We began Part 1 of this article with this quote… “If you don’t understand the “underlying nature or cause” of your problem, no solution, no matter how creative, will successfully solve your problem. The underlying nature or cause of the problem will persist.
A Brief Summary Of Threats To Human Civilization And Global Stability Part 1
In Part 1 of this article, we talked about humanity’s collective early childhood primitive ego conditioning as the “underlying cause and nature” that is increasing the severity of the first three critical threats to human civilization and global stability. The first three critical threats are:
Fundamental Threat #1 – Unlimited Economic Expansion
Fundamental Threat #2 – Global Warming
Fundamental Threat #3 – Our Core Values
All three of these critical threats were created by, and are now supported by, humanity’s un-awakened, un-evolved, emotionally immature primitive ego thinking process of early childhood. A primitive ego consciousness that unconsciously controls the collective operating system, or “adult consciousness” of almost all humans in the world today.
We may pretend to look and talk like mature adults, but emotionally we continue to unconsciously reflect the reactive emotional thinking of an immature seven-year-old human consciousness. A primitive ego level of human consciousness that compulsively and aggressively;
- needs to be “right”,
- is driven by a greed-based, self-focused “what’s in it for me” thinking process,
- fears and avoids “change”, and
- prefers “immediate gratification” over long-term thinking.
Until we fully understand and tame our unconscious primitive ego through growth in self-awareness, every solution we come up with to deal with these three rapidly growing problems will be ineffective; an exercise in folly. Until we understand the underlying nature or cause of these three threats to our human civilization, no solution, no matter how creative, will successfully solve those threats. The underlying nature of the threats that we face will continue to impact every decision we make in our attempts to resolve these threats.
Threats To Human Civilization And Global Stability – Part 2
We continue the conversation now in Part 2 with three more fundamental threats currently facing human civilization:
Critical Threat #4 – Donald Trump,
Critical Threat #5 – Ultra-Nationalism, and
Critical Threat #6 – American Imperialism)
Fundamental Threat #4:
Trump is attempting to take America back to the 1950’s and 1960’s when America was great. Unfortunately, that world and that America, no longer exist. For Trump, keeping America great essentially means keeping the rest of the world, and all the people who live there, as far away as possible. Complicating the problem is his serious mental health issue call pathological narcissism. Three decades of training and working as a psychotherapist taught me how dangerous and disruptive a narcissistic person, parent, or family member could be in a family, a neighborhood, or inside a work environment. This is also true of a narcissistic who holds political power as an elected leader. I believe Donald Trump suffers from a mental illness called pathological narcissism.
The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
- * An exaggerated sense of self-importance
- * Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- * Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- * Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- * Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- * Requiring constant admiration
- * Having an exaggerated sense of entitlement
- * Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- * Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- * Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- * Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- * Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
(*As a mental health therapist, I would also add to this list that a pathological narcissist has a significant inability to embrace compassion or a sense of mutuality when dealing with others.)
Why do I see the Trump presidency as a global threat? Why am I concerned?
When these primitive self-focused narcissist features are amplified by an elected U.S. President who;
a) is driven by a “what’s in it for me” greed,
b) has an extreme need to be in the center of attention and a never-ending need to be “right”,
c) is in denial that the world of the 1950’s and 1960’s has changed politically and economically into a global human culture and economy,
d) is a 1% billionaire creating a 1% billionaire government,
e) is commander and chief of the most powerful military nation in the history of humanity,
e) has a strong need for immediate gratification,
f) is committed to defunding health care programs designed to help the growing number of mental health patients in our nation, and
g) does not read or take input from those around him, and
h) is obsessively concerned with the size of the crowd at his inauguration… you have to ask yourself “what could possibly go wrong”?
(In case you missed it, I am reflecting a significant level of irony here.)
