At the age of twenty-nine, Eckhart Tolle was a research scholar, supervisor, and doctoral candidate at Cambridge University in England. He was also, by his own admission, deeply miserable. As he lay in bed one night, gripped by an intense dread and loathing of his own existence, he experienced a profound spiritual transformation. In his book The Power of Now (New World Library), he describes waking the next morning:

I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.

Gone was the miserable self, replaced by a deep sense of peace. Tolle didn’t quite know what had happened to him, didn’t have any concepts or words for it. It was only later, after he had read spiritual texts and visited with spiritual teachers, that he understood: he had realized his true nature as “pure consciousness” rather than as an ego-bound, separate self, “ultimately a fiction of the mind.”

Recognizing he could not go back to being a research scholar and doctoral candidate, Tolle found himself with “no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy.” (He laughs and says that this has scared off some readers and that you do not have to sit on a bench for two years.) Later, people began to approach him with questions about the power of his presence. Their dialogues became the inspiration for his books The Power of Now and Practicing the Power of Now.

With its question-and-answer format, The Power of Now can look, upon first glance, like a spiritual version of The One-Minute Manager. This impression quickly dissolves as one begins reading. Tolle writes in clear and simple language about surrendering to the present moment as a path to liberation from our conditioned mind. The peace that results is, in his words, “an abiding presence, an unchanging deep stillness, an uncaused joy beyond good and bad . . . beyond happiness and unhappiness.” He has something to say to people of any spiritual background, or none at all. (More information about Tolle’s books can be found at www.namastepublishing.com.)

Tolle was born in Germany, and his childhood was marked by spells of depression and suicidal thoughts. At the age of thirteen, he went to live with his father in Spain. Except for language classes, Tolle stopped going to school and began educating himself through books. Around this time, a family friend left at their house the works of German philosopher and painter Bo Yin Ra. “I felt later that these books were left there for a reason,” Tolle says. “They created an ‘opening’ into that other dimension.”

When he was nineteen, Tolle moved to London and began seeking an answer to life’s questions through philosophy, psychology, and literature. He took preparatory classes and was accepted at London University. Upon graduating with the highest mark, he was offered a scholarship to do research at Cambridge. Despite his academic success, the unhappiness that had plagued him since childhood was growing worse. He would soon experience the awakening that would lead him down an entirely new path.

Tolle lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For the past ten years, he has been a spiritual counselor and teacher, and currently gives workshops for large groups in Europe and North America. When I learned that Tolle was giving a rare East Coast retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, I knew I wanted to attend. Less than a week had passed since the terrorist attacks of September 11. During the seven-hour drive from my home in Maine, I felt overwhelmed by, and yet addicted to, the nonstop media coverage.

As I sat in the crowded main hall at the beginning of the retreat, a stillness surrounded me. I experienced Tolle’s presence as powerful, though not in an overt way. His is more the power of silence in a room full of noise. Although I can’t explain how, this silent presence is palpably felt. What isn’t apparent in his books is his joyful humor, which would appear just when it was most needed. His playful facial expressions and body gestures, as he described what he calls “the little me,” were as true to the human condition as the comedy of Buster Keaton.

Tolle described the role of a spiritual teacher as “an open window through which a breeze is blowing.” It is easy to confuse “the breeze,” he said, “with the window through which the breeze is blowing”: the physical form of a particular person.

Later, as Tolle greeted me in his room for this interview, I was struck by his quiet and unassuming nature as well as his impish and contagious sense of humor.

 

319 - Eckhart Tolle

ECKHART TOLLE

Donoso: We often try to escape from our daily lives: work that is unfulfilling; relationships that aren’t going the way we would like; family situations that become difficult. What is the origin of this desire to escape?

Tolle: The tendency to escape is a form of collective mental conditioning that is at work almost all the time in people’s lives, not just when situations turn out to be unpleasant or unsatisfying or difficult. In ordinary life, there is a continuous moving away from the moment to an imagined future that is unconsciously regarded as more important. Most people make the present moment into a means to an end, the end being a future moment that will arrive a minute from now, or an hour from now, or whenever I “make it.” Our striving toward the future, our inner compulsion to deny the present moment, manifests itself as a continuous sense of unease and latent dissatisfaction with what is. This seems to be the “normal” state of our civilization. Freud recognized this when he wrote Civilization and Its Discontents. A literal translation of the German title is The Unease in Culture. He saw that our normal state of consciousness could be described as one of continuous unease, more pronounced at some times than at others.

