From Alan Parsons Project, in the song above, “Time,” we hear the words, “Time keeps flowing like a river to the sea.” We cannot stop the flow of time just as we cannot stop the evolution of humankind to new realities which must emerge from the collective consciousness of all human beings.
The writer, Thomas Wolfe, was sensitive to that collective consciousness in 1937 when he wrote these words titled, “Toward Which,” as part of his farewell to Germany:
“—Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded,
Toward which the conscience of the world is tending —
A wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”
“Toward which the conscience of the world is tending” said Wolfe. The events of the past week in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt demonstrate the rising of a budding consciousness throughout the world that will be unstoppable – as unstoppable as a wind rising, or a river flowing, or time passing. What is going to be unstoppable is the need to free the human spirit to its full expression, without repression imposed by autocratic governments.
In my New Year, 2011, post entitled, “A New Year: A Budding World Consciousness,” I had written the following words, which appear now, in retrospect, to be a forewarning to coming events:
“The old realities of hierarchial thinking are giving way to realities based on truths not mandated from outside of oneself, but which spring from within oneself. We are beginning to relate to others laterally, instead of vertically – as brothers and sisters, instead of as masters and servants. Long held hierarchial communication within religious, social, and political institutions is giving way to a more egalitarian form of communication. Within my lifetime, dramatic changes have already occurred which reflect this paradigm shift of consciousness.
“During Iran’s 2009 presidential election protests, in which the beautiful young woman Neda was killed on the streets of Tehran, people were willing to die so that they would not to be ruled from without by power which, they felt, gave them no voice. They were seeking a more egalitarian world. As Mama Cass Elliot sang in 1970, ‘a new world is coming.’ All the signs point to it. The old world is quickly coming to an end.
“The voluntary relinquishing of power is the primary ingredient needed to move from a vertical to a lateral manner of relating to others. The first president of the United States, George Washington, modeled great wisdom for his nation’s progeny, when – after having guided the American military forces to victory over Great Britain – he chose to relinquish his power and to return to life as a private citizen at Mt. Vernon.”
From President Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, , on June 4, 2009:
“America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.
“For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.
“This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared.”
“Toward which the conscience of the world is tending —
A wind is rising, and the rivers flow.”