by Christopher Chase
About the author: Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook
pages "Tao & Zen", "Art of Learning"
"Creative Systems Thinking."
Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta.
Graduated in 1993 from the Child and Adolescent
Development program at
Stanford University's School of Education.
Since 1994, have been teaching at
Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
"What the caterpillar
calls the end of the world,
the master calls a butterfly."
We are living now during one of the most important time periods in
Our global species is at a turning point, the actions and decisions
we take collectively over the next few decades will determine the
path humanity (and all life on our planet) takes far into the future
- towards either greater harmony or chaos, stability or destruction.
If one turns on the television, the news does not sound good.
The mass media feeds our fears,
While some of these
problems are real, what the media (and our leaders) do not
understand is how these issues are ALL symptoms of the destructive
ways so-called "advanced" civilizations see the world and behave.
That the way to solve these problems requires that we grow up (as a
species), cultivating a deeper level of wisdom, compassion and
A new type of thinking
if mankind is to survive
and move toward higher levels…
Our children and grandchildren's future depends upon our species
become less materialistic, fearful and violent, more generous,
peaceful and caring.
It requires that billions
of people "wake up" to a deeper sense of unity and love for our
human family and the Natural world that supports us.
Mother Earth needs us to mature, to transform ourselves
from a selfish caterpillar-like species (that consumes resources
mindlessly), to more spiritual butterfly-like beings, who behave
wisely, dance among the flowers and take joy from living lightly.
The time has come for our species to evolve our consciousness, to
open our hearts, to question the predatory behaviors and mechanistic
thinking of our more technologically advanced warrior civilizations.
For thousands of years people in Western cultures have been
wrestling with the illusions we've spun from our dualistic "us vs.
them" mindsets and belief systems.
It's like we've been dreaming a shared nightmare together, grounded
in the predatory and feudalistic ways our societies have been
organized, rooted in how we live and think.
Across the centuries, the very foundation of Western civilization
has been based on ideas of separation and superiority:
men above, women
Nature below, etc...
We've built walls of
separation in our hearts and minds, a sense of sin and abandonment,
believing that our entire species was "thrown out of Eden" by
a sky God that lives far far away.
With dualistic thinking came an emphasis on linear time, our
consciousnesses locked into mental projections of a feared or
desired future, an imagined and idealized history.
When lost in these linear projections we became less aware of the
magical nature of each moment, blind to the beauty, value and
mystery of the HERE and NOW.
how schools teach our children to think and
feel, how our ancestors were dazed and hypnotized.
From this mindset grew civilized humanity's mad circus of history,
the hostile cultures of race and nationalism as identity,
religion as 'truth',
militarism as method, acquisition of wealth and power (by a ruling
elite) as the organizing goals of our economic and political
systems, the unquestioned materialistic paradigm guiding our way of
It manifested with the rise of wealth obsessed empires seeking power
and dominance in the Middle East and Europe.
Dualistic thinking led to
the Witch Hunts during the Renaissance, to Europeans coming to
conquer the "New World" - thinking themselves superior to the
Natives, stealing their land.
Then going to Africa where they kidnapped and enslaved the people,
robbing their resources and dragging them across the oceans.
Over the centuries reductionist and compartmentalized thinking has
given rise to all our most difficult problems, to,
...and all our wars.
For thousands of years now, individual artists, poets, prophets and
sages have been trying to help "civilized" humans to wake up from
our delusions, to let love and wisdom guide us, instead of
materialism and fear.
Jesus to Buddha
"Romeo and Juliet"
paintings and forward thru time to the "Wizard of Oz"
"Dark Side of the Moon"
"Stairway to Heaven"
… the message of love has
Yes, there are two paths
you can go by,
but in the long run, there's
to change the road you're on.
There was a great creative burst of realization and vision in the
1960s, but still the spirit crushing institutions, materialistic
lifestyles and unquestioned mechanistic assumptions of the past
continued to exert a powerful hypnotic force.
With the rise of new technologies and global industrialization our
consumer lifestyles have overpowered the rivers, mountains and
forests that surround us.
Over the last five
decades we have been destroying Nature's ecosystems at an astounding
Why has it
been so difficult for humans to change?
In part, I think, it is because
the "Civilized" Matrix will do
whatever it can to avoid a shutdown.
Our dominant institutions are designed to acquire wealth
for those with power, to maintain
control, to defend, expand and perpetuate their existence.
Like the immune system of
a body, attacking these systems directly only strengthens them,
leads to hostility and violence.
Mostly however, I believe that we have not changed as a species
because too many of us are still hypnotized. Primarily identifying
our sense of self with names, career, race, religion, gender,
political perspective or nationality.
Seeking pleasurable experiences, wealth, status and material
possessions; mistakenly believing that these will bring us happiness
and that the only way to solve complex problems is to "defeat the
What most of us have failed to see is that we are not
these social and cultural roles we imagine ourselves to be.
And that the historical systems that have constrained us - the
darkness and creative suppression - may have been exactly what we
needed, to transform our minds, let go of our fears and transcend
our limited cultural ideas of identity.
You are not IN the
you ARE the universe, an
intrinsic part of it.
Ultimately you are not a
but a focal point where the
is becoming conscious of
What an amazing miracle.
We are Life, in human form.
Descendants of the stars
and galaxies, children of the oceans and forests, creative
expressions of Nature. As much a part of this planet as the rivers,
trees, mountains and butterflies.
As more and more of us wake up to that deeper sense of identity we
will be more easily able to transcend old thought patterns and
beliefs. Observing Nature's Systems closely, studying her ways, we
can re-write and delete old programming.
To truly bring an end to the destructiveness of humanity - to really
transform the world - a deeper wisdom has to first arise from
As individuals, we must
each "be the change" as Gandhi put it. We have to free
ourselves first, transform our ways of thinking, feeling and
Then join with others who have awakened, taking the wisdom of our
wholeness and applying it creatively to everything we say and do, to
all fields of human activity.
Economics, entertainment, technology, education, art, music, poetry,
law, medicine, farming, politics, transportation, energy - they all
can (and must) be transformed.
What is dawning now is the realization that we are not the solitary
individuals we had believed ourselves to be. We are expressions of
Universal life, Children of the Earth.
We are the "leaves of grass" Walt Whitman spoke of - the
Awakening voices of Eden, instruments of the great turning...
See simplicity in the
Seek greatness in small things.
In the Universe, the difficult
are done as if they were easy.
Tao Te Ching