|Cho Tab Khen Zambuling (Alfredo Sfeir-Younis)
In Transition: What Is Next For Humanity?
The nature of life—be it material or spiritual—is always to be in transition. It is in the nature of any aspect of human transformation processes to be in transition; i.e., to be constantly going from one stage (or phase) to another.
Nothing is static or motionless.
As a matter of fact, transition is our natural state of being.
Even before we are born, during pregnancy, we go through huge transitions, on almost a daily basis. And some of these transitions are of a transcendental nature. An example is the transition that takes place when we go from pure spirit, from a non-material nature, into a physical human body. This is to say, when we become conscious of who we are in this life time. Then there are major transitions when the organs of our bodies grow into their entirety. And those physical transitions are accompanied by immense shifts in awareness, intelligence, experience and wisdom.
We were born with a built-in capacity to make transitions.
Somehow we have lost this ability, and the fundamental issue for many people is how to recover it quickly. We need to recover our ability to embrace and nurture what is fundamentally a natural process of change from one stage of life to another.
The loss of this natural capacity is the basis of why we are now so concerned about our current transition. This inability has created uncertainty, fear, and a deep feeling that we are not in command. The large majority of people are living with the impression that no one is in the cockpit.
This state of affairs has led to high levels of human stress, diseases that result from that stress, and suffering and despair for too many people. This condition of stress is felt everywhere; not only in our individual bodies and mind, but also at the level of economics, finance, development and social progress.
In Nature, the state of transition is not questioned. It is not lost.
All sentient beings and nature itself have a built-in capacity for transition, in the most natural and effective manner, for example, from one season to another (from winter to spring, from summer to fall). Plants and animals transition constantly and acclimate themselves from one kind of weather to the other, and sometimes from one kind of climate to another.
Today, our inner capacity for transition is fundamentally out of focus and we need to bring it back to focus within our bodies, minds, and souls. That is to say, we need to recover our ability to create continuity and coherence as we move through transitions from one state of being to another.
Many people now have the feeling that the frequency of transitions is much higher than in the past and, thus, that our experiences of time and motion have dramatically changed. Our rhythm has been altered. Our melody has been changed. Part of this perception comes from the ever higher speed of technological change. We see products that enter and exit the market almost on a daily basis, and what it is in fashion one day goes out of fashion the next.
The state of being in transition evokes a passage. It causes us to focus on increasing our awareness of how and when to navigate the passage or how to go from one state of human reality to the other. Often we are confronted by too many options. The fork in the road offers not only two possibilities but several, to the extent that many people are now paralyzed.
Transition also involves both an inner and outer conversion, resulting in becoming a different person. The change may be small or it may be a great transformation. It seems that most people are not yet prepared for this conversion process. They prefer to stay the same and hold on to the reality they have always known.
For example, while many spiritual traditions have predicted that a major transition will take place in the year 2012, most people appear to be doing little or nothing about it. Yet we know that doing more of the same will yield more of the same. Whether this prediction is true or not is not really the point, as I have noticed that even those who are aware of this prediction, and who ask frequently about the content and implications of such a prediction, are not preparing themselves for the transition.
There is little awareness of the fundamental steps required to change from one human reality to the other. And for many people, patterns and cycles of life keep on repeating themselves, making them wonder why they need to change in the first place. For example, we see that poverty, environmental destruction, human insecurity, war, and conflict are still the prevailing human conditions in spite of all who may argue to the contrary. Given the constancy of these conditions, many people have decided to live in a short-term survival mode, a 'here and now' mode, to protect themselves from the immediate vicissitudes of life.
There is also a lack of understanding of where this transition is leading to. Many people are keenly aware of the present state of the world but have no idea of what the next stage is supposed to be. There is a lot of uncertainty about what we are moving toward. And some people experience themselves as being a victim of changes imposed by others.
Perhaps the greatest problem we face is that the state of transition is often seen as external to us rather than as an essential shift in our inner selves. Outer transitions are taking all the attention. Inner transitions are left behind. However, it is fundamental to understand that outer transitions will not yield the right results without a concomitant shift in our inner selves. A material transition (evolution) must always be accompanied by a spiritual transition (evolution). One is to go with the other.
As a collective, it may be important to ask ourselves whether humanity is really prepared to move from one stage of consciousness to another. Evidence is not convincing in this regard. Signals coming from religious and political fundamentalism illustrate the impasse. For those who are 'followers,' there is an absence of leaders to connect them to a new reality. They ask whether they have the capacity to reach "the other side" without leaders, or whether it might be better to stay on this side and hang on until the end. This is happening in all areas of life. It affects the processes of caring, sharing, thinking, and acting, just to name a few. This uncertainty has permeated the way we love and our commitments to the self-realization of peace, compassion, happiness, and other higher states of being.
Our inability to fully engage in this transition is affected by several interrelated factors:
- First, our high level of toxicity—whether resulting from drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, or negative thinking, intentions, and actions;
- Second, our inability to self-realize human and spiritual values that are universal and collective in nature (like love, peace, and compassion);
- Third, our insensitivity to all forms of interdependence and connectedness. We remain disconnected from the "other"— ignoring not only the interdependence between human beings but also between human beings and all elements of the natural world, and between humanity, the natural world, and the spiritual world.
What is certain today is that we live a collective life. We live a life in which interdependence is paramount. And yet our collective value systems and beliefs are still dominated by individualistic concerns. This makes the process of transition all the more difficult.
Today, we must focus on our collective transition. For this we need to identify and work hard at enhancing our collective consciousness. Only a new consciousness will bring about a new human destiny. Today, it is incumbent upon us all to bring our lives into focus within the context of our collective existence on earth and our collective transition into a new reality.
A major social revolution is now underway and is gaining steam. This social revolution is different from those of the past. And this new reality must be understood. The goal of this new revolution is to establish a collective future for humanity without borders (frontiers) as traditionally conceived. It aims to protect, manage and allocate our various common goods and resources (air, water, ozone layer, global climate, global peace, stability, security, equity, and human rights), and to diminish significantly the impacts of our common ills (poverty, environmental destruction, insecurity, and injustice).
If the goals of this new revolution are achieved, we may decide to transition to a new reality in peace, with high levels of consciousness, awareness, and coherence. If not, the state of the world will be sealed by conflict. The decision is ours.
In order to choose the course of peace, it is essential to bring to the fore our spiritual identities and bring to bear those inner qualities that are precious and effective vehicles for the benefit of all. This is the moment when we have to be truthful, transparent, and committed to a better future for humanity as a whole. We need to design new instruments to enhance our collective material and spiritual welfare.
Let us embrace a new form of spirituality.
I propose The Spirituality of Transition. This form of spirituality must exalt the highest aspects of our beings; e.g., love, compassion, peace; a consciousness of natural law, interdependence, collective existence; and the essentialness of self-realization and holistic union.
To embody The Spirituality of Transition is to attain the ability to become the other without losing your own identity.
It is to become a Global Being.
It is to become a Being without borders.
Shanti, Shanti Om
Amuki, Amuki Om
Transition, Transition Om
Cho Tab Khen Zambuling (the title bestowed upon Alfredo Sfeir-Younis) means "World Healer" in Tibetan.
Alfredo is President and Founder of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation (ZIHT). The Institute aims to create a grassroots world forum on human rights and human responsibilities, and to bring mainstream spirituality into public policy and business.
Extensive biographical information about Alfredo can be found at his website: www.silentpeacemeditation.com
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