Path Toward Peace – Step Ten

 

Two Wings of Progress: Material Achievements and Spiritual Perfections


Ever wondered why, if we’re such brainy and advanced creatures, we have so many critical crises going on?

Ever pondered how spiritual solutions to those crises could resolve even the material factors?

What’s wrong with the quote in the following news item?

From The Moultrie Observer: An Energy Overview: “A U.S. declaration of energy independence to be achieved in the next decade can develop the ‘know how’ to reconstitute the basis for our material civilization. This would replace the now skeletal wealth-generating engines of the smoke-staked industrial age with means of many magnitudes greater productive and wealth-building potential.”

The first thing wrong with that quote is the idea of U.S. energy independence.

When will the leaders get it right? We live in an interdependent world. Anything based on nationalistic independence will fail and, in