Imho, we all have one of 3 dominant worldviews:
1) The world's a mess & getting worse, we're all going to die anyway, end of story - nihilism.
2) Things aren't too bad for me, I'll get by, my goal is to be happy with as little stress as possible - self-centeredness.
3) Things are perfect AND could use some improvement - awakening.
Many people are nihilistic - they've given up all hope because they realize that self-centeredness cannot make them happy. The vast majority of people are self-centered because they still haven't realized that self-centeredness is a dead end. Self-centeredness just morphs into nihilism.
Increasing numbers of people are awakening to the realization that we are far, far greater than what our usual state of mind ("egoic rational mind") is capable of understanding. In fact, this liberating realization is qualitatively beyond, & is therefore strongly opposed by our ego. It can take a lot of meditation practice, & sometimes challenging circumstances that defeat the ego, before the ego becomes quiet enough to allow us to see "outside the box."
Perhaps, in a way, that's where humanity is now: about to discover we're not as smart as we thought we were, will be forced by life to surrender our attacks & defenses which avail us of nothing, and finally break through into the collective beauty of who we really are." Marianne Williamson
"The perennial philosophy, which lies at the heart of the great religions and is increasingly said to represent their deepest thinking, suggests that consciousness is central and its development is the primary goal of existence. This development will culminate in the condition variously known in different traditions as enlightenment, liberation, salvation, moksha, or satori.
The descriptions of this condition show remarkable similarities across cultures and centuries. Its essence is the recognition that the distortions of our usual state of mind are such that we have been suffering from a case of mistaken identity. Our true nature is something much greater, an aspect of a universal consciousness, Self, Being, Mind, or God. The awakening to this true nature, claimed a Zen master, is ‘the direct awareness that you are more than this puny body or limited mind. Stated negatively, it is the realization that the universe is not external to you. Positively, it is experiencing the universe as yourself.’ … Typical is the claim by an Englishman that to realize our true identity is to ‘find that the I, one’s real, most intimate self, pervades the universe and all other beings. That the mountains, and the sea, and the stars are a part of one’s body, and that one’s soul is in touch with the souls of all creatures.’ Nor are such descriptions the exclusive province of mystics. They have been echoed by philosophers, psychologists, & physicists. ‘Out of my experience … one final conclusion dogmatically emerges,’ said the great American philosopher William James (1960). ‘There is a continuum of cosmic consciousness against which our individuality builds but accidental forces, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother sea.’
From this perspective, evolution is a vast journey of growing self-awareness & a return to our true identity. Our current crises are seen as expressions that arise from our mistaken identity. But they can also be seen as self-created challenges that may speed us on our evolutionary journey toward ultimate self-recognition.”
Roger Walsh. "Human Survival: A Psychoevolutionary Analysis." ReVision 1985; 8: 7-10.
Only when we recognize our true Self can we start to find peace, real happiness, & effectively help ourselves & our world. There are excellent contemporary guides - one of the finest imho is Helen Hamilton.
Helen Hamilton's EXCELLENT talk on recognizing our true Self :