A “Momentous Leap” : The 6th Great Shift Of Humanity
Something is changing in the world today. We’re not exactly sure what it is, but we can feel it. The constructs of society and the rules that we are governed by seem to become more obsolete by the day, and a new age of thinking is being ushered in by those with a mindset that values any and all life on this little green and blue spaceship we call Earth, and our home, above anything else. But why exactly is that? Most would answer that it is in order to create solutions to our current problems. And they would be correct. An all-inclusive, resource based economy and moneyless society seem to be the obvious solutions to these problems, but how much deeper does it go from there? Can we gain a greater understanding of our current situation that might help us see some sort of a map of where we are, and somehow point us in the right direction?
For the first time in history, most of the major problems we face as human-kind and are threatened by are global. We are currently witnessing our natural ecosystem being systematically eradicated, global warming and increasingly extreme weather is taking a toll on our cities and infrastructure, our monetary and economic system is on the verge of collapse, tensions between nations and the possibility of a nuclear event are ever-present, depression, mental and physical illness are at all-time highs. The list goes on and on and on… and it seems that we, as humanity, are at an all-time low.
But such is not actually the case. We have arrived where we currently find ourselves because of a cause-and-effect relationship of social constructs and techno-economic tools and systems that have allowed us to evolve, one stage of thinking at a time, throughout history, to put us exactly where we are right now. And when you look back at history, where we are now really isn’t all that bad. In order to understand why we are going through this “momentous leap” as described by renowned psychologist Clare W. Graves, it is beneficial to understand what has come before, how we have arrived at the place we find ourselves today, and exactly what we can expect the mode of mindset to be when this next shift actually occurs.
The most important thing to remember is this – the brain evolves. The thinking process evolves and solves its current problems with greater and more sophisticated ways of thinking. Before, in times long-gone, we created solutions to problems that were relatively local and confined, like how to acquire food and shelter at first and not get eaten by something. Eventually our problems migrated into greater arenas like human rights and economic prosperity. Now our problems are on a global scale, and we have to have global solutions, which are all-encompassing, in order to bring about solutions to these problems. And that’s exactly what we are doing, oftentimes without even knowing it.
Shifts like this have not happened just once or twice, as many people may think. There are actually 5 verifiable stages of conscious evolution that humans have undergone since the inception of our species. Those who lived through these stages of evolution may not have known or even thought about exactly why they did what that they did, however, the mindset and social structures that permeated throughout the ages in which our distant ancestors lived had not only a great influence on the way and quality of life they were currently experiencing, it also had a profound impact on the next stages of conscious evolution for humanity as a whole. Gaining a greater understanding of where we are now and exactly where we are heading in this process can be quite useful to the individual who seeks to bring about the changes we desire on a global scale.
Depending on who you listen to, there are about 5 to 10 different stages, but the general consensus can be broken down and described quite adequately with the six stages that are listed below. There are many other philosophies and theories that add additional stages in between, but these few stages have been time-tested and found to be true, over and over again, and are based upon rigorous scientific data and research. Even to this day, almost everybody that lives in modern society mentally evolves through these stages as they grow from child to adult. Due to differing social systems throughout the world, many people still have not reached the latest dominant stage that most of us are currently experiencing, but overall, and in general, these are the progressive stages of consciousness in modern society. They are:
The Archaic Worldview
This is the first and primary structure. This level of consciousness was present from the beginning of our existence up through hunter-gatherer societies. It’s so new and completely engulfed within the world itself that it has no real capacity of stepping back and differentiating between itself and another. This has also been referred to by some as pre-consciousness. Humans see themselves as simply a part of the world and acting as one with it. Not to mention, they’re also more worried about getting eaten by saber tooth tigers than figuring out how to perform long-division math. While it may sound primitive, those who experienced this first stage of our evolution have also been referred to by their descendants as “Holy Men”, or “True Men Of Ancient Times”, due to the close interconnectedness with all that is and absence of distracting thought. This is still the state of consciousness that infants are born into and usually stay until they are roughly 1-2 years of age.
The Magic Worldview
Eventually, humans evolved the ability to step back, and discern from themselves and others, and started concocting plans on how to improve their current conditions. It’s a view where everything is interrelated, and everything can and does stand for the whole. Humans began noticing their own “free will”, and started exercising it via forms of witchcraft, magic, rituals, etc, in order to bring about results they desired. This change is brought about mainly along with the implementation of horticulture, and displaying a greater control over nature. There is a distinct characteristic of space less, timelessness, and a lack of casual, rational connection between objects or events. A conscious sense of being interconnected and separate, both at the same time, is born during this period. While there are still a few hunter-gatherer societies that exist on the planet and never really completely make it past this worldview, most individuals in modern society go through this stage of mental structure roughly from ages 2-5.
