The Parable of Religious Convergence, The Path of Non-Violent Resistance

Johannes C. van Nieuwkerk
24 min readNov 1, 2023


Once upon a time there was, or will, or could be, a place without suffering, without death, without survival of the fittest, without fear; a place full of spiritual harmony, enlightenment, and absolute oneness: a true paradise.

Any such paradise is ruled by omnipresent and omnibenevolent forces named God(s), regardless of which religious tradition one follows.

This essay is about a fictive parable comparison between religions, travelling away or coming closer to spiritual harmony, and about the various options one encounters on the way. It starts from a point of disruption of harmony and the religious paths to travel back to the oneness one lost, as I described this in the first part of the article. It shows primarily a narrative of expansion and contraction of the human presence or footprint; it is about balancing the ecosystem.

The article does not represent any absolute truth or a single choice; it is about what all people or religions may have in common, hopefully offering some food for thought.

However, mankind can also travel so far away from paradise that people start considering themselves to be capable to reach omniscience and become able to replace or are allowed to disrespect “God”. This is a kind of point of no return; meaning that when this phase is entered, first the human species’ influence will have to be moderated to ecologically balanced proportions before the earlier described religious paths become universally or fully accessible again. As I described in the second part of the article, this can be achieved by using the principles of spiritual leadership; AI can play a crucial role here.

Although the mechanisms of such convergent spiritual leadership are rooted in religious traditions, they can, in my opinion, also be applied outside of this realm and implemented in a wider perspective, including a human designed and controlled, non-religious, society. Atheists can thus be full participants in a convergent attitude scenario as well.

This brings us to this third part of the essay. What to do if there is no convergent leadership available? Are there any individual ways to contribute to convergence or harmony? Again, although inspired by religious traditions, most answers are valid beyond such interpretation. However, some of them show rather a social perspective. Therefore the outcome of the third part of the article is actually much closer to my peace movement initiative than it is to my interfaith initiative

I have to make a strong disclaimer here. I look solely from a cultural communication model perspective at the differences among spiritual or social principles themselves. However, my knowledge is extremely limited; one can easily study the smallest grain of almost any single cultural tradition for more than a lifetime; the subject is thus limitless and beyond human comprehension.

Still, in my experience, most traditions are in practice a blend of individual, social/emotional and religious aspects. I therefore fully treat them and their resulting social or spiritual messages as black boxes here. Limiting myself to trying to find their cultural connections and attempting to model or stereotype them. I, this way, exclusively look at communication differences, and strive to systematically encourage the growing together or convergence component of such interactions.

Personal Cultural Roads: Cultural Elements

Six Main Cultural Elements

My total cultural model consists of the relationships between six cultural elements. For this third part of the article, we will zoom-in on the connections between the two perspectives of individuality (II and IU) in relation to moving towards the emotional and spiritual elements (EI and EU, SI and SU). We do so to analyze the individual relationships with the outside world from the personal angle of how to contribute or relate to it.

The six main interconnected cultural elements in my model are independence (II), interdependence (IU), belonging (EI), engagement (EU), governance (SI), and regard (SU). These six factors, and the change and intensity of their use, determine, in my opinion, a specific culture. However, in reality these elements do as such not “exist” in this neutral (macro) appearance, they are instead always polarized, vastly increasing the cultural dynamics.

Diagram 5: Six basic (non-polarized) cultural elements (Personal View)


In practice, the six elements are driven by either an outward or an inward orientation. There is either a comparison with others focused on differences, mostly leading to fear and divergence, or there is an inward perspective in which people search for commonalities, usually leading to trust and convergence.

Independence becomes polarized either in individuality (living by comparison = outward orientation = divergence) or in personal integrity (self-reliance = inward orientation = convergence). Outward orientation means here to consider everything as an (to be protected/defended) exclusive private possession and to build one’s individuality or personality on comparison with the outside world. Inward orientation means to be self-reliant and to take the interests of others into account as part of one’s personal responsibility or integrity.

