We have lost our wonder and enchantment about life and we need to get that back.
(photo from Ed Uthman)
We all begin life in a pure state of wonder; our minds reflecting the magic that created us. Yet this sense of wonder of the surrounding world begins to receed into the backdrop as we grow older. By the time we reach school age, this awe of simply being alive is almost completely gone…. replaced by a strange new opposite state, the mundane. We develop an overpowering sense of “I” which engages in a constant search for stimulation and novelty. The Human Being has become a Human Doing.
Society conditions us that there is something to achieve in this life. The wonder of simply being becomes a backdrop to the drama of life and is replaced center-stage by the ongoing story of craving for change. We desire new relationships, new jobs, new homes, new cars, new entertainment, new everything. Where once there was wonder, young children now only experience boredom. These diametrically opposing forces of change (doing) and acceptance (being) create a major unresolved tension within our lives. Without discovering for ourselves the sacredness of being, all our doing will be meaningless and even harmful.
Every human being carries a sacred question throughout their life, one that ponders the fundamental state of their existence. Science and religions are different stories that attempt to resolve this deepest of questions. Yet, this state of being is not the exclusive property of any religion or philosophy, while it is pointed to by every one of them. It is the birthright of every single human being.
The time has come to evolve a universal, humanistic expression of this most important question so that we no longer suppress it and openly acknowledge it as the greatest question of our life. By repressing this question in our children, we continue the legacy of denial and unwittingly create the conditions for future suffering.
There is thus, a vital link between our personal transformation and social transformation; the microcosm must transform first in order to effect a sustainable change in the macrocosm. Without transformation on a personal level, we cannot sustain any large scale social transformation. Without educating the populus with wisdom and compassion rooted in the sacredness of life, citizens will act out of self-interest and become mired in the same divisive issues that lead to the poverty trap. Without recognizing that sacredness within ourselves first, we cannot hope to break the cycle of habitual destructive patterns of behavior and we cannot fully unleash the creativity and compassion necessary for a new social model of working together.
The vehicle for Transformation
There must be an awakening, a reminder of the state of wonder that each and every human being has started out with but have somehow forgotten on our journey into adulthood.
The wonder is still there, in all of us. It has just been forgotten or suppressed because our parents could not answer all our many questions. It is that wonder which, when rekindled, can spark open a floodgate of creativity, energy and compassion.
This then, is the object of personal transformation, to awaken the sense of the sacred so that the infinite potential of each human being can be released…so that each human being can live to their full capacity. Once life is re-established in its original sacred field, then creativity and energy will naturally arise and the desire to learn will manifest naturally.
This released potential energy can be harnessed to solve the many problems facing Africa.
Problems = Opportunities.When we reawaken the sacred, the world no longer looks the same. It is sacred, we are sacred and all beings are sacred. Problems are seen as nothing more than the shadow side of opportunities and we begin to apply this transformation to release the sacred opportunites all around us.
This awakened entrepreneurial spirit will transform Africa. Instead of being disabled by problems, they are, instead embraced as as the starting point for the journey towards authentic personal and social fulfillment. Finding solution to the many challenges facing Africa IS the path that will lead Africa’s people towards prosperity and happiness.
To support this paradigm shift will require the pursuit of a holistic development strategy operating over a broad range of sectors ranging from personal self-growth and education to reformed economics and the application of sustainable technology and a sustainable lifestyle.