Donoso: Why are we not more aware of this state?

Tolle: Because it is everybody’s normal state. Children are conditioned to look to the future from the moment they enter school, always needing the next moment and the next. Even if the future moment is feared, there is still a projection toward it, which generates anxiety. Then the recognition can arise — and this is an amazing realization for people who have never looked at it clearly — that the present moment is all there ever is in one’s life.

The self is a story line that develops in the head, very much like a fictitious creation. Yet it forms the basis of most people’s sense of who they are, and that sense, of course, is reinforced by the surrounding world.

Donoso: But aren’t our past experiences and our potential future experiences central to our lives?

Tolle: One never experiences the future, nor the past. One experiences only the present moment. Whatever you do, think, or feel can happen only in the present moment, the Now. If you live in such a way that you continuously deny the present moment, it means that you deny life itself, because life is inseparable from the Now; it can unfold only Now. The past is a memory of a former Now; the future is a mental projection of an expected Now. Strictly speaking, nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nor will anything happen in the future; it will happen in the Now. It sounds almost simplistic or meaningless, and yet there is a deep truth in it: that life and Now are one.

Donoso: Is having hope for the future a help to us or a hindrance?

Tolle: I wouldn’t recommend it. [Laughter.] It is more mental projection. It just gives you some new future that you think is going to save you.

Donoso: What keeps us living in either the past or the future?

Tolle: We live in a world of mental abstraction, conceptualization, and image making — a world of thought. And that becomes our dwelling place. It is a world characterized by the inability ever to stop thinking. The mental noise is a continuous stream. Psychologists have found that 95 percent or more of it is totally repetitive. Perhaps 10 percent of those thought processes, at most, are actually needed to deal with life. Thought can sometimes be very useful [laughter], but in our world it has become obsessive, compulsive, almost like an addiction. People’s sense of identity, of self, gets bound up with their mental concepts and mental images of “I” and “me.”

Donoso: When does this begin?

Tolle: It begins when your parents tell you what your name is. That’s the first label you absorb; the mind says, “Oh, that’s me,” and you repeat your name. Subsequently, that name becomes like a basket in which further life experiences are collected: things that happen to you; things that people tell you about who you are. Some parents tell their children, “You’re not good enough; you’re stupid; you can’t do anything right.” Other parents say different things. But there is always conditioning that is absorbed. These things are then collected and become the contents of your mind. As you grow up, a story grows out of them, a story consisting of judgments and concepts and belief systems. In other words, the self is a story line that develops in the head, very much like a fictitious creation. Yet it forms the basis of most people’s sense of who they are, and that sense, of course, is reinforced by the surrounding world.

This conceptual sense of self is also often threatened by other people, so it is always very uneasy and defensive and constantly needs to replenish and enhance itself. There is always the need for more of “me” to add to who I am. I need to add relationship; I need to add knowledge; I need to add material possessions; I need to add status. If people’s opinions of me are good, if they think highly of me, then I will have status in society, and that can become the basis of my identity. If they think badly of me, if I have no status, that, too, can serve as the basis for my identity — an identity that says, “I haven’t made it. I’m not good enough,” and is characterized by a continuous feeling of insufficiency, lack, fear. Either way, the story of “me” is not complete. Even those who in the eyes of the world have “made it” feel they haven’t arrived, that their story is incomplete, that so far it hasn’t gone the way it was supposed to go.

So my sense of self is deficient because it’s incomplete. “There’s so much more that I need to be fully myself” is the feeling. And then there is the unsatisfactory nature of my story. Sometimes this is clearly seen, as when people are depressed. Other times it is pushed underneath the surface and becomes unconscious. The conscious mind might create images of “me” as the greatest, but underneath lie those images that say, “Oh, no, you’re not.” It may well be that the image I project is the opposite of what I truly feel. This is what people live with; this is what people are burdened with as a sense of self.

