Friday, December 21, 2012

Did the world reboot?

Well, the world didn’t end. At least, I don’t think so. Perhaps it did. Perhaps it crashed, and was rebooted. Would we be able to tell? I hope people aren’t too disappointed. I’m sure many people enjoyed the pre end-of-the-world party. Now they can enjoy the world-didn’t-end party; or perhaps the new-world-party. I’m sure that there are those who will continue to believe that something significant happened, secretly. And it would be kind of nice to think so. It would be nice to think there had been a shift of consciousness of some kind, and that the planet might enter a new phase of peace and harmony. I’m sure we would all wish for such a thing – well, maybe not everyone.

I guess the problem with that is this: once again it requires something to happen. Now the verb “to happen” has its roots in the concept of chance. We still find this in words such “perhaps”, which basically means “by chance”, and “happenstance”, which means “a chance occurrence”. Even the word “happiness” is related to this, and at its roots means “to be visited by good luck or good fortune”. So all of these ideas depend on something intervening from the outside to bring about some kind of change. They depend on something happening to us or to the world, rather than depending on us. If the world is to change we cannot depend on external forces to bring this about, be those forces described as God, Fate, cosmic powers, aliens or anything else. If the world is to change it will arise from within us; it will be because of things we do, rather than because of things that happen to us. Unfortunately we often seem to lack the will for such change.

This end of the world phenomenon is not the only stimulus for change. At the end of each year, many of us commit ourselves to change in the form of New Year’s resolutions. How many of us realise those goals? If we can’t stick to a simple resolution, such as to eat less chocolate, or to exceed the speed limit less often, how can we possibly hope to attain the larger goals? Most of us are weak, and the slaves of our own habits. Behaviours and belief patterns are not easy to change. For that reason I am not optimistic about the possibility of some kind of shift in consciousness that will bring peace to the planet. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hope for such a thing and, more importantly, to strive towards such a goal. This hoping and this striving are already a foreshadowing of what we are hoping and striving for.

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