The Mythic Worldview
This structure leads to an internal awareness of the soul, and also displays the characteristic of imagination. Stories started being told to explain things. This stage of consciousness alternates between the magic stage and the awareness of nature and an order of the cosmos. This level of consciousness was ushered in mainly by the implementation of agriculture, and people coming together more and forming larger communities, and eventually cities. Greek and Roman Mythology, and well as most religions still practiced today, were formed out of this level of consciousness. This structure was mainly brought about in correlation with the advent of agrarian society and cultivation of land. This viewpoint is often referred to as the “traditional” worldview. While many atrocities were committed by many organizations during this period, most notably by religious organizations and the Catholic Church in particular, the concept of the soul is now widespread and a sense of life beyond death, and more strict moral code takes shape within the constructs of social interaction within this worldview. Within modern society most children are in this stage from about the age of 5 until adolescence.
The Rational Worldview
This worldview mainly was brought about during the last several hundred years, roughly from period beginning at the renaissance and spanning through the age of enlightenment. This age was mostly conceived out of the atrocities and horrors that occurred during the period of mythical worldview, but it also correlated with the industrial revolution and a greater understanding of science and nature, as well as human values. One of the most notable traits of this period is that governments went from monarchist and oligarchy to democratic systems, consequently representing more of the people’s interests. Also, for the first time in history, slavery was outlawed. This mental structure gave way to the birth of physics, chemistry, modern sciences, psychology, modern medicine, and many more constructs that make up our modern world as we know it. While this structure gave way to a level of knowledge and understanding that was never before attained, it also shunned the magic and mythic points of view, with some individuals even discarding them completely, due to a lack of scientific basis, and consequently moving into atheistic beliefs. This is the major worldview that was in place during the 1940’s and 1950’s. This worldview notably increased the standard of life for a vast percentage of individuals on the planet and begins to nicely illustrate the evolution of consciousness to a state that values human life and contribution more over time. This worldview is most common in modern society for individuals from their teenage years until their early 20’s.
The Pluralistic Worldview
This level of consciousness, also known as “post-modern”, started to take shape in the 60’s and 70’s and emerged from the rational worldview that was predominantly present in the 40’s and 50’s. It became fully integrated in the 80’s, in accordance with the massive influx of information technology and the internet. During this time, society started to become more and more intolerant of the injustices of the effects of the rational worldview of thinking. A one-size fits all point of view was subsequently abandoned, and human beings became more conscious of the needs and desires of everybody and everything on the planet. While not completely rejecting the rational structure, much of it was shunned and took a backseat to issues such as civil rights, environmentalism, feminism, equality, animal rights, ending discrimination, and a more sensitive, all-inclusive worldview came into place. Again, this illustrates the evolution of consciousness to a state that is sensitive to and values the individual more and more. This is currently the dominating worldview and what most individuals in our modern society as we know it are currently experiencing.
The Integral Worldview
I can’t really find a better way to put in than Ken Wilber did when he said “The thing that makes this worldview different and revolutionary is that it differs from the rest of the previous stages in that it believes that all of the other stages have some sort of value. It believes that they are all there in order for the human mind to grow and develop. The integral stage accepts the fundamental importance and the right to existence of all the previous stages. This has never happened with any of the previous stages.”
At all of the other levels of consciousness, the most common, interweaving thread is that the individual believes they have the only correct point of view and all of the others are fundamentally wrong. This is not the case of the integral worldview. The new worldview is a culture whose primary foundation is one that is built on all-inclusive values. Nobody is forced out or oppressed. It is a worldview that is all-accepting, all encompassing. It’s also the epitome of a resource based economy and moneyless society. It is what we must achieve as individuals, as well as collectively as a society, if we want to see the next step in our evolution and greater levels of health and happiness for everyone on the planet.
And this would make sense. It is the next logical step. In a world where you have access to every single nook and cranny, where you can learn that bombs are being dropped and people are starving in whatever remote corner of the world you can conceive of, you have to have a solution to these problems that doesn’t take a blind-eye to anything.
