By Stephen Dinan
While it is true that much of the world seemed to go about business as usual in 2013, we also saw remarkable signs of a tectonic shift now underway in our world, with a growing movement towards a unified global culture. I trust that the literally hundreds of prophecies related to 2012 as a turning point in the birth of a new era of global peace are pointing towards something profound - a shift in the very foundation of human consciousness on planet earth.
Like all tectonic shifts, though, the changes are slow at first and only register as the kind of rapid evolution that we associate with times like the Renaissance in the rearview mirror of history. Whether we’re looking at the unprecedented rise of women through organizations like One Billion Rising, the epochal shift in public opinion and legal status for gay marriage, the sea change in the Catholic church with Pope Francis, the averting of a war with Syria at a late stage, or a truly unprecedented year for African-American themed films, there are remarkable signs of the emergence of a positive new culture.
On the deepest level, I see 2013 as the first year of what we will eventually call the “global era” of human history, when we truly begin to unify consciously as one global family. Part of this process of creating oneness means addressing where there have been ruptures.
First and foremost, for a unified global era to emerge, we need to rebalance between masculine and feminine on the planet. We are transitioning from patriarchy to masculine-feminine balance and that means women are surging into power like never before. One Billion Rising called forth February 14th as a global day for dance in opposition to violence against women, which was a beautiful new kind of revolution. Women senators lead the way in ending the US government shutdown, ushering a new recognition of the power of the feminine way to transcend stalemates. We saw a parallel surge in provocative women entertainers stretching the boundaries of permissible female behavior. I see this as all part of women reclaiming their full power and standing as co-architects of this new era in partnership with men (who also are reintegrating their feminine sides).
This process of masculine-feminine balancing is evident in the historically unprecedented surge in acceptance of gay marriage and gay rights in general, not only in the United States but spreading more globally. In a masculine-dominant culture, gays are more threatening to strict gender identities and thus the rise of acceptance of gays goes hand in hand with the fuller embrace of masculine and feminine qualities in EITHER body, including in who and how we choose to express love.
We also witnessed a reclamation of what I would call the authentic Christ consciousness, which is more balanced, rooted in sacred love, less judgmental, and not caught up in doctrinal differences. Pope Francis offered us a beautiful example of how to be a humble evolutionary within a religious structure. On a far smaller scale, Shift showcased a number of pioneers in who are reclaiming a more global, masculine-feminine balanced understanding of what Christ consciousness really is. This is part of a surge in Interspirituality and global interreligious dialogue that is erasing some of the polarization between religions.
Part of creating a unified global culture means social healing of some of the biggest wounds. This year was a landmark in indigenous rights movements such as Idle No More in Canada (which began in late 2012) and it also was probably the most remarkable year for African-American films. Movies like 42 (focused on Jackie Robinson), The Butler, and 12 Years a Slave offered powerful ways to continue the process of healing racism and slavery.
Internationally, diplomacy and peace movements took a stronger role in defusing the situation in Syria, which was perilously close to a larger war, and recently in Iran, with a tentative agreement on nuclear enrichment after decades of standoffs. In both cases, the movement towards cooperative solutions triumphed over wars and threats.
Edward Snowden also became a polarizing figure for his disclosure of government spying. Without passing judgment on his acts, I see this as part of an inevitable acceleration of bringing more transparency to old power structures, something I think will keep increasing as part of the “shedding” of the old patterns of power.
Technologically, it is also significant that 2013 is when which commercial space efforts began to accelerate in earnest, with Virgin Galactic coming close to the first paid commercial flights and Space X advancing their work as well. It’s interesting that Gravity was also one of the top films, beautifully illustrating the perils of such a shift. As we unify our world, it is natural that we begin to turn our attention more to traveling into space more regularly as the next frontier. This is definitely part of the shift to a global era.
There were, undoubtedly, many sad, horrifying, and depressing events as well, which on the surface may seem like we’re regressing. I am not a Pollyanna in seeing 2013 as an overwhelmingly positive year on the whole. While there is truth in the tragedies, I do see great evidence that, to use King’s words, “the arc of the universe bends towards justice” and, I believe, a unified planet.
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This article appears in:
2013 Catalyst - Issue 22