War, terrorism, economic instability, poverty, crime, unemployment, and environmental crises fill the news. Yet many of us carry on with our daily lives as if everything was fine. We continue to buy and consume more and more. We continue to rely on fossil fuels and unsustainable technologies that pollute our environment and endanger its many species of plants and animals. We continue to ignore the suffering of others in our communities, countries, and across the globe. We have forgotten that we all live on one planet, and that we are all connected. We have forgotten that a crisis on the other side of the world is our crisis one day. It is as if we have all fallen asleep and are dreaming a collective nightmare.
Despite all the troubles we face, there is beauty in this global predicament. The world is at a turning point. These crises can teach us. Rather than causing us to despair or to feel ambivalent, they can bring us hope. They are our chance to make a better world and a better future.
Our current mode of operation—acting in isolation, separation, and only for individual benefit—is not sustainable. We know we will not survive if we continue in this way. With this knowledge, we can choose to change. We can recognize that we are all one body of life. By stretching beyond our personal comfort we can transition into ways of being that are sustainable, inclusive, and conducive to all life.
The values set forth in this book are offered as the foundation for a new paradigm to help humanity evolve as a species by moving us away from isolationism, separation, individualism, and the destruction that lies ahead on our current path. Changing the ways we interact and live—with each other and all life on the planet—will enable us to find new solutions and opportunities for individual and societal transformation. It is possible to create, and shift into, a new approach that welcomes, values, and supports all perspectives and the beautiful diversity of the world. It is time to wake up and create a new paradigm that supports and benefits the whole body of life. When we embrace the values of unity, community, life, freedom, connection, sustainability, creativity, empowerment, choice, and integrity—what I refer to as “Global Values”—we can create a healthy and sustainable world with real social justice underpinned by democracy and human rights.
How did we get here?
Generally speaking, Western culture moved from understanding the world through myths (mythos) to understanding the world through religion and theology (theos). About 2,500 years ago, with the birth of Western philosophy, the ancient Greeks shifted our thinking toward inquiries about the natural world and the role of humans in it. They nudged Western thinking toward order, reason, and words (logos). Religion continued to dominate Western cultures, but the tendency toward reason was building steam.
By the 18th century, Western society was moving into the age of modernity, and the Industrial Revolution was getting under way. These things changed not only Western culture, but the entire world. The Industrial Revolution brought mass production of consumer goods and mass reproduction of cultural goods, and the age of modernity gave humans a false sense of dominance and superiority over the natural world. Many people came to believe that they could control and conquer nature, and that all their problems would one day be solved by reason, science, and progress.
Today, we are in the Information Age—some call it the Computer Age or the Digital Age. We have certainly made great technological advances, including those that connect us through the Internet, the Word Wide Web, e-mail, and social media. Unfortunately, today’s postmodern world is not as successful as many had once hoped it would be.
In our excitement for progress, things seem to have spiraled out of control and our dreams of a better world seem like memories from the distant past. Extreme weather and droughts are wreaking havoc across the planet. Clean water is becoming scarce. Advances in medicine are being clawed back by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We are seeing all sorts of societal collapses, and our societies are being ripped apart at the seams by many social ills. Sophisticated societies have literally been destroyed by war, while others are suffering from failing transportation, education, and health infrastructures. As individuals, many of us feel that we are living pointless lives focused only on ourselves—and we feel powerless in the bigger scheme of things.
We are living in a time of great turmoil. Many things are changing beyond recognition, or disappearing altogether. Our old social structures are falling apart, and many people are grasping at the pieces to hold them together. In desperate attempts to maintain some stability, people are clinging fearfully to that which is familiar.
Desperation can cause people to become more conservative, more liberal, or more extreme in their values, opinions, and religious beliefs. Some people are even willing to kill and die to maintain their traditions and what they know best. They hope that their fanaticism will somehow keep the old ways alive and preserve the world that is being torn from all of us. The problem with extremes is that they do not help. Extreme viewpoints polarize us, causing the gaps between people to grow wider and making it more challenging to find common ground. This does nothing to help us solve our global problems.
We will never get anywhere new by following the liberal left, the conservative right, or any sort of fundamentalism. We have already taken these paths, and each of them has led us to where we are now.
