We are experiencing a rapidly deepening and pervasive worldwide disintegration of the socio-moral fabric of life, expressed in a global crisis of mental health. In 2000, the World Health Organization recognized a Social Breakdown Syndrome and, since then, it has been struggling to develop new and more effective systemic ways to address the global crisis in mental health. Despite these efforts, and despite the massive global push toward more democratic and transparent governance, even reasonably-functioning people struggle with a deeply hidden sense of inner oppression. We are gradually realizing that psychological suffering in a turbulent and globalizing era can no longer be understood solely in traditional psychiatric terms, as failures of psycho-social adjustment.
This talk brings a Bahá’í perspective to examining the inner dynamic of oppression and the root socio-historical characteristics of a wide range of psychological conditions in the age of anxiety. It will explore the challenge to develop psychological education and clinical training that address proactively the complex needs of a highly diverse and conflict-ridden global society. It will offer an emergent vision of global community psychology in an explicit normative context. We will discuss processes of the systemic cultivation of cultures of social health, which foster in people spiritual awakening and progressively more empowered alignment with planetary transformation. We will draw from a synthesis of these issues, developed in a recent Bahá’í-inspired volume, Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era.