Interdependence becomes split in resilience (outward orientation = divergence) and reciprocity (inward orientation = convergent). Resilience in this context is struggle or fear driven and is represented by a conflict-of-interest survival attitude in which “the winner takes it all”. Reciprocity, at the other pole, is representing a trust-based “live and let live” approach, in which people peacefully interact with or experience each other and rationally exchange what can be commonly used.

Belonging becomes polarized in either a focus-on-“them”-based rivalry (outward orientation = divergence) or on building an “us” type of empathy with others (inward orientation = convergence). Outward orientation means comparing one’s group with other groups. It means building a group identity based on the differences between groups. Such a comparison can easily lead to envy and tension. Inward orientation means to concentrate instead on commonality between the members of a group and to build one’s community-identity on similarity and empathy with each other, not on disparity.

Engagement becomes split in patriotism (outward orientation = divergent) and solidarity (inward orientation = convergent). Patriotism implies the (fear-driven) separation of cultural identities, thus limiting unrestricted socialization. General (unlimited) solidarity, at the other pole, takes all forms of such partition away and allows free collaboration beyond a cultural identity, bolstering trust.

Governance becomes polarized in superiority (outward orientation = divergence) and excellence (inward orientation = convergence). Fear-driven governance establishes order and “security” via hierarchy and the span of control of its “superior”/power-based leaders. Trust-driven governance means using mentorship as a leadership model; this is excellence- rather than authority-founded.

Finally, regard becomes split in an involuntary discipline (outward orientation = divergence) or a voluntary respect (inward orientation = convergent) element. Outward orientation means that one is forced to accept the span of control of an autocratic leader and (involuntarily) behaves/becomes disciplined. Inward orientation means that one considers oneself to be part of a greater societal or spiritual unity and therefore respects the mentorship role of this entirety. This type of respect is consensus-based and thus voluntary.

Diagram 6: Twelve basic (polarized) cultural elements (Personal View)

The result of this polarization is a split in twelve polarized cultural elements either being divergent (minus polarity) or convergent (plus polarity). Looking at the connections that point away from individuality (II and IU), it leads to a total of two times eight options to connect to emotionality (EI and EU) and spirituality (SI and SU). These sixteen options will be discussed now.

Personal Cultural Roads: Sixteen Roads from Individuality to Emotionality and Spirituality

The eight divergent roads away from individuality (II or IU)

-1- From -II to -EI, the Path of the Kinsman, Segregation

The first divergent cultural path leads from Individuality (-II) to Rivalry (-EI). The attitude to join a group is one of (outward looking) segregation and exclusivity. The group uses formal active identification with its rules and goals in order to allow access to the benefits of its membership. It bars all non-members, which forms the basis of rivalry (-EI). Generally, there is fear for others created.

-2- From -II to -EU, the Path of the Populist, Chauvinism

The second divergent process leads from Individuality (-II) to Patriotism (-EU). Like in the first process, people start to comply with rules or social norms, but the rules now apply to the whole society instead of to a limited smaller group like in scenario -1-. If people do not observe the rules, they are at risk of becoming excluded, something people fear and are willing to adapt or compromise for.

-3- From -II to -SI, the Path of the Authoritarian, Imperialism

The third divergent individual path leads from Individuality (-II) to Superiority (-SI), it represents an active imperialist model in which a hierarchy of individuals controls a society based on their personal authority or their (delegated) assumption of power. The top of the pyramid is an emperor type of ruler, who is not elected by the population. He/she rules autocratically, mostly reigning through decrees.

-4- From -II to -SU, the Path of the Hangman, Nazism

The fourth individual divergent option is the victim side of a “human controlled” reduction of the presence of a certain type of people in favor of creating space for “elite” others. It leads from Individuality (-II) to Discipline (-IU). This process is often the shadow side of authoritarian leadership, which wants to create a hierarchy of “perfect” fitting individuals. It is an adaptive disharmonic process; which is further beyond the scope of this article.

