Global Sustainability Newsletter

Issue 15 - April 2011


There are not many more important issues in people's lives than the condition of their civilisation. We are being defined by the nature of society we live in. We cannot really live any different life apart from that which is dictated to us by the principles, ethics, structures and conduct of the collective. What kind of civilisation we live in should be of the utmost importance to us all - people living on our planet Earth.

Archaeological finds, dated as far back as eight to ten thousand years, present a picture of civilizational transition from an older culture and religion of a more egalitarian and peaceful society than ours. In her brilliant book The Chalice and The Blade Riane Eisler painstakingly describes steps of that transition: from a well-functioning partnership to a dominance model of the European society. It is obvious for a contemporary reader that such a transition was a regressive step in the history of Earth's civilisation. As usual in such situations, the barbarians, having not the capacity of understanding the higher culture and its level of sophistication, could only impose an upper hand by brutal force. This has happen then - eight to ten thousand years ago - and it continues to happen today, as we continue to live in this most spiritually degraded, dominance model of societal functioning.

The ancient Myaecean civilisation of Crete 'has stressed public works and a good standard of living for all'1 whereas the invaders and new Lords of the settlements in Old Europe introduced new rules, by which 'the bulk of this new wealth was appropriated by men on top with only leftovers for their subjects.' Riane Eisler explains that: '...not only were women removed from their former positions of responsibility and power. Just as critically, as new technological advances were made, these too were used to consolidate and maintain a socioeconomic system based on ranking.'

Our Aryan civilisation, despite the existence of its more enlightened predecessors (as uncovered in many archaeological sites around central and southern Europe, and Asian areas between Black Sea and southern end of Caspian Sea) is a regressive civilisation in terms of spiritual understanding of the Cosmic Laws and Cosmic destiny of people. As I discussed in my book Civilisation: Where Are You Going?2 this current civilisation has not created any peaceful living for its people; on the contrary, wars have been waged continually from the beginning til today in various countries across the entire globe. This civilisation accepts violence as a norm and many people, having no other experiences, consider this hell on Earth as the only reality there is.

Luckily the global consciousness is expanding and more people are raising their concerns with violence as totally unacceptable reaction to situations, where negotiations can be applied and peaceful solutions found. A lot of people discover and comprehend the emptiness of cycles of never ending wastage of resources and degradation of human life followed by a rebuilding mode, which is then followed by another conflict, deaths, destruction and then rebuilding again. We seem not being capable of progressing to a peaceful phase of living life in harmony, to developing arts and knowledge of every kind, especially our understanding of the universe. On the contrary, we seem to be continually advancing on the quest of killing people, as the most advanced achievements in today's world technology are the developments to suit military applications!

In the last several decades increasing numbers of people have become enlightened and these people know that a different kind of civilisation is possible. They have an imprint of such a civilisation in their hearts and minds. These people understand that peaceful solutions to world's problems abound and they are waiting to be discovered. Following the publication of Civilisation: Where Are You Going? I kept discovering (with great pleasure I must add) writings of other people who had a similar approach to matters I raise in my work. One such author was Osho (1931 - 1990), a Japanese mystic and an independent thinker. In his prolific works he touched on many issues important to a contemporary enlightened person. I quote his words:

"My own suggestion is that unless we create a world government, intelligence cannot be allowed. The time has come for a world government. National governments are no longer needed: They are things of the past, they are part of our stupid past. Nations are no longer needed, only a world government. And if there is a world government it will have a totally different quality.

Armies will have to be reduced, because there will be no question of fighting with anybody. Now seventy percent of the world's money, wealth, resources goes to the military and military weapons - seventy percent! Only thirty percent is left for other purposes. That means seventy percent of our energy is devoted to killing, to being violent, to being destructive.

A world government is an absolute necessity to save humanity. And the quality of the world government will be totally different because it won't need great armies; just small police forces will be enough. It will take care of all things like the post office, the railway, the airplanes, et cetera - but they are not destructive; they serve people. And once the armies disappear from the world, great intelligence will be released - because the army is destructive of the intelligence. It recruits the healthiest people and destroys their minds, because a real soldier is possible only if the person becomes absolutely mechanical."3

We need to mature. We need to shake off domination by people who, having not adequate level of intelligence and thinking, possess access to financial resources and military weapons. They will never see other solutions than the military ones, because they possess destructive intelligence (see above quote from Osho). We need to transform this river of destructive thinking into streams of creativity and peaceful possibilities.

