Is Utopia a Fairytale?
You know what? To me, that’s the saddest thing in the world. People suffering from starvation is very sad. But to me the root cause of it all is when people are not given the opportunity to make the very most of their own potential. Nothing is as tragic. Because it is the slow death of a mans spirit, not his body. That’s what I want to fight against.
The idea of a Utopian world has turned into a fairytale. Yet, everytime I see the misery around me – particularly when it seems so unnecessary – it has always made me wonder if things could be different.
The reason why I never ventured to actually answer the question – is it possible? – in all these years is because I was surrounded by so many reasons why it is not –
1. Eastern reason – The Universe is cyclic, and thereby humanity will have to be plunged into darkness, and come back into the light, over and over again… because that’s how we learn and refine ourselves. A Utopia exists when the planets align to bless the world… and when the planets step into another alignment, we plunge into darkness again.
2. Western reason – Utopia is not possible because there has not been a single evidence in history of it actually working.
3. Mankind is violent by nature, and revolt against any system – any structure – so there will always need to be some form of policing and government.
4. We tried sharing resources – that’s what socialism is – and look what happened.
5. Everyone wants different things, you please one group at the detriment of another.
Yes, I’ve been plagued with these reasons of why it can’t be possible… I once wrote a piece on Utopia where I highlighted many of them in detail.
It is very much possible it is true, very much possible that there can be no way to avoid corruption or exploitation no matter what we try. But we just don’t know that because it doesn’t seem like we’ve really thought it all through – what if we are a sentient species still very much in our infancy?
Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don’t they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion. Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I’m sure that would help. But then, I wonder. Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual’s consciousness does indeed touch infinity—a total embrace of the entire Kosmos—a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature. It’s at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?”
Of all the arguments ever given, the one that stopped me was the idea of the ever-changing Universe. So, I gave up and lived deciding it’s not possible. But it didn’t occur to me for a long time that I didn’t even try – you simply do not know unless you try –
“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”
– Arthur C. Clarke.
The Buddha speaks of pleasure and pain being a part of life – with desire comes suffering. But what we can’t forget is that he didn’t just get enlightened and poof out of existence. He wanted to share, to help improve things. So does Sadhguru.
I’m not thinking about the entire Planet being in a state of ecstatic joy – I know there are a lot of misunderstandings behind the word, ‘Utopia.’
To put this into proper context –
I am thinking about a counter-culture. Now, one of the laws of the Universe, even according to the yugas, is that the world goes from a golden age to a hellish age and back again for the purpose of learning through pain and pleasure. Perhaps now is a destined time to return to the golden age – even if the cycle is determined! The yogis certainly seem to suggest this. Yes, there is pain and pleasure, and yes it exists so that a person refines their character and learns the true depth of equanimity. But this world goes through cycles.
Considering all this, it occurred to me that I had set up a mental block not to try and see if it was possible to create a counter culture where that 2 percent mindset (who are already in a paradigm that transcends ideas of ownership and money – or close to it) can co-exist and grow. Grow as individuals, and growth of course includes pain!
But our growth in an environment where we can follow our sense of synchronicity more easily – because of a higher level of collective consciousness vibration (already evidence is collecting in Neuroscience for this), allows for us to be far more aware about the way we go about learning. This isn’t about avoiding pleasure and pain. It never was.
I have no plans to create some Utopian model, by the way – there can be no elaborate model. My main concern here is with the steps to a transition from here to there, and how we’d go about it.
After the transition – staying true to having no government and only an administration building that has a full account of all available resources and consumption rates, and communal libraries for all kinds of items that we don’t use daily (to save wastage of resources), in this kind of environment everyone is given their basic needs. And if Abraham Maslow’s principles are true – which I believe to be the case – then once their basic physiological security needs for food and shelter are satisfied, and given a thriving environment to have more engaging and fulfilling relationships, then gaining self-esteem through being able to fulfill one’s life goal (without society getting in the way anymore), they will freely explore for themselves and drive naturally towards Self-Actualization. Which means, the system would evolve organically, naturally – there would hardly be any system.
The rest of it is humans with the freedom to actively create. Each of us. Somebody once said “when mediocrity is the standard, then it doesn’t mean much to be called a genius.” We would have a society filled with brilliance. With art – through science, technology, and entertainment. People would be constantly evolving the houses they want to have… the technology they create… time will be spent in exploration.
Perhaps there will be dark nights – as that’s a part of a journey – but if Maslow is right, when our needs are met we become much more empathic.
The only real problem to make sure we have thought through properly – is in the realm of relationships… but I feel that the fundemental flaw that breaks relationships is the idea of ownership.
I see this to be a paradigm shift, so yeah there will have to be a counter-culture – the problem is that the people in power see the general public as stupid – or more accurately – that ‘they behave irrationally and do not have the capacity for democracy. That they do not know what they want, so let’s give them what we think is best.’
This brings up a few questions;
1. What is best? As applied to a collective.
2. What is the paradigm we are shifting from?
3. What is the paradigm we are shifting to?
4. What is the route there?
5. What is the main resistence?
6. How is it sustainable?
7. Is it possible for the public (as a collective) to ever actually begin behaving as individuals, or will they always have to be lead?
Understanding that you own nothing is like a stroke of reality that sobers you. But it also opens you up to infinite possibilities without getting greedy.
The problem with the current kind of socialism is that there is no creative abundance in it. So, to see how to bring the best elements, the best ideas we’ve ever thought of together; let’s consider a resource based solution.
In the end, that’s all we have to deal with here. Resources. Let’s go down to the very crux of the issue, before any isms. Any institutions.
Pure resources, and us.
Now how do we share it around? How do we thrive? Or more importantly, how do we create an environment that cultivates empowerment. Then, the resources become just a tool, not an identity.
2. What is the paradigm we are shifting from?
It’s the need to identify oneself with resources that’s causing the problem – as if life is slipping away if you don’t. You need half the world’s wealth tucked away in your pocket if your life is to mean something. There is no sense in that.
As for sharing it around, firstly; there is more than enough to go around. Some people are going to need more than others. That’s inevitable. But the important thing is, we aren’t treating resources like assets or commodities anymore – that kind of thinking is ludicrous, very ineffective.
3. What is the paradigm we are shifting to?
Instead, we focus on what people would like from a free-market, but are unfortunately unable to sustain such an idea when applied because of an assumption that we must “own” things. We don’t have to – more to the point what is fascinating is realising what actually motivates us – and it has nothing to do with ownership, or even authorship.
I am talking about conscious evolution.
(to be continued…)