-5- From -IU to -EI, the Path of the Hooligan, Gangsterism

The fifth divergent process leads from Resilience (-IU) to Rivalry (-EI). Poor individuals have no other (rational) option than to be Resilient (-IU) and struggle. If people want to connect to an exclusive group, it is a question of being respected for personal resilience and to adapt to and bond with the emotional identity they target. This is based on specific qualities; of which force or violence often are the ones that are feared/valued most by the others of such a targeted group.

-6- From -IU to -EU, the path of the Insurgent, Intifada

The sixth individual divergent path leads from Resilience (-IU) to Patriotism (-EU). This process is again struggle based, but this time it shows rather an active than an adaptive attitude; excluded people start to be angry about their deprivation and try to conquer or become entitled to a renewed and improved position in the society at large. Their primary demand is full membership (including the membership rights) of the nation (-EU).

-7- From -IU to -SI, the path of the Fanatic, Jihadism

The seventh individual divergent process leads from Resilience (-IU) to Superiority (-SI). In this scenario the (deprived) individuals do rebel and start fanatically following/representing an ideal or inspirational source. They often do so without any active controlling leadership or without formally being reigned. However, they are fanatically and unconditionally supporting (adaptively) their outside “inspirator” or role model. This behavior can even lead to “suicide bomber” type of terrorist behavior out of devotion.

-8- From -IU to -SU, the path of the Pariah, Persecution

The last, eighth, divergent path leads from Resilience (-IU) to Discipline (-SU). It is an active disharmonious process of human exploitation in which individuals are considered to become “dehumanized pariahs” which can be freely persecuted by the society. This approach is further beyond the scope of this essay.

The eight convergent roads away from individuality (II or IU)

-1- From +II to +EI, the Path of the Friend, Clustering

The first path is a path leading from Integrity (+II) to Empathy (+EI); it is the path of Clustering. This path proposes to “actively” live according to common social group norms in order to maximally identify or optimize the connection (which is fully voluntary and based on fondness/empathy) with the social group one wants to belong to.

-2- From +II to +EU, the Path of the Socialist, Sharing

The second option is leading from Integrity (+II) to Solidarity (+EU); it is the path of Sharing. Independent (individual) people start to (adaptively) share their “wealth” in exchange for sympathy and togetherness. It represents the social component of solidarity. This collaborating goal is what socialism targets as a basis to form a society.

-3- From +II to +SI, the Path of the Prophet, Mentoring

This, third, leadership, road leads from Integrity (+II) to Excellence (+SI). The leader is a mentor to his/her individual followers and active governance becomes based on vision and wisdom (convergent) instead of authority (divergent). Further, science, knowledge and technology will no longer be seen as private (to be exploited) property, but as belonging to mankind and having the sole purpose of human progress.

-4- From +II to +SU, the Path of the Monk, Buddhism

This, fourth, spiritual, path is leading from Integrity (+II) to Respect (+SU); it is the path of the Monk. The process is adaptive in nature. It is questioning the Individual Identity one has built for oneself, and teaches how to dissolve this illusion in order to reunite and replace it with Spiritual Unity (+SU). The path dissolves all forms of individual attachment and replaces them with oneness.

-5- From +IU to +EI, the Path of the Associate, Qualification

The fifth road is leading from Reciprocity (+IU) to Empathy (+EI). It is the path of Qualification. Individual people, who live in solitude, aspire to return from their seclusion, poverty, and dispossession to an (exclusive) group. However, they must first qualify or adapt in order to be (re)admitted as a member. The mechanism to be accepted is based on their amiability (convergent quality) rather than on any fear for them (divergent quality).

-6- From +IU to +EU, the path of the Immigrant, Acclimation

The sixth path is leading from Reciprocity (+IU) to Solidarity (+EU). It is the road of Acclimation. Poor, dispossessed or excluded people want to (actively) become part of the (in principle) open society (+EU). Individuals are thus seeking for appreciation for their (active) “volunteering” contribution to the community and hope to integrate this way.

-7- From +IU to +SI, the path of the Disciple, Supervision

The, seventh, convergent, “leadership” road leads from Reciprocity (+IU) to Excellence (+SI); it is the road of unconditional devotion in return for supervision by a visionary, wise, leader. This implies support for and inclusion of the deprived, poor or dispossessed in a societal system; the path addresses inequality.

