The early morning news today was dominated by reports about a drive by the UK government to impose the use of GM crops on the EU; a major summit of leading scientists in London to try to resolve the dangerous and growing failure of antibiotics to treat disease through new inventions; and continuing questions over the secret use of technology to invade privacy. I was reminded of Atlantis.
Atlantis, as you may know, was the great, flawed civilisation that followed Lemuria many thousands of years ago. Lemuria was one of the great exemplars of how Earth is a planet of balance, for in Lemuria there was an understanding and practice of co-operation with nature, of a community living in kindness where everything was shared, and where the concept of possession, desire, was unknown. Power was expressed through gentleness, and the community leaders were those who were the spiritual teachers and healers, though everyone was considered equal, each with their own unique and valuable gift to contribute.
When Lemuria faded, taken over by the growing might of Atlantis, it was believed that their cherished precepts for life would be perpetuated by Atlanteans, and indeed for a time it was so, and for some Atlanteans they continued to be important though for others their growing technological advances ceased to be seen as tools to assist a peaceful way of life but as tools for power and wealth. Lemuria had been a society of balance, and Atlantis became one of polarisation.
Our world is polarised too, caught between two extremes of materialism and altruism where some individuals are prepared to abuse people and nature for their own gain at whatever cost, and others are doing their valiant best to prevent the gross misuse of our planetary resources before it is too late. I wonder sometimes if, in my clarity of perception of the needs and dangers of the situation, I am failing to see an obvious truth that is known by world leaders and pundits and not by me as they continue to push us towards this increasing separation between nature and man using the weapon of technology.
The separation lies not just between us and nature but between the powerful and the “ordinary”: the Prism scandal has revealed, embarrassingly for the American government, how immensely sophisticated systems have been used for years to spy on the public, gathering information that could one day be used against us, and there may be more going on to monitor our activities than we know yet. It is easy for governments to control us secretly, not just through Prism but through what is put in our drinking water and vaccines, for example – we just do not know, but it is time we did.
And I am heartened that others think so too, as the bosses of Google, Facebook and Microsoft are calling for greater transparency as they see their companies implicated in the furore over the misuse of data. Truth will out, and more whistleblowers will appear to tell their tale; it is time and it is necessary if we are to avoid another Atlantean finale.