Humanity at the Crossroads (Part 3) – Humanity at a Turning Point
These essays are written for individuals who have a spiritual interest in Navigating the Greatest Shift. They contain futurology based on cycle science and the mystical sciences. Readers are encouraged to read with critical minds and come to their own conclusions.
Humanity’s Destiny depends on our reaction to the events we are experiencing now, our growing awareness, our seriousness, our ability to learn, and the actions we take. It is important that we foster a positive outlook toward the Fifth Sun* and avoid creating a mass hysteria – Carlos Barrios (The Book of Destiny)  [*The Fifth Sun is the new Great Cycle that started at the end of 2012].
In the previous chapter, it was posited that the declines of civilizations are cyclic and that they have more to do with the shifts of the ages (when the spirit of an age shifts) than with factors related to resource declines, environmental degradation, or climate change, although all those factors would play a significant role too.
In cases where civilizations recover after a time of trouble, the conditions would once again have become conducive to new growth. Time would have passed, mindsets would have shifted, approaches would have changed and the available resources might be different. Climate conditions may have changed too. The takeaway point here is that growth never ends permanently, or completely.
On the Precipice
At the time of writing in October 2022, much of the world finds itself on the precipice of a global economic growth decline . This is partially due to an energy crisis that has developed in Europe since February of this year as a consequence of the conflict in the Eastern part of Ukraine. This new crisis has followed on the heels of a global health-related crisis that had already caused significant economic contractions worldwide between 2020 and 2022 .
From observation, it would seem relatively clear by now that Europe’s (and the world’s) new energy and economic crises are to a degree self-inflicted , as pundits have pointed out . A less obvious factor is that there had already been an economic  and an energy crisis  brewing prior to 2020, but events since then have hugely amplified them and have brought them to the forefront of international affairs.
As mentioned in the previous two chapters, self-destructive human behavior is a cyclic phenomenon that appears at the end of a 5,125-year Maya Great Cycle. We are presently exactly 10 years into a new Great Cycle, so the transitioning is not yet complete because we are still partially under the influence of the old cycle.
Crises are often made worse than they already are during Great Cycle transitions because people become self-destructive for no apparent reason, but such behavior has a lot to do with liminality (explained in A World Out of Balance).
It was illustrated in the chapter before that decentralization is a recurring historical pattern in the 256-year Maya Katun Cycle. The conclusion was that decentralization could potentially unfold again after 2032, during the next Katun.
In another cycle, the 25,625-year Maya Five Worlds Cycle – which correlates with the Precession of the Equinoxes Cycle – there is also an indication that decentralization will become a growing trend. That subject was explored in a foundational essay in 2015 titled The Maya World Tree.
Towards Authentic Multi-Polarity
During the post-2012 Maya Fifth World, the energies of ‘all things’ will be flowing back towards themselves, meaning towards their own centers. According to Carlos Barrios, the Maya elders call this time period a return to the beginning .
This writer’s further interpretation is that due to the fact that everything will be returning to their own centers, the result would eventually be multiple centers, as opposed to just one (and that would basically result in a process of decentralization).
On a personal level, humanity’s turning point could be understood as a return to Self. In Western terms, this would refer to the Jungian concept of Self (it’s not the ego-self), meaning an inward turning towards one’s own authentic personal center, in order to truly know thyself. (This was explored in some detail in an article titled The Keys to Conscious Co-Creation).
On a social and cultural level, a return to cultural traditions and community values could be expected to become more important again, while spirituality and religion are likely to make a comeback too.
Towards Valuing the Sacred
Learning to value that which is sacred in the world is a very important lost element that has to be recovered in order to regain our humanity at this time, and that should be one of our main objectives, as several wisdom keepers and indigenous elders pointed out in 2020 .
By orientating ourselves accordingly, we could synchronize ourselves in advance with the new energies that will be arriving during the Greatest Shift (for more details, see also The Lights Along the Way).
Acceleration and Turbulence
Since 2020, there has been a noticeable acceleration of centralized decision-making processes globally. That started within the context of a global health crisis in 2020, when both sides of the geopolitical East-West equation introduced and implemented more or less the same health regulations.
