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Like alcoholics at a twelve-step meeting, we must admit the truth: existence has become unmanageable for the human species. At every level, from individual emotional stability to couple and family relationships to global politics, life is in deadlock. There is no solution to our problems—or even the possibility to will a solution—so long as human consciousness remains at its current level of incomplete development.

Our conflicted egocentric psychic economy, reflected in our sociopolitical conflicts, must be transcended. Our addiction to the drives and pleasures of the ego—to its nasty attributes like narcissism, greed, hatred, prejudice, aggression, deception, venality, and denial—is destroying our collective existence.

If we are going to survive, we must evolve rapidly to higher levels of consciousness. This has been the deepest yearning of humanity since the dawn of recorded time, the raison d’etre of every religion, the message of every great prophet and sage in history. But now our time has run out. We cannot wait for some messiah or avatar or revolutionary movement or benign extraterrestrials or any other form of utopian Other to accomplish the redemption for us. We must do the work of inner transformation ourselves—and do it immediately.

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The transformation of consciousness has become THE existential imperative. We either transform now or succumb to extinction. Whether we succeed or fail as an evolutionary experiment will be determined by us, the set of presently existing human beings. And the transformation required can only be achieved one human being at a time. It cannot be mass-produced, although we can accelerate the process by creating a planetary culture that supports this achievement. But someone must go first. We ourselves, each of us who become aware of the imperative, must become role models of the attainment of that supreme ideal.

Each of us must take responsibility for our own inner development—for achieving ego death, followed by sacred rebirth as manifestations of the one Cosmic Self. Out of the illusion that we are many, we must realize we are one—this is the real meaning of the credo on the U.S. dollar bill: E Pluribus Unum. What is necessary is not an egoic parody of unity, in the form of submission to empire, or empty new-age nostrums that mask the persistence of infantile ego-systems, but the authentic oneness of the Divine Presence, made possible through rigorous disciplines of self-transformation, meditation, and radical paradigm shift.

It is an ethical imperative that we make the project of self-transformation the top item on our life’s agenda. Without the attainment of sacred rebirth into our highest and most genuine potential Selfhood, all else is in vain. We owe such a metamorphosis to our loved ones, to our ancestors and our descendants—but most of all, we owe it to our Self, to the Source of our existence, to the supreme power and intelligence that has created us all.

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