Buddha image in the store window of an optician shop in Wittenberg (Germany)
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The world is still in crisis mode because of COVID-19. Many individuals wealthy enough to own stocks are seeing their net worth dramatically diminished. Unemployment rates in the United States went from being very low to very high in about one month. Watching the mainstream news provides little emotional comfort as the overall death toll keeps rising.
At first I thought that COVID-19 might be a biological-warfare weapon, but I am now more persuaded by articles stating that there are natural causes for its origin. But the origin of the virus is not the central issue now. The question is how do we cope and deal with this crisis collectively and individually.
Marxist professor Richard D. Wolff recently gave his most inspiring lecture, in my opinion, in this 30-minute talk. In the first 15 minutes he talks about Harvey Weinstein, and in the last 15 minutes COVID-19, both from a socialist perspective. While many people are quick to blame Trump and various Republican governors for the way the pandemic has been handled, Wolff provides a convincing argument that it is the system of capitalism that is creating much of the suffering.
Things may never be normal again after the COVID-19 pandemic. Large numbers of people need to realize that the three biggest problems are still capitalism, imperialism, and materialism.
The last words in the Christian doxology are "world without end, amen, amen." But to create a world without end, we need to create a world without empire. As a first step in creating world peace, the United States must dismantle its empire. It needs to close down its 800 military bases around the world, bring all the troops back home, and just defend our borders. What is also needed is a new worldview, a spiritual Renaissance or paradigm shift that transcends scientific materialism and lifestyle materialism.
On an international level, a more powerful and more democratic United Nations is needed. Or we could adopt the Earth Constitution, which is an excellent model for a democratic world government. On a national level, in order to maximize democracy, we can promote the equal empowerment of the 7 largest political parties in every nation.
On an individual level--even if world conditions keep getting worse--we can find liberation, enlightenment, our life purpose through advaita vedanta, yoga philosophy, Christian mysticism, and other expressions of the Perennial Philosophy. Like drops in the ocean of God, our eternal souls were never born, and they never die. When more individuals attain self-realization, then we will live in a much better world.
(Article changed on April 7, 2020 at 15:14)