In the past egoism spurred us on from behind and from the sides, always leaving the path forward free. However, today the barriers are not arising along the sides, but in front of us. It’s as if a wall rises up before us, leaving us no place to run, nothing we can do.
This state is becoming more and more apparent: I don’t really want anything, I don’t feel that I can keep growing in my egoism. It is incapable of giving me answers to the questions that arise in me today. I have outgrown the previous phases and have entered the next level of questions, the level of adulthood and new necessities.
Food, sex, family—all of these are falling apart, taking on strange, “mutated” forms. Wealth, fame, and knowledge don’t seem to promise me a lot either.
Science is in a crisis and does not answer my questions, even though a mere 50-60 years ago it still seemed like it would give us answers to everything.
Power has become petty in our eyes: We see that its only objective is money. And money…. Is it really worth wasting your entire life on!? My questions have already outgrown any number of zeros that a bank account can display.
When a person loses the necessary “fuel,” emptiness emerges inside of him and he finds himself asking, “What is worth living for? For myself? But I lack fulfillment. For my children? But when they get older, they will leave the nest. And besides, why raise them at all? What bright future do they have ahead? Disintegrating families and a decomposing society?” A person does not feel attached to anything and does not have hopes for anything. That is the kind of impasse that our questions have led us to.
But there is also a completely different reason for the dead-end state: We are exhausting the natural resources. Today it is already clear that human progress won’t be infinite, both from the point of view of our demands and from the point of view of our existence as a whole. If we continue squandering the natural resources at the current rate, then very soon we won’t have any raw materials left even for the vitally necessary products.
90% of what we produce today consists of oil, be it energy, plastic materials, and so on. When the oil reserves end, we will be left with nothing. But nevertheless, we still keep on squandering it.
Thus, on one hand nature places a barrier before us in the form of ecology, climate, and resources, and on the other hand, egoism no longer pushes us forward. It asks questions that we cannot find answers to here, in our world, in this small children’s room where we had so much fun playing until now.
Today the situation already resembles suicide: We are irrationally using up the last remaining resources.
We have to understand that because of this, we find ourselves in the zone of choice. This is where freedom of will emerges, the freedom for us to start understanding the program of our development: “Who are we? Why are we here? What for?”, and together with us, the rest of the world. Now is exactly the time for us to solve this challenge. Otherwise humanity will find itself in a truly hopeless impasse.
In reality the gist of the problem is not the financial crisis, the technology crisis, or the crisis of families. We are in a crisis with ourselves. We have to understand who we are and what we are here for, both from the point of view of nature, which obligates us to this, and from our own point of view. Only then will we be able to set things right inside of us and in the world.
From the Talk about a New Book 7/11/2011