The universal circumstance of life is now interconnected, fast-changing and uncertain. There is nowhere to hide from this new context. In every nation is the mystery of all nations.
Throughout history cultures have developed ways of thinking and behaving that fit the worlds they inhabit. In the West we grow people with minds well adapted to the demands of life in an industrial context. We have favoured a worldview based on intellectual mastery, hierarchical and linear logics and quantification.
Other cultures have drawn on different mental traditions, some stretching back thousands of years, in which rationality plays a less central role and where relational networks and circular logics take priority in organising thought, identity and society. Some like Japan and Korea have been hugely successful in adapting to the industrial paradigm while others, among them tribal and indigenous societies, have been less successful in partaking of the fruits of industrial culture and are falling further and further behind.
People in all societies now find that living well in the new global context requires deep changes in consciousness - new minds for new times. The new stance connects synthetic skills such as imagination and intuition with analytic skills of quantification and rationality. It embraces the relationship between embodied knowledge and codified knowledge and reclaims capacities such as storymaking, faith, emotion, empathy and love as essential elements of knowledge. Such expanded capacities also provide ways to feel less overwhelmed, more fulfilled and more psychologically whole so as to thrive as persons and communities in powerful times.
Maintaining a sense of identity and integrity in the new multicultural context, feeling at home in a world of many beliefs, many truths, many realities, will require that we approach diversity in a new way - not a clash but a dance of civilisations.
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