Page 19 - The.Ascent.of.Humanity
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price. Helplessly, we respond to each failure of control with more of it, 

postponing but ultimately intensifying the eventual day of reckoning. As 

the social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital of Chapter Four is ex- 

hausted, as our technology proves helpless to avert the impending crises, 

the collapse of the world under control looms closer. It is this collapse, 

which the present convergence of crises portends, that will set the stage 

for the Age of Reunion described in Chapter Seven.

While classical science presents the illusion of separation as fact, sci- 

entific developments of the last century have rendered the Newtonian 

world-machine obsolete. Chapter Six describes how the crumbling of the 

objective, reductionistic, deterministic worldview opens the door not just 

to a new mode of technology, but also to a spirituality that sees sacred- 

ness, purpose, and meaning as fundamental properties of matter. Part of 

our separation has been to see spirit as distinct from matter, either im- 

posed from the outside by an extra-natural God, or a mere figment of 

our imagination. Assiduously avoiding New Age clich́s about quantum 

mechanics, Chapter Six draws on recent developments in physics, yes, 

but also evolutionary biology, ecology, mathematics, and genetics. It lays 

the scientific groundwork for a reuniting of matter and spirit, as well the 

reuniting of man and nature, self and other, work and play, and all the 

other dualisms of the Age of Separation.

We are witnessing in our time the intensification of separation to its 

breaking point—the convergence of crises mentioned above that is 

birthing a new era. I call it the Age of Reunion. Chapter Seven portrays 

what life might look like no longer founded on the illusion of the discrete 

and separate self. Drawing on the new scientific paradigms of Chapter 

Six, it describes a system of money, economics, medicine, education, 

science and technology that seeks not the control or transcendence of 

nature, but our fuller participation in nature. Yet it is not a return to the 

past, nor a divestiture of the gifts of hand and mind that make us human. 

The Age of Reunion is rather a new human estate, a return to the har- 

mony and wholeness of the hunter-gatherer but at a higher level of or- 

ganization and a higher level of consciousness. It does not reverse but 

rather integrates the entire course of separation, which we may begin to 

see as an adventure of self-discovery instead of a terrible blunder.

Although I affirm the general, growing premonition of our civiliza- 

tion’s impending crash, the enormous misery and ruination we have 

wrought is not in vain. Look at the New York City skyline, or a closeup 

of an integrated circuit board: Could it all be for nought? Could the in-

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