Signs of a lack of uniformity have appeared during the course of 2022 in that countries started to diverge in terms of their approaches. By now, some countries have lifted virtually all their restrictions while others are still demanding strict compliance with a number of their previously mandated health and travel measures .
More recently, accelerated centralized decision-making processes have become increasingly evident regarding environmental and climate policies too . Many of these centralized policies seem to be largely supported by both sides of the East-West spectrum , even though the sides are in disagreement on other subjects.
At the time of writing, there are indications that rivalries  could potentially develop among allies on the subjects of energy, food and resource security, mainly as a result of the repercussions of the growing conflict in Eastern Europe. That being the case, both sides of the geopolitical West-East spectrum are still moving towards various forms of technological centralization within their own spheres , while both continue to support a range of policies that are set by international institutions.
The world is in peak polarity between the years 2020 and 2026 because of the dominant energy of the current Katun-age (see also; The Rise and Fall of Polarization). Collaboration on any level is, therefore, likely to continue to be challenging for several more years, which could negatively affect unity with regard to standardized policy-making.
Humanity at a Turning Point
From a metaphysical perspective, the energies of centralization and decentralization ‘flow’ in opposite directions to each other, but one is usually stronger than the other. Centralization is clearly still the current dominant directional energy flow.
If, hypothetically speaking, a shift had to take place from centralization to decentralization in the future, which a reading of the Maya Five Worlds Cycle seems to indicate, then a turning point would have to be reached at some stage. Metaphysically, such a turning point would constitute an energy reversal.
Since the mid-point of the transition from the Maya Fourth World to the Maya Fifth World is estimated to be between the years 2027 and 2032 (as explained in previous chapters) – and because of the upcoming Katun-shift in 2032 – a future trend towards decentralization exists in at least two of the Maya cycles. By taking that observation as a guideline, one could thus speculate that the world is presently in its final 10 years of what would constitute grand centralization.
Since the energies of centralization and decentralization ‘move’ in opposite directions, each one’s energy would result in mindsets that are on the opposite sides of the spectrum. The existence of mindsets that support centralization on the one hand, with mindsets in favor of decentralization on the other, is a good example of the existence of duality within our reality.
Directional energy flows have momentum behind them. Although transitioning from centralization to decentralization would seem like a logical step to take for some people, the momentum behind centralization could potentially lead its proponents and supporters wanting to maintain it for as long as possible. Both sides of the equation would most likely consider their objectives and ideals to be entirely logical.
One type of logic, which would be to change direction and to decentralize, would then find itself contrary to a logic that would prefer to keep on centralizing. It’s worth reflecting on the fact that the universe itself ‘orders’ this scenario by way of expansion energetically turning into contraction, while duality is in a state of amplification at the same time. The challenge presented to humanity is to find a way to navigate through these very volatile energy shifts with as little conflict as possible.
Choosing the Right Road
This is just one of humanity’s cycles of evolution. Three previous humanities have reached this very point but failed, and everything had to begin again when man was destroyed. – Carlos Barrios 
On three previous occasions, negative polarity has been the one factor capable of preventing access to the next level and thus destroying previous humanities. – Carlos Barrios 
Spiritual guide, Carlos Barrios, stated in his book, The Book of Destiny, that on previous occasions humanity failed to make a smooth transition, and as a consequence, only a remnant made it through to the other side.
Bearing that in mind, de-escalating conflict situations should be an absolute matter of priority in the world right now, which doesn’t seem to be happening. Hopefully, a major positive shift in thinking will occur within humanity without any further delay. Thereby, humanity will choose the right road going forward, which would be to choose the road of peace; and that could result in a successful transition.
There is indeed some solace to be found in the fact that the ancient cycles are more powerful and enduring than human designs, meaning that structurally (on a metaphysical level) things will eventually work out according to the timelines of the ancient energy cycles. In that respect, the Universe is ultimately in charge through intelligent design. If humanity plays its cards right, the remnant this time might be larger than on previous occasions.
A Tale of Two Paradigms
In light of decentralization becoming a potential future trend, this chapter and the one after it will be framed with that in mind. As stated in A World Out of Balance, during a transition between two paradigms, neither the metaphysical rules of the old framework, nor the rules of the new framework, would fully apply, but both would be relevant.
