The Age of Science and Progress
As we began to explore the nature of the world, a science developed, resulting in an ever increasing quest for knowledge and understanding of our universe and its properties. Our questions regarding God and the purpose of life had not been answered, so as a means of distraction from our insecurity, we sent out investigators to report back on the evidence they found.
In fact, we created a request for science to study the world around us so that we could identify our spiritual nature. However, scientific findings worked to disprove the long-held beliefs; for example, the Earth was neither flat nor the center of the universe. Then the church and its ideas concerning the large spiritual picture came into question. Again, we felt lost and uncertain, which stemmed a deep existential anxiety. We began to turn to practical observation rather than relying on our inborn knowledge and its reasoning. This facilitated the dawning of the Modern Age.
We eased the human insecurity by preoccupying ourselves with yet another goal: physical progress. We decided to settle on this Earth of ours, improving our conditions in the physical world- at least until we uncovered our true spiritual situation.
During the Industrial Revolution, we saw major technological gains, reaffirming the mindset of “progress.” And we almost lost our need for spiritual knowledge completely. Preoccupying ourselves with materialistic concerns, we accepted the illusion that we lived in a rational and predictable universe, where chance occurrences had no meaning. As mankind progressed, mechanization and technology led to higher and higher levels of consumerism, thereby leading us away from our age-old quest for the spiritual meaning of life.
In the last decades of our century –led by science itself– this former worldview, empty of spiritual mystery, began to dissolve. And now we find ourselves at this very moment, where we are open to a new way of learning and perhaps developing the 12 Insights. The time spent exploring and cultivating our world was not time wasted, as it facilitated the evolution of our thought processes and brain capacity through experimentation and invention. While this technological preoccupation was an important step, our awakening to life’s “coincidences” opens us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.
Before we can understand where we are, and what is going to occur next, we must understand what has really been happening during this current thousand year period. Working to establish a more comfortable style of survival has grown to feel complete in and of itself as a reason to live, and we’ve gradually, methodically, forgotten our original issue…We’ve forgotten that we still don’t know what we’re surviving for. It’s time now to wake up from the distraction and reconsider our original question. What’s behind life on this planet? Why are we really here? We grasp the Second Insight when we understand the historical momentum leading us to a new, more mysterious, spiritual life design.
The Second Insight teaches us that we should live our beliefs rather than talk about them. These beliefs are communicated by actions that we take in our own lives that project a model to others. We can begin by taking the time to pay attention to the present moment and the people in it. By taking deep breaths and having an intention to focus on the way our body feels, the sounds in our environment, and engaging in “The Longer Now,” we can appreciate the fullness of each moment. This daily practice can affect our existence whereby coincidences start to provide subtle signals of guidance for us.
Now observe culture not just from the perspective of our own lifetimes but the perspective of a whole millennium. It reveals our true problem to us so we can be lifted above it. You have just experienced this longer history so you can live in a longer now. Together, with this insight, we can shape another historical era of inspirational life for generations to come.