even the Parliament of the World’s Religions, in their 1993 declaration, didn’t spare their own institutions: “Our world is experiencing a fundamental crisis: a crisis in global economy, global ecology, and global politics… Time and again we see leaders and members of religions incite aggression, fanaticism, hate, and xenophobia – even inspire and legitimate violent and bloody conflicts. Religion is often misused for purely power-political goals, including war.”
These seem to be signs of a dying civilization. But could they also be signs of a coming rebirth? The reality may be that there is no separation between these two phases of our sacred story. They can both be happening simultaneously. Indeed, we are in the midst of a process in which each phase is intricately linked to each other phase.
The Parliament’s perspective did not end with the apparent death pangs we are now witnessing. They affirmed that a “global ethic” already exists in a common set of core values found within the world’s religions, that humanity is interdependent, and that “humankind [is] our family.” They also committed themselves to “a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace,” inviting “all people, whether religious or not, to do the same.”
This vision of the oneness of humanity is a goal built upon a “socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly” global ethic that is found not only already within the world’s religions, they say, but is also at the heart of the process of spiritual transformation all of humanity is going through now. Our renewal, our rebirth, and our transformation of consciousness, is well under way, and with a vision of the oneness of humanity in our sights, it becomes a matter of both the death process and the rebirth process happening in concert with each other.