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We are living in a critical time of crisis and of opportunity. The decisions that are made collectively by ordinary people over the next few years will, I believe, be pivotal in determining whether we humans rise above and move beyond the challenges that face us, or instead fall down and lose much of the progress that our predecessors made over the past few centuries.
Perhaps the biggest risk we face is not that we will make the wrong decisions, but that we will make no meaningful decisions at all – that we will fail by default. I am certain that we cannot solve our current problems by doing more of what we’ve been doing for the past few decades. I am certain that the narrow-mindedness and dogmatism that has resulted from the materialism and reductionism that we so revere needs to be replaced by a mindset that is once again open to the non-physical and the apparently unexplainable. It’s time for a consciousness shift, and it needs to arrive on an unprecedented scale and with unprecedented speed.
In Rupert Sheldrake’s book ‘The Science Delusion’ the author discusses the idea of ‘Monday to Friday materialists’ who play the role of atheist and materialist during the week, but at home and amongst their close friends they admit that they feel very differently about the world. How many of us are like this – afraid to speak up, willing to compromise our beliefs and values for fear of harming our careers? What would happen if we stopped allowing ourselves to get away with it?
So for me this blog is part of an exercise in intellectual honesty, and perhaps courage. In my daily life I am going to stop marginalising my beliefs and opinions, relegating them to evenings and weekends only, and here I am going to write about what I really think, feel and believe. I am going to include ideas that are unformed, un-thought-through. I am going to see what happens.
And while social media, sound bytes and text-speak reduce the quality and complexity of the language used around us on a daily basis, I will try hard to use the English language to express complex ideas with as much clarity and as little ambiguity as possible. This will probably require nested sentences and complex arguments – but our world is a complicated place, and one thing I know for an absolute fact is that we would all be better off if we stopped pretending that it isn’t.