Men and women of high values and character often withdraw from the life of a violent society, as they in no way can participate in activities abhorrent to their ethics' principles. Their conducts are misunderstood by those less perceptive citizens and often are taken for a lack of ambition or simply weakness. That is just one of the ways a 'domineering' mind understands and explains to itself something it cannot fathom. And unless more is done to acknowledge these gentler women and men and their potential contribution to the raising of the quality of discussion, this civilisation will remain at a current rudimentary level.

We are witnessing a world-wide spiritual renewal. 4 People go back to spiritual principles of life as they know that no amount of rhetoric from the current power brokers can change the inevitability of catastrophe they brought on this civilisation through their non-spiritual, market-based, power-dominance philosophies. Our world needs new leaders, spiritually enlightened mature individuals, who will find honest solutions for the suffering humanity. The sooner these people will be admitted to their positions of responsibility, the sooner the process of rebuilding can start and more people will be saved from the misery of leading non-dignified lives of hunger, poverty, injustice, crime, hardship, lack of education and lack of life's opportunities they potentially could access.

A lot has been said in the past spiritual writings about earthly civilisation undergoing metamorphoses through entering and exiting four different ages of Enlightment. When the Golden Era is introduced, it inevitably becomes corrupted and transforms into Silver, then into Copper and finally into Iron Age. This last period (the least enlightened) ends in partial destruction of civilisation and is followed by a renewal and a new Golden Age. According to those ancient spiritual teachings, we live today in the last days of the Iron Age and are on the threshold of a new and brighter future.

We need, however, to remind ourselves that either corruption/degradation or Enlightment do not just descend on humanity as a phenomena we are just allowed to observe. Human beings are the creators of their destiny as peoples, and civilisation becomes enlightened or degraded by the toil of its own citizens. So, let us remind ourselves again that waiting for someone to come and miraculously save this civilisation is futile because the onus for improvements and renewal is on us. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Danuta Nowak

Excerpt from The Spirituality Revolution - the Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality (p.38).


In the new cultural paradigm, which has been taking shape for some time, 'spirituality' bursts free from its former confinement, and becomes a much larger field of human activity. 'Spirituality' is the new, broad, umbrella term, and the understanding of the term 'religion' shrinks and is more narrowly defined. The term today is equated with formal religious practice or church attendance. It has lost its more general meaning, referring to the larger context of our relations with the divine and the community.

'Spirituality' now refers to our relationship with the sacredness of life, nature, and the universe, and this relationship is no longer felt to be confined to formal devotional practice or to institutional places of worship. As time moves on, we find we are able to define spirituality less and less, because it includes more and more, becoming a veritable baggy monster containing a multitude of activities and expectations.

Spirituality has become diverse, plural, manifold, and seems to have countless forms of expression, many of which are highly individualistic and personal. Spirituality is now for everyone, and almost everyone seems to be involved, but in radically different ways. It is an inclusive term, covering all pathways that lead to meaning and purpose. It is concerned with connectedness and relatedness to other realities and existences, including other people, society, the world, the stars, the universe and the holy. It is typically intensely inward, and most often involves and exploration of the so-called inner or true self, in which divinity is felt to reside.

Significantly, the new spirituality is democratic and non-hierarchical, which is alien to traditional forms of religious life. If a parent/child model governed the old religion, together with an authoritarianism underpinning this top-down style, the new paradigm is ruled by a sibling model of brotherhood or sisterhood, in which every person is felt to be equal in the eyes of the holy. Our spiritual lives are no longer ruled by bishops and clergy, but by our own inward conscience, by insights gleaned from self-reflection, reading, meditation, and talks with friends and spiritual counsellors. This is the new style of spiritual culture.'5

  • 1 R. Eisler, The Chalice and The Blade, Harper-Collins Publishers, 1987.
  • 2 D. Nowak, Civilisation: Where are you going?, Brolga Publishers, 2007.
  • 3 Osho, Intelligence: The Creative Response to Now, St. Martin's Press, 2004.
  • 4 Read excerpt from The Spirituality Revolution, at the end of this article.
  • 5 David Tacey, The Spirituality Revolution - the Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality, Sydney: Harper Collins Publishers, 2003.