-8- From +IU to +SU, the path of the Pilgrim, Taoism/Jainism

The eight, last, spiritual, path is leading from Reciprocity (+IU) to Respect (+SU); it is the path of the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim tries to actively balance his or her role in the universe and to reach a perfect spiritual harmony, considering all other elements present. The starting point is reciprocity (IU) and interdependence (= model of the poor or deprived) and the balancing means to (actively) try to live in harmony with the universe and/or to deeply respect all other forms of life. Its assumption is based compatibility and a model of synergy.

Diagram 7: Sixteen convergent and divergent roads away from individuality (Personal View)

The Way Back to Convergence and the Feasibility of Non-Violent Resistance against Divergence

As mentioned before, mankind will have to find a way to cooperate and voluntary control or moderate its footprint. In my opinion, and in order to limit human sorrow, the only valid (non-violent) ways are those accomplished through convergence or growing together. Oppositely, there are also non-cooperative divergent, growing apart, human-controlled options to achieve footprint reduction, but these are generally violent and cause immense suffering by causing wars, persecution, genocide or using eugenics. In order to avoid this, we will thus have to rebalance ourselves and rediscover convergence.

As previously discussed in part one of the article, the most direct and logical way would be to (re)use religion or religious mechanisms as a tool. However, we are at the moment on a level of unbalance between divergence and convergence making it hard to imagine that a substantial part of the world population would voluntarily actively start replacing their individual material “accomplishment” by abstract spiritual oneness any time soon.

The personal dilemma is that the more we possess, generally, the less we are willing to voluntarily give up (divergently looking at competing others). This is a kind of vicious circle in which nobody wants to be first; especially, if there is no directly visible or measurable reward for doing so. Thus, we will likely have to wait until catastrophic events occur that will make part of us extinct, probably first then we will realize our mistake and become willing to change.

The second way (as previously discussed in part two of this article) would be through a “religious mechanisms inspired” form of leadership. This could guide us on such a convergent individual or collective spiritual path. The non-violent mentor-type leaders of the past, like Mahatma Gandhi, are a good example for this. But, even when their appearance is relatively recent, the world has meanwhile fundamentally changed via increased economic globalization and social media use; this all at the price of a further shift towards (ever growing) divergence.

On the one side, we have reduced poverty for many, but replaced it with increased egocentric individualism as a role model instead. However, it is much easier to base non-violent religious leadership on reciprocity (model of the poor) than on individuality (model of the rich). This makes these religious leadership paths by now much more difficult to access than before, especially because we will also need to be very fast in doing so in order to get out of the current critical situation in time.

The question is thus whether there are any other, third or further, non-violent convergent scenarios available. I think there is actually one additional road, but as we will see, it is rather to be classified as a social movement than a spiritual path. However, as with the two-step religions (described in the first part of this article), this road may give us a key to how to regain our access to religious oneness.

To discuss and analyze their feasibility and to discover and explore this third option, we will now have a more detailed look at the eight individual convergent scenarios we possess to replace divergence, and into their feasibility to non-violently resist a further divergent growing apart.

-1- From +II to +EI, the Path of the Friend, Clustering

This first path could be suitable to be used for (active) resistance. One can in principle organize interest groups around convergent goals. However, in a strongly dominant divergent world, one can also easily become the target of repression and violence because a group must be recognizable to be joined. Its individual members are therefore usually easily identified and attacked. Since non-violence resistance is aimed, the group will face difficulties to openly show discontent or opposition without encountering violent counter-measures. In practice, following this road is thus unlikely to currently be a feasible option.

-2- From +II to +EU, the Path of the Socialist, Sharing

In order to (adaptively) share in a divergent environment, there must be people available to share with. Since individuality rules, this is unlikely to be the case and real togetherness or genuine mutual sympathy is thus mostly lacking. It leads to divergent almsgiving or a form of philanthropy whereby the wealthy donate a minimum share of their money to be compliant with the social norms or in order to protect their individual interests. However, the adaptive character of this path requires collective convergent participation instead, making it unfeasible in a dominantly individualistic divergent environment.

