The perennial teaching is clear.
We are asleep.
And we must awaken.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The Eastern wisdom traditions represent such a towering achievement in the development of human consciousness that we in the West struggle to bring any kind of perspective that is not hopelessly shallow by comparison.
But while in recent decades the spiritual traditions of East and West have come together and interpenetrated, they have also come up against the spirit of modernity. And one thing we have learned from this confluence is that for the traditions to be relevant to here and now they must be able to distinguish a person of here and now from a person of there and then.
Much that is essential to living today is left out of the traditional teachings. Many of the ancient spiritual traditions are grounded in ethnocentric and local beliefs and practices that do not connect with contemporary consciousness. Conversely, modern psychology is couched in the language of a scientific materialism that is almost completely blind to the spiritual nature of reality.
We are not the humans of two thousand years ago, or even of a hundred years ago. And yet on some level we are. An integrative approach to human self-realization has to address this changing nature of men and women . . . what differentiates us, what connects us, as well as what is unchanging and unites us . . .
And it is here, in what is unchanging and unites us, that the solution lies.