I can’t think of a single greater threat to the survival of human civilization, and perhaps the human race (over the next 150 years) than global climate change. Barring unforeseeable events, such as extraterrestrial invasion or impact by a giant meteor, global climate change is potentially the most destabilizing force. For example, if oceans rise and coastal cities are devastated, then a chain reaction of events is put into motion that could end with the collapse of civilization. Whatever else that means, there are over 400 nuclear power plants worldwide that would go unattended and critical. Unlike giant meteors, this is a situation we can begin to address now. Some say that the time for meaningful action may pass us by.
Earth Day is not about doom and gloom. Many of us know the basic recommendations: renewable energy sources, reduction of greenhouse gases, and good stewardship of the Earth. One factor that is often missing from the equation: the importance of a human shift or evolution of consciousness away from dualistic thinking into non-dualistic perception. In other words, we human beings need to evolve as a species to integrate and incorporate a transpersonal perspective into our day-to-day thoughts and actions. There are many paths to a non-dualistic state of consciousness: shamanic mind, embodied love and compassion, the ongoing experience of mindfulness, and an integrated connection/dialogue with helping spirits or Soul. It is my personal belief that without an evolution in consciousness, without a necessarily significant segment of the population dedicated to embracing transpersonal awareness, the human race doesn’t stand much of a chance. “Us and them” could become our epitaph.
In order to represent our commitment to the planet, a day has been set aside to increase awareness and action: Earth Day. For some the commitment is deep, and for others passing. From a dualistic perspective, we are in a constant battle with the forces of evil or discord. From a non-dualistic perspective, we seek to integrate the shadow and make whole. From a non-dualistic perspective, we seek to erase barriers (that do not actually exist) between the physical world and the world of Spirit. From a non-dualistic perspective, Earth Day has an aspect that is outside time (as is any transcendent moment). We can make it count.
Pursue solutions “as if” they will contribute to a brighter future for humanity, on Earth Day and everyday. Pursue solutions “as if’ we are acting in accord with a largely invisible community. Whether we become a super-organism evolving in harmony with the Earth or a species acting/fighting out its unconscious dark shadow will have great consequence for our descendants. Mother Earth can get by just fine without us. But wouldn’t it be a shame if this experiment in consciousness — the Universe discovering itself through the evolution and slow acquisition of knowledge within its material components — devolved into chaos due to the breakdown of civilization.
“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.”
Tim O’Reilly, Supporter of the Open Source Movement