Rooted in a Global Web of Life
Recognizing the Secret Community
by Deborah Moldow
A vast spiritual community is emerging all over the world. It has no name. It has no church or temple and no scripture. No one sees it. And yet it is among the most potent forces for evolutionary change on the planet. You are a member because you are participating in the spiritual renaissance that is underway, whether or not you are aware of it. And it is here to stay.
As we awaken to identify ourselves as planetary citizens, members of a diverse human family deeply rooted in a global web of life, this sense of oneness begins to pervade our worldview. We see our heritage, culture, nationality, and religion as gifts to be enjoyed rather than a source of our tribe’s superiority. This expanded vision has a profound impact on our inner life that is showing up as a new spirituality.
The emerging spirituality is not a new religion, since its members include devout practitioners of a wide range of the world’s beautiful religions along with humanists and atheists. It stands on the shoulders of the interfaith movement of the past century and the explosion of access to scriptures and practices that were once held in secret or confined to groups in the know. In the 1960s and 1970s, Eastern spiritual concepts came into popular Western culture through such modern interpreters as Alan Watts and Ram Dass, while renewed interest in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi grew. Popular music sang out messages of peace and the Beatles spread the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, telling us that “All We Need is Love.” The young Dalai Lama began traveling the world with his infectious smile and emphasis on simple kindness. Eastern health technologies such as acupuncture and yoga gained popular acceptance and, far and wide, people began to meditate. East meets West.
In the meantime, North was meeting South as indigenous cultures began to encounter one another in fulfillment of the legendary Eagle and Condor prophesy, which says that the uniting of the masculine and feminine energies of North and South could bring about a next level of consciousness for humanity. At the same time, respect for indigenous wisdom was growing, especially in the face of looming climate change, runaway pollution poisoning our air, water and soil, and other challenges caused by modern civilization’s disregard for our natural habitat. The recent historic stand at Standing Rock to protect water for future generations increased solidarity among indigenous peoples and those willing to stand with them to honor the Earth.
Our worldview was perhaps destined to change from the moment we saw the first picture of the Earth from the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, dubbed “Earthrise,” showing our stunning blue planet rising from the darkness of space. And the new physics is helping us to peer into the mystery with a radically new sense of consciousness pervading all reality.
From all directions, our eyes are opening to one planet, one people, one life in a universe that teems with purpose.
New Beliefs, Ancient Roots
What is remarkable about the emerging spirituality is how rapidly our beliefs have coalesced. In the not-so-distant past, people tended to believe the tenets of their own religion, or to reject them. But now seekers of the truth look beyond familiar doctrines. Great numbers of people are sharing beliefs that are not necessarily associated with any particular religious expression, although many are embedded in one or more of our cherished wisdom traditions.
The Garden of Light (www.gardenoflight.org), an online platform exploring this trend, lists some of these emergent beliefs or aspects of shared philosophy as follows:
- We are all in this together
- God (or whatever one chooses to call the creator energy underlying all manifestation) expresses through/as every person, every living being and everything in creation
- Divine light shines through everyone
- Love is both the path and the goal
- We are part of a living universe
- We co-create our reality with every thought, feeling, word, and action
- We respect every person, every living being, and the Earth herself
- Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student
- We have the power to heal ourselves and others
- Listening, forgiveness, and gratitude are the keys to positive relationships
- First, do no harm; then follow the Golden Rule
The global community embracing these ideals also has a common set of principles and lifestyle choices, including a strong commitment to nonviolence, healthy eating, just political and business practices, recycling and deep ecology, compassionate treatment of animals, and support of the human rights of people everywhere. If we are part of a conscious living network, then it is not okay to live in comfort while others are starving or under threat of violence. We are naturally drawn to seeking innovative solutions that move us away from a culture of exploitation and overconsumption to one of more equitable distribution of the Earth’s bountiful resources.
Above all, we who are part of this unrecognized community share a sense of purpose, an inner drive based on the acknowledgement that we must make radical changes in the way we live if the human race is to avoid being added to the Sixth Great Extinction.
All this is a product of rapid evolutionary change, which Peter Russell called an “evolutionary leap” in his 1983 book, The Global Brain Awakens. In such a precarious moment, a leap in consciousness to the next level of our evolution as a species would be highly desirable – and perhaps even essential to our survival. In fact, it may be that the level of chaos we are experiencing in our world is creating the necessary conditions for a degree of transformational change that allows something truly new to emerge. Visionaries like futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard tell us that we can now do something unprecedented: we can choose to consciously shape our evolution. Who is at choice? Only those who are awake.
Those heeding the call of a spiritual impulse to birth a global civilization fueled by good will in a spirit of unity among all peoples in harmony with the Earth are part of a great wave of change from the inside out. As we stretch the previous limits of the human mind and the human heart, we intentionally co-create what may be an entirely new species of humankind, which Barbara Marx Hubbard calls the Universal Human.
Merriam-Webster defines “community” as “a unified body of individuals.” The irony, of course, is that we are and always have been a unified body of individuals sharing a planetary home. But what’s new is that we are beginning to live from that truth. Those who find themselves on the evolutionary edge of the emerging spirituality recognize one another and are drawn together to share classes, recipes, health support and inspiring messages, and to join in projects to change the world at whatever scale is in our reach. Many meditate or practice yoga in solitude, but there is also a yearning to come together to experience the community that we are.
It can be challenging to feel a sense of global community when our traditions, customs, and holidays tend to be associated with our separate tribal identities. That’s why this community of expanded identity gathers in drum circles and celebrations at universal times, such as the equinox and solstice or the United Nations International Day of Peace. There has been a proliferation of online events offering opportunities to gather in ceremony, prayer, or meditation.
And yet this community remains unrecognized as the powerful force for change that it is. The good news is that many young people are spontaneously moving into the emerging spirituality. They are impatient with organized religion and the old forms they see around them, particularly in education and business. They are kinder and gentler than some of us were in our youth, and they are accepting of all people in a way that reaches beyond tolerance to genuine respect and appreciation. This is a key to the community: a deep recognition that everyone has his or her unique gifts to offer. It is no longer about finding talented leaders, but seeing everyone’s value as a precious expression of the Divine with an important role to play.
You Are the Future
In this winter season, as the northern hemisphere approaches the Winter Solstice time of darkness and we see so much turmoil around us, it is helpful to take a peek into the secret community that is quietly expanding throughout the world and to understand that the light is growing. If you have awakened to a purpose that seems larger than anything you could accomplish by yourself, take heart! It means that your gifts will be engaged with those of all the other members of this global community in sacred synergy. While it’s true that the light you shine make kick up some darkness in its wake, our combined light is an unstoppable force.
As we deepen our spiritual connection to one another and to the web of life on this planet, then we will each have our own unique role to play in attaining a level of human consciousness that has never been before – or was perhaps only embodied by great masters. The Earth will be restored to the garden of abundance she was designed to be and we will build together a worldwide culture of peace.
May Peace Prevail on Earth.