The Creative Solution Needed For This Threat:
The creative solution to the problem would require Trump to embrace the reality that the world has changed. The world of the 50’s and 60’s no longer exists. The reality that we can’t go backward in time. We can only move forward. Again, the change needed to make America great again would mean;
a) Trump embracing long-term thinking that would end the denial of global warming and global climate change, and sign legislation that would put America on a course toward renewable green energy. Legislation that would provide a globally sustainable economic model for other nations. A green energy focus that would support growth in the American middle class through job creation in renewable energy manufacturing.
b) Trump embracing the economic concepts of mutual benefit and common good for all (and that would include those in America living in poverty……and those in America like Trump who are struggling with severe mental health issues) instead of defunding the very programs currently designed to address these issues.
c) Trump encouraging America to take a decisive leadership role in the creation of renewable green energy technologies and environmental programs that would significantly reduce global CO2 emissions and global warming. (We are presently defunding the very programs created to address these issues).
d) Trump addressing the issues of mental health treatment and mental health education in our nation so we might avoid electing politicians with serious mental health issues in the future.
These core changes would, of course, introduce economic challenges in the short term. The greed of the 1% does not want this. Trump is in the process of creating a “billionaire 1% government”; a government that will almost certainly ensure that the massive economic changes and programs discussed above do not happen. The changes proposed by Trump that do happen will ultimately benefit the 1%, not the middle class, health care, mental health programs, or those living in poverty.
(If you have any doubt that I might be overstating this prediction, I encourage you to go back and review the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder listed above).
Fundamental Threats #5 and #6:
The rigid ideologies of ultra-nationalism and American Imperialism. Ultra-nationalism and our never-ending American imperialism are both extreme examples of rigid ideological tribal thinking. Tribal thinking is a level of consciousness based on a primal fear that labels“others” as “them” or “enemies”; “people that are dangerous”. Ultra-nationalism and American imperialism reflected in the never-ending war we have been conducting for over two decades (some would say since WWII) are extreme examples of a growing tribal “what’s in it for us” thinking, and a collective unconscious fear of diversity and others, in our national consciousness.
Tribalism sees “others” as anyone who we believe threatens to harm us or use force to take “what we have” away from us. Terrorists fit both of those categories. Tribalism creates a level of fear that aggressively resists change, a level of fear that supports the need to be “right”, a level of fear that rejects long term thinking that keeps us focused on immediate gratification, and our short-term survival in the “now”. Unfortunately, these primitive childhood beliefs and behaviors cleverly mask our ability to see ourselves the way others in the world see us. To them, we are seen as part of an evil empire attempting to rule the world and ensure control of the world’s petroleum.
American imperialism and the never-ending wars we have been fighting for decades against the religious and political ideologies of “others” around the world; are rapidly destabilizing the world. American imperialism clearly reflects an unconscious national need to be “right”, to treat others as “them”, and is supported by a self-focused “what’s in it for us”; the desire to secure control of “their” energy resources. Every bomb we drop in our war on terrorism is simply creating more chaos, global instability, and terrorism. And the violence and instability we are creating are increasingly being exported to other nations; including our own!
So far, two decades of global militarism and our war on terrorism have only accomplished:
a) the death, physical wounding, and mental injury of thousands of American soldiers,
b) the destruction of our moral standing in the world (through torture, secret imprisonment, and inhumane regional disruption),
c) the death, injury, and inhuman displacement of millions of Iraqis and other civilians throughout the MiddleEast (benignly called collateral damage), and
d) the spending of trillion of dollars on the military that could have used to build schools and hospitals around the world, finance the badly needed infrastructure repairs needed in our own country, provide adequate health care for all Americans, provide mental health care, and more effectively fight poverty and hunger right here at home.
And none of our stated objectives to defeat or eliminate terrorism, or make the world safer, have been accomplished! In fact, our primary accomplishment so far has only been the creation of more suffering, hunger, poverty, and social dislocation for millions of innocent people around the world. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at our national policies and priorities.
