Within this context, add the writings of the mystics themselves (all telling us that we can discover direct perceptual evidence that there is a spiritual dimension working in our lives), which have enjoyed unprecedented attention and discussion for more than three decades, and the scene is set for dramatic cultural change.

This is what began to happen in a mass way in the mid-20th century, and it is slowly continuing now. The mystery of life came gushing back into consciousness and we began to see human existence in a new way.

Defining Our New Worldview

As the new millennium gets under way, I believe enough of this new viewpoint is coming together to begin to describe it cogently and to bring it more completely into our everyday awareness. All we have to do is imagine and reflect on how our experience and perception is already changing.

Rather than Newton's mechanical, uncaring universe, what we see when we look out our windows now is a world that is alive, interconnected, and reflecting an intelligence beyond anything the old worldview understood.

Mountains, wild streams and rivers, the world of trees and other plants, the mysterious behavior of animals in the world--these no longer seem commonplace or explained away by dismissive terms such as automatic response or instinct. We can feel that everything around us has an impact that goes well beyond the material or biological. We are somehow being sustained by the energy and beauty of nature at the spiritual level as well. Those who have walked the energy hills of Sedona, Arizona, or any high desert mesa or virgin forest know exactly what I'm referring to. We are boosted, empowered, and the effect can be felt and built upon.

Such newfound mystery imbues the human world as well. When we look out of our windows at the clamor of human work and activity, we now see a new mystery in the people we meet, in the conversations we have, and in the sudden manifestation of opportunity in our lives. We know that the universe around us reflects back to us a strange sort of guidance that we have grown to call synchronicity. Coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, this popular term refers to the occurrence of "meaningful coincidence," events that seem to be so timely and moving that we know them to be beyond mere chance. They feel destined.

Jung argues that synchronicity is a vital operating principle in the universe, as real as the orbits of the planets or the laws of physics, and is a directing intelligence that pushes humans toward psychological and spiritual growth.

By now, we've all experienced such synchronicities. Human biographies are replete with such events and always have been. The chance meeting of a stranger brings us information that takes our careers in a new direction. We wake up in the morning, thinking about an old friend, and decide to call, hearing the familiar "I was just thinking of you" or "I have something important to tell you" coming from the person on the other end of the line. And suddenly, our lives change.

For most of us, these important coincidences represent the evidence that mystics were talking about. We suddenly know that a divine intelligence is involved with our lives, that the working of the world is mysteriously pushing each of us toward some best destiny. The recognition of this fact always brings the same reaction: We want more of this magic flow. We want these guiding synchronicities to come more often and to be clearer in their meaning.

In this new worldview of ours, I believe we are becoming ever more centered on what we must do next. We must push even further, knock on the door with more intention, open up more fully to the mystery surrounding our lives. We must open up to a greater, spiritual side of ourselves that all the mystics declare is waiting.