By William Alkhoury January 9th, 2024
How do we make sense of how the global landscape is changing? Can we comprehend the new possibilities available to us? Are we headed towards societal disaster? What dynamics are at play in our current moment in history? To better understand and gain insight into the major unfolding global trends, let us examine three key movements: globalization; hyper-accelerating technology; and the emergence of new worldviews, a new god-image, and psychological attitude. A greater understanding and deeper comprehension of these trends would allow us to participate more intelligently in their unfolding, liberating and enabling humanity greater freedom and creativity to shape our future. To guide our evolutionary progress, we must have a thorough scientific, social, psychological, and ethical understanding of human nature and the environment we inhabit.
We are the middle children of history, with no purpose and no place. In an age of meaninglessness, the present condition of Western civilization threatens the world with dangers that far outweigh its many achievements and blessings. Despite remarkable achievements in physical science and technology, we still struggle to find solutions to fundamental issues such as peace, political stability, economic security, social harmony, cultural relations, psychological fulfillment, and spiritual meaning. As we acquire God-like power through science and technology, humankind wields the ability to remake the world. What, then, are the prospects for the future? Can we be trusted with our own destiny? Can we foresee which technological advancements will be of benefit and which will be too dangerous to pursue? Is the human race to better itself? Everything may be possible, but what is desirable? And upon what criteria do we use to make our choices? If we are to guide and direct the future, it makes sense to ask, what is humanity at its best? And what conditions foster the growth of humanity? We must consider the highest aspirations of human life to understand ourselves fully. Given the state of the world today with rising neurosis including widespread addiction, violence, and suicide at all-time highs we must face and confront the spiritual state of our civilization. Modern civilization is in a state of chaos and is disintegrating because it has no workable knowledge of the meaning and true end of human life. Modern civilization fails to satisfy profound human needs. The alarming data pointing to a lack of a stable, healthy, and unified society, raises the question as to whether there is not something fundamentally wrong with the Western way of life and with the aims toward which society is striving. One undeniable fact is that our religious and educational institutions are not providing the wisdom or power necessary to confront the political, economic, and psychological challenges in which we find ourselves. Today, the world is provided with a historical opportunity—to develop a science that takes as its primary task the understanding of what makes life worth living.
Meaning-centered therapy and existential positive psychology offer us the means and tools for promoting individual healing, freedom, and creativity facilitating and acting as a catalyst for positive social change. Modern Western society has lost touch with the spiritual aspect of life, which is an integral part of the human experience. This spiritual poverty lies at the core of all human suffering, causing people to feel disconnected, unhappy, and unfulfilled, contributing to a range of social problems, including environmental degradation, social inequality, and political instability. To overcome this spiritual poverty, people need to reconnect with the natural world, embrace the mystical and spiritual aspects of life, and adopt a more holistic and integrated approach to living. People need to move beyond the narrow confines of rationality and materialism and embrace a more expansive and spiritually meaningful vision of life. The key to overcoming spiritual poverty is to develop a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and to cultivate a sense of awe and wonder for the mysteries of the universe. By embracing a more spiritual and mystical approach to life, people can transcend their limited individual selves and tap into a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. Society’s spiritual poverty needs people to reconnect with their spiritual selves and the natural world in order to overcome the sense of disconnection and meaninglessness that characterizes modern Western society. The power of individual transformation, personal growth, and self-exploration are the keys to creating positive social change.