We have given into fear and have failed to acknowledge that religious and political ideologies and beliefs are never defeated by bombs. Bombs only create chaos, displacement, and more martyrs and terrorists who have nothing to lose. Ideologies and beliefs are best changed through education, health care, the improvement of living conditions, hope, compassion, empathy, and a secure future for self and family.
The United States was once the light of justice, human rights, and the rule of law on the top of the mountain. We were a symbol of freedom and hope in the world. Today we are too often experienced as the evil empire. And unfortunately, Trump is currently doing an excellent job playing the role of Darth Vader.
The Creative Solution That’s Needed:
We are a species collectively denying the reality of change. Change is a reality. Everything changes. Evolution is change in action. Creation uses change to create and evolve the universe. Our world is changing. Human civilization is changing. Our planet is warming. Old religious, cultural, economic, and political worldviews are changing…at a pace faster than human civilization can cope. When worldviews change, they tend to create conflict and disruption until new worldviews are established.
We are an interconnected, interdependent, networked world resisting the reality of change. We are a networked, interconnected, global human culture that needs to find compassionate ways to embrace the changes and diverse worldviews that are now an integral part of our changing global human civilization. We can’t go back to tribal isolation and ultra-nationalism, the way things were… because that world no longer exists.We need to wake up and begin preparing for the future that’s coming.
A future that’s not what it used to be!
No one can accurately predict exactly what the future will look like, and we certainly can’t control all the changes that are coming, but we can begin to influence the future one compassionate choice and decision at a time. In the face of change, the only reasonable and realistic course for humanity is a willingness to embrace a more compassionate global path forward.
Our policymakers have all the historical information they need to change the direction our nation is heading. Using American military might to force the world to conform to our image of how the world “should” look… is clearly not working. We are clearly “pushing the river”.
We need to use Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King as our models and begin responding with nonviolence… especially when others choose to use violence. Instead of bombing the middle east into submission, perhaps we could begin building schools, hospitals, offering food, stop deporting Muslims, and hold out our American hand in friendship. We have spent trillions of dollars on our military effort to build bombs and kill people. It’s time to spend a few trillion healing the wounds we’ve created and begin building a path forward that ensures that all living beings can share equally in the benefits and resources of our planet.
The path forward that I’m suggesting is called cooperation, mutual benefit, and common good. Three concepts that reflect Nature’s evolutionary laws. Three simple concepts that we need to embrace as a species if we want to survive. We are clearly running out of time to embrace the values embedded in those concepts. If we are the greatest and most powerful nation in the history of humanity… then we need to stop bombing other nations and begin to manifest a more compassionate form of leadership and responsibility. We need to be the light on the top of the mountain and begin helping the world become a more peaceful, enlightened, sustainable, and compassionate place to live.
The concept of our world that we need to manifest to others is that of “home”.
Some Final Thoughts About The Path Forward
Three decades as a therapist and life coach observing human nature has convinced me that awakening the human consciousness and taming the childhood primitive ego through intentional growth in self-awareness is the only way we are going to successfully navigate the overwhelming changes facing us. I also believe we have no choice in the matter. We need to awaken our collective human consciousness, or we will continue on our current path toward the creation of more pain and suffering, the end of human civilization as we know it… and very likely the eventual extinction of our species.
As I said at the beginning of this article, until we understand the shared nature of the challenges that face us, the choices, decisions, and solutions we create to deal with these problems will not be effective. Why? Because the “cause and underlying nature” of the problems will continue to endure. The “underlying cause and nature” exacerbating the six threats covered in this article is unconscious primitive ego thinking and;
a) its collective arrogant need to be right,
b) its collective greed based “what’s in it for us”,
c) its collective fear of change,
d) its rejection of diversity through ultra-nationalism and its irrational fear of “others”, and
e) its never-ending collective need for immediate gratification.
