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Fri, June 17, 2011
The Wisdom of a Spirituality-Based Science
By Gregg Braden
During the last years of the Cold War, I had a front row seat as a senior systems designer in the defense industry to one of the most frightening times in the history of the world, and the thinking that led to it. During the last years of the most potentially lethal, yet undeclared, war in human history, the superpowers of the United States and the former Soviet Union did something that seems unthinkable to any rationally minded person today. They spent the time, energy, and human resources to develop and stockpile somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000 nuclear weapons -- a combined arsenal with the power to microwave the Earth, and everything on it, many times over.
The rationale for such an extreme effort stems from a way of thinking that has dominated much of the modern world for the last 300 years or so, since the beginning of the scientific era. It's based in the false assumptions of scientific thinking that suggest we're somehow separate from the Earth, separate from one another, and that the nature that gives us life is based upon relentless struggle and survival of the strongest. Fortunately, new discoveries have revealed that each of these assumptions is absolutely false. Unfortunately, however, there is a reluctance to reflect such new discoveries in mainstream media, traditional classrooms and conventional textbooks. In other words, we're still teaching our young people the false assumptions of an obsolete way of thinking based on struggle, competition, and war.
While we no longer face the nuclear threat that we did in the 1980s, the thinking that made the Cold War possible is still in place. This fact is vital to us all right now for one simple reason: For the first time in human history the future of our entire species rests upon the choices of a single generation -- us -- and the choices are being made within a small window of time--now. The best minds of our time are telling us that we must act quickly to avert the clear and present danger of a host of new crises that are converging in a "bottleneck" of time covering the first years of the 21st Century.
The journal Scientific American released a special edition (vol. 293, no. 3, September 2005) to bring the world up to speed on the critical situation we find ourselves in today. The title, "Crossroads for Planet Earth," says it all. The way we solve the simultaneous crises -- such as our response to climate change, the unsustainable and growing levels of extreme poverty, the emergence of new diseases, the growing shortages of food and fresh drinking water, the growing chasm between extreme wealth and extreme poverty, and the unsustainable demand for energy--will chart the destiny, or seal the fate of our global family that is estimated to reach a staggering 8 billion by 2025.
The key here is that the way we address the greatest crises of human history is based on the way we think of ourselves and the world. Clearly, the thinking that led to the war and suffering of the 20th century is not the thinking that we want the delicate choices of our survival based upon!Developing a new level of thinking is precisely what we need to do today, and the magnitude of crises that face us may prove to be the catalyst for doing just that! The emerging bridge between the sciences that tell us how the universe works, and the spiritual traditions that give such knowledge meaning in our lives, plays a vital role in the new thinking that heads off the darkest possibilities of our future. But while the crises of the moment may be the catalyst for such a shift in thinking, something even deeper is emerging
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From The Urantia Book:
81:6.28 At first life was a struggle for existence; now, for a standard of living; next it will be for quality of thinking, the coming earthly goal of human existence.
And from Religion and Social Reconstruction:
99:1.1 Mechanical inventions and the dissemination of knowledge are modifying civilization; certain economic adjustments and social changes are imperative if cultural disaster is to be avoided. This new and oncoming social order will not settle down complacently for a millennium. The human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments, and readjustments. Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny.
99:1.3 Urantia society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world's history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another.
Also, you might enjoy our topical study on Science vs Religion here
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