Many of the so-called spiritual people--who are into meditation, exploring higher states of consciousness or nondualism, psychic phenomena, and other spiritually transformative experiences --have the belief that if a sufficient number of people wake up or become enlightened, then that alone will dramatically improve the world. Many have also expressed the sentiment that we don't need to think or learn about all the bad and negative things going on in the world. We don't need to be political or to get angry about what our government is doing to us and other nations: We just need to be more loving in all of our daily relationships.
Without a doubt there is power in love. However, to disempower the wealthiest one percent, the Shadow Government and the Deep State that control our government and the mainstream media--it will take more than just love. To create true democracy and ecological wisdom, to stop the endless wars, it will take massive nonviolent demonstrations in major cities. The demonstrators must have an agreed upon list of requirements that legislators must implement or they will simply get voted out of office. The needed change will not come through a violent revolution, nor will it come through our currently elected representatives because they are merely spokespersons of the one percent who help them get elected and re-elected.
Meditation methods, such as the popular mindfulness meditation approach, may help a person relax, be more creative, and experience joy and bliss, but meditation alone cannot stop the vast suffering in the world that results from political and government corruption. If we try to live an ethical and spiritual life, if we are psychologically healthy with fewer ego defense mechanisms in our daily life, if we have healthy interpersonal relationships with friends and family--all of these things make our individual lives more fulfilling. But if an intellectual is a person who enjoys thinking and studying about how to improve society and heal the planet, then it is now urgent that we each strive to become an intellectual as well.
In an article about the myths of meditation, it was stated that meditation starves the mind of stimulus. The mind is considered a barrier between us and the absolute. It is believed that the very energy of thought keeps us from experiencing God. Meditation stifles the questioning, rational mind.
It is true that when we concentrate and become aware of just our breathing or body sensations in the ever-changing now moment, our natural, sequential thinking process is blocked; but if we do this a few minutes a day, it is a good thing. Not identifying with our habitual thought patterns can give us a fresh perspective about our life concerns. There is nothing to "do" in meditation. Meditation is about awareness. If while we are meditating, we are trying to be calm and relaxed, then that "trying" is "doing," and it is not considered meditation. It might be considered contemplation instead, which is also a good thing, but it is not meditation.
Meditation seems so simple, yet it is a challenge to just unconditionally accept and be aware of each now moment without conceptualizing about it. If you try it and keep getting distracted or bored, just gently bring your attention back to the focal point or task without getting upset or impatient with yourself. So, yes, there are benefits to meditation, but in order to be responsible world citizens or to learn skills other than meditation, we will have to think, study, and learn using the rational mind.
Back in the 70s, many of us erroneously believed that people who could become enlightened would get infinite knowledge about everything. I am reminded of Ram Dass who reported in one of his books that when he first met his guru Neem Karoli Baba, the revered Indian saint told him that the previous night he was sitting out under the stars thinking about his mother, and that is exactly what Ram Dass was doing, which completely astounded him.
So it does seem that psychics and yogis can access bits of information about various things, but nobody gets a full download or transmission of an all-knowing, infinitely loving, and all-powerful male God, as He is conceived in monotheistic religions. In Eastern thought, there is no God that is separate and distinct from the universe. Instead, there is an indescribable fountain of love and joy at the core of our being that is part of our nature, not separate from it. It is accessed when we go beyond the subject-object duality of the ego into the mystical oneness of selflessness.
People who have had Near Death Experiences have also reported being in the presence of what they sometimes call the Source Energy of the universe, which seemingly knew everything about them but still loved them unconditionally. Reportedly when the experiencers came back to life, after their heart stopped beating, they were afterwards completely changed by their experience and started a new lifestyle of being more compassionate toward others, while never again having a fear of death. More people becoming kind and loving is certainly something the world needs more of. However, it is not enough to solve national and international problems.
Many years ago I read a lot of books written by Swami Rama. When I was later able to have a 15-minute private meeting with him, I remember thinking that it was the most profound spiritual experience I had ever had. I felt indescribable love, joy, rapture, and bliss just being in his presence, not from any particular words that were expressed to me. However, my ex-wife said she did not experience anything special whatsoever in her private meeting with Swami Rama.
My experience convinced me that there is value in spending many hours in deep meditation. But then how many yogis and Buddhist monks and nuns do you find at political demonstrations? Very few or none. Or how often do such individuals think about history and politics in the course of a day? Probably very little. Now you may argue that we each have different callings, gifts, and specialties. That is true. But we all are citizens of the world sharing this planet together. Therefore, we each should feel responsible that half the world lives in deep poverty (less than $2.50 per day, which is about $913 per year) rather than to just focus on our own material gratification or spiritual growth. The needs of the whole, the collective, the community are as equally important as our own needs. A good analogy would be how the cells of the human body must work with complete cooperation, not competition.
The biggest obstacle to creating world peace is the imperialism of the United States. If the United States would stop trying to sabotage, or do regime change, of the countries of the world that hinder its world dominance in one way or another, it would set a precedent and good example for other nations.
If it would take four earths for everyone in the world to have the same lifestyle as the average American, then that means we in the United States need to choose voluntary simplicity so that others can simply live. The irony is voluntary simplicity would make us happier. Here is a 10-minute video that might make you cry about a millionaire who found the meaning of life. Since most social problems develop to the degree there is a gap between the rich and the poor within a nation and among nations, then a worldwide radical egalitarianism is necessary if we want to greatly reduce social problems. Many Left Greens believe that the Green New Deal does not go far enough in reducing extravagant lifestyles and massive growth.
Here is a short video about the zero waste lifestyle. We can become conscious of our environmental footprint. In this video a family created only a jar's worth of waste in one year! If we care about the future of the planet, we should care about the effects of industrial animal agriculture or factory farming. Here is possibly the best video speech on animal cruelty with its transcription. Dr. Michael Greger's vegan website NutritionFacts.org is also highly recommended.
One of our national problems is that our public schools are not instilling in students an insatiable desire to make the world better. We can't expect teachers, especially at the elementary level, to personally share their own radical political and spiritual beliefs with students when teachers play the role of being extensions of the government. If teachers express the sentiment "support the troops, bring them all home" when a soldier speaks at their school after returning from the battlefield, or if teachers say they are an atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, communist, or homosexual--they can expect either the administration or parents to complain, which can put their jobs and retirement plans in jeopardy.
The major world religions could be taught in public schools from a scientific perspective; otherwise, students may only have the devotional orientation that they learn from their parents and place of worship. Instead of teaching history in a neutral, sterile, and amoral way, teachers should have the freedom to be passionate about their own personal beliefs, provided they objectively share opposite viewpoints. Howard Zinn's book Peoples History of the United States could be part of the high school curriculum.
To help others get a better sense of history, I want to brush up on my European history and offer a free meetup.com study group where I live for anyone that wants to learn this subject using the book European History Demystified. If we understand our human potential and if we understand history better, most of us will realize how stupid, evil, tragic, and preventable war is. War is a lie.
Removing the top-down hierarchy in public schools and encouraging neighborhood control of public elementary schools is something that has never been tried before. This policy would encourage neighborhood togetherness, and it would build a sense of community which is lacking in today's society. We could encourage neighbors to pick their own school boards and teachers who, using public funds, could create a school philosophy and curriculum that reflects the shared values of the neighborhood. In the age of the internet, we can encourage tribal or intentional communities. Though many of us live isolated, private lives, we are wired to be part of a community.
The new world order of global warfare is something that we should be very concerned about. However, a world government is not a bad idea if it is truly democratic. Until we take all money out of politics and equally empower at least 7 national and state political parties, we will never live in a democratic society.
The following 9 social sins have stagnated the ethical development of the United States: imperialism, nationalism, corporate capitalism, anti-environmentalism, racism, speciesism, consumerism, patriarchy, and the discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
Eventually the threat of World War III, global warming, and other environmental problems will become so terrifying that we can only hope that the United States and other nations will wake up before the last hour, and if it is not too late, they will agree to work together in making drastic changes. But the sooner we realize that we are one world, one planet, and one humanity, the better it will be.Here are 15 proposals that could make our nation and the world a better place. I admit these 15 proposals are a hard sell because they focus on what we need, individually and collectively, rather than on what most of us currently want. They also focus on what the wealthiest one percent prevents us from having.
Roger Copple lives in the Tampa Bay Area. He retired from teaching high school special education and elementary general education (third grade) in Indianapolis in 2010 at age 60. His website is www.NowSaveTheWorld.com
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