Worlds We Live In

Your world view is determined by the context of the world you live in.

The world of the individual

This is the world of the ego, that part of you that thinks it is you and identifies with the body. In this world, your life starts when you’re born and ends when you die. This is a life where it’s all about you. You believe the universe revolves around you and all others exist to serve you.

The world of the group

This is the world of the family, clan or tribe. It’s a life about us. Within this world we band together for safety and survival. We stay close to our loved ones, we work together for the survival of the group. We hold group values and conform.

In this world it is not safe to express divergent views. This is a life of compliance, where members obey their leader. The predominant mindset is built on a combination of trust and fear — trust in each other and fear of exclusion.

The world of the nation

This is the world of belonging to a large body of people with common values. It’s an expanded version of the world of the group. The leadership level is not local and power is invested in institutions and elites. This is a place of law and order, of rules about property rights and living together. It’s a world of legislation, policing and punishment.

This is a world where it’s all about the national interest, the economy and patriotism.


For most of our history, most of us have not seen beyond these three contexts.

We have viewed other individuals, families and nations as different. We have regarded others as less than us . We have allowed ourselves to believe that:

  • it’s not okay to bomb us, but it’s okay for us to bomb them
  • it’s not okay to imprison us, but it’s okay for us to imprison them
  • it’s not okay to refuse us humanitarian aid, but it’s okay for us to refuse humanitarian aid to them.

The world of the human race

This is the world where there is only one neighbourhood and we all live in it. This is the world where we’re all in it together, where there is only us. This is the context from which we can build a more peaceful and sustainable world.

It’s time for all of us to understand this is the world in which we live.

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