Therefore, mindsets, views and considerations that would naturally favor centralization will be evaluated, while mindsets that would naturally favor decentralization will be touched upon too. This approach should assist in laying the groundwork for putting humanity’s crossroads crises in perspective, which will be done in the next chapter.
An Age of Centralization
The world today is largely dominated by international perspectives due to the endurance of globalization. This has, over time, resulted in a high level of centralization; probably the highest achieved in history. As a result, it could be said that the entire globe today, more or less, constitutes an empire. This modern global empire has come about as a result of long-term globalization and globalism.
Virtually all nations are members of interconnected international institutions that tie them into central management systems. Over time, countries have (among other principles) embraced hyper-consumerism, the international import-export model, and outsourcing, which have led to globalized supply chains and service delivery networks. The entire world has basically become one market with one culture; a hyper-materialistic consumer culture.
As a result, countries are less self-sufficient and have reduced, limited or underdeveloped capacities for self-determination. Few countries today are resilient enough to face large-scale global crises without being heavily affected by them, even when they happen far away. Said differently, when an entire world turns into an empire, any large-scale crisis within that empire could lead to wide-scale instability.
Had the world not become so comprehensively integrated and interconnected, major crises may have been averted easier in some places, because crises could remain more regional or local in terms of how they are mitigated, responded to, and managed. However, over time, many countries have voluntary joined the centralized order and have thereby voluntarily entered themselves into a state of having less autonomy in managing their own crises.
An Empire State of Mind (Revisited)
Now civilizations, I believe, come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them, which they fail to meet. Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor. ― Arnold J. Toynbee 
In the last chapter, it was mentioned that empires would tend to want to preserve their centralized format even when they are facing constraints to further expansion. Empires operate according to centralized mindsets that are set on expansionism based on a sense of manifest destiny. An empire state of mind is a state of consciousness that has its own drive. Empires typically do not change course, because they are set on a course.
The Macrocosm Reflects the Microcosm
A further evaluation of centralized thinking would be necessary to deepen this discussion further, which will be done in much of the rest of this chapter. The full relevance of this approach will become clearer as we progress, but it can be summarized as follows: always looking at the problems of humanity from a centralized perspective, or from a globalized point of view, can result in a variety of blind spots.
A general rule of thumb is that the more central (centrally based) observers are, the more centralized their thinking would be. For example, people living in a capital city are too occupied with city life to really know what’s happening out in the countryside, or to worry or care much about that. Nevertheless, bureaucrats in capital cities make decisions through central planning processes that directly affect people living in the countryside and in rural areas.
This concept could be extrapolated upon further on the basis of a metaphysical law that states that the macrocosm reflects the microcosm  (context-dependent). People who are based in influential capitals of the world would be less inclined to be aware of the finer details of what is happening in faraway countries and would be less inclined to be concerned about that. Nevertheless, decisions made in prominent capitals of the world would often impact people globally, wherever they are.
Standardization Indicates Decline
Civilizations in decline are consistently characterized by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity. ― Arnold Toynbee 
Centralized thinking tends towards standardized thinking. That happens due to central demands for uniform compliance with standardized methods, because simplification is needed for managing everything from within a center out to its peripheries.
For the sake of simplification, centralization doesn’t want to be concerned with too many details. One can see then how centralized thinking has its own logic; thinking from the perspective of centralizing everything in order to manage and control everything better from a central position. Centralized thinking naturally leads to the logic and the logistics of centralization.
This phenomenon is structural and nothing new. It is also worth keeping in mind that centralized thinking is not limited to any particular political ideology. For example, the mindsets that prevailed in the Eastern Bloc countries during the old Cold War were a perfect example of centralized policymaking. Central planning happened in a prominent and domineering capital far away, but policies made in it had to be implemented by all the nations within its sphere of influence. There were some regional variations, but the core policies were the same.
When centralized and standardized thinking are constantly emitted and promoted from within a center outwards to its entire sphere of influence, more or less across-the-board, uniform thinking could eventually result. Thinking for simplification; thinking for standardization and thinking for uniformity could become the norm. That could mean a loss of differentiation, a loss of inspiration and a loss of creativity, not to mention a decline in free thinking. Under such soul-stifling conditions, there would hardly seem to be any need for creative or inspired thought.
