It is unbearably painful to watch the courageous people of Ukraine face off to the demonic ambitions of a dictator overrunning and destroying their country. But this is a historic moment, one in which every human motivation stands in clear relief before the eyes of the world like hardly ever before, calling us to appreciate fully our collective reality.
It was prophesied in the mid-19th century that a time will come when
God will bring everything to light, though it were but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or in the earth; for God is Subtile, informed of all.
It appears that this time has come. The outpouring of public support for the Ukrainian people throughout the world is showing clearly how much people long to see true integrity. Against the backdrop of the acute absence of integrity in our societies and the ‘normal’ jadedness of our daily lives, the resilience and stiff resistance of ordinary citizens in Kiev and other cities in Ukraine, the social media stories of heroic acts of even elderly people, and the extraordinary leadership of President Zelensky and his cabinet, are a true inspiration for millions. As people all over Europe and beyond are flooding the streets in support of Ukraine, and opening their homes for Ukrainian refugees, we are witnessing an awakening of our collective humanity at a new scale.
President Zelensky’s refusal of the U.S. offer of a ride to safety won our hearts. It stood in clear contrast to the cowardice, corruption, and self-interest in leaders that we are so accustomed to, and journalists wrote that “A Hero is Born”. But Zelensky is right when he said from the streets in Kiev: “The West is hiding behind Ukraine.” The initial response of the West with relatively feeble gestures of economic sanctions that stop short, according to the New York Times, of truly consequential measures by sparing Russia’s whole energy sector, made clear how much politicians have become used to hiding behind elevated words and empty promises.
Discerning commentaries have pointed out how much the International Finance Industry has benefited from laundering Russian oligarchs’ dirty money. And any one of us who grew up under communist dictatorships and watched our countries’ former regime’s brutal policemen become the savvy capitalists of today, playing business-as-usual with the West, are hardly surprised that there’s no muscle in the West to really stand for justice.
Despite the vast global problem of international money laundering, there are still no rules with teeth to stop it. Apparently, short-term economic expediency — not integrity or principle — rule the world, regardless of all the posturing of public servants as defenders of democracy and people of faith. Excellent documentaries have described for the general public the origins of this process of the hypernormalisation of expediency over ethical principle. Yet, it continues unchecked. No wonder we have such a rise in conspiracy theories — it is not too far-fetched to claim that it is the invisible elite of bankers and corporate billionaires that make the real decisions.
Dozens of excellent analyses, including the Freedom House new report, have traced the erosion of democratic governance worldwide since 2005, and the rise of fascist attitudes and methods before the eyes of paralyzed democratic political leaders, while authoritarian regimes are banding closer and closer together. People have pointed out that in 1939, Stalin and Hitler did the exact same thing to Poland that Putin is now doing to Ukraine, and the world remained passive until it found itself in a world war. Except now we have social media which make it impossible to say we did not know. Yet, countries that annex foreign territory are still members of the Security Council of a United Nations created after World War II to protect peace in the world. And they correctly point to the fact that other members of the Security Council have not hesitated to undermine democratic movements in Latin America and elsewhere and install puppet regimes, despite their indignation of other countries’ trespasses. And that while authorities blame Putin for spying, hacking, meddling, they still find it easier to depend on his oil rather than move drastically to renewable resources.
The agonizing injustice of Putin’s invasion, and the profound incoherence between politicians’ words and mandates and their actions, have awakened people’s moral imperative which has long been numbed by consumerism and empty talk. There is less and less patience for business as usual.
Is the Secretary General of the United Nations now going to address the world and candidly admit that the current structure of the United Nations can apparently no longer protect peace in the world and needs to be urgently restructured? Or is he going to channel the authority of the United Nations into simply absorbing the waves of Ukrainian refugees and addressing this next humanitarian disaster, along with Afghanistan and many others?
Iraqi veterans write poignantly about what may be the real options for people of conscience in the face of this global farce. They still remember the compelling stories, appealing to minds and hearts, that were told to them to have them go to war — only to find out that war turns you into the kind of monster you signed up to fight. Now Russian soldiers are living that same hell: before them elderly Ukrainian citizens are kneeling to stop their tanks, behind them generals of no conscience are ordering them forward. And ordinary people everywhere are expressing compassion for the Russian people who are at the mercy of a merciless lost soul. We all now know beyond a hint of doubt that war can no longer be a solution to any conflict of interests, especially as scientists are warning us that the window on reversing climate crisis is rapidly closing.
There is only one kind of war that I have seen endorsed in serious spiritual sources — where a truly global force under a united and truly global governance exists only for the purpose of stopping the rise of dictators worldwide.
Imagine that for a moment. What kind of cleansing of all our private motivations and outdated limited identities would have to happen to make this possible? Mind you, not a military alliance of a few Western countries but a global force serving to protect global human security.
To what new level of discernment and will — the most fundamental faculties of being human — would we have to rise? That is what spiritual traditions in every part of the world have been warning. That humanity’s coming of age will be painful because we rarely choose to work toward spiritual maturity individually and together but, rather, we tend to twist spiritual teachings into reasons for turf wars of domination.
But as I wrote in my previous piece, such spiritual maturity of communities is on the rise worldwide. And those are not Kumbaya gatherings.
So, what is the path from witnessing our current reality to coming of age as a world, in which such treacherousness is no longer possible?
We have the option to mobilize not just in the streets, but on every level of our spiritual, ethical, financial, and community resources, and to disband any leadership, of clergy or of politicians, that incites divisiveness. We have the option to reach deeper into our souls and recognize that if we do not keep faith that such human transformation is possible, life is not worth living. And once we own that reality, we have the option to channel all our creativity into collective consultative initiatives that will force political, religious, and financial decision-makers to align with transitioning into a planetary governance that actually works.
If you think, ‘oh that’s so utopian’, just look around. Look at everything that human intelligence, creativity, will, compassion, and collaboration has already created. And let’s remember, quantum physicists have now confirmed the foundational premise of every spiritual tradition — that reality is primarily spiritual, governed by spiritual laws, and when we align ourselves with these laws, rather than become intimidated by material barriers, we find powerful resources, we feel whole, and life gains purpose.
So, let us not wait to make other people heroes. Let us find the courage to acknowledge on every level how corrupt all our systems have become and that we can and will start the change process now. It is not enough to pray for Ukraine. While prayers are much needed, people of conscience have a lot of cleaning up and building momentum to do. As I write these words, the picture at the top of this post was streamed on Facebook.
I will close with another prophesy from the turn of the 20th century, which the Facebook picture confirms — humanity has awakened to the reality of our oneness and is acting out of it. Leaders will have no choice but to follow suite:
This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous… You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity. The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind…
Based on the in-depth exploration of the processes of our individual and collective global healing in my recent book Global Unitive Healing.