We must “re-member” that we are one
We have lost our connections with each other and the natural world, and it is time for humanity to “re-member” that all life is one. Our societies no longer value cooperation, kindness, generosity, and compassion. We collectively live in a state of great imbalance, and as individuals many of us are isolated from each other and our communities. If we want to change things for the better, we have to start by changing our own thinking. By changing our minds, and re-membering our connectedness, we can shift our paradigm and support actions that promote a healthy and sustainable world.
Re-membering that all life is one is about putting humanity back together again conceptually, and making us whole. It is about realizing that we are all interconnected and integral parts of the whole body of life, and reimagining how we think of ourselves in relation to others. It can be helpful to think about humanity as a single human body. If we think about each person as a cell in the body of humanity, it is easy to see that we all need to work together. Each cell performs its individual function, but that function is best carried out in cooperation and coordination with other cells for the benefit of the whole body.
Sadly, as things are now, it seems as though we are living in a collective hallucination of disconnectedness. We have lost sight of our intimate and intricate connections to everything and everyone, and we view ourselves as unconnected, lone individuals. It is as if all the cells in the body of humanity have forgotten that they are part of a whole—and the cells have forgotten that if the body dies, they too will die.
The pressures of living in this isolated way are pushing our societies and our bodies to their physical limits. Rather than working together for the benefit of all, our societies are in fierce, often deadly, competition for vital resources—energy, water, food, shelter. As individuals, we are in competition with each other for jobs and financial resources so that we can secure vital resources for ourselves and our families. If we are lucky enough to have a job, we are working longer hours, spending more time away from our loved ones, and travelling many miles each week just to keep roofs over our heads and food on our tables. This increased individual activity puts more pressures on the environment and our societies. As a result, our habitats, infrastructures, and social systems are reaching breaking point. We live in vicious circles of competition, consumption, and destruction.
The promise of modernity has been broken—things are not getting better. If we are to reclaim our lives, our societies, and our happiness, we have no choice but to change our ways s. By recognizing that we are all one, we can begin to live in balance with each other and all creation. and realize our true heart’s desire.
It is just like in The Wizard of Oz
Like Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, as individuals, we are all on remarkable personal journeys. Collectively, as societies, we also sought something more fulfilling over the rainbow. However, rather than finding the Emerald City, we have been swept up in a cyclone of chaos—just like Dorothy. Having been knocked unconscious, we now seem to be lost in a nightmare. As Dorothy looked to the Wizard of Oz to help her find a way home, we hope for something or someone who can deliver on the promises of a better future, or who can at least take us back to what we remember as the idyllic good old days of yore. Unfortunately, the Wizard of Oz was powerless to send Dorothy home, and she had to find her own way, together with the friends she makes throughout her journey. Similarly, no magic solutions to our global predicaments exist outside ourselves. We must learn that we have the answers and the ability to get ourselves home. Rather than looking to institutional knowledge and conventional norms, it is time to trust ourselves. We can let go of our old ways and assume a perspective that will lend itself to a sustainable existence on this planet. This is the way to peace and stability for humanity.
It takes great introspection and courage to change. When we are reluctant to change it is usually because we are holding on to fear. Perhaps we fear losing what we hold near and dear, or have become comfortable with the status quo and fear that we do not know what our future will hold for us if things change. Not wanting to make a poor decision, we cling tightly to that which we know best—even if it is not good for us or society. Our resistance to change can paralyze us if we let it. If we want a better world and a better way, if we want to make the transition to peace and stability, we must face our fears. We must admit that things are not working, and that our current approach is incomplete, inadequate, and ill-equipped to deal with all the challenges we are facing in our chaotic world. Like the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, we must find the courage, the intelligence, and the heart to change our ways.
We merely need to look inside ourselves, as Dorothy did, to realize that we have had the answers all along. For example, we know deep down that connection, sustainability, and freedom are more useful to humanity than isolation, wastefulness, and bondage. We can choose to discard unhealthy values and systems and embrace—or reclaim—values that support a healthy and sustainable world and that promote peace and stability for humanity.
A holistic paradigm
Hungarian philosopher of science and systems theorist Ervin László suggests that society is at a critical turning point in human evolution. He believes we need a social shift toward a “planetary ethics” and responsibility, so that we can move into an era of better environmental stewardship, sustainability, and peace. Laszlo describes a form of ethics whereby we should feel responsibility to all, to the whole circle in which we are involved. He says, “Human consciousness can evolve. At the innovative margins of society it is already evolving. A holistic view is taking shape, one that sees the human being as an organic whole, embedded in the socio- and culture-sphere, embedded in turn in the wholeness of the biosphere."
