The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up

“Let us not talk falsely now,  the hour’s getting late.” ~Bob Dylan


Looking out at the ecological crisis we humans have created, the analogy of mass murder or collective suicide could be applied. For centuries we’ve been steadily and methodically killing off other life forms in the Natural world. Now our greed and selfishness seems to be destroying us as well.

Is there a way out? Hopefully, yes, but it will require more creativity, collaboration, love, and wisdom then modern “technologically advanced” humans have exhibited (as a whole) in a very long time. It requires large numbers of us “waking up” and caring deeply, becoming less “techno-logical” and much more “eco-logical” in our behavior and thinking.

Do most people realize what we’ve been doing and the “inevitable” outcome of our actions- if we do not change? I think large numbers of us do, though its like someone struggling with a drinking problem, sugar craving, drug or food addiction.

You may realize that what you crave is hurting others (and slowly killing you) but you cannot stop. As the Buddha pointed out, “craving” is at the “root” of most of our problems. Craving paired with dualistic thinking, the idea that each of us exists somehow separate from other people and the rest of the Universe.

Buddha was wise to illuminate the dangers of ego-centric thinking and how it leads to desires for sense pleasure, as well as fearful thoughts, anger and hatred. He taught how dualistic thinking and craving is what creates all the suffering in our lives, spins the wheel of samsara.

As humans have grown more powerful technologically, the levels of destructiveness and suffering have been magnified. Forests all over the earth have been destroyed, “precious” metals and other resources being dug up, polluting water supplies. Radioactivity leaking into the air and oceans, crime and violence overcoming ghettos and slums, then spilling out into larger populations.

We’ve reached a point of crisis, where a greater collective awakening is required. We’ve been like a cancer that’s grown out of control, or a virus that spreads without consideration for its host. There really is no other choice, either a majority of us wake up and change, soon- or the Web of Life implodes upon itself and we all go the way of the dinosaurs…

What’s needed right now isn’t a blissful “rapture” type of awakening, where we all fly off into the heavens. Neither is it about running off into the mountains to meditate and do yoga all day. We need spiritual paths to help us stay optimistic, mindful and compassionate, but our destination is not somewhere far off in the distance.

We need to wake up here, on this planet, right where we are. To wake up in our apartments and cities, wake up on our farms, in our schools, governments and work places.

Wake up to the beauty and miracle of this Universe we live in, wake up to the value and sacredness of all life. Change our priorities, live more mindfully, with greater wisdom and love.

We have to think of people and other living beings as being sacred and “precious” – rather than valuing only money, possessions and certain metals. We have to care about the forests, oceans and animals. Care about our bodies, our families, neighbors, children and ourselves.

We need to become wiser when we try to fix things that don’t work in our world. Take the time to patiently investigate relationships and interconnections when difficulties arise, to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of problems. We have to think less mechanistically and more ecologically.

We need to open our hearts, and seek guidance there. Recognize love, joy, compassion and gratitude as natural sources of wisdom. Let go of this idea that “knowing” is something that happens only in our heads.

Realize also- as Buddha, Jesus and others have taught- that happiness is not something we need to continuously “persue” – but that it arises naturally when we truly love and support one another.

Our Planet is a Garden of Life, a Global Eden that can be saved and restored to a state of balance. But time is running out.

For decades now we’ve been at a turning point, a fork in the road. The problems we see in the world around us exist because we’re still moving in the wrong direction, we haven’t changed course yet.

The decisions we make over the next decade will decide how Life unfolds on this planet for hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of years into the future.

How shall we be remembered by our children’s children’s children- as People of the Great Change, or the Great Catastrophe?

There’s still time to turn around but our window of opportunity is narrowing. And what happens next is up to ALL of us.

~Christopher Chase
Creative Systems Thinking

Related Essays

Systems Thinking – Seeing How Everything is Connected  *  How We Participate in the Creative Life of the Universe  * Rediscovering Nature’s Paradigm * Love vs. Power: A Tale of Two Mindsets * Perpetual Curse of the Warrior Mindset * The Universe is One Harmonious Whole  Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education * Real Learning is a Creative Process  * It’s a Pink Floyd World *

Related video: Visualizing a Plenitude Economy

 #EarthDay  #LoveEarth

About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
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15 Responses to The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up

  1. doomdaddy says:

    They say (whoever they are. I’m thinking in this case the UN, if memory serves correctly. Could be other sources as well.) that the oceans could be dead, at a worst case scenario, in under 10 years. The “best case” scenario has it in about 30 years. This seems like something that is an immediate threat, yet, here we are. The end will be disbelieved and ignored quite possibly until near the end of the great human die off.

  2. Bob OHearn says:

    All so true, Chris! As you say, it must start with each one of us, right where we are, in our own “corner of the garden”. It has become common to believe that, by ourselves, we are powerless and insignificant, but that is not true. Each one of us has a tremendous effect on the evolution of the entire universe. All we need do is remember who we truly are, or Awaken, as you say.

    Thanks for your efforts, Brother!

  3. dragonkatet says:

    Reblogged this on ~ Dragon's Dreams ~ and commented:
    This is a fantastic post! And EXACTLY what needs to happen. The power of 1 + 1 into infinity. Those of us who know can’t quit trying to wake up others. The world is too precious for us to fail. Thanks to everyone who is trying.🙂

  4. dragonkatet says:

    This is a fantastic post! And EXACTLY what needs to happen. The power of 1 + 1 into infinity. Those of us who know can’t quit trying to wake up others. The world is too precious for us to fail. Thanks to everyone who is trying.🙂 I re-blogged this on my own blog, with a link to yours. I hope that’s okay.

    • Hey, great – thank you. We need to get the message out as widely as possible. Not much time left for us to truly transform the situation. And it really is up to ALL of us… No one “leader” can “save” the planet. We all must lead together…

  5. talesfromtheconspiratum says:

    Thank you Christopher. Perfect. Re-blogged.

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  7. Information and interviews about a related book, Spiritual Ecology…

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  9. but how can you change a man’s way of thinking, when they believe that it is not their problem, because their god will save them before the mass extinctions they have caused? when they believe plants and animals are resources to be harvested until there are none left, and be absolutely indifferent to the fact they watched them disappear? how can we reach out to those who are so blinded by their religions, that they fear the destruction of their faith by a mythological being infinitely more than the very real damage they do to the earth?

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  12. Tj says:

    I’ve been witness to the atrocities we have subjected our planet to for 65 years now and have come to the conclusion that it’s too late, WAY to late with too little. Instead of being symbiotic with earth, we have become a cancer. We are a violent, destructive life form (the only one on the planet) that has developed religions and ideologies that support this way of thinking. Yes – there are a very small number of us that endeavor to not be led down that path, but unfortunately there are too few of us and the deck is stacked against us.

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