More Worldviews… to Choose From
Now, there are more worldviews to choose from than there are Barbie Dolls. I’ve been writing on them (worldviews) of late just because I’m so fascinated about how it is that each of us come into our own version. And I’m also intrigued by the reciprocal power they exert, once chosen, to shape us yet further into their image. It’s a bit like we tell the story and by the telling of it we ourselves are changed.
A worldview is after all only a story; and it is through story that we give meaning and context to our lives. So for the Reverend Rod Parsley to declare, speaking of his perceived war against the Evil of Islam, “We were created for the conflict. We get off on warfare,” well, he’s just giving us a narrative about where and how he finds meaning and sustenance in his life.
Now I don’t know about you but I’d rather be feeding on stories of love and visions of peace than ones of eternal warfare. The folks at The Global Oneness Project apparently feel the same. They are creatively “exploring how the radically simple notion of interconnectedness can be lived in our increasingly complex world.”
“We have to make the structures of society unwilling to bear separation as a way of approaching things,” asserts one woman in the video below. And a man asks, referring to the healing of our experience of separation, “What if…this reality can change? What would it look like?”
Yes, we do have some choices to make as to the worldview we will feed, and the ones which will feed upon us. And when it come to nurturing our own thrivability, our wild resiliency, not all worldviews are created equal.
As David Brooks says in today’s NY Times Op-Ed, The Neural Buddhists, “We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects.”
It is only natural that in times such as ours, in times of personal and cultural and global dissonance, many people will gravitate toward worldviews of simplicity, of us against them…. Our future of thrive-ability however lies in the affirmations of Life that are arising out of the confluence of our best science and the perennial philosophies. David Brooks again:
First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is.
In their arguments with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, the faithful have been defending the existence of God. That was the easy debate. The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.
In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day. I’m not qualified to take sides, believe me. I’m just trying to anticipate which way the debate is headed. We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects.
David Brooks may declare that he is not going to take sides, but in truth we each do—daily. We do so through our willingness to be loyal to the deep and wild joy of our own wholeness, or not. Life invites forth this loyalty from us; affirming it requires the willingness to be loyal to the wildness of our own authenticity. And daily, Life goes on asking of us Two Fiery Questions:
There are only two questions:
“What shall I feed myself, today:
Fear? or Love?”
And the second question is this:
“What shall I make of myself,
As a sacrifice of flesh and spirit,
With which to feed the world?”
Note: Thanks to The Golden State for passing along the David Brooks article.