BY ANGELA DIACO
We are on the threshold of a brave new world — or so we are told. With all its promises of a materialistic utopia, life as seen by marketers and the media just keeps getting better on the ever-ascending path of never-ending progress. But somehow, this vision of a more perfect future doesn’t square with reality. The world we live in is one of anxious uncertainty and moral ambiguity with no clear sense of destiny to ground and guide us.
Artificial intelligence, catastrophic climate change, the gradual erosion and destruction of our political, religious and educational institutions are just some of the assaults to our collective humanity. Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years. The opioid crisis – one of many society-induced health problems – claimed 47,000 Americans in 2017 alone. But the greatest existential threat is perhaps to our human identity, our sense of dignity and an understanding of what it means to be a Human Being.
The pillars of our civilization are cracking as the edifice of past achievement lies in tatters scattered all around us. Rather than recognizing our achievements towards greater unity and fulfillment, we seem to have designed a world more suited for mobilizing machines than inspiring human beings. We no longer need to use our hands to create and soon we will no longer need our brains either. Thus we have to ask, in this brave new world, will there be any room for the human heart? Where does this leave the Human Being other than completed abandoned by the society that was designed to support her, evermore isolated and standing alone.
Our current crisis has less to do with the limits of technology and more related to an abdication of our Free Will. The world as it now stands is unsustainable and our current trajectory wholly untenable.
We have already proven to ourselves that a materialistic existence — no matter how much comfort and convenience or success and status we add to the equation – is, in the final analysis, empty. Such an existence, devoid of purpose and meaning, has never and never will be a source of happiness and fulfillment.
We are obsessed with the pursuit of an ever more elusive happiness because we believe it to be found outside of ourselves. Do we dare to look inward?
Why do we need a new Renaissance? All change that is lasting begins from within – we need an inner rebirth.