The False Boundaries and Real Connections in Global Governance
This article is a talk given at the Pint of Science Festival 2022 in Cork City.
An overview of the global governance
In the past three hundred thousand years, we, homo sapiens, have evolved in such fascinating ways, during which we drove our society passing through the stages of foraging, horticultural, agrarian, industrial and informational. (Ken Wilber)
In each stage, we were able to create new tools and ways to think, to conquer and build, to connect with each other, to meet our needs and desires; we were even able to create new desires and needs for ourselves and others. And at the same time, we created a lot of corresponding problems as well.
In the 2022 Global Risks Report released by the World Economic Forum earlier this year, there were 37 kinds of global risks that were identified and considered that could possibly cause significant negative impact for countries or industries over the next 10 years.
In academia and higher education, we tend to build on existing theories and propose better methods and approaches to address and solve these problems and prepare the rising generation to cope with these issues in the world they will be living in. We look at issues such as economic issues, environmental issues, geopolitical issues, societal issues, technological issues, and so on.
My primary research field was about conflicts of law, which is a branch of juridical science that aims to avoid or harmonize the conflicts of rules from different legal systems and cultures. I also do research in the fields of cross-sector conflict management and negotiation.
In my research, I noticed that one of the challenges that we face in our society and global governance is the knowledge gap and the lack of information involved in the work. Especially when they happen in cross-sector, cross-culture and cross-border scenarios. We also see a lot of human-made walls that were made to block the understanding of each other. I called them false boundaries. I call these types of lack of knowledge, information and awareness “false boundaries in global governance”
In a way, it is true.
So, I thought what I could do as a scholar and educator is to teach the students a holistic and interdisciplinary thinking mindset, expand their knowledge and understanding system, help them to look at the world beyond a certain type of collective mindset, and eventually empower them to break down these human-made false boundaries.
Together with my team, we developed a negotiation model called inclusive international negotiation, during which, students can simulate the roles of a company, government, NGO, and IGO in a global governance project and negotiate with each other by following an inclusive decision-making model to make sure the project will benefit all stakeholders involved. This model has been used in some universities and countries.
Still, in a way, this is also not bad, right?
An Approach of Looking at False Boundaries from Meditation
But it is not just this. That is so much more beyond this level of the understanding of false boundaries.
In my spare time, I am a longstanding meditation practitioner. I have practiced meditation for so many years and because I meditate so much and often, it has become quite natural for me to be able to tap into a very deep meditation state.
I am sure many of you have heard about all these scientific findings and illustrations about mediation and honestly it is really fun to meditate.
There were a few times that I was taken to higher levels of consciousness where I saw a whole other level of false boundaries. This is what I really want to share with you today.
There was one time, I experienced this state during which, the identify of this person and her personality, of this body and mind, was completely gone and dissolved. Instead, my consciousness was almost like retreating back to this massive feeling of being a vast ocean of pure energy, where I am all of it, the entire ocean field.
Another time, I tapped into this very high density of consciousness again, and I saw or sensed the very source of myself, or my soul, formed itself into multiple layers of matrix to form the world I am experiencing right now. I felt so strongly that my consciousness was voluntarily and blissfully distorted and framed in all sort of ways as it was transforming into the structures of these matrixes.
There are many other extremely transforming states of experiences as well.
There are a few things that came to my understanding based on these experiences.
The first thing is that the false boundaries in our society is not only the lack of knowledge, information, or understanding, but also the shadows that are embedded in the spectrum of my consciousness. They were not seen by us before or simply ignored. They are hidden in our emotions, thoughts, beliefs, subconscious mind, and collective mind that we never thought to check in on. For example, many culture wars, biases and hatred, are just because of the ideas we hold on to about nationality, social and political ideology, cultural roots, and other kinds of collective mindset. They are only conditions that were set up by the governance systems at the time.
In addition to the discovery of the false minds, I also came to understand that except for our mind, our five sensations of the body are also significant false boundaries, which caused us to believe that we are separated from each other. But actually we are not separated, but we live in each other. The real world is actually within us. What we experience is just a projection of the spectrum of our consciousness through a set of outward sensation structures.
This is very difficult but important to understand because it is fundamental for us to know what inclusiveness means. It means Oneness.
Think about the monitor system in a house.
Because of this awareness of Oneness, I started to understand that I live in my own consciousness. Everybody I met in my life and everything that happens to me helps me to know more about what is within my consciousness. I start to feel this tremendous love for everything and everyone. And I start to appreciate all the people I previously felt who had hurt me, because I now know they showed up this way to reflect something deep in my own consciousness so that I can see it and transform it. How selfless their souls are to not mind playing such a “negative” role in my life. I started to know that because we are meant to be a limited perspective, I cannot ask others to share the exact same idea or understanding of many things, such as what is right or what is wrong.
The third thing I think is relevant here is that I recognize that others are the same. We are all a unique puzzle of this entire picture, with absolutely different perception and perspective. It is just like water that are bottled in different brands. We are all the same water. Being in different bottles does not change the nature we are the same water. Some might even become snow, ice, or rain. But deep down, you know they are made of water. So even if without the knowledge how a snowflake thinks, we recognize it. We would not say you should change to the original form of water.
Back to Global Governance
So, what does this have to do with global governance?
Many scholars have talked about their visions of global governance.
Ken Wilber, one of the pioneer researchers in the field of consciousness study, pointed out that there is a trend in human being’s value structure of being from dominant hierarchy to growth hierarchy. It is no longer a world where we need to gain land and conquer other tribes. The overall evolutionary journey of our society shows developmental waves unfolding, each one being more and more inclusive.
That is to say, future governance, or I should say current global governance, needs a system not based on the thoughts of lack or separation, but on compassion (co-interlinked love for each other) and connection, diversity, inclusinvess. And it all starts from the within knowing, from the heart.
famous psychologist Carl Yung has described a divine future for humanity in his book Aion. He said “Individuation is to divest the self of false wrappings.”
I totally agree with him and believe that while facing the future global risks, what we really need to do is to integrate the false shadows in all levels of our consciousness, recognize that everyone else is just ME in another limited perception with other false shadows, know everything I have is within my own consciousness and therefore my own responsibility.
It was said that it takes a village to raise a child. I also want to say, it takes yourself to raise a new world.