What is Maturity in a Global Age?

A Double Rainbow?

Every day the news is filled with staggering accounts of the unsustainability of our current national and global systems, yet we continue to try to live within them as though expecting some miracle to make things change for the better without having to do the hard work of foundational change of mindsets.

But these double rainbows, like many extraordinary efforts quietly taking place in every corner of the world, signal a time of rare opportunity — one that the trolls of systems of domination in every society want people not to know about.

Those of us whose lives have not yet been rerouted by massive disaster like floods or wars, leaving us homeless and unwanted, seem to imagine that if we just keep tending to our families and livelihood despite many daily challenges, somehow systemic corruption, global political tensions, and the climate crisis will resolve themselves, and we will be able to carry on with our lives. In reality this delusion cannot last.

In my recent award-winning book, Global Unitive Healing, I explain the many ways in which we have already left home, so to speak, and there is no going back. What we considered mature adulthood is finding itself rather helpless when faced with the pervasive ethic of global corporate empires of materialism. This ethic has left the middle-class in most countries where it exists scrambling to keep up, neurotic, with fragmented psyches and families and a commodified existence, working ever more and more, and finding less and less peace unless self-medicating. In the rest of the world, this same ethic is causing wide-spread poverty, hunger, and environmental destruction, endorsing greed, cynical self-interest, and exploitation, violating basic human rights, covering up for targeted murders of people who resist.

What in our education has left us so unequipped to connect the dots between the millions of unwanted refugees, the migrants choosing the risk of dangerous Mediterranean crossing in rickety boats and drowning in the hundreds every year, and our unbridled and mindless consumption? What does maturity in a global age mean? To use Ken Wilber’s categories of becoming whole, what do we have to Wake Up to? What do we have to Grow Up into? What do we have to Open Up to? What do we have to Clean Up? How do we have to Show Up before our own homes are endangered by fires or torrential rains on a heated planet? Do we really believe that national sovereignty can solve these vast planetary issues? And if not, what changes of mindset does that call for in each of us?

Both developmental psychology and planetary thinkers such as Ken Wilber, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Erich Fromm, Ervin Laszlo, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jurgen Habermas and many others have described how genuine maturity widens horizons of concern beyond personal preoccupations and ideological clashes to principled thinking and collaborative socially responsible action.

This article was first published in my new LinkedIn newsletter, Cultural Upshift to Maturity (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-maturity-global-age-elena-mustakova-possardt%3FtrackingId=9j3M1pWoTTi4ACObxy1HyA%253D%253D/?trackingId=9j3M1pWoTTi4ACObxy1HyA%3D%3D), which will explore the many facets of growing into maturity in an inevitably global age and upshifting our cultures and mindsets, so that we can contribute meaningfully to a more stable and thriving planet.

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