Within the above-mentioned context, a problem in one location could easily be perceived as a problem everywhere, without factoring in location-specific realities. When centralized solutions become standardized policy-making, an ideological implementation of policies and regulations could become the standard, which is usually the case with highly centralized bureaucracies.
Far-away places are then expected to comply with centralized decision-making processes without having much of a say in the matter. Said differently, widespread centralization could tend and trend toward centralized authoritarianism, and that might even happen in modern-day democracies.
As stated before, centralization is a structural phenomenon, so no political system would be truly immune to it. A recent example would be the aforementioned global health crisis, where many democracies around the world instituted policies that ran contrary to aspects of their constitutions.
That being the case, it is worth bearing in mind that 192 countries signed an agreement in 2005  that committed them to comply with global health mandates, should a major health crisis ever arrive. In that sense, they signed up for their domestic health policies to be centrally managed. The same could be said for agreements entered into by countries in recent years with regard to the management of what is perceived as global environmental and climate crises .
The Global North and the Global South
Capitals are typically the most well-off because the best of everything would flow into them from the outside. Consequently there’s much more variety and choice in a capital compared to towns and villages. Inhabitants of a capital benefit from all the goods, services and produce that flow into it from various directions. Nevertheless, the people that are responsible for all the work that went into those products and services would be out of sight and out of the mind of the consumers in a capital.
This, too, could be extrapolated upon. The best minerals, products and produce flow into richer and more powerful nations from around the globe, allowing them to offer their citizens a higher quality of life than in most of the places where a lot of their supplies come from. The average citizen of a wealthy nation would generally not reflect on a daily basis upon the lives of people living far away who make their high quality of life possible.
This is a basic nature of centralized thinking (or non-thinking in this case). The same rule could be applied to any center that is served by surrounding or distant areas, whether it may be a capital of a small or large nation, or the centers of power that drive globalization in the West or the East. Centralized thinking is preoccupied with serving the center first because the center is primarily concerned with itself.
The nature of a centralized system on an international scale is that resources are largely managed through centralized mechanisms based in the most developed nations . Therefore, global analyses that emanate from within the centers of both sides of the East-West paradigm in the Global North would mainly perceive the world in terms of resource inflows towards their own centers; and when global resource crises develop, competition would then tend to increase between them for that reason .
The Global South serves, to a large degree, as a resource base for prominent countries in the Global North (again, on both sides of the East-West spectrum). An example would be the competition that has always existed for access to Africa’s resources , which is one of the reasons why the Global South has remained relatively underdeveloped in comparison to the Global North. Countries in the Global South have had much less of a voice in world affairs too .
Uniform Solutions Fall Short
When it comes to speaking of the problems of humanity, centralized analyses often tend to refer to humanity as a single unit or in terms of a uniform collective. The huge diversity of contextual realities of people in regions and localities all around the world is rarely given full consideration.
In that sense, an empire state of mind seems to prevail. It sometimes comes across as if the people of the world are viewed rather dispassionately from within elevated centers, as if they are mere subjects of an empire that should be centrally managed through one-size-fits-all solutions.
Humanity as a whole presently finds itself at a crossroads, and at a turning point. That being the case, as a collective, humanity will not be facing the exact same challenges everywhere, which is why standardized, generalized and uniform solutions are bound to fall short of being able to offer genuine solutions for the full spectrum of humanity.
One World, Many Countries
The world is not one country, but being constantly connected through the internet could give that impression. The result could be that by always being preoccupied with global issues, one could become constantly distracted from local contexts, environments and circumstances.
In nations small and large, there are many citizens who view the world largely through a global lens because of the globalized nature of the internet. As a result, a lot of people that are far away from capital cities or major centers also tend to see the world from centralized perspectives.
That is to an extent perfectly understandable because global policies often affect localities everywhere due to the now extremely globalized nature of the world. People would often pay as much attention (or more) to global policymaking than local policymaking because, in many cases, local policymaking simply reflects global policymaking.
Globalized perceptions in local places can lead to lazy thinking because problems are then often perceived as being taken care of somewhere else. An easy conclusion would be that further inquiry would not be necessary because the experts (somewhere central) are looking at problems and will enact solutions from afar. ‘I’m not an expert’, or ‘the experts are dealing with it’ are, indeed, popular mantras these days.
