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The Worst Case Scenario for Humanity

March 4th, 2010

If someone suggested that humanity needs natural disasters to ‘set us back decades’ you would think they were cruel and probably crazy or – at the very least – insensitive in the wake of the recent earthquake disasters. And yet the argument set forth below by author Bill Mistele offers an unexpected justification for this idea. Bill suggests here that the worst case scenario for humanity is that our march towards progress goes unchecked. And since we will never check ourselves, because of the imbalance he describes, Nature will have to do it for us. An objection to this argument could be that, in recent history, natural disasters have affected the most deprived populations, leaving the bastions of technological advance untouched. But that could change, and if Bill is right, there seems to be only one way to avoid this: change humanity before we are changed more forcefully. Lennon (and every mystic) was right: ‘Love is the answer – you know that for sure.’

Members of OBOD will know of Bill’s writing from the inspiring  quotations we have used in the OBOD course. Finally his work is being published. His Undines – Lessons from the Realm of Water Spirits will be out in July, published by North Atlantic Books. Here is an excerpt:

Let us do an astral equilibrium study of the human race as a whole in terms of the four elements.  Our current situation is rather terrible.

Think of an individual with great will power (fire), ever expanding knowledge (air), and tremendous capacity for hard work (earth).  But there is almost no capacity for feeling (water).  That is the human race from the point of view of the elemental realms as I understand them.

We have a race that has just created antimatter in its laboratories. Antimatter only exists in the explosions of supernovae and at the beginning of the universe. This is a cosmic level of creation in the external world.  It is a big change. Two hundred years ago we were riding horses and using them to plow our fields.

Yet there has been no increase in our wisdom or religious understanding in the last two hundred years that equals our advances in the element of fire and the application of electronics, or in our other masteries over nature.

The balance required is in the area of water, not as an external power, but as a soul capacity to feel what others’ feel anywhere on earth.  Water as the undines know it offers an inner sense of shared life, not just the twitter and blog sense of knowing intellectually what is going on with others which is not water but the air element.

So, if we had this water element weakness in an individual, with the other three elements very strong, we could foresee certain problems occurring.  This individual (and so humanity as a whole) would end up causing great harm to others.  He would do this simply because he does not understand when his rapid advances in knowledge and experimentation harms others or himself for that matter.

He would ignore all sorts of warnings about bad things coming his way: he would take excessive risks that threaten his well being and safety because the quest, pursuit, and exercise of his will are far more important to him than the mere feeling that it is important to live in peace and harmony.

And he would not be able to do what people with strong water can do—they can feel if something is right or not without having to think or analyze.  The undines, by contrast, have an inner stillness that can sense or see the future.

Our water deficient individual would not have the ability to dare, not in the sense of taking risks which he is very good at, but in the sense of daring to change his own nature–to dream and imagine how to be complete and whole in himself.

For conscience to operate effectively it needs all four elements equally strong and positive.  Water offers a sense of the rhythms of life.  It tells you when to step back from your many activities in order to renew yourself.  It tells you when to let go and flow because it senses within your own soul the natural, non-artificial way in which your dreams will be fulfilled.

Water offers a sense of connection to others.  You can feel what they feel and with ease unite with them from within.  Water annihilates loneliness and isolation and it dissolves anxiety and insecurity.  It destroys sadness and sorrow.

Those with strong water can hear what others say, both in the words and in the heart.  If you know someone with very strong water, you probably have a friend who at a glance can see if the deepest dreams in your heart are unfolding with harmony and beauty.  A close friend or lover or caregiver with strong water unites with you from within and so for your entire life offers you an inner sense of renewal and completion.  Their very presence in your life offers inspiration.

Take away the water required for balance and you get our world in which the human race can easily end up pursuing different goals that are mutually contradictory and at war with each other.

The worst case scenario for humanity is that we have no disasters in nature that set us back decades.  The result is that we so change our own DNA and connection to electronics and nanotechnology that we cease to be the same species. We become multiple new species that cease to be human beings.  We become technological marvels in which the soul or heart is vastly diminished.

I have seen at close hand how twisted good intentioned, well-meaning, and highly ethical people can become just by immersing themselves in the industrial revolution, the work ethic, and the scientific desire to know and apply new knowledge.  People do things without any conscience coming into play in regard to the consequences of their actions.  So I can easily imagine how inhuman we will become if we start further changing ourselves with technology.

I lived in Detroit. Detroit had a more effective system of apartheid than South Africa.  But it worked for many decades. Everyone was advancing in opportunity or so it seemed until they had to call in the National Guard to stop the rioting.  I was on the last airplane to land in Detroit before they closed the airport because of the riots. The city was on fire.