Now is the time to learn from our past and evolve. We can use this challenging point in history to create a new paradigm. As asserted by Alastair Taylor in the early 1960’s through a systems-theory model of human evolution, we are uniquely positioned to synthesize what we have learned from the mythos, theos, and logos eras to create a new era based on holos, or wholeness. If we step out of the game, and objectively observe the needs and interactions of all of the players, we can create new solutions for the benefit of all—we can create a holistic paradigm. A holistic paradigm will take the whole of life and creation into consideration, and it will recognize the interdependence of all thoughts, actions, and forms of life. It will function as a support for the whole body of life in all its diversity and beauty.
A great renaissance grounded in connection and the need for one another is at hand. It is time to embrace each other and all creation, and to work together in the spirit of cooperation and community to shift into a holistic paradigm that will benefit us all. It is time for us to evolve.
A new paradigm for a new worldThis book is intended to promote a shift in human consciousness to a holistic paradigm rooted in Global Values. Global Values serve as a common thread uniting people of all different religions, cultures, and political viewpoints. Rather than asserting truth, they offer a new perspective and platform upon which to base our thoughts and actions. They can inform a holistic paradigm, and they can be embraced by all peoples in order to work for positive societal transformations. Global Values represent a new approach for a new era.
Our current paradigm encourages categorization, separation, and isolation, and it is no wonder that the world is in chaos. These values divide people, and they can cause us to turn against each other. The changes taking place in the world in the name of these values are destroying us and our environment. We are living through the dismantling of our old ways, but there is great power in times of change. Chaos is itself a catalyst for change, and it always contains great potential. We can try to turn away or hide from the chaos, or we can awaken our senses and our spirit and face it. When we face chaos with a new aliveness we can see expanded views of the universe, and this makes room for new possibilities—we see that we can evolve out of chaos.
The evolution of humanity can be thought of like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Once the caterpillar’s body is isolated in its cocoon, enzymes are released to dissolve it. The result is a gelatinous goo, a pool of pure potentiality. Imaginal discs are clumps of cells that are not broken down by the enzymes, and they use the caterpillar goo to grow. The imaginal discs grow into wings, legs, antennae, and every other part of a butterfly, and finally, all these parts connect with each other to create the butterfly that will break out of its protective chrysalis and fly off to a new life. Humanity is in the goo stage of metamorphosis. Our familiar structures are falling away, and everything is in chaos. Peace, stability, and order seem to be things of the past. The body of life is being consumed, wars are raging, economies are cannibalizing each other, everything is breaking down, and yet, we are surrounded by pure potentiality. New technologies have brought us a new awareness of each other and our plights as a species, and new technologies can be used to solve our problems—if we join together and act as one for the benefit of all creation.
If we think of ourselves as imaginal discs in mid-metamorphosis, we can think of Global Values as the bit of DNA that will enable us to bind together in new ways, so that we may evolve and emerge from the chaos as a more beautiful incarnation of humanity. By joining forces, we can build a critical mass of support for our new evolution to a state of balance and unity. If you are seeking to work together for a sustainable, unified world that reflects the oneness and interconnectedness of all things, please join me and all who share Global Values. Together, we can shift to a new, holistic paradigm that supports a healthy and sustainable world.
© 2014 by Karin Miller. All rights reserved.
Global Values reach across cultural, religious and political boundaries, uniting us as one.
Praise for Global Values
“Karin Miller has taken the wisdom of the ages and applied it to a new conceptualization for human civilization in the 21st Century. Only a radically different framework for how humanity organizes itself is a survivable option moving forward, and 'Global Values' paves the way.”
— MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
“In her book, Global Values: A New Paradigm for a New World, Karin Miller lays out the values that can guide us in our historic voyage from a world where money values rule over the life cycle to one where life values will rule over the money cycle. Now if only the "leaders" of the world would read this book and take it to heart!”
— DR. KEVIN DANAHER, Co-Founder of Global Exchange and the Green Festivals
Unity • Community • Life • Freedom • Connection • Sustainability • Creativity • Empowerment • Choice • Integrity
OUR NEW EVOLUTION™—ONE— is committed to uniting people who share common values that support a healthy and sustainable world. We are from diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions and political systems. We have many different languages, beliefs and traditions, but we are all human beings sharing one planet.
WE ARE ONE. By joining forces with each other we can create the possibility of a world that works for all. When we think, act and create as one we take the next step in our evolution as a species—we manifest Our New Evolution.