However, said experts are usually centrally based, so their mindsets would generally tend towards serving their centers, because, as pointed out before, that is the nature of centralized thinking. The downside is that by depending on centralized solutions for local problems, local interests are not always served very well.
Most analyses of the most important crises in the world are done in the richer, more developed nations. Analyses of crises affecting the whole world are, therefore, largely global in scope while containing standardized and universal solutions that would predominantly favor the nations where those analyses are done, whether they may be on the Eastern or Western side of the geopolitical spectrum.
Balances and Imbalances
With a resource crisis, a centralized approach might be to keep centralized systems running at optimum levels because centralized systems would demand higher standards and more inputs, while systems on the peripheries and in faraway regions would be ‘allowed’ to experience shortfalls.
A decentralized and, thereby, a much more equitable and balanced approach would be to allow for each locality to preserve its own resources for local consumption so that it can maintain its localized systems sufficiently, as opposed to letting most of it flow out to external centers first.
As things stand, centralized approaches still predominantly override localized ones because of power imbalances. Such imbalances have increased in recent years, which is why a crisis in globalization is a crisis in the world at large, with faraway places at risk of being even more impacted than the centers of globalization.
Due to the fact that decentralized perspectives are not seen as serving the center, they are often disregarded or not factored in. In a centralized system, the objectives of the center would often, or generally, override localized contexts, realities, perceptions, views, needs, or necessities.
On the other hand, the greatest advantage of a decentralized system is that it is much more resilient overall. When one part of it fails, other parts can continue more or less unhindered. In a centralized system, if one part fails, it can destabilize the entire system.
For a system to be properly decentralized, it would need to be differentiated, decoupled, and diversified. It would also require innovative and creative thinking with the freedom of implementing innovative solutions independently and locally.
Most nations are still locked into a variety of international mechanisms that make it very difficult for them to take decentralized approaches in the face of global crises. The implication, in a nutshell, is that for as long as the world remains so comprehensively globalized, truly decentralized solutions are, for the moment, somewhat limited. It is mainly possible only on a very small scale, meaning on the individual, family, or community level.
That said, in some quarters, it is believed that globalization has most likely already passed its peak , even though there is still a lot of momentum behind it. One could, therefore, suggest that what should be aimed for on a personal level – as far as thinking is concerned – is an urgent re-balancing of thought processes with an orientation towards finding localized solutions in anticipation of a changing paradigm.
The human mind naturally reasons for Truth. In its unremitting operations, wittingly or unwittingly, it is always seeking Truth. To find Truth is to see Truth, therefore, in proportion, as the mind is able to recognize and distinguish what is true from what is false, so it may be said to find Truth, or at least an aspect of Truth. – A Manual on The Path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga) 
Centralized and decentralized views both have their blind spots and an attempt has been made in this chapter to illustrate some of them. In a more general sense, all people have a number of blind spots, since no human is able to factor in all information. Moreover, humans suffer from various biases, prejudices, forms of ignorance, misguided ideologies and types of cognitive dissonance. These limitations are not insurmountable, and seeking out the truth for its own sake can be a powerful method of overcoming them.
Although there has been a lot of talk about raising consciousness in recent years, in practice, it entails individuals actively seeking out the truth for themselves. Elevating truth above all else opens up areas of inquiry that would otherwise be outside a person’s usual spectrum of consideration. In that way one’s comprehension of problems and issues can be positively enhanced and enriched, which can then be offered in service to humanity. Although it can be a lot of work – and is by no means foolproof – such an approach is well worth the effort as it could benefit humanity in Navigating The Greatest Shift.
Note: This is likely to be the final chapter of 2022. More chapters may become available in 2023.
By J.J. Montagnier
22 October, 2022
J.J. Montagnier is an independent researcher and writer. He is presently based in the Global South, at a mid-point between West and East. The views and opinions are those of the writer. A creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible. References to and excerpts from this page may be used with direction back to the original content. This content is made available for free as a public service and is not intended for commercial use.
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Presentation on the Feasibility of a Circular Economy by S. Michaux – 19/08/2022: