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Waking up in time by Peter Russell

Waking up in time by Peter Russell

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Published by Venkat Ram Reddy
One of Eckhart Tolle's recomended books . For the full book go to http://www.peterrussell.com/WUIT/Contents.php. The author himself has put it there .
One of Eckhart Tolle's recomended books . For the full book go to http://www.peterrussell.com/WUIT/Contents.php. The author himself has put it there .

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Published by: Venkat Ram Reddy on Dec 31, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Challenge -- Crises as Opportunity When a seed -- or an animal -- or a man is ripe, it must mature to its next phase.Or rot.Stewart Edward WhiteThe various environmental, economic, and social problems confronting us aresymptomatic of a deeper underlying crisis -- a crisis in our thinking, perception,and values.This crisis has been coming for a long time. Its seeds were sown some fiftythousand years ago, when Homo sapiens, the creature with an enlarged neocortex,began to use its complex brain in new ways. Something different was walking on theEarth -- a species whose future was determined not by its genes so much as by itsideas. A species that could begin to understand the Universe in which it founditself. A species with unprecedented creativity. So new were these developmentsthat some anthropologists gave this species a new name, Homo sapiens sapiens, thewise human being
Quite naturally we turned our new capacities to the creation of a better world forourselves. A world in which food was plentiful and available all year round. Aworld in which we could protect ourselves from cold and rain. A world in whichdisease did not strike us so young or so often. A world in which we could livelonger and more fulfilling lives.We set out with the best of intentions: to reduce suffering and be more at peace.But unwittingly we fell into assuming that the inner needs we were nowexperiencing could be met in the same way as our physical needs -- through havingor doing the right things. Not realizing that true peace could be found withinourselves, we became seduced by the material world and by all its fruits.The consequences of this error were at first benign. Only later, as our tools grewmore powerful, did problems appear. For not only did technology amplify ourability to satisfy our physical needs, it also amplified our ability to satisfyour psychological needs. Our burden on the world rapidly increased, and suddenlywe found ourselves a threat to millions of species -- including ourselves.Seeing the writing on the wall, we have begun awakening to our responsibilities,both for what we have done, and for what we should do. But then, at the very timewe most need to change, we find ourselves unable to let go. Clinging to our manycomforts, we seem unwilling to bear the modest discomforts that would enhance ourchances of survival. Too many people seem to prefer to risk annihilation ratherthan give up their beliefs and attachments.So we stand by, watching the living Earth erode, and wonder how humanity couldcontinue to be so crazy.The crisis that has been brewing for millennia is upon us. Crises as DriversCrises are generally seen as undesirable; they imply danger and potentialmisfortune. There are good reasons for this. A crisis is a sign that the old waysare no longer working, and something new is being called for. In such times there
can be very real danger; if appropriate responses are not made rapidly, then theold order may begin to collapse.This is all too possible with humanity today. If we do not address the deeperspiritual issues underlying the many problems we face, it is very likely thatcivilization will fall apart.On the other hand, any crisis, big or small, personal or planetary, also presentsan opportunity -- something the ancient Chinese seemed well aware of. Their wordfor crisis, wei-chi, is written as a combination of two characters, one meaningdanger, the other opportunity. The opportunity may not always be easy to see,
 but it is always there. It is the chance to remedy what is wrong and move on to anew way of being.In this respect crises are a challenge -- the challenge to recognize what is nolonger working and seize the opportunity to learn, make changes, and progress. Assuch, crises can play a crucial role in evolution. Evolutionary CrisesIn the previous chapter we considered the early planetary crisis that occurred assimple bacteria began running short of food -- the first of many food crises. Theresponse to this crisis was a new way of obtaining energy -- photosynthesis.Over the next billion-and-a-half years oxygen -- the poisonous by-product of
 photosynthesis -- accumulated in the atmosphere, until eventually it threatened toextinguish life on Earth. Life responded to this crisis with a new type oforganism, one that could feed on oxygen.Later, as cells grew larger, they faced a different sort of food crisis. If acells diameter doubled, its surface area quadrupled while its volume increased
 eightfold. To keep this larger volume fed, the cells walls had to absorb
 nutrients twice as fast. The larger cells grew, the more difficult it became forthem to feed themselves. Another crisis, another danger, and another sign thatsomething new was called for. The response this time was the multicellularorganism -- cells stayed the same size, but the organism of which they were partwas free to grow.Today, life on Earth has arrived at another crisis. The values that have guidedthe human species throughout most of its development are no longer working.Preservation of the self may have been very valuable in prehistoric times. It mayalso have been valuable when the world was a collection of independent communitiesand states -- although, even then, self-centeredness among those in power oftenled to greed, exploitation, and corruption. But today such values have becomeextremely dangerous. Directing powerful technologies with a global reach, theyspell disaster.Once again the old way -- in this case, our mode of consciousness -- is no longerworking. Once again a new way is being called for. The OpportunityThis is the real opportunity nestling within our global crisis: the opportunity todevelop a new mode of consciousness -- a new way of seeing, and a new way ofthinking. This could be the new evolutionary adaptation waiting to emerge. Not, aswe have seen, a biological adaptation -- there is no time for that, and even if we

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