The creation of a sustainable global human civilization will not be possible if we continue using a primitive ego thinking process. We need to awaken our collective human consciousness, tame the unconscious primitive ego of our species, and begin creating a more compassionate and sustainable global human civilization. Our choice is clear;
a) we can ignore our collective unconscious primitive ego thinking and assume that we’re dealing with a reality of human nature that we will never be able to overcome, or
b) we can each make the decision to “see” and pay attention to these unconscious primitive ego characteristics within our own thinking when they emerge.
If we could let go of our need to be right, our fear of change, replace our obsessive “what’s in it for me” thinking with the more compassionate concept of mutual benefit for all, and begin thinking in agricultural time frames instead of immediate gratification … then we could begin to awaken our collective consciousness and become part of the solution. We could begin creating the more compassionate, sustainable future that we will need if we are to survive as a species. It’s the choice each of us can, and must make.
I am convinced, we urgently need to awaken as a species or we will not survive the inevitable changes and threats that are coming. As I have written in the past, I believe a small number of individual humans may survive them, but human civilization itself…..will not. We might muddle along for a few more decades, but the chaos, pain and suffering created by the black swan changes that are coming will continue to threaten human civilization as we know it. And at some point in the near future, there will be no turning back. We will have run out of time. I believe that day is coming far sooner than most of us believe.
Why do I believe this? Because our planet cannot embrace the rapidly approaching changes and threats we’ve been talking about above, and continue to support 10 to 12 billion people (unlimited population growth) at the middle-class standard of living that we in the western world have enjoyed. The poor, the starving, those without hope… will not go quietly into the dark. They are already beginning to fight for their right to share the resources of our planet. Our planet and human civilization will not survive the “Americanization” of 12 billion humans.
Awakening our human consciousness and taming our primitive ego through intentional growth in self-awareness is not an option if we want human civilization and our human species to survive. We awaken our collective consciousness, or we perish. I see no other viable path forward for us as a species.
Taming the primitive ego is the most important survival strategy ever needed by our species in its long history of human evolution. All we need is the will to confront the “underlying cause and nature” of human consciousness responsible for the six threats to our future.
Summary and Conclusion:
If we are to survive as a species, we need to accept and embrace the following concepts;
1) The concept of mutual benefit and common good for all living species.
2) Global warming is a reality that will change the way human civilization moves forward.
3) We need to end our dependency on petroleum.
4) The reality that the unlimited economic expansion and greed embedded in capitalism are not sustainable.
5) Capitalism needs to be replaced.
6) We need to wean ourselves quickly from carbon based energy and move toward greener renewable energy sources.
7) Wealth inequality supported by greed based capitalism is destabilizing human civilization
8) Global hunger and poverty are destabilizing human civilization.
9) Religious, political and economic worldviews that have existed for centuries are changing faster than human culture can adapt.
10) Black swan events like global warming and climate intensification are threatening human civilization as we know it.
11) Our collective human consciousness must embrace reality and stop pushing the river by attempting to force reality and nature to conform to our beliefs and how we think the world “should” function.
12) The “underlying cause and nature” of the challenges facing humanity have been created by our collective primitive ego’s need to be “right”, its need for immediate gratification, its “what’s in it for me” thinking, its tribal fear of “others”, and its irrational fear of change.
The six critical threats we’ve been discussing are all unpredictable, “black swan change events” that were not anticipated. But if we want to survive as a species, we need to accept and cope with the changes they are forcing on us. We don’t have a choice.
We are rapidly approaching the point of no return. We need to awaken our collective human consciousness, learn to tame our collective primitive ego through intentional growth in self-awareness, and begin to embrace nature’s survival concepts of common good and mutual benefit. Nature’s laws are clear. Living systems must embrace change, learn to cooperate, and embrace mutual benefit, or they will become extinct.
And nature, not humanity, will ultimately win the war we are waging with her.
Understanding the changes that are coming is the easy part of being a prophet or futurist. Accurately predicting the timing of those changes is always the challenge. But the changes are coming… far sooner than humanity is currently preparing for.
The best way I know to summarize this article is to remind us all that… “the future is not what it used to be”, but it “can and will” be shaped by our choices.