Chapter 1 – Transition
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The land of happiness
At the moment we live in a society where it might seem that “everything is getting worse”. We are flooded daily by alarming reports about such things as, dramatic job losses, increasing sick leave, corporate greed, widespread despair and violence. Schools are not given the resources they need. It is claimed students can no longer read or write well. We have no time to laugh. People want to retire early, dream of taking a year off or retiring to some exotic spot. Much of the global economy is perceived to be built on “air”.
The four most profitable ”industries” in the world today are internet poker (with much criminality involved), drugs, sex and the weapons industry.
Material prosperity was supposed to give us freedom, security and happiness. Instead, we have become trapped in economic growth. We have sold out our time so that we are not able to manage anything properly. We have to produce more and more to keep the whole process going, and we must consume ever increasing amounts. If we stop consuming, everything will come to a halt, and the whole system will collapse. After 9-11, the American people were urged to show solidarity and set out for their local shopping centers to “shop” their way out of an economic downturn. At some point, people are going to wake up and wonder if the most important thing is to “shop” our way out of every crisis, and thereby ”save the world”. There must be a higher meaning in life than to cure societal ills with a trip to the mall. One day someone will utter the timely words – like the child in “the Emperor’s new clothes” – and the smoke screen will disappear. What on earth are we doing?
We humans have apparently put ourselves in the precarious situation of consuming the world’s resources about 30 percent faster than they can be renewed. I am talking about the resources that with careful use, are endless. Fish that constantly reproduce, trees that renew themselves through eternity. The system is perfect, if it were not for mankind.
How many problems would there be if there were no people on earth?
Ponder that for a while!
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A new awareness is now emerging and we have a fantastic opportunity to take a giant leap towards a society where growth primarily means human growth. Where technology develops in response to the needs of humanity and not primarily to keep the economy going. Where our inner growth takes on a dominant role and we are allowed to develop as humans. Where we learn to make contact with our inner strength and authenticity, understand that our inner emptiness must be filled from within and where we have a higher vision for our lives, rather than just being “human capital” in the service of economic growth.
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