One Humanity — The prescription for human salvation
The two principal perils facing mankind today are narcissism and schadenfreude. Narcissism causes us to subconsciously prefer ‘our own kind,’ though in reality all of humanity is ‘our kind’ irrespective of nationality, belief or appearance. Schadenfreude exacerbates this egoistic mindset as many (if not most) of us derive pleasure from the misfortunes of those of whom we see as separate and apart from ourselves. Unless and until we get control of these two destructive forces and realize that our path to salvation is in ‘loving our enemies’ as Christ and others have said, we are doomed to self-fulfilling apocalyptic prophesies.
Combatting the two-headed beast of ego-induced self-destruction will require an alteration of the didactic framework. We can begin by eliminating the use of the term ‘multi-cultural’ as it has become anachronistic and self-defeating.
TRUTH is, there is but one culture with multitudinous manifestations. Within the multitudinous manifestations of the MONOCULTURE, there are individuals seeking to EXPERIENCE THE CAPACITY RANGE OF THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE. Their desire is to comprehend and reflect the totality of both humanity’s current and potential states. These individuals are the philosophers (i.e., ‘lovers of wisdom’).
Because of the enduring work of the great philosophers and others, humanity now has the resources necessary to begin to emerge from our ethnocentric, tribalistic stage. Stimulating this cause are the ever-increasing effects of globalization (e.g., commerce, communication, and travel) as well as the growing awareness that the exclusivist narratives that have been imparted to us are no longer resonant. This confluence of factors is thus producing the aggregate impetus for the declaration that we are, in fact, ONE HUMANITY.
|“I don’t need faith, I have experience!” — Joseph Campbell“Do you want to read history or make history?” — Vince Milum|
A path to enlightenment
Step 1. One must have the capacity to achieve enlightenment (otherwise one must hope to be a vicarious participant in the enlightenment experience).
Step 2. Preparedness (one must be a seeker who is ready to embrace the totality of reality and be prepared to endure the trials that are confronted on the path to enlightenment).
Step 3. There are two parts to step three.
Step 3A need not be completed before beginning Step 3B.
3A. Information download. This is a life-long process which requires tapping into as many and varied knowledge resources as is possible. It is important to remove all of one’s (imprinted) filters. Thus, challenging one’s own filtration system is key to fulfilling this step.
3B. Synergistic synthesis. At this stage, one is able to put together the pieces and see how all the discrete elements of our being (both self and society) are of a larger whole. Integration is the key.
Step 4. After achieving a measure of individual enlightenment, one has a duty to help others (both individually and collectively) achieve their potential. This, then, will enable the co-evolutionary development of both self and society.
NOTE ABOUT SYMBOL: The Ama-gi is an ancient Sumerian cuneiform word meaning “freedom”*; it is believed to be the first instance of humans writing that concept down. (Source: Wikipedia) As taught by the Great Prophet of Islam, “there is to be no coercion in matters of faith.” If we take but this one aspect of one of the world’s great religions and apply it in all aspects of our daily lives, would not the world be a much better place for everyone?
*The oldest known word with such a meaning comes to us from ancient Iraq. The Sumerian “ama-ar-gi,” found on tablets in the ruins of the city-state of Lagash, which flourished four millenniums ago, derived from the verb “ama-gi,” which literally meant “going home to mother.” It described the condition of emancipated servants who returned to their own free families. (Source: The New York Times)
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