Many scientists share the pessimistic, even apocalyptic worldview of fundamentalist Christians, Jews. and Muslims. The media reinforces this negativity with a depressing drumbeat of stories about climate change, drought, damaged food supply, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, political dysfunction, crumbling infrastructure, the wealth/poverty gap, asteroids striking the Earth… the list goes on and on.
Is there any reason to be positive?
Yes! Others with spiritual and material worldviews are quite optimistic. It’s not that they don’t see potential catastrophes. It’s just that they also conceive of outside-the-box solutions. Problems remain problems at the level of the problem. Solutions require transcending the thinking that defines the problem.
On the materialistic scientific side, Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, the authors of Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World, speak of profound possibilities due to the interplay of global connectivity, crowd-funding, and exponential technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, robotics). These trends converge, allowing orders of magnitude more human minds to participate solving problems. This democratization means that anyone with enough clarity, intelligence and drive can connect with others to fund, develop, and implement technological solutions to solve the world’s problems. Diamandis and Kotler say, help a billion people and make a billion dollars.
Here is a three-minute promo video that summarizes the proposition made in Bold.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk and other leaders fundamentally share this positive outlook.
Spiritual reasons to be optimistic
If you lived on a planet with long seasons, winters that span lifetimes, and I told you of snow melting, warmer weather, green tree buds, birds chirping, and flowers, you might think me delusional. Perhaps, as a child you heard stories, “Spring myths.” As you matured, you knew these myths to be fantasy.
If we only see and hear one thing (e.g. doom and gloom) through sources we trust –religion, science, media — naturally we believe the thing to be true.
Yet, the laws of nature are unfathomable, with the only constant being change.
If you look to your own life, likely you have experienced a catastrophe, something quite negative. Yet, in thinking back, probably something positive emerged from the ashes, perhaps even something you might even label as miraculous.
In 1974 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi proclaimed the “Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment.” He told us that it is darkest before the dawn; we should wake our friends so they can enjoy the dawn with us.
The “Maharishi Effect” with empirical evidence posits that only a small percentage of the world’s population has to meditate to transform the world. With so many people meditating and contacting deep laws of nature, winter will become spring.
Where is this Age of Enlightenment?
Skeptics wonder forty years later, where is the dawn? What has been the effect of millions of people meditating for so many years?
I think the effect has been profound. First, meditation itself, considered weird and mystical when I started in the early 1970’s, is now mainstream. From Oprah to Jim Carrey to the presidents of Japan and Brazil to the Ecuadorian military to young Bay Area school children to executives in the boardroom, meditation has become commonplace, with its benefits widely accepted.
Repeated scientific study verifies the unique coherent brain wave patterns during Transcendental Meditation.
Now there is research studying brain wave patterns of those who have meditated for many years. Maharishi defines the first level of enlightenment, “Cosmic Consciousness,” where one is fully awake inside during daily activity and when sleeping. There are now objective correlates to this subjective experience.
One effect of so many people transcending by practicing T.M. for so many years is that more and more people, including those not practicing T.M., are “waking up.” My friend, Rick Archer, started interviewing awakening people in our local town of Fairfield, Iowa, and soon expanded the interviews to awakening people throughout the world.
Better times just underneath the surface
With more people transcending every day, experiencing Pure Consciousness and the home of all the laws of nature, the consciousness of the world is profoundly changing. With more and more people becoming awake, I believe the dawn is arriving, spring has sprung. (Rick calls his show “Buddha at the Gas Pump” – enlightenment is for everyone. It is for people living simple, normal lives.)
Does that mean that all the problems we see around us will just evaporate without consequence. Probably not. We’re already experiencing negative effects of past choices. Yet, whether the road is quite uncomfortable or just a little bumpy, we are in for a profound positive change.
The pessimists are correct. The old world will be destroyed. However, for the caterpillar to become the butterfly and winter to become spring, something is lost for a greater gain.