1. 'Us and Them'
More than a world view, this is a general attitude that gives
rise to other misguided world views, yet I will call it a
general world view here.
It is related to the
idea of separation - one of the biggest sources of suffering in
The separation of our
social tribe, our people, our nation, our political group, our
ideology, our gene pool, our culture - from yours. The 'us and
them' world view is not only divisive but self-destructive since
it always seeks to cut off something, whether individuals or
groups, from something else.
This 'cutting off' is a powerful tool of the ego to keep us from
remembering a liberating truth - that we are all connected and
plugged in the same cosmic wheel of life.
We are all One as the
spiritual adage goes and the deeper we sink into this truth, the
more we realize that this is the basis of creative and
constructive change as we move forward in the global evolution
Yet the ego doesn't
want this, doesn't it?
It will fight tooth
and nail to prevent it and hence has found ways of implanting
the misperception of separateness which in turn fuels irrational
beliefs and even political agendas.
I find it crazy, in
fact, how so many of us don't see past the veneer of certain
ideologies and how we try to 'rationally' justify an ideology
that is ultimately rooted in a misperception and irrational
The 'Us and them' world view is such a creeping malaise in us
humans that it also extend beyond social, cultural and political
thinking. It is also the thing that has been detaching us from
our natural world.
through a point where it stopped feeling an integral part of the
earth and the cosmos and started seeing the natural world as a
resource pool and playground to satisfy our growing greed. So we
also became separate from nature.
Both Science and
religion are at fault with this but would not like to go in the
There is however hope - a shining hope I would add.
There is now more and
more people who are stepping out of this illusion and spreading
the awareness that there is no 'us and them' but rather only
'Us' (which coincidentally might be the acronym for 'Universal
and the Disenchantment with the World
Modern Science is relatively young - spanning some 200 years or
at least somewhere in the region.
As they say, Science
has brought progress and unbound us from the shackles of the
dark ages, yet modern Science has also generated another world
view as a side effect which is still strongly prevalent
mean zeal for material things but rather it is the world view
that the material world is the basis of the Universe. In the
classical Science era, it meant that all the natural phenomena
can be explained in terms of underlying physical and chemical
The rest is just
This has created a 'flattened' view of the world which caused us
to become disenchanted with the magical universe around us.
Indirectly it has caused us to become colder and more cynical.
We started shrugging
off mystery and beauty as just fiction or something that can be
later explained by some physical process
In older, more
'primitive' societies people were still connected to the natural
wonder of the earth and the universe. We were still in awe,
enchanted by the mystery.
We sat around fires
hearing the elders tell stories that instructed the heart and
not the mind. We understood the story nature was telling us
beyond the logic of words.
We were fascinated by
Yet materialism became the epitome of the 19th and 20th
century. Our mass consciousness turned from being beautiful,
organic and fractal to being mechanical just like the assembly
lines of the industrial revolution.
According to Carl
Jung, this is the ailment of modern Man:
the basis of his
Of course things have
gone a long way, even in Science.
The classical view of
Science made way to more open paradigms brought about by Quantum
physics and the integration of cross-disciplinary paths.
At the same time
there is an emerging undercurrent which is becoming more aware
of our ancestral wisdom - a revival of some sort through
teachers and people who are trying their best to keep the wisdom
Another by-product of the 20th century, particularly
in the more 'liberal' west, has been individualism or the
idea that the rights of the individuals stand supreme and should
be safeguarded by just laws and meritocracy.
Of course this is a
beautiful ideal and something everyone would stand up for.
The problem is that
this ideal got somehow abused, distorted and devolved into a
more egocentric form. As modern society is now spiraling out of
control with over-consumerism and greed for material possessions
and power, individualism has been given a different overtone.
We have overstretched
the idea to now mean that the so called perceived needs of the
individual (which in reality are nothing more than 'wants' sold
to us by the media) come before the welfare of the communities
and the planet.
This distorted acceptance of individual greed over the community
at large can be seen projected on the current state of the
We have become
indifferent and lost in our small distorted worlds. We don't
feel part of the community anymore - we are disengaged with the
affairs of the world.
The media has desensitized us
to the point that barrages of negative impressions:
... feel like some
movie of some sort.
We have been
disempowered by the belief that there is nothing we can do to
help the world… it's already hard enough keeping ourselves
So the world view of
individualism has been distorted up to a point of making a 180
degree turn - from empowering to disempowering the individual.
Another form of disempowerment of the individual comes through
These are the
top-down hierarchical control structures of society such as
schooling, media and its censorship, mass propaganda, etc. We
feel the institutional pressures weighing down on us and what's
more we are becoming more aware that some of these control
structures were put in place to accommodate the agenda of the
few at the expense of the many.
world view that accompanies this is a fatalist one.
We have given up our
control and freedom completely, feeling that this is the way
things are and that there is nothing much we can do about it.
This is how the world works...
This is also referred
to as the problem of diffused responsibility, where individuals
feel that the current state of affairs in the world is not their
responsibility but that of a higher power such as the
governments, politicians, leaders and the institutions.
The good news is that with the advancement of technology
the growing will and awareness
of people, all this is changing. We are seeing a shift away from
tight hierarchical structures to more decentralization and
The media is a good
example. Before we could only know what is happening around us
through the news broadcasted by the same news networks. Now
everyone can be a journalist and information is shared by the
many to the many
through the Web which became
more social and mobile.
Education is going
through its own makeover too.
We are now seeing
more people looking for alternative forms of schooling which
move away from the traditional mainstream forms. Home schooling,
online courses and community based schooling is becoming more
Technology is also helping us become more self-sustainable and
independent with respect to our energy needs and waste
The general direction
of all these changes are gradually helping us get out of this
fatalistic world view and empowering us to take control of our
own destiny through mass collaboration and the healthy use of
Absolutism is a world view that is also inherent in some
other world views.
It is the idea that
our beliefs, laws, cultural norms and way of life are
absolute in the sense that they can be applied universally
in all contexts to every human on this planet.
So when we see others
applying their own system of beliefs and cultural way of life we
see it as a threat to our own.
This gives rise the
'us and them' world view through misogynistic reactions such as
intolerance, racism, wars and conflicts. This world view has
been the basis of many wars and atrocities throughout human
history, particularly religious ones.
Unfortunately this world view is still very much dispersed
today. We still haven't learned to be more tolerant to diversity
and the fact that cultural norms and beliefs are relative, not
The idea that
our reality is the only one or
the dominant one is so short-sighted and egocentric that it
falls into complete blindness and madness at times.
If there is one world
view that we need to get rid of before others, it is this one,
especially now in such a fast changing world.
The more we evolve as a species, the more we have to realize
that our knowledge and beliefs are always changing. It is at
best provisional. Nothing is absolute and nothing is cast in
Hence, it is
imperative for our own survival and flourishing to understand
how counter-productive it is to get stuck in an absolutist world
We need to embrace
change, as the world is transforming fast, but more importantly
we need to be at peace with the idea that even our world views
can and will change… as so it should be...