Time for a New Human Contract?
‘No sign will enlighten those whose eyes remain closed. But for those whose look is clear, darkness itself becomes a sign. For do they not know that the night grows darker as dawn approaches?’
In a previous essay I noted that for the first time in our known human history, civilization in most of its forms has come to a halt. We have been stopped in mid-posture — a state of arrested movement — and have been placed in a space we are totally unaccustomed to. I suggested that this moment is also an opportune time to ‘arrest the flow of thoughts’ — i.e., to step out of our regular, day-to-day thinking habits — in order to enter a period of reflection. When the external world goes into a phase of increased uncertainty and disruption, it is all the more important to create our own personal refuges, or sanctuaries, of quiet consideration.
We are now beginning that gradual climb out of our quarantined cocoons and seeing the world anew. What now faces us is the question of how we accept, or allow, our collective future to unfold. The ‘covid consciousness’ that has infected us globally, through the entire human species, can have the effect of awakening us into a stimulated frame of mind, with new perceptions triggered — or it can force us into accepting a new consensus reality (the ‘new normal’) for the foreseeable future. Do we come out of our cocoons with a butterfly consciousness, or do we retain the caterpillar’s mind?
We are presently not all out of our ‘cocooned lockdown’ — not fully yet. And this, I feel, is a good thing as many of us still have time for a reconsideration of where we are, what we are doing, and where we wish to go. This is not a story about viruses, or dead infectious parasites — this is a tale of contagious sentient life. What I see is that human life has been radically halted — the brakes applied — as if being placed under a microscope of our own viewing. We have been compelled to view and to see ourselves in a way that has never been done before. We have entered into humanity’s largest experiment, and we are the test cases. Before we can take further steps into what will become the most significant era for humanity’s future — into a phase of rapid evolutionary acceleration — we first need to take a ‘stop’ and to examine ourselves.
Similarly, we may consider this as an act of ‘force majeure,’ whereby humanity is now free from its prior commitments to a way of life it had contracted itself into. If we are free from our past contract, then whilst the world’s politicians are speaking of a ‘Second Wave’ of the virus, perhaps we should be considering this as allowing a ‘Second Wave’ for our human-focused transition — to begin a new trajectory, a new timeline for a human-planetary future. The past contract that humanity got itself involved in has now come to represent dysfunctional systems, damaging ideals and beliefs, and a ruinous path to a destructive future. If there was ever a time to break with this contract and to agree upon a new manner of collaboration and reciprocal maintenance, then this force majeure offers us a unique opportunity. This term of law also refers to an ‘event described by the legal term act of God.’ Something that hits us ‘out of the blue’ is able to annul an existing, binding contract. Is this not an ideal opportunity for humanity to free itself from the chains of its bondage to a contract of rife consumerism, widespread corruption in our social systems, endemic fraud, rampant exploitation, and pervasive lies? Is it not time for a new social contract to be negotiated? Yet first, we need to start from a place closer to home.
As long as the majority of people expect all problems to be solved outside of themselves then our societies will continue to be dominated by these unruly forces. The question of liberation from these forces depends upon people willing to assume the responsibility of their own personal power — the power to perceive what needs to be done, and how things should be done. The faculties of personal perception need to be awakened further. Instead of running headlong into the external world with passion and the energy to make great change, perhaps first we should be directing this passionate energy into perceiving our own internal states and the necessity for clarity of vision. Only then will we have an aligned focused intent to manifest the change we wish to see in the world.
We cannot go back to where we have been — the ‘new normal’ is a fallacy. It is a slick marketing trick to lull the mind into the trap of familiarity. There is so much shifting now occurring in the world that, for some people, it is making them feel dizzy. For others, it is creating a feeling of nausea. Not only is it the sudden shift in the rhythm of our lives that has happened, it is the abrupt halt to familiar patterns — of thinking, feeling, and acting. We have been caught off-guard; a species that was slumbering when the tsunami arrived. Now we are gasping for air.
The compelling forces around us are rushing to re-make the old order along revised lines. It is the same old contract but updated without our knowledge and binding us into the contract indefinitely — with no ‘get out’ clause. Next time, the ‘force majeure’ may not be allowed and we’ll find the ‘act of God’ wiped from the small print. The contract now being written-up on our behalf appears to be for the next phase of humanity’s foreseeable technologically managed future. And if you cannot see it coming now, then you soon will — when it’s all around you. The movement we are in — our current slipstream — is irreversible. It is up to us, then, to participate in its forward direction.
The irreversible slipstream is also a perilous current to get swept along in. As well as physical events, this rushing flow is also emotional, psychological, and energetic. It easily pulls a person in so that the observer gets caught up in the action. We are seeing this irreversible momentum now sweeping through many parts of the world, and people from all backgrounds and classes are getting caught in its riptide. These riptides are unpredictable currents that are especially hazardous to inexperienced swimmers. Their increased perilous nature is that they often occur near to the shore where people consider themselves safest. They believe they can always get out easily. Yet it is often not the case. There is a great swell of repressed and angry energy erupting along our near shorelines, and this energy is infectious. Some of this energy may be necessary at this time, as a burning of the fields may help the new seeds to be planted. The issue here is that such erratic energies also need to be detached from — for attaching to them is likely to serve an already existing predisposed agenda. Be warned, it is such emotional-passionate energies that are more likely to be funneled into fueling the way for an increased solidifying of the status quo — only in a more dominant way. When we identify with an event, we fuel it. When we identify with a surrounding energy, we attract more of the same energy into our sphere. In order to consider creating a new human contract between ourselves and the world, we first need to individually and collectively shift into a different space.
You cannot develop a new way, or paradigm, by occupying the same space as the old. It is like wearing your parent’s clothes to go to your wedding. A new way of doing things requires the allowance of a new energy, which first requires a letting go of the old, incumbent — and now dysfunctional — energy. If we do not take this opportunity that has been given to us, there is the looming possibility that old forces will retain their grip onto the ‘old contract’ and only amend this outdated document with further clauses of centralized control, social management, and a new technological ordering of human society. The new human being is currently in the state of a human becoming.
The great perennial task of humanity has always been the same: to become what we have always been, and to show others the way by our own individual presence and behavior. When we are finally able to heal ourselves from within then, and only then, can we heal others and the world without. The power for change begins and ends with us, the individual — not from the hand of a minority elite. The question of a new human contract is to resist the forces of dehumanization. If we do not awaken to our potentials during the space of this ‘covid consciousness,’ then we are vulnerable to the encroaching forces of dehumanizing social-technological control. The real question of our time is how to retain our humanity in the face of a diverse array of energetic and emotional disturbances. And if we overcome the rushing forces of this slipstream, then a magnificent ocean awaits us for future sailing.
We are now in the moment of our own choosing. We are being asked to consider, with care, what type of a future we wish to move into — both individually and collectively. And most importantly, how to make this future one that embraces the full human being.
Kingsley L. Dennis is the author of THE MODERN SEEKER: A Perennial Psychology for Contemporary Times and other books. Visit his website — http://www.kingsleydennis.com/
 A term of law. Definition: ‘Force majeure is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or an event described by the legal term act of God prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.’