The definition of worldview, by www.thefreedictionary.com (for simplicity's sake), is:
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.
This isn't a long-winded story about my and my father's relationship. I'm simply beginning with our relationship as an example for a broader point, which will become clear before the end of this essay. Historically, I'd felt as though my father and I were two very different people, with a rift of uncommon likes and dislikes between us. But, as of late, I believe we are more similar than I had thought in years previous. My father is a sportsman, an athlete. He is a fighter, strong willed and idealistic. I can see how that sportsman in him transfers -- as he will also admit -- from games such as hockey into other affairs in his life, such as work, business, and finances. Every game comes with a set of rules, a scoreboard, and a winner. That's how Dad plays the game of life. And, although the activities in which I have chosen to participate do contrast significantly with my father's, I do operate similarly. What major differences exist, appear to me, to exist in our differing worldviews.
For years I'd condemned the indifferent actions and seeming ignorance -- as perceived by me -- of my father's baby boomer generation -- with respect to issues such as the dispute of global climate change, dismissal of irreparable widespread environmental degradation, and the blind, relentless pursuit of self interest, material accumulation, and financial gain. I'd blamed them for allowing the brutal maltreatment of the planet to continue, if not encourage it by idealizing the destructive, capitalistic, economy-over-environment paradigm. But, in years leading up to this era, widespread public discourse was not necessarily focused on these topics. It has been years of experiences, lessons, and social conditioning that has constructed their worldview into what it is today. And where my worldview differs today, it is because I have undergone an entirely different set of experiences and been exposed to my own unique streams of social conditioning. Acknowledging that, I cannot claim any sort of innocence in the predicament we're in -- I've got just as much blood on my hands as anyone else -- but I refuse to simply discredit or ignore the situation our very existence on this planet is faced with. And it's not just the older generations who offend, disappointingly. Even after all the available information today, after all the frighteningly clear signs of our planetary collision course, I see the vast majority of my own generation -- the ones our seniors claimed were going to change the world -- assimilate into the same dismissive, ignorant, self important, money seeking lifestyles. The sad thing is, much of that has even been perpetuated by our seniors as they, consciously or not, influence our own worldviews. But again, I must be careful of my scathing judgments, because what seems, to me, to be a dismissive, ignorant, self important, money seeking lifestyle may be someone's pursuit of goals and morals he or she believes to be righteous. Maybe he or she is not aware of the severity or reality of the widespread social and environmental consequences our fast paced, well dressed Western lifestyle costs the rest of the world. Maybe if they were, they would refuse to be complacent and conform. It all comes down to their worldview. And someone's worldview can only be developed over time, experience, and social conditioning. When considering a broader scale, it's obvious that worldviews differ even more greatly between regions, nations, climates, continents, ethnicity, and religions. How can there be so many worldviews, when we all live in the same world? Which is correct?
There is obviously no easy answer to that, but I do believe that most people or groups believe their own worldview to be correct. In many cases enough to warrant violence, oppression or pain on others of different bend. Perhaps one of the major reasons why contemporary humanity in bouncing around in in this catastrophic stalemate, unable to curtail our acceleration down this perilous path, is because no one can agree on one holistic view of the world, the cosmos, and our place within them. My recent focus has been on consciousness as the driving force behind our actions. But along with consciousness, worldview is the main determinant in how we behave. So, then, it seems realistic that the unprecedented, coordinated global action required to rehabilitate the planet and solidify a fair, humane, and sustainable existence for its inhabitants, would be most effectively brought about if we were somehow able to mitigate our differences, globally, and adopt a unified worldview. With unified action, humanity's potential is unbound and infinitely formidable. So, the most critical challenge now becomes how we can develop a clear, realistic and functional worldview that can be adopted by all humans. One that will encourage us to place the life of our home planet above self interest and greed. Here's my suggestion: Give every breathing human a cup full of Ayahuasca, and we'll go from there.