Here’s an excerpt from an article I just wrote for a journal in India and it expresses what I’ve been thinking about…
“…It is not the nation state, nor the tribes and races of humanity, nor the religions and traditions of our world’s diverse cultures that must circumscribe the boundary of our identity in these times. An emerging planetary culture demands a new paradigm- a way of grasping the whole that both includes and transcends the differences. What is needed is an identification large enough to hold the magnitude and enormity of the world now emerging. In my parent’s generation we were taught that the world we inhabited was the size of a single galaxy. It was thought we might one day discover another galaxy- perhaps several. A few decades later we aimed our Hubble telescope on a part of the night sky that was dark and empty space and gazed with wonderment at thousands of galaxies dancing in one tiny aperture. “Who tells me Thou Art dark, oh my mother Divine? Thousands of Suns and Moons from Thy body do shine!” (Lyrics to a Bengali Chant) And as we peered into the microcosm our gaze penetrated further still, from atom to electron to quark until we plunged into a quantum foam of virtual particles popping into and out of existence. The world we live in has expanded by exponential proportions. So too must our worldview.
The paradigm fitting of the 21st century will begin with the necessity of a ‘post-modern meta-perspective’ but it will not be flattened by materialism. It will embrace diversity and complexity without abandoning meaning. In a more sophisticated comprehension of the relationship between systems of knowledge and truth itself, there will be a higher order integration of reason’s breadth with intuitions depth. The capacity to hold a meta- perspective that embraces multifarious viewpoints without losing the polestar of truth and meaning is, in my view, the most imperative demand of our times.”
Even more important than a new and better cultural narrative is our ability to hold a meta perspective to the story- and in a way that doesn’t flatten.