The next stage of human evolution is to learn to live together harmoniously and productively. We as a human society have been aware of an environmental and planetary crisis of gigantic proportions for the last few decades. Environmental upheavals and the mostly human induced crises of global warming, pollution, deforestation and ethnic violence consume the headlines. Opinions of scientists, politicians, religious leaders and common folk run the gamut from “we are doomed” to “the future of humanity is bright”. The latter opinion was elaborated by P.R. Sarkar in his book, The Liberation of the Intellect: Neohumanism . Sarkar went on to say that we have passed through a very dark period in human history and that we have now crossed over a threshold into a new era, into a period of light in which a “new wave” of thought is being manifest. This “new wave” of thought is elevating the “humanist” value of love of humanity to the “neohumanist” value of love of all beings, animate and inanimate. This neohumanist love or devotional sentiment towards all beings recognizes the unity of all. It is this devotional sentiment that Sarkar posits as necessary for real progress simultaneously on the physical, psychic, social and spiritual planes.
To embrace this positive prophecy of a bright future for all and adopt its universal values begs of us, not only a first step of thinking positively about our future, but truly owning a conviction to and determination for a sustainable future. Sustainability in this new “era of light” must be comprehensive. We must achieve a balance on physical, mental, social, economic and spiritual levels. Buddha’s exhortation to “be the light you want to see in the world” is a starting point. If you decide to choose life/love over death and a dismal future, that’s when the hard work begins. We are at this crossroad now and everyone will choose, each moment of their lives, consciously or unconsciously, the path of darkness or of light. What are we each choosing right now? Can we embrace the responsibility that comes with choosing life? Can we express the gifts that we all have to offer or will we choose avoidance of our competence and suppress the sublime within us? We are witnessing widespread suffering produced by human-directed destruction of the environment and a hegemonism that fuels ill distributed wealth and violence. If we don’t develop the needed coordinated cooperation within the next few decades we are threatened with drowning in our own waste and competitive conflicts.
Sarkar’s neohumanist philosophy counters this threat and pessimism by recognizing a new wave of universal thought in the human mind espousing the love of all created beings. He states that this wave of neohumanist thought is moving in ever-increasing circles and offers the choice of a cooperative and sustainable society in a new era of light. Sarkar encourages us to join this neohumanist philosophy and blueprint for action with like-minded approaches to achieve our common goals for the general welfare of all, including plants, animals and the inanimate world. Let us move together towards this bright new future acting globally and locally as the world grows smaller every day, remembering that small positive efforts on the part of individuals can produce great results.