And that’s what the integral worldview is. It’s an all-encompassing, all-inclusive view of the world that takes into account everything and everybody, period. Nobody is left out. And that’s exactly why it is the worldview of a moneyless society and resource based economy. Until money doesn’t exist, there will always be an incentive to put money before people. Until we, as humankind, step back and take ownership of nothing and act as stewards for all of our fellow beings and resources, we cannot achieve this worldview. We must help our brains to accept all that we can, and be as all-inclusive as possible in our practices to help ourselves and others, to help usher in an age that will be unlike anything that any of us have ever experienced before. Until we can have an attitude that accepts everything as it is, and realize that everything is inherently equal and we are all part of a great system that is ultimately one, and nothing is or can exist without it, we will keep going in circles and chasing our tails for the elusive solutions that always seem right around the corner.
How Long Until The Shift?
Well, as you may have already guessed, that really depends on us and what we do about it. At the current moment, approximately 24% of the world is operating in the post-modern or pluralistic worldview. Of those, about 1/3 of them are in “post-modern exit”. People only stay in a worldview for so long until they find that there is something better. In reality there is no age limit or time requirement. Currently, the percentage of people that are operating within a mindset of an integral worldview is about 4-5%. The critical mass that we need to reach is about 10%. So in reality, we’re not really that far off. If everybody that is actually involved with this movement would simply get a few other people to join them, we would probably reach a critical mass sometime within the next decade. Yes, you heard me right – within just one decade, if the people that are out there actually promote this idea and start adopting ways of life that promote and set an example for others to follow this cause, we could witness the birth of a mindset that shifts the rest of the population into this worldview and forever changes the lives of everyone on the planet for the better.
And that’s the key. All it takes is about 10%. New ideas are catchy. Especially good ones… that work… and make life better… for everyone. Even people still operating primarily on lower mythic or mystic levels are usually brought up to the current worldview and transcend one or more levels, once they are introduced to higher levels of consciousness and have a chance to implement it and see the effects in their lives. And that’s why society has progressed from one level to the next. It made sense. It’s ridiculous to keep doing what you are doing when you see a better way of doing it and it’s obvious. You start doing it the better way. That’s why nobody you know lives in a cave. We like houses. They make life easier, there’s less stress and it makes you happier – its human nature.
Should we have faith that this can happen?
Or is there a risk that the forces holding us back and the possible level of destruction which may ensue in our times will win?
Social shifts are happening more and more frequently. The first worldview took probably a million years to outgrow. The second, took however many more millennia. The third took a few thousand years. The fourth only prevailed for a few hundred. And the fifth? It’s only been around for about 40 or 50 years and it really only took a couple decades to become a dominant force. How long could the current shift take? Well, once again, it’s really up to us. Hopefully it’s pretty soon, because we have quite a few pressing issues that are coming up behind us and fast.
There’s economic collapse, global warming, etc. but the worst is probably the possibility of a nuclear event. A nuclear explosion, especially in the United States would put us in probably the greatest depression of all-time, and most likely the rest of the world, as well. That would severely damage us, but I don’t even think that would stop this. People will eventually wake up, unless we annihilate ourselves completely, which I don’t think will happen in any case, either. I think that eventually this will catch on, even if we experience a global meltdown. However, I do think there are forces that could see that this might not happen in our lifetime. And that is something that I, myself, am trying to take part in overcoming.
The more we can unite and come together to form a world where absolutely nobody is left out because of their beliefs or desires, the closer we will be to achieving our goal of a world without the problems we currently face. We have global problems, but we also have an integral vision and solution that is global, as well, that will put an end to the global problems we are facing. Ultimately, it is up to us to implement actions based on our values. It is up to us to evolve.
If you want to accelerate the process of the shift and reach the global tipping point, where we actually get to see and experience a resource based economy and moneyless society, join together with others. Let go of your differences, and realize that all of your differences are what make you so valuable. Apart, we are fragmented, incomplete, lacking connection, or exchange in ideas and gifts born out of love. There is no sense to the greater picture and what place we take in the grand scheme of things. Together, we are like variegated pieces of a puzzle that coalesce and form a great picture that is all the glory and joy of all and everything that is and everything there is to offer and experience. Together, we form a kaleidoscope of awe and wonder that is the human race. Together, we are complete. It is time to embrace our differences. It is time to wake up and see that when combined, we really are more than the sum of our parts. It’s time to make a shift into an integral society. Please post and share this with all you can so we can all come together on the other side.