-3- From +II to +SI, the Path of the Prophet, Mentoring

This, third (assertive) leadership, road is, as discussed in the second part of the article, in principle a feasible option. However, unfortunately, prophets or non-violent convergent leaders are rare. Further, it has, as explained before, become more difficult to follow them over time. This makes this path increasingly unlikely to be available.

-4- From +II to +SU, the Path of the Monk, Buddhism

The path of the monk is adaptive. However, in a divergent setting of growing egos, the trend is going in the opposite direction and there is no longer an environment available to adapt to. In order to do so, first, space must be created by moderating humanity’s footprint in order to (re)establish the basic quietness, tranquility or silence necessary to, on a larger scale, realize the context for an inward orientation. After realizing such conditions, meditation can be used again as a common element or general practice in the daily life of a society. In the current situation, this road is non-accessible for widespread use.

-5- From +IU to +EI, the Path of the Associate, Qualification

Individual people, who live in solitude, aspire to return from seclusion, poverty and dispossession to a (convergent) group. However, the process is adaptive and there first must be such a group available in order to be able to associate with. If this is no longer the case, such as in a strongly dominant divergent environment, adapting to such a group is no longer a feasible option.

-6- From +IU to +EU, the path of the Immigrant, Acclimation

This road replaces reciprocity by solidarity, dividing resources more evenly. It is a convergent active path, attempting to build a society of equals. Since it starts from a position of dispossession or poverty, it means to replace a rational reciprocal “live and let live” interdependence (= individual) attitude by emotional engagement in a (convergent) society. Used as a non-violent resistance movement against divergence it is tough to counter because it will be difficult to identify its “members”. The individual actors are namely becoming general participants in a (convergent) parallel society and not in an easy recognizable group identity. Although it is far from simple to enter this path (as we will see later), there is potential for success, also because there is a clear social reward in joining a convergent society.

-7- From +IU to +SI, the path of the Disciple, Supervision

Since this is an adaptive road of unconditional devotion in return for supervision by a visionary leader, there, first, must be such a “role model” convergent guide available and, second, there must be an environment created in which convergence dominates and where it is possible to adapt to it. However, we are far removed from such circumstances and this path is thus currently unavailable.

-8- From +IU to +SU, the path of the Pilgrim, Taoism/Jainism

Other than the previous path, this, eighth, religious path is an individual active one, and does not require an environment to be able to adapt to; meaning that it is in principle a feasible road to follow. However, in order to be successful as a non-violent mission, one needs an inspiration source in the form of a spiritually inspired convergent leader like, for example, a Mahatma Gandhi. Only in this guided manner enough individuals will participate to achieve sufficient effect. However, if this is the case, the movement is very difficult to stop or control because it is based on individual spiritual contributions rather than on group dynamics. Unfortunately, both the “inspirator” and a convergent reward to attract individuals are largely absent in the current divergent environment. As a result, the path is unavailable for now.

To summarize: since in the current unbalanced situation we have very little or nothing left to adapt to, we have (from a feasibility point of view) only the four assertive convergent ways open to non-violently resist a further growth of divergence and to counterbalance our momentary dominant growing-apart attitude. However, due to the current unbalance, likely only one out of these four, being the path of the Immigrant, will theoretically be feasible enough to follow as an active individual non-violent resistance road. How to act in order to enter this path will be discussed into more detail now.

Diagram 8: Four assertive convergent roads away from individuality (Personal View)

Personal Non-Violent Resistance by Acclimation to a Parallel Society Based on Solidarity

As described in the first part of this essay, this road enables (religious parable-wise) poor, dispossessed or excluded people, who want to become an integral part of an in principle open society (+EU), access to such a society. The path has two stages: the first stage is a rational agreement stage over what a society expects from its members, these demands are simultaneously converted into practical requirements or (voluntary and active) anticipated contributions from the people who seek inclusion. In return for their positive participation, there is a second stage of (emotional) appreciation and acceptance.