A further characteristic of this fictional self is that it cannot sustain itself in the prolonged absence of conflict or strife. It needs other people and situations with which it can be in opposition, because to be in opposition to something strengthens our sense of self. If I have enemies, my identity is strengthened. And this applies, of course, to both a personalized sense of “me” and a collective sense of “us”: our tribe, our religion, our nation. In both cases, it is through enemies and conflict that the self defines itself, that it can declare itself “right.”

This need for enemies is part of the insanity of normal human consciousness, which has afflicted us for many thousands of years. It lies at the root of the continuous violence, warfare, and conflict that you see when you open a newspaper or history book. I always recommend people read twentieth-century history, because of all the periods of human history, surely the twentieth century is the maddest of all, in terms of suffering inflicted by humans on other humans. Any visitor from outer space who looked at that century would have to conclude that there is a strong streak of insanity running through the collective human psyche.

The madness of the world is not just out there; the root of the madness lies in every person’s mind. Of course, it takes on more extreme forms in certain people and less extreme forms in others. An extreme manifestation of insanity is the terrorist who kills thousands of people, including himself. How can he do that? How can a person inflict suffering and, seemingly, not feel anything? How is that possible? It is possible because the terrorist has conceptualized a large group of people — the other religion, the other tribe, the other nation — as the enemy. And once he has made labels and judgments, he no longer sees them as human beings. He sees only the mental concept that he has created, the mental labels that he has attached. The moment you do that, whether collectively to a tribe or individually to another person, you have desensitized yourself, and you no longer sense the aliveness and the reality of that other human being.

Donoso: So you’ve killed them before you have killed them.

Tolle: Yes, that’s right. But, before one condemns the terrorists, one needs to see that terrorism is only a more extreme manifestation of the same dysfunction that exists in everyone. And that’s a sobering realization. It also means that you can’t make the terrorists into an “enemy” anymore.

Donoso: There is a summer camp near where I live in Maine called Seeds of Peace, founded by John Wallach. It brings together Israeli and Palestinian teenagers to live, eat, and play sports: to discover that the “enemy” has a human face.

Tolle: Yes, and gradually the mental construct loses its density, and they see some of the reality shine through. But it is important to realize we are all trapped in mental constructs, and so we separate ourselves from reality; the whole world loses its aliveness — or, rather, we lose our ability to sense that aliveness, the sacredness of nature. When we approach nature through the conceptualizing mind, we see a forest as a commodity, a concept. We no longer see it for what it truly is, but for what we want to use it as. It is reduced. This is how it becomes possible for humans to destroy the planet without realizing what they are doing. It’s all contained in the last words of Jesus: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

This collective mental illness has been with us for a long time. In the time of Jesus, already, the illness was there. In the time of the Buddha, it was there. As time progresses, it has become more and more acute, more and more pronounced. The twentieth century — the “century of progress” — was the height of the madness so far.

Donoso: What role does technology play in all of this?

Tolle: Although science has created some miraculous inventions, most have also had very dramatic downsides to them. At first, we think a new invention is all good, and then we see the destructive side to it, the other polarity. During the First World War, technology and science multiplied the effects of human madness a thousand times. People began to ask, “My God, what have we done?” It was staring us in the face: this is the human condition; this is what we have created. And we had to turn our faces away.

There is so much more to a human being than thought activity. There is so much more intelligence beyond the world of thought, in the realm where intuition, creativity, and sudden realizations come from.

Donoso: It is easier to see this outwardly, in society, than in our individual lives.

Tolle: First you see it collectively, the reflection of it out there. Then you see its root in yourself: the tendency to live continuously in a world of concepts, which is bound up with one’s identification with thought processes, which are always about abstraction and image making. Although in some people a change is taking place, a shift in consciousness, most people still completely identify with their thinking minds. That’s why the French philosopher Descartes, when he tried to state the deepest truth possible, came up with “I think, therefore I am.” Of course, that is not the truth. He was only expressing the error that was already there in his time: equating being with thinking.

There is so much more to a human being than thought activity. There is so much more intelligence beyond the world of thought, in the realm where intuition, creativity, and sudden realizations come from. I’m not dismissing thought totally. Thought is needed to give these things form. But when thought becomes equated with self, thought then becomes destructive, because the basis of our identity becomes an abstraction, a conceptualization, and once we have conceptualized ourselves, we then do it to the rest of the world.

Donoso: You speak of a shift that is taking place. What sort of shift?

Tolle: I see a shift in consciousness happening for the first time in more than just a few individuals here and there. It is a shift that the ancient teachers, such as the Buddha and Jesus, pointed to — a possibility of living in a different state of consciousness.

If you look at all the ancient teachings — Hinduism, Buddhism, the teachings of Jesus — you’ll see they have two things in common. (I’m referring here to the original teachings of these traditions. The organized religions are mostly mental constructs built much later, when the followers could no longer grasp the truth of the original teachings.) First, they all saw that there was something not right with the human condition, though they expressed this in different terms. Buddha said the human condition is one of suffering; Jesus said the human condition is one of sin; Hinduism said the human condition is one of illusion. And second, they all realized that there is a way beyond that, and that way is the spiritual path that these original teachings show.

Freedom from suffering is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching. Buddha summarized his teaching by saying, “I show you suffering and the end of suffering.” That means he shows us how suffering arises and how it can end. Jesus talked about the state of sin. (The Christian doctrine of original sin has been misinterpreted and misused by institutionalized religion, but there is a core of truth to it.) He said there is another way possible, the kingdom of heaven, which is not elsewhere, in eternity, but here, now, in us. Hinduism speaks of illusion and points to the way beyond it: “liberation.” Sometimes people call it enlightenment, but liberation is a helpful word, because it points to what you’ve been liberated from: a false sense of self, thoughts, mind activity.

So, in all three traditions, there is a way beyond. In Christianity there is the possibility of salvation, which has been misinterpreted as meaning some future point when I’m going to heaven, but actually means another state of consciousness. In Hinduism there is liberation. In Buddhism there is enlightenment. Those ancient teachings pointed the way, but not many people got the message. As a whole, humankind was not ready for it. But it could somehow sense that there was truth in those teachings, so they were not forgotten. Then the human mind, with its tendency to conceptualize, obscured the original truth of these teachings and built on top of them superstructures of religious beliefs, which became part of people’s identities: total delusion.

You attack other people’s positions because you are defending a fictitious sense of self. You are so identified with your position that you feel the need to defend it as if it were your life. It’s not your life, of course . . . but that is what it feels like.

Donoso: And we are born into this conditioning?

Tolle: Yes, that is the collective conditioning of the human mind. But to see the conditioning in oneself is to begin to get free of it. At first, you notice that you continuously identify with your thought stream. You are completely in it. All these thoughts going through your head, one after another, are very familiar, like old records that you have been playing for years. [Laughter.] Some of these thoughts stand out very clearly; they’re old friends — or, rather, old enemies, because people carry a lot of conflict in this form. Then you wonder: what part of you sees this? That seeing part is not another thought, but it is aware of thought, and also of the emotions that accompany thought.

So there comes the ability to observe the workings of the mind and the emotions that go with them. And that is a new level of consciousness arising, a new level of awareness: to see one’s conditioning and observe it in action. For example, in the midst of an argument, this witnessing presence can sense the implicit violence behind your defense of your position. Why is there violence behind the defense of your position? Because there is an identification with a thought, with a mental construct that gives you your feeling of who you are. You attack other people’s positions because you are defending a fictitious sense of self. You are so identified with your position that you feel the need to defend it as if it were your life. It’s not your life, of course.

Donoso: But that is what it feels like.

Tolle: Yes, that is what it feels like. And with the awareness of this violence comes the choice to drop your position in the midst of the debate and see what happens. And that is an enormous step. When suddenly you drop your position, there seems to be a hole where before there was a strong structure. When the structure is relinquished, there comes a sense of freedom — and the amazing realization that you are still alive. [Laughter.]

Now, on the personal level, defending one’s position looks harmless enough, but the need to be right and to make the other wrong is the source of continuous conflict, in relationships and in the world.

Donoso: Nations defending their positions.

Tolle: Yes. So the question arises: if I am not who I think I am; and I am not who everybody I know has been telling me I am; and I am not the story in my head; and I am not the beliefs, the accumulated experiences, the memory traces — then who am I? Every answer to that question is dangerous, because every word that one might use will create another concept. The reality of who you are can never be expressed in words. Words are only signposts that point the way.

Donoso: You spoke of a new state of consciousness arising; why is it arising now?

Tolle: Because human madness is threatening to destroy the planet. If the shift in consciousness doesn’t happen very soon, then there’s not much chance that the planet will continue to survive. Or perhaps the planet might make it, but humans won’t. The planet may regenerate itself after a few hundred years, but humans will have disappeared. Imagine another hundred years of this consciousness, unchanged. Everything will just get magnified: more science, more technology, more weapons, more consumer goods, more of everything — a dreadful prospect.

I’d say the change is happening now — or, at least, a real possibility of change is arising — because it has to happen now. There’s an urgency that wasn’t there before, because the survival of humanity wasn’t threatened. There was human madness, but it wasn’t so mad that it would destroy itself. Now the madness has been magnified, amplified by technology and science, to the point where it can destroy itself.

Donoso: The stakes have been raised.

Tolle: Yes, and something is arising, because there is a great intelligence at work that goes far beyond the human mind. It is the vast intelligence found in every organ of the body, in the DNA of every cell. It is the intelligence that runs and coordinates all the functions of the human body. Obviously, the conscious mind hasn’t the capability to do that. Put all the world’s computers together, and they couldn’t run the functions of the body for more than a second. So there is a greater intelligence in human beings than can be contained in the human mind. The mind is only a tiny aspect of this greater intelligence, which is the same intelligence that created the galaxies and the world of nature. And that is what is arising now.

Donoso: How does it arise in us?

Tolle: It arises at first as the ability to watch the workings of one’s mind. Then comes the choice not to identify with those mental structures. More and more, you realize that you are not your thoughts, because they come and go. They’re all conditioned; they’re all just the contents of your mind. Instead of deriving a sense of self from those contents, you realize that you can simply observe the contents. A deeper sense of self arises then. That is the aware presence, and it feels very spacious and peaceful, no matter what happens in your mind. You no longer identify with your mind, which is just conditioned thoughts, and instead identify with the observing presence, which can see the conditioned thoughts and emotions in continuous flux. When your sense of self is no longer tied to thought, is no longer conceptual, there is a depth of feeling, of sensing, of compassion, of loving, that was not there when you were trapped in mental concepts. You are that depth.

Donoso: It seems easier to be in the state that you describe when I am in nature.

Tolle: Yes, because nature doesn’t stimulate the mind in the same way. Although many people can be in nature and still be full of mental concepts and noise, occasionally even people who are immersed in mental noise have moments in nature when the noise subsides, and suddenly they are alert and present. Then they get to watch and see and sense the aliveness all around them: the sacredness, the beauty, the harmony that holds everything together. It is wonderful to walk in nature with a mind that has become quiet — or, rather, with no-mind, but simply in a state of alert presence. Nature can be a great help there.

Donoso: And if nature isn’t readily available?

Tolle: You can watch a plant, a flower, a cloud, a sky. Even the sound of water dripping. Anything.

Donoso: What about when we need to use conceptual thought — for example, when planning for the future?

Tolle: Then mental concepts are fine. You can use them. It is not a problem at all, because you are no longer striving for completion of your self through adding “more.” Once the compulsion not to live in the Now goes away, you realize that there is nothing wrong with acquiring more knowledge, having more experiences, or learning new skills, all of which require time. Even acquiring some material things — though no longer compulsively, only certain things that you would like to have or that you need — is all right when it is free of self-seeking.

So, on the level of ordinary living, there is nothing wrong with pursuing a future goal. The difference is that you are not seeking an enhanced sense of self through achieving those goals anymore. You already have a full sense of self, which is the awareness that is prior to thought, that can watch thought. And you watch the entire world from there. You witness things coming into your life and things leaving; forms arising and forms dissolving. And all the while, there is an inner sense of spaciousness that can allow these things to happen. There’s no longer a clinging to any particular forms that arise, whether they be thought forms, emotional forms, or physical forms such as objects, people, or situations. There’s also no longer a terror of forms that you don’t want, that don’t “fit” your sense of self. That is freedom: freedom from thousands and thousands of years of collective human conditioning.

Donoso: What does one need to do to become free?

Tolle: The good news is that you don’t need another thousand years to become free. All you need is to become present to this moment; to open yourself up to the fullness that already is, now. “Abundant life,” Jesus called it. He said: “I want you to have life, and I want you to have more abundant life.” Some translations call it “the fullness of life.” The fullness of life, as Jesus defined it, is not about the accumulation of material things. He was talking of a deeper fullness, prior to the world of form; a fullness that is rooted in a natural state. Underneath all mental concepts, all conditioned consciousness, is the pure, unconditioned consciousness. That is the essence of your being. That is the path of liberation, of freedom. And to follow it is not difficult. In fact, it requires no time. You don’t need to wait for the future. All that is required is to be present and attentive to this moment.

Attention is an essential word here. Keep in mind that the words I use are signposts pointing to a state of consciousness that is nonconceptual; in effect, I am using concepts to describe nonconceptual reality. Sometimes I use the words spaciousness or spacious presence. The word attention is very helpful. The state of not being identified with thought is one of heightened alertness. Jesus tells several parables about waiting for someone to arrive: when you don’t know when that person is going to arrive, you are alert, awake. It’s like listening to catch the faintest noise. Attention is also the essence of Zen, a state of alertness in which there is no tension. It is a relaxed alertness, as if you were listening, though there is nothing to listen to. In this state, thought actually subsides; it stops.

Some people have attained this state of heightened awareness in dangerous situations, where they can’t afford the luxury of thinking, because thought would be too slow. So the mind stops, and something else takes over: a state of relaxed alertness; a very peaceful, present state. People who have survived emergency situations say the shift happened just before the accident; something within them changed, and there was suddenly incredible serenity and peace and rightness. There was no fear anymore, and they knew that all was well. Beyond thought, they knew it. There are many, many such accounts. In some cases, those people took the right action at that moment, unpremeditated, not arrived at through thought.

Donoso: Are there other times when we have access to that state of relaxed, heightened awareness?

Tolle: Many people have limited access to it in their lives. Great artists create from there; great scientists, too. Scientists, of course, use their minds in their work, but the great scientists have all said that their best insights came at a time of mental stillness: they had been doing a lot of thinking and couldn’t arrive at a solution, and then the mind stopped, and out of that stillness, out of that aware presence, came the answer.

Great athletes also enter that state. They are not thinking about what they’re doing; the mind has nothing to do with it. Right action happens spontaneously, and they are totally alert. It is beautiful to watch. Anything that comes out of that state of alertness has beauty to it, whether it is art or science or sport. And people must sense that, somehow, because otherwise why would we watch people hitting a ball for two hours? [Laughter.]

The ancient teachings point out that it is possible to live that way, such that your whole life is an expression of that state of consciousness; the madness doesn’t reassert itself the moment you stop your artistic or athletic activity. Some artists were even more mad than your average person; it’s just that, occasionally, they were free from it. So, in this mad species, we occasionally see sublime creations. And we ask, “How could it be that a human being created something this sublime? My God!”

The good news is that you don’t need another thousand years to become free. All you need is to become present to this moment; to open yourself up to the fullness that already is, now.

Donoso: Isn’t the mind involved in creation?

Tolle: Creativity doesn’t come from the human mind. The human mind may give it form, but the deep inspiration for it — the essence of it — always comes out of that state of alert presence: not the mind, not thought. Subsequently perhaps, thought comes in, more so in certain activities: writing, for example. But even the writer listens and waits for it to come.

Many works that are called art these days are actually creations of the human mind trying to be clever, trying to think of something new. And so they lack the essence of true art, which is the flavor, the fragrance of that heightened state of consciousness out of which the original inspiration came. That is the essence of great art. No one knows how it gets into the work. Even the artist doesn’t know. And yet, somehow, people recognize it when it does. Somehow, they sense it. So they are not totally mad; they sense that there is something there.

Humans now need to go beyond just having limited access to that state of consciousness. We need to undergo a “psychological transformation,” as Krishnamurti calls it. The shift will occur when humans begin habitually to live in that state of consciousness. If this happens, humankind will survive. If it doesn’t happen, it’s unlikely that humankind will make it. So let’s see what happens. But a very important factor in whether or not humankind will make it is you.