The Wisdom Page 


by Alan Nordstrom

          The world we “know” is the world as we perceive it: our worldview.  Our worldview is our ever-altering, evolving conception of how the world goes and of our place in it; and this view—a subjective compound of sense and imagination—we call “reality.”  Whatever may be the state of some hypothetical Absolute Reality (if it exists), the only reality we can “know” is that contrived and presented to us by our worldview.

          Naturally we seek companionship and consolation with other people who view the world as we do, who make sense of it in similar ways.  And naturally we find disturbing those whose worldviews vary from our own—the more divergent they are, the more distressing.  The worldview of a radical Muslim eager to become a martyr for his beliefs as a suicide bomber who blows up children and other civilians diverges radically, I’d bet, from your and my worldview.

          But there’s just our problem: in this jostling time of “globalization,” we’re all in each others’ spaces and faces.  There’s no more insularity, no insulation from our differing worldviews.  Nothing is “foreign” any more when it’s right next door.  We have to deal with it and assimilate it, reconciling somehow the differences in our worldviews—or go to war against it, a mad option at any time.

          The world is striving to evolve a universal worldview that amalgamates all provincial disparities into a common conception of reality, one that allows all people to live harmoniously as Global Citizens.  But the pressures of resistance are intense, particularly among those of differing religious faiths and socio-economic ideologies, entrenched in their dogmas and belief systems.

          Who are the visionaries today who can foresee that Global World-view we must evolve toward before we turn Spaceship Earth into the next Titanic?  Clearly, these are desperate times, but can they be transcended?  Can a New Age of Global Wisdom emerge from the outrageous contentions of our times?  What view of reality will let us live most fruitfully as human beings in just and generous community with each other?  What ways of being will let us all thrive to the fullest?  A clear vision of that happy condition is the worldview we are seeking.