Socially, it is also the model of immigration and (re)inclusion. It is the path of people from another societal background who are forcibly displaced and seek for (re)inclusion elsewhere. In order to achieve this, they will have to acclimate and actively adapt to their new environment in order to be accepted. This does not imply that people will have to fully assimilate. Other than with a group identity, a society mostly unites members with a wide variety of social identities. Still, there are basic norms and values to be followed or adapt to. Although these can strongly differ between societies, all members, including potential immigrants, must subscribe to them. Religiously seen, the overarching target remains to establish universal rules, so that humanity in its entirety can unite in a single (then spiritual) society.

However, although religiously seen there is the target of a single, universal, society, in practice, there can be more than one social model simultaneously present at one location. People can live in parallel societies. Although there are similarities to group behavior, the major difference is that, in principle, a much wider range of people can join a society. This makes a society much harder to suppress than a group because individual members are in principle less recognizable. A second, main, difference is that groups are mostly built on the principle of “where am I benefitting”, whereas societies are generally based on “what can I contribute”.

Unfortunately, very often the secondary result of parallel societies is also that there is little or no contact and communication between them. People live their fully separated lives in the same space. This can cause misunderstandings, tension, and conflict. Such, non-communication tendency is, in my opinion, why multiculturalism is under strong pressure at the moment.

The positive side of the concept of a parallel society is (when such a society is intrinsically non-violent) that in principle it can resist other society models and form an alternative to them. For example: to turn away from divergence, an alternative parallel society can, non-selectively, allow all individual people to migrate and become its integrated members as long as they subscribe to convergence. The reward received in return for becoming a “convergence society” member is less loneliness and a regained trust in others. This has similarity to joining a non-violent religion like Jainism, but then on a social movement instead of a spiritual tradition level.

It is meanwhile clear that we urgently need a cultural transition towards convergence in order to be able to collaborate on climate-change, inequality and forced migration. Setting up a new parallel convergent society to, actively and non-violently, resist the current divergent expansion, may be a much faster scenario in this case than to attempt to change the present order from within and to depend on a minority group representation position. End goal is to achieve that the convergent parallel society becomes an example to be followed or joined by everyone.

How to set up a convergent parallel society? The process I will describe is, unfortunately, not simple to accomplish and contains three fundamental phases or cultural transitions. In its entirety it is a change from an attitude of what is in it for me to get/gain, to an attitude of what can I contribute or do for it.

This attitude change starts from the position of divergent rich individuals (-II) and ends with a convergent social unity that offers further potential access to a religious road to spiritual unity (+SU). The stages are not discrete steps; they are, like all processes in my cultural models, balances in which one factor gradually becomes dominant. The three-phase process is an intriguing one because it is completely assertive/active, meaning that an (rich) individual can theoretically achieve it without being restricted by dependence on others, this way being clearly different from most other options.

Phase -1- From Individuality (-II) to Integrity (+II): taking other people’s interest into account

Divergent Individuality (-II) is characterized by looking outward and seeking the best interests for oneself; comparing available options or chances. This is done to maximize or optimize one’s individual position, fully ignoring /regardless of other people’s stakes. In this first phase, the cultural transition is that the attitude towards others has to fundamentally change to an inward orientation in which other people’s interests are weighed as part of a person’s Integrity (+II). It rationally follows the logic of “do to others as you would have them to you”. In order to live according to this principle, one needs to use an inward, convergent, perspective. However, there is no interactivity or interdependency in place yet; the (rich) individual at all times remains free to choose whether to communicate with others or not.

Phase -2- From Integrity (+II) to Reciprocity (+IU): giving up excess possessions & interactivity

In this second phase there is an attitude change from (rational) independence (II) to (rational) interdependence (IU). Seen from a convergent point of view, this leads to interactive communication and reciprocity between people. The process starts with voluntary giving up unnecessary possessions, thus limiting the aggregation of wealth beyond basic necessity. This also reduces one’s personal ecological footprint. It limits independence and increases interdependence. In turn this leads to a need to generally communicate with the people one meets, in order to enable human reciprocity to (rationally) exchange what people can commonly use. It means a cultural transition from “respecting” the interests of others out of integrity (+II) to an active “live and let live” attitude in which interests are reciprocally (+IU) traded.

