While I hold a vision of a wholesome future, we are currently confronted with a crisis of global proportions. Scientists have determined that Earth’s biosphere is in the throes of experiencing its sixth mass extinction. Five previous mass extinctions, each of which almost wiped out life on the planet, are attributed to extraterrestrial forces such as comets or asteroids hitting the earth. The current extinction is driven by forces much closer to home, for it is recognized that human civilization is the primary cause behind the current crisis.
For over four hundred years, Western civilization has chosen Science as its source of truths and wisdom about the mysteries of life. Allegorically, we may picture the wisdom of the universe as resembling a large mountain. We scale the mountain as we acquire knowledge. Our drive to reach the top of that mountain is fueled by the notion that with knowledge, we may become “masters” of our universe. Conjure the image of the all-knowing guru seated atop the mountain.
The path that Science is currently navigating has inadvertently brought us to our current moment of global crisis.
The first half of Modern Science was preoccupied with reducing our world to separate bits and pieces. These efforts have provided information that has enabled humans to look out into the deepest regions of the universe and peer into the inner workings of a single atom. While the technology derived from reductionist science is miraculous in its nature, our use of it is destroying our civilization.
New science recognizes that life is more than the study of its individual parts. The revised curriculum balances our historic reductionist perspective with the evolving concepts of holism. By focusing on the power of interactive, autopoetic communities, whether they are comprised of energy waves, chemicals, cells or humans, we will be able to realize the peace inherent in our oneness.
As human beings engaged in the great work of re-creating our selves, our species and our planet, our mission is to seek creative responses to the challenges before us. Traditionally, reductionist science has sought resolutions by delving deeper into the material fabric of nature. In contrast, new science directs our attention to the heretofore-invisible matrix of entangled immaterial forces that shape and energize our world. Our holistic pursuit compels us to pull back from studying the trees, and own the scope and magnitude of the forest. From that perspective, we are obliged to recognize the power Noetic Consciousness plays in shaping our lives, our world and our challenges. This new life-sustaining awareness echoes the words of physicist R. C. Henry in his recent essay in Nature, “The Universe is immaterial–mental and spiritual. Live and enjoy.” (Henry, 2005)