None of the CEO’s of the big three automakers, for example, saw the increasing disaster that was occurring in health, education, and job opportunities for the inner city workers.  And of course the unions had no insight to offer in regard to the future.  Placing themselves at odds with the corporations, they were consumed by their own cause and so did not look around to notice the disaster coming their way.  They could not feel that things were not right.

For me, growing up in Detroit was a taste of hell.  It never felt right.

From the point of view of this one realm of undines as compared to the sylphs, gnomes, and salamanders, the human race is really out of contact with the spiritual purposes of this planet.  We are so out of touch with the purposes for which this planet was created that it is very easy to see that another race will appear after our time here is over.  This would be a race more aligned with the astral, mental, and akashic resources and purposes that exist on earth.

I jokingly tell people, the 350 earthzone spirits who are guardians of the evolution of earth are bored out of their minds because human beings almost never consult with them.  And the undines view humanity as a race that has no feeling for water.

Sure, we have submarines, surfers, scuba divers, sailors, and swimmers.  Google charts the bottom of the ocean.

But I ask you seriously, in whose eyes have you ever seen the dreams of the blue green sea or in whose voice have you ever heard even a hint of the songs the sea dreams at night?

Bill Mistele, Undines – Lessons from the Realm of Water Spirits, North Atlantic Books July 2010

Does this make sense to you? Is it just wrong to even voice such ideas given the awful sadness and suffering we’ve seen recently in Haiti and Chile? I’d be interested to know what you think!

11 Responses to “The Worst Case Scenario for Humanity”

  1. I think these words are quite welcome and acceptable, somewhat ‘because’ of our current feelings towards Haiti and Chile. While some could look at it, as you implied, by focusing on the comment “Nature puts us back a few decades”, I prefer to concentrate on the “Water offers a sense of connection to others.”.
    With our current focus on mundane pursuit, it takes a tragedy on the larger scale (like the earthquakes) to get people considering others.
    On a more local example, a random mugging in your home town may be ignored in the media, but a riot of the town, is news. As he described in Detroit, people don’t notice the water until the building wave crashes on shore..

  2. Does humankind really have next to no capacity for feeling? I am not sure it is helpful to generalise in this way. With regard to those natural disasters, I see evidence of a great deal of empathy and a great sense of connection and feeling for others.

    Can we really understand the complexity of the situation we find ourselves in by trying to explain it in this way? We are all prone to looking at the world through our own subjective lens (something also associated with water) and this in itself can be confusing enough. I think the majority of people try their best with very little to go own. We come in being told nothing of why we are here (although we might come up with our own theories) – we all encounter suffering, our own and others without really knowing the purpose or meaning of such; we all endure the loss of what we love at some point in our lives; we all die, still not really knowing why. Given this, I think humanity is heroic. It’s tough enough trying to deal with our own personal blind spots, let alone the collective ones. We are harsh and cruel with ourselves – ‘humanity out of control and heading for disaster’ but why wouldn’t we be in this mess given the challenges that are ours to muddle through? Being human is not easy; making the right decisions can be incredibly hard to judge. So much of our striving for advancement have been initiated for the right reasons; at times it has not. Either way, the consequences of our actions can only be truly known in hindsight. Sometimes what seems like a selfish act can led to positive consequences. At other times the most ethically and carefully thought through of decisions can lead to disaster. Bill might say that having a closer connection to water would increase our capacity to sense what an outcome might be and therefore we would know which way to go and what to reject. He may be right. I wonder whether it is really this simple. I suspect not because so many factors beyond our control also impact upon our ability to make those decisions.

    I don’t even begin to know what the spiritual purpose of this planet is – I feel too small and spiritually short-sighted to even hazard a guess but I know that there is love shared between humans, between humans and nature – in and amongst all creation – despite what we might be led to assume sometimes. We might mess up a great deal but we also have such a capacity for kindness and goodness. We need to have compassion for the predicament of being human. Might this not be water’s true gift?

    I think Bill also has a bit of a consevative view of technology. I do think we need to be responsible in what we create but I disagree that technology makes us less human.

