Many years ago, I learned (can’t remember how or where) what is supposed to be an old, basic philosophical (or religious) principle – which is that: before a man can be expected to progress spiritually, he must first have his physical needs met. For how can he be expected to grow in the hidden ways when he is fighting to survive in the visible ways – if he is cold, hungry, or unsheltered. This, to me, seems so true as to be almost obvious.
Today it occurs to me that here we (Americans) are, living lives that just a few generations ago would have been considered ‘royal’. Most of us live better than 90% of the rest of the world. We have all we want to eat (and more than we need). We live in fine homes, are entertained with music & TV, travel where/when we wish, etc. While it’s snowing, we eat (fresh) fruit from the tropics. We need only to turn up the thermostat when we are cold or turn up the AC when we’re hot. We don’t have to go to the well for water; just turn on the tap and voila – we have cold water to drink or warm water to wash with. All this and more… yet…
We (Americans) are considered, by much of the world, to be rude, morally corrupt, politically ignorant and lazy, poorly educated, and generally decaying. Many compare us to the Romans in their last days. Please, my intent is not to bash, be negative, or be judgmental – it is simply to provide a sort of ‘baseline’ or backdrop against which I can ask the following question:
If we are so well off, and have been for some time now, then why is it that we, as individuals and as a nation, are not showing significant progress in our spiritual growth?
Seems to me that, if we tried even a little, by now we could potentially be so advanced as to have telepathic powers, healing powers, and any of the other ‘higher powers’. At the very least, instead of showing so much dishonesty, injustice, greed, and downright stupidity, we could (or should) be exhibiting the basics – such as honesty, justice, generosity, and proper stewardship.
Can you imagine what this country (and world) would be like if we truly treated each other as the brothers and sisters that we are? We really are… brothers and sisters.
So what happened?
Instead of moving (or growing) toward a better society – say just for clarity and as an example: something akin to the society shown in Star Trek (I know, kind of corny or simplistic but hey, it’s better than no goal at all) – why are we descending into a corporate/authoritarian state that treats its citizens like ‘resources’ to be used for personal gain.
Rather than using the tools available to guide us upward and toward what may be called a ‘utopian society’, it seems that almost all of the tools available (certainly a good majority) are being used to ‘dumb us down’ with vapid distractions, lie to us (telling us “all is well, just keep on shopping”), or force us to do as we’re told (“do more with less”, “work harder”, “need for austerity”) so someone else can get richer/more powerful.
Instead of moving toward increased freedom, creativity, and enjoyment of life, we’re moving toward depression, unhappiness, and disaster.
The above is a hard assessment (yeah, a real bummer) but unfortunately it’s true. Anyone who’s been paying even a little bit of attention can see it – the story is out there, all over the place.
What the hell happened?
How do we ‘right our course’?
My suggestion: the first thing is to look at what is really going on – and admit it… face it… no matter how much it hurts. Once we do that, each of us will see what he/she can/should do… then, all that remains is to do it… one step at a time.
Get on the right path and stay on it as best you can.