By Andrée (Dee) Cuenod
As he gazed at Earth on his trip back from the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell experienced a shift in consciousness and “understood that the major crises of our times are due not to aspects inherent in the external world, but to flawed and inadequate worldviews.” After retiring from NASA and the Navy, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) to address this issue as part of an exploration into the nature and potential of consciousness.
Noetic scientists have since discovered that what we believe creates our experience. This has been one of my basic truths for many years, and why I focus on our beliefs as what must change if we want our world conditions to change.
Our beliefs make us individually who we are. They affect how we perceive and face our world from day to day and define how we view ourselves, resulting in how we treat our neighbors, other cultures and other beings. They influence our political, economic and social concerns and values. They determine whether we consider the world population a global unit or separate pockets of people and creatures different from us and not our concern. IONS researchers studying this issue add:
People’s worldviews therefore influence every aspect of how they understand and interact with the world around them. Worldviews profoundly impact individual and shared goals and desires, shaping perceptions, motivations, and values both consciously and unconsciously. Worldviews inform human behavior in relationships and choreograph individual and social reactions and actions every moment of the day.
Since our personal beliefs form our individual worldview, we cannot merely correct the flaws in our worldviews; we must change the beliefs behind them. We need to realize that the damage we’ve done to our world, to its other creatures and to ourselves results from the self-centeredness of our predominant worldview. And if we want to resolve our world problems and improve world conditions, we need to replace our old materialist beliefs with radically different, heart-based beliefs. We have to take responsibility. And, if we don’t like what we see in our world, we change it, in part by, as Mahatma Gandhi told us, being “the change we want to see in our world.”
Our Western culture’s dominant worldview formed over the last two millennia through fundamentalist Abrahamic religion, and has been solidly molded in the last three centuries by fundamentalist classical science, the orthodoxy. Although religion’s and science’s fundamentalists view life on Earth very differently, they are both rigidly materialistic and espouse essentially the same self-centered, materialist worldview.
Our culture is running amok, with a few, driven by greed, dominating and controlling the many, and a large share of the many striving to become part of the few, wanting to enjoy the luxurious life style of the few and misguidedly believing personal power and wealth measure success.
Those fundamentalist beliefs gave us a false picture of ourselves and life on Earth, having us believe we are separate, mortal beings in competition for limited resources and fighting to survive. We need now to understand that we are eternal spirit beings enjoying physical experience through interactions with true loved ones, whether seeming good or bad.
We are moving onto a different path, and those old perceptions can’t satisfy our new needs. It’s time to wake up to who we really are and see life and everyone with whom we share this life differently.
If your beliefs aren’t fully heart-centered, and perhaps focus primarily on your personal happiness, maybe you could think about finding some new beliefs. I suggest you think about changing your beliefs from materialist to spiritual. Then, and truly only then, will you find the happiness you seek, while caring for all fellow Earth inhabitants as well as Earth herself, as One with you.