  3. The question that comes to me is:

    When a disaster hits, how much of our emotion is for our loss of a highly unnatural technological lifestyle, and how much is for a loss of lives, and the suffering that others (all life forms) go through?
    In my experience people do pull together to assist one another, and show kindness and generosity, but sadly often only when we are in ‘need’ – and often this ‘need’ may be seen as the need for living in a first world civilisation. What prevents us from acting this way constantly.
    Human tragedy seems to highlight the wound in our collective heart, yet we do not seem to know how to heal this ‘hole’ – which I feel is due to our isolation from other species (who are very much content without technology).
    If we could recognise that our love for others and ourselves is what we really all need to give, we can rise above the need to fill this ‘hole’ with ‘useful’ heartless gadgets and superficial information, and could instead fill it with the healing power of love.
    I view a loving society to be more evolved than the heights of a solely scientific/technology based society (that lacks this water element in their collective).
    Water is the source of life, says science (last time I heard).

  4. First, thank you for posting this. I look forward to this book. And I agree with most of what is being said here.

    However, according to Jeremy Rifkin, we, as a race, are becoming more and more compassionate, and have been since the dawn of man. However, I don’t think this is in conflict with what Bill is saying. I think the problem isn’t that humanity has lost touch with the element Water. I think it’s that many of the powerful and influential have lost touch. There are plenty that are in touch with water, but they live simple, quiet, compassionate lives.

  5. It was good until the prophecy against mans nature. Sure there may be imbalance, but no power that nature cannot, or is not correcting.

    Still the article rings of the age of Aquarius themes. Then if so so be it, I don’t inted to resist some persuaded development.(too hard)

  6. Well, I do think we are creating a big disaster ourselves, no need for the rest of nature to step in.
    In a sense it is because of the faculty of feeling, that we have learned a lot about healing, and giving help, and producing lots of food, that there are so many of us; but it is the faculty of greed that along with these blessings brought about all the threats, not only to ourselves but to the planet as a whole.
    But, given what we are, could we have done things differently; can we do differently?

  7. I disagree with Bill on a number of points there, although I can see that he is making them out of frustration and love. He argues that we havn’t developed spiritually in the last 200 years – really? what about the rise of feminism, civil rights for all people regardless of race, gender, sexuality, disability? It’s far from perfect, but even the idea that a gay, wheelchair bound person has the right to fully access all the privilidges of society is radical in the extreme. As a woman (in the UK) i have had equal access to education, pay, contraception, the right not to be harrassed, beaten belitted by my co-workers, by my husband, the right to vote (whatever one thinks of democracy and how it is manifested) and so on and so forth. These are giant leaps in recognizing that all humans are worthwhile.
    Animal rights, earth rights, the idea of social justice, inter generational justice and so on. Even though the idea of rights themselves can be critiqued, these are still giant leaps in imagination.
    Also are we lacking in compassion and emotion. what about the huge amounts of money that have been raised in the last 30 years in response to natural and human made disasters? this is people reaching into their pockets for complete strangers, and more importantly people outside their cultural and national ‘tribes’. what about lifeboats? people putting thier lives on the line for complete stangers for free? what about orgaisations such as Medicine sans frontiers? people going into warzones to help people that are nothing to with them, except their shared humanity. and so and so and so
    it is easy to characterise humanity as an out of control teenager, a disease, a cancer. but that is not in anyway the whole story. and i’m not sure how helpful it is. there is a middle ground between swaggering hubris, and self loathing. and individuals suffering from self loathing do as much damage to themselves and the people around them as do arrogant people, so as a culture we should take note of this and our current, rather fashionable, misanthropy.

  8. Thank you Helen. “There is a middle ground between swaggering hubris, and self loathing.” Well put!
    I like the Jain concept of ‘multiple viewpoints’ which sees that a point of view is by definition limited and can never convey the whole picture, so I read yours and Maria’s challenging of Bill’s views and think ‘yes!’ and I read Bill’s analysis and think ‘well he’s got something there too’.
    An infuriating relativism or just common sense – depending on your point of view!

  9. I have been down the pub, so I might start off with swaggering hubris and in a couple of hours slide into self-loathing…but seriously, I think Helen’s points are really important. It is crucial to acknowledge the good achieved because the way we choose to perceive ourselves collectively will have a massive impact on how we eventually deal with the challenges we face. For me, one of the greatests moves forward in spiritual understanding of recent years is that of Deep Ecology – its ideas speak of a profound shift, one that I suspect will play an increasingly important part in all our lives.

  10. This is THE discussion of the new century! 🙂
    It´s good to read the various points of view, and then have one on one´s own. Time is of the essence : given our human circumstances will we, as a species, have TIME to give an answer before more disaster strikes (wot???we created antimatter????HELP!!!)
    When I think of all the achievements of Humanity I would beg te gods to wait, wait, wait a bit more, we´re almost in a place of balance, almost, almost… When I see the disasters, I almost think oh well, bye-bye and good riddance!
    Both are in my heart.

    OMG, almost, almost there…

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