Posted by: Stephen Paul | December 5, 2007

We’ve come to the edge of the known world

I think we’ve arrived at the very edge of the known world: I know I have. The familiar world I grew up believing to be solid, real, and permanent is very rapidly disolving before my eyes. What we see around us now are the disconcerting signs of political, economic, social, and environmental systems in decline. Any new vision for the world is just a seed we’re planting now, and it’s a long time until spring. We are entering a period of massive transition.

Transitions are very exciting, but they can also feel awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes scary, even when they are badly needed. This transition is so far-reaching and inclusive that, before it’s over, it will affect–often entirely unravel–every single aspect of our lives. That has to happen to make room for whatever’s coming next.

We’re just accepting that this historic transition is actually under way. We’re just absorbing how bad things have really gotten. The very systems and technologies we’ve trusted to solve our problems in the past are turning out to be part of the problem this time around. Solutions will have to come from new sources, drawing on new resources. In science, we call this a paradigm shift. A paradigm shift occurs when existing ways of thinking and operating no longer explain or solve the current conditions. An entirely new way of thinking and responding results. The current shift will produce new leaders, new strategies, new technologies, and new ways of living. 

There are some rough bluprints of possible physical changes we will experience (see my blog on Lester Brown’s economy for the new world). However, my own glimpses of the future suggest changes far beyond our economies, our governments, our relationships with each other…and even our relationship with the planet. I believe we are on the brink of joining the universal community. That will change everything! 

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