Modernity likes to decry those following an outdated paradigm as ‘flat earthers’. Ancient cultures believed that the earth was flat, and this is said to have been superseded by a spherical model around 6th century BC by the ancient Greek philosophers, and more recently in other parts of the ‘globe’. The old model had lost utility and become an impediment to progress.
I would suggest that the modern scientific, technological and managerial culture now operates to a similarly outdated and now-dysfunctional paradigm. And many people will protest loudly if this is pointed out.
What do I have in mind? Well it could be any of a number of things, but I believe that at the heart of many of these is the fundamental ‘modern flat-earthism’ of ‘materialism’. Why so?
Materialism and its bedfellow reductionism basically sees a dead world of ‘outer’ appearance without being able or willing to come to grips with the ‘inner’ of life and consciousness. These are seen as ‘hard problems’ that of course science will eventually come to understand… some day. In the meantime, the natural world is exploited to the maximum by an ever-expanding humanity by the related gods of capitalism, self- or state- glorification and minimal regulation. The result: the climate breakdown, species extinctions and massive pollution that we see today, and a paradoxical strong attachment to ‘more of the same’.
What if we had a paradigm that accepted that reality consists of not just the outer material world, but the parallel inner world of life/consciousness. And that inner world is fully interconnected. We are an integral part of the whole and through our inner empathy/love we know and feel responsible for it all. Our hearts are breaking at what we are doing to the natural world – as seen in the public response to David Attenborough’s programmes.
The job for the New Renaissance is to achieve just such a change of paradigm and move beyond the modern flat earth theory of materialism. One day a critical mass of people will share this insight, and all will change.
Featured image shows the revived flat earth map produced in 1893 by Orlando Ferguson in South Dakota. From Wikimedia Commons.