Whether your reading posts at science20, watching talks at TED, reading any of the self help books on the bestseller lists, watching Oprah, talking with your neighbors, or just turning on the news, be you a scientist or layman, zealot to atheist, of any particular walk of life, (at least in western society,) you have, by now, heard of the "new Enlightenment."

It might not have been called such, it might be an "awakening" or a "quest for authenticity," a "seeing," an "understanding," perhaps something else.

The point is, everyone is figuring out how full of shit we all are, as are our designs.

This, of course, is something I've been talking about since my debut as a commentator on such phenomenon, right here, at science20. The mechanics of it, its substance and effect are the topics of my book, as well as my essays here.

The other day, I saw another exemplification of "the movement" on the Oprah show that featured film maker Tom Shadyac. Tom is the director of several blockbuster comedies, including the ones that made Jim Carrey a star. As his life was unfolding in front of him, he came to realise that it was not making him happy. All the money, belongings, power and freedom he had still left him empty inside.

So Mr. Shadyac had the typical epiphany of the deeper person and said, "to hell with it." He went on a "spiritual" journey to find himself, giving up his wealth.

One shouldn't be surprised by this personal enlightenment, neither is it something new. (See: Buddha.) What's new is an appreciation of the system by which we come to be these shallow, inauthentic beings, chasing hollow dreams.

Oprah asks, "Has the world gone crazy?"

The short answer is, "the world IS crazy" and "it IS because of us."
The long answer is contained in the word "gone..."
Inside that little word, "gone" is the BIG problem of the new Enlightenment.

How did we "go" crazy?
By being manipulated and hyper-manipulated to desire incongruent, unnatural and counterproductive distinctions...
By being socially engineered to believe that we are somehow exempt from the laws of the universe...
By deciding that what feels wrong can be excused by "knowing" what is right...
(and all of this while being too dumb to even know what "knowing" means.)
We are programmed to fail by having innapropriate ideas of success.

Oprah, (and Tom Shayac, in his film "I am,") are fond of bringing Christianity into it. (They would call it "spirituality" and "be open" to all Religions, but still, they quote only one book.)
I am not.
This distinction is irrelevant, except that it distinguishes what I feel in an important revolution in the new Enlightenment: We needn't bring any unknowable aspect of life into this conversation in order to illustrate the reality of the phenomenon of our crashing systems.
We can simply point to actual reality, logic and science.

There are widespread, multi-faceted systems of human design collapsing around us.

Now, for the REALLY BIG problem: Doing something to solve it is going to require a complete strip down and rebuild.

Some of us already want to do it.
Some of us would argue it is inevitable, due to contradictory nature of our systems defying entropy.
Some of us will never want to do it, for the very same reasons. (Call these people, "Elite.")
Some of us, and here we will include Mr. Shadyac and Oprah, are aware that there is something to be awakened to, even what that realisation is, but are unable to take the next step and admit how they are personally, individually and totally responsible for it's continued exemplification.

There is only one anwer as I see it.
It is one so preposterous that even I daren't speak its name.
(And that is really saying something...)

However, I think it is a change that will come to us eventually, regardless of our intentions.
We will have our cashless, co-operative, global human society, able to separate its beliefs from it's intentions, by crash or by crook, because we must.

There is always a levelling off, again, because there must.

If you had spoken of "the new Enlightenment" ten years ago, you would be having a conversation in a new age vacuum. Ridiculous, conspiratorial, paranoid balogna on the social engineering front. Hippy-dip, bongo playing, robe wearing flower power on the religious front.

Slowly, over time, by WATCHING the world "go crazy" the idea that our "ideas" are not only flawed, but dangerously counterproductive has gained perpetually increasing mainstream acceptance, because to deny it would be to deny reality.

So, Oprah and Tom, let's not concentrate on what Nostrodamus, the Mayan's, Revelations or any other source gives us as reasons for the shit hitting the fan.
Let us examine our own hands for evidence.