THE BLOG
12/22/2013 04:50 pm ET | Updated Feb 17, 2014

Institutionalized Insanity and Humanity's Existential Crisis

"I know what you're thinking. I am proposing a sane world -- I must be crazy."
-- Swami Beyondananda

Japan just made reality illegal.

Well, maybe I exaggerate just a little. Reality is still permitted to exist in Japan -- it's just illegal to talk about it. A new -- and thankfully very unpopular -- State Secrets Act makes whistleblowing (and reporting leaks from whistleblowers) illegal, and punishable by 10 years in prison!

While this law was ostensibly passed to prevent "state secrets" being passed to "enemies," it is far more likely that the current batch of state secrets are to cover up the mega-disaster at Fukushima, and the enemies are none other than the Japanese people, and people everywhere. So while TEPCO can continue leaking radioactive poison into the ocean, reporters cannot leak stories about it.

Welcome to the world of institutionalized insanity, where Official Media selling Official Stories insist that we the people ignore our eyes, ears, and senses -- not to mention worldwide reports of raised levels of radiation in Alaska and California, and mysterious die-offs of starfish in the Pacific.

Fortunately, we have organizations like Project Censored to publish a more balanced account, and a respectable ecologist David Suzuki to offer a grim warning.

Indeed, many of those who allow themselves to pay attention see the Fukushima meltdown as what may be the beginning of the end of human life on earth, and even more likely the collapse of civilization as we know it.

While there are actually people who get some strange "juice" from tales of doom and gloom, I am not one of those. And ... I am also not willing to put my head in the sand and pretend that the insane is somehow sane. Here is my sober assessment of the situation: Humanity has just received some alarming lab results that indicate we are suffering from a life-threatening condition that will prove fatal unless we take immediate, collective action.

We can speculate if the world leaders are just dazed and confused, or whether there is a concerted effort to "run out the clock" and make sure that the population is appropriately controlled and drugged during the dying process. Either way, it is now up to the people of the world. Do we want to live, or do we want to quietly die?

Again, I say none of this lightly.

No one wants to face our children and grandchildren and say, "Sorry about that. Guess we left you with life-threatening challenges and an increasingly toxified world of scarcity. But no worries. You can still watch reality TV to avoid watching reality."

Yes, crisis precipitates evolutionary opportunity. And ... the window of opportunity will only stay open so long. When the window is gone, well ... so long.

Humanity's Existential Crisis

Humanity is undergoing an existential crisis in a very real way. We are in the process of choosing if we want to exist or not. As more and more of us are coming to see, to navigate the evolutionary passage in front of us, we will have to recognize ourselves as cells in one related organism. Having spent the past 5,000 years focusing on survival of the fittest (we all know that Social Darwinism pre-dated Darwin by about 4,850 years), we must now shift to thrival of the fittingest. If we fit into the web of life, we survive and thrive. If we don't fit, we don't survive. And for those of you concerned about the financial costs of making these fundamental changes, I offer this dire warning: If humanity goes extinct, there goes the GDP!

Reading about the starfish die-off, the elevated radiation levels on the west coast (where I live) and the increasing dangers of a very poorly managed "clean up" at Fukushima, I admit to having dark thoughts this past week. Someone asked the Swami if he believed in the Big Bang Theory and he said, "Well, I used to. But now I am leaning more toward the Lone Nut Theory."

How else could we explain the nuttiness we are experiencing now?

So ... what would it be like for a critical mass of the uncritical masses to "go sane" and declare the physical world our "sane asylum"?

First, we must face the dire prognosis with clarity, awareness, courage and resourcefulness. To take a cue from a wise teacher, Jean Houston, maybe our entire species is undergoing a Hero's Journey.

We must now collectively (and individually, of course) face our demons, and work together to overcome steep odds. This means playing an entirely new game, and while the outcome of the new game is still undetermined, we do know that the old game will lead to death.

In Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton and I talk about the phenomenon called "spontaneous remission." A certain percentage of patients who receive a dire prognosis and are told to "go home and get your affairs in order" miraculously recover. While their recovery might seem like some anomalous act of grace, it turns out that those who recover have something in common. According to Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Coyote Medicine, spontaneous remission is often accompanied by what he calls "a change of story".

When Bruce and I wrote this several years ago, we thought of "spontaneous evolution" as a noun in the future. I now see clearly it is a verb in the present. Our positive choice is to write and then live into a new story.

The dire prognosis is calling forth evolutionary change, where we gather under "one big intent" to use our collective intelligence intelligently and our resources resourcefully. We have the technological wherewithal to mobilize the global village. Now we need the "aware-with-all" and the will, and the willingness.

One of my colleagues and mentors, Donny Epstein, originator of Network Spinal Analysis says, "Pain is an invitation to progress." Society's institutions and misleaders -- in seeking to protect what must collapse -- are doing everything they can to numb or manage the pain. As Donny says, to transform the pain, we must first feel it, acknowledge it, and accept it. What would it be like to have the conversation about the true state of the natural world in community, in our churches and spiritual centers, in our schools, and of course in our families? What would it be like to break this conversation through the "soundless barrier" so the media has to report it?

Donny makes another very powerful distinction that applies here and now. In his 30 years in the healing professions, he has found that patients who declare, "I want to live" are far more likely to survive and thrive than those who say, "I don't want to die."

Please be with that for a few moments.

As a civilization that has lost its spiritual moorings and insists that only the material world is "real", there is a profound fear of death. Some sanity in this regard is emerging through the hospice and conscious dying movements. Still, heroic end-of-life interventions are still the costliest and most futile forms of medicine.

And ... along with change of story, one of the markers for overcoming life-threatening conditions is having a compelling future to live for. So what would it be like for Humanity to declare the future it chooses to live into? Seriously. What if there was a positive, proactive mission statement for Humanity, a vector pointing toward greater health, well-being, and sanity?

Businesses write mission statements, as do individuals who are "up to something." What if communities, nations and even our entire human community declared what they seek to bring to the world? Doesn't it make sense that every region, every state, every nation has something that it does or creates better than anyone else? What would it be like for a billion or two billion or three billion people to declare they are choosing a world where there is thrival for all?

And then, what would it be like to actually create a structure and DO something to demonstrate this?

Some 70 years ago, the United States gathered its greatest scientists and resources in a secret project, the Manhattan Project, to build the first weapons of mass-destruction, nuclear power.

What if all of Humanity today called forth our current resources in a massive campaign to create renewable, nonpolluting energy so abundant that no armies are needed to defend it? We could call it the Man-Helping Project to create a web of mass-construction, new clear power. Imagine if this were done without the control of any government or single corporation, but simply by a new entity that declared the mission and gathered the resource.

This is an idea whose time has come. And ... it will only happen through our collective awareness, intention, and practical focus. So as we begin a new year, let's recognize that the evolutionary upwising is fully underway. Let's shoot way past apathy and despair, and let's call forth the healing and transformational energy in our community and world.

Let's take the bad news coming from Japan and the Pacific Ocean as "karma fuel" to propel us toward what the Swami would call Humanifest Destiny ... manifesting our destiny as a healthy and whole species.

Proclaiming and then gathering around this "sane center" in the wake of this low point can be the turning point ... and set us on course to the tipping point.