Phase-3- From Reciprocity (+IU) to Solidarity (+EU): socially growing together

In the final, third, phase, the actual parallel society is founded. Although it may seem that you first need an existing society to adjust to and immigrate in, having concluded the previous two phases implies that a base of equal-minded individuals has been created. Thus, in my opinion, agreement has potentially already been established on how a parallel convergent society based on solidarity may look like. Since the immigration process is founded on active volunteering and participation, anyone can be first to start such a society and be followed by others. The rational reciprocity is in this stage extended by emotional solidarity. It means a transition from reciprocally exchanging interests to emotionally sharing them; this results in more us and less I. Although the convergent society will be small in the beginning, it can grow and attract others, representing a non-violent-resistance-based alternative to divergent patriotism (-EU).

The outcome is a parallel society of convergent people, fully based on (emotional) solidarity. It already possesses a strongly reduced ecological footprint compared to the starting point of divergent individuals. From this (+EU) point, everyone has theoretically individual direct (assertive) religious access to Orthodox Christianity or Islam or can further balance divergence and convergence via religious leadership guidance. This way, all non-members can be included in a convergent system by a transition to Spiritual Unity (+SU).

Diagram 9: The Immigrant’s Non-Violent Resistance Road to Convergent Solidarity (Personal + Stereotype View)


Looking at the worldwide population and our ever-growing human footprint, we have clearly reached our limits and are, as mankind, no longer in control of our living conditions. Meanwhile, we are plagued by climate change and economic inequality, leading to ever growing forced migration and human suffering. A further, related, issue is that we live in a permanent state of conflict and war.

Although we, in principle, could address the root causes of these issues, we seem to be unwilling to do so at the moment. This is a systematic flaw in our attitude, which has meanwhile become exclusively defensive and outward looking, leading to structural divergence or growing apart.

In order to tackle the global problems we face, we will need to cooperate and to look inward to see the similarities or compatibility instead of the differences with others. This will automatically stimulate more inclusion and cause less exclusion. As an end result, we will be able to grow together again and establish convergence.

Traditionally, this is the role of spiritual traditions, either in absolute or in a relative “balancing” sense. Religions show or teach us the formalized paths to spiritual oneness as I described them in part -1- of this essay. However, meanwhile we have entered a stage of human development in which humanity, in general, has mostly lost the capability to gain direct access to the inner- or collective-self and the religious oneness paths starting from there.

Although we may have lost our direct personal ability to enter the oneness paths, theoretically, we have not yet lost our capacity to choose wise guides or leaders. In principle, these people are able to teach us how to turn back to and achieve another balance in our attitude towards others and nature. I described this scenario in part -2- of this essay. Nevertheless, time is running out very fast to address the global issues mentioned. Yet, wise leaders are extremely scarce and even they will face difficulties to govern in the current extreme divergent circumstances.

Therefore, I complete the essay with (this) part -3-, a social engagement scenario in which a segment of the society is non-violently resisting a further increase in divergence or growing apart. They do so by starting a convergent or growing-together-based parallel society. The third section of the article is actually much closer to my initiative as it is to my religious convergence initiative However, the end result of this social approach includes a reconnection to spirituality.

If we fail to reorganize ourselves using one of these three above envisioned scenarios, very likely nature and societal violence will do it for us and will cause immense human suffering or even extinction of our species. In case that the situation does not lead to human extinction yet, the result will be a very painful forced convergence correction. At the same time, this forced outcome has a lot in common with the voluntary social engagement scenario I describe in this third part of the essay. Namely, we, in this non-voluntary case, will all become dispossessed migrants seeking for a new type of societal haven and who will depend on the solidarity of others for finding that port. There is one substantial difference between the two scenarios, we may currently still have the chance to voluntarily change ourselves in time, and prevent the torment of being forced to do so.

If you are interested in this approach and want to cooperate in finding ways to implement convergence, please contact me at