by Shaun Baker
Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
Just imagine having no choice but to undergo a mental and spiritual reconfiguration process, having to update your internal belief and operational faculties due to being privy to new information which makes you truly open your eyes to the world around you. Imagine waking up one day and realising that the world which you perceived your whole life as completely normal is actually a commercially manufactured reality in which every day artificially manipulates your connection to the people and planet around you.
This shift in consciousness is upon us and is currently happening to millions of people all around the world; ‘The Wake Up Phenomenon’ is sweeping from country to country and the individuals in charge from governments to corporations are aware and they are doing everything in their power to keep the connections and independent cooperation between humans from taking place and rendering their inequalities and injustices obsolete. Through investigative, unbiased news sources and the creation of the internet humans have become witness to the world around them like never before. Within the past fifteen years our access to information has grown exponentially and we can now choose the way in which we perceive the world. We are now made witness to our world around us in ever-increasing detail: environmental destruction, the devastation of war, animal cruelty, pollution, population density and classism, all the while starting to truly realise the underlying fact that we live on a finite planet with finite resources which our current operating system does not completely agree with.
One of Julian Assange’s most poignant quotes is, ‘’Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and the ones we love’’. The luxury of the premeditated disconnect humans have developed from not acting when they witness injustices in the world around them is coming to a point where action is no longer a choice which we can casually make in our own time.
The failure of any sort of attempted sustainable development paradigm is due to it being devoured by the economic paradigm which is so disconnected from reality that it simply cannot address the sustainability problem (1). This is grounded in a failure to understand the fundamental contradiction between ecological imperatives and economic imperatives. In spite of this, the sustainable development paradigm remains as humanity’s response to the sustainability emergency which can be best described as a ‘perfect storm’ of rapidly converging global crises that threaten the survival of human civilisation. These crises include: climate change (likely dangerous); sea level rise (possibly metres this century); ocean acidification; the sixth major extinction event (ecological life support systems are in decline); the peaking of oil and other key resource production; loss of soils; scarcity of fresh water supplies; deforestation; declines in fish stocks; ongoing poverty and inequity (widening gaps) for a large proportion of humanity; and global financial crises. Humanity is running the planet as if it were a business in liquidation. It’s now blindingly obvious that the small amount of individuals trying to look like they are in control of this system, from big business to governments, do not have the planet’s or the majority of humans’ best interests at heart, or at least, working from within such a binding system they do not have the ability to make the drastic change in direction that the planet so desperately requires.
With impending disaster looming and no radical steps being taken by the individuals we vote in to manage the system correctly the public has been left with very few options to pick up the pieces from a failing – or, as some would argue, already failed – planetary operating system. The past decade has seen an unprecedented amount of socially conscious movements rise from the concerns of citizens around world from the Occupy Movement to The Zeitgeist Movement, The Venus Project, The Arab Spring, Wikileaks and Anonymous. Even though these public actions have specific agendas they all coincide with the fact that they demand truth and justice, transparency in government and fairness and equality for inhabitants of whatever system they live in. Information is more freely available in the present day than it has ever been before, and the free thinkers of the world are starting to use it as a weapon to break out of our established belief paradigms which have indoctrinated us all from early childhood.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The activist path is an extremely rewarding one, but it immerses you in constant mental battles; when ‘decoding the matrix’, so to speak, you must free your mind from all out-dated, established myths and beliefs which are no longer relevant thanks to advancements in technology and information distribution. You must also be ready and willing to be somewhat of an outcast among the people you know and meet due to you not following their current mainstream train of thought. Enlightenment is actually a destructive process to start with: it has nothing to do with becoming better or even being happier as we thought we knew it; enlightenment is the crumbling away of all untruth; it is seeing through the façade of pretence; it is the complete erosion of everything we imagine to be true. Whenever I need some sort of reassurance that I’m heading in the right direction I always take comfort in simply looking up at the stars of a night, I imagine the vastness of space, the millions of galaxies, the advanced species and civilizations which we are yet to come in contact with and then I think of my fellow humans and my home planet, the almost sinister unequal distribution of resources our operating system maintains, the deceptive, destructive and controlling nature of the human condition over the our environment and other humans, the economic prison we willingly accept as the best reality we can construct to live in and then I think ‘of course I’m on the right track’.
On every metric from population growth to resource consumption, deforestation to fisheries exploitation, atmospheric CO2 concentration, to the rise in GDP, the lines on the graphs have careened almost vertically upward since the 1950s, and show no signs of stopping – no matter how many green campaigns are launched (2). The root cause of all these trends is the same: a rapacious human economy which shows no interest whatsoever in changing its direction of travel – indeed, it probably could not do so even if all its leaders suddenly had a change of heart, such is its momentum now. As a matter of fact global carbon dioxide emissions hit a new record in 2011 at 34 billion tonnes – with China still topping the list of greenhouse gas producers – with a German-based private institute study finding that after a brief dip in 2009 due to the global economic crisis, the upward trajectory had resumed (3).
It seems to me these days that these facts give us a simple, uncontroversial message: our civilisation is going to hit the buffers very hard in the not-too-distant future, and then it is going to fall apart. Quite how or when this will happen I couldn’t begin to say, but the alternative – a mass change of hearts and minds – seems more preposterous still. Yet very few of us seem interested in looking honestly at the message this reality is screaming at us. The problem is deeply embedded in our psyche: the stories we tell ourselves about who we are prevent us from believing what actually appears to be going on. Every civilisation has its foundational myth, and ours is the myth of progress.
The wake up phenomenon simply represents the search for truth and transparency in big business and governments and yearns for a fair and just distribution system for every human on the planet. It’s an alternative voice to the drone of mass media which is tightening the censorship of opinions that contradict their political agenda and feed us “news” that is invented solely to serve a political or corporate agenda of manipulation, fear and control. To wake up you must ask the taboo questions and think critically, and in our society which is full of manipulated and invested truths no one should believe everything they see, hear or read. Question any and all information that comes across your path; with our minds informed and our hearts open together we can Wake Up the World!
- The Flawed Paradigms of Economics and Sustainable Development, Richard Sanders
- The myth of a technological salvation, Paul Kingsnort
- New global CO2 emissions record in 2011, sbs.com.au