At the very heart of our struggle to create a sustainable human community is the Great Insight, the paradigm shift from perceiving and experiencing life as a competitive struggle, survival of the fittest, to the experience of cooperation, experiencing life as a joyful, open-hearted collaboration.
People working within all of our human institutions are beginning to experience the Great Insight more frequently and more vividly, including science. “Quantum physicists now recognize that the universe is not a collection of separate things jostling around in empty space. All matter exists in a vast quantum web of connections, and a living thing at its most elemental is an energy system involved in a constant transfer of information with its environment. Rather than a cluster of individual, self-contained atoms and molecules, objects and living beings are now more properly understood as dynamic and protean processes, in which parts of one thing and parts of another continuously trade places.”
As individuals we are justified in our anticipation of a transformed personal experience of life, a newfound freedom to create a new reality based on compassion, not competition. All of creation will support us in this endeavor. “There is nothing—from our subatomic molecules to our entire being—that we can define with any certainty as a wholly separate body that can be isolated and ring-fenced. The ‘individual’ is only the sum of an infinite number of inexactly defined parts, and the parts as we currently understand them are shifting and transforming at every moment. In every way, individual things live life inextricably attached and bonded to an ‘other.’ Nature’s most basic impulse is not a struggle for dominion but a constant and irrepressible drive for wholeness. The new story being written around the globe adds up to the beginning of a recovery of our holistic view of ourselves as bound to everything we see around us.”
What nature and Simple Reality will not support is our current worldview of survival of the fittest, of a dog-eat-dog environment of scarcity with survival granted to the most ruthless and cold-hearted competitors. What do the scientific facts tell us? “They suggest that all of our societal creations, invested as they are in competition and individuality, run counter to our most fundamental being—that a drive for cooperation and partnership, not dominance, is fundamental to the physics of life and the biological makeup of all living things. They imply that most of us in the developed world are not living in harmony with our true natures.”
Experiencing our true nature can begin with a meditation practice that facilitates a change in identity. First, we stop identifying with our mind, body and emotions which begins our shift in identity. Next, we make our life itself a meditation by employing The Point of Power Practice to choose response over reaction moment to moment, day by day. Our experience of Simple Reality will then grow progressively more vivid. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania “discovered that a practitioner of compassionate meditation loses the sense of self and other and enters a perception of oneness.”
As individuals shift to a more compassionate and cooperative identity a collective or paradigm shift becomes possible. “Psychologists call this a superordinate goal, a goal achieved only by a strong cooperative teamwork.” Simple Reality is, of course, a superordinate goal. “All of this suggests that coming together in small groups with a superordinate goal provides a social cohesion beyond money, job or size of property. We may be at our happiest when neighbors are helping neighbors.”
References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in the Simple Reality Trilogy
by Roy Charles Henry:
Where Am I? Story – The First Great Question
Who Am I? Identity – The Second Great Question
Why Am I Here? Behavior – The Third Great Question