Martin LeFevre: The Flowering of Humanity
The Flowering of Humanity
Spring is at its zenith in the canyon beyond town. Above the narrow gorge that cuts through the half- mile wide canyon, there is a rocky field covered with orange poppies and blue lupines. Walking through it, there is nothing but that color, and the heart is cleansed and made new again.
I hike further up the canyon along an ascending trail, and after a little while drop down between a grove of young oaks to the gravel road. The gate a couple miles in is still closed from winter, and there is not a sign or sound of man’s machines.
The many oaks that dot and drape the hillsides are full of the small, light green leaves of spring, and long flats of new grass stretch out to the unseen gorge. To my left 200-meter cliffs form one side of the canyon; to my right, irregular outcroppings of volcanic rock, full of holes, crevices, and caves, form the other.
One cannot help but wonder about the lives of the Native Americans who lived here and loved this canyon for centuries before they were driven from it by American and European settlers. California had over 300 distinct tribes, with as many languages, at the beginning of the 19th century. By the time Ishi, ‘the last Indian,’ walked into the nearby town of Oroville at the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all indigenous Californians had been displaced from their ancestral lands.
At the hands of a sentient species, the sixth mass extinction in the earth’s history is underway. And just as man is destroying the diversity of animals and plants on earth, indigenous peoples are also being driven to extinction.
The fragmentation that humankind is generating is not only destroying the diversity of animal and human life on earth however, but along with it, the human spiritual potential. Is there a positive possibility? Yes. The pressure of human fragmentation is compelling the individual to end the domination of thought, which brought things to this pass.
Feeling people are making the connection between the spiritual destruction of the individual and entire peoples, and the extermination of animals and the eradication of habitats. The spiritual is political; and faith in rational, secular thought has reached a dead-end.
A basic feature of human consciousness is tribalism—my country, my ethnic group, my religion, and my family. Though the tribalistic mentality is fragmenting to the smallest possible unit—my self—it is still the basic source of division, and the main divisive force in the world.
The political manifestation of a revolution in consciousness would therefore not promote the fantasy of an amalgamation of identities. Rather, with a foundation in the wholeness in the individual, it would begin to end the divisiveness and conflict that is causing billions of dollars to be wasted on armaments each month.
As in nature, diversity flows from wholeness, not separateness. Individual and group uniqueness, as well as self-determination, do not emerge from clinging to bygone notions of identity, but by seeing beyond fading and reactionary identities.
Humankind has arrived at the end of the consciousness of particular cultures and traditions, which now exist only as backward-looking fragments of ethnic, national, and religious identification. Consciousness can and must have a new meaning, and political manifestation.
Awakening the human brain’s capacity for insight to its fullest goes beyond artistic creativity in all its forms. Insight unites the mind and heart in the timeless liberation of seeing. Indeed, igniting insight within one allows one to be a participant with the ongoing drama of creation itself.
We can make ourselves heard and heeded as citizens of the global society, but only if we emotionally see ourselves as world citizens, rather than nationals of any country, members of any religion, or blood brothers and sisters in any ethnic group.
So there are two trends, one apparent, and the other underground, unfolding now in human history. First, there is the downward spiral of humankind, with the vast majority of individuals adapting to a malignant, globalizing culture. But there is an opportunity for radical change.
With self-knowing, questioning together, and radical change in a sufficient minority of people, there will be a flashpoint when a revolution in consciousness ignites and quickly manifests, socially and politically.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.