Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | March 15, 2008

The Third Way

A growing number of people in the world are becoming aware of the enormous difficulties and challenges the world is facing. Climate change, overpopulation and other factors are leading some scientists to the conclusion that the human race may not survive the century (eg Martin Rees, former President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in Our Final Century).

Apart from this growing number of people there remains the rest of humanity who simply aren’t aware of the gravity of the situation. Their thoughts and concerns are focussed on other issues – getting enough food to eat, struggling with economic and health problems, or perhaps just shopping.

I believe that we don’t have to be caught between the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’ of being either unaware, and hence ignorant, or of being aware and consequently frightened and confused.

We need a third way that faces reality – recognising the critical nature of this moment in the world’s history – but which is also hopeful: that is anchored in Spirit and open to the opportunity for transformation this moment represents.

This might seem ridiculously naive to some people, for how can one be hopeful when all the facts point to the unsustainability of the present situation? But from the point of view of this third way, the issue is not one of matter but of consciousness. As we stand at this point in time humanity faces a collective initiation into another level of awareness.

What is very hopeful indeed is that so many people seem to be awakening to a heightened level of awareness – as witnessed by the extraordinary response to the work of Eckhart Tolle – who talks about awareness with such clarity and wisdom. In a week over a million people downloaded or watched his live webcast with Oprah Winfrey. Who would have believed, even a few years ago, that this level of awakening could happen?

You can hear the talks or watch them at: http://www2.oprah.com/index.jhtml


Responses

  1. I’m so excited you are saying this. I met Gordon Cooper last week and we discussed this. I pointed out to him that I have a certain optimism about humanity and the idea that on the whole people are actually starting to get “it” a bit. One of my arguments for this is the popularity of Eckharts book. BTW Tolle’s book “New Earth” is fantastic! I’ve been reading it for the past few weeks. To my mind all he has really done is reword the Dalai Lama a bit.

    He does a really admirable job of distinguishing between religion and spirituality as well.

    I wonder if it’s just that it’s taken this long for humanity to start evolving again after the centuries of religous oppression that was the middle ages and industrialization?

  2. how cool! – I have been discovering Eckhart during the last week, whilst getting over a very bad bout of ‘flu. Totally isolated from the Oprah webcast.

    I had to smile when I saw it mentioned at the bottom of your post! I got his ‘Power of Now’ as an audiobook and listened on my ipod – his voice really is something else! The way he delivers the words – you are able to focus on them and move through them too.

    well, here is my Eckhart post:
    http://constantstateofflux.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/the-power-of-now/

  3. Yes Tragyn, it’s as if Tolle is re-stating Buddhism without the clothing, just focussing on core ideas. I find it very good. A friend just sent this prayer of the Dalai Lama’s which speaks to the approach I think we can take in walking the Third Way:

    May I become at all times, both now and forever,
    A protector for those without protection,
    A guide for those who have lost their way,
    A ship for those with oceans to cross,
    A bridge for those with rivers to cross,
    A sanctuary for those in danger,
    A lamp for those without light,
    A place of refuge for those without shelter,
    A servant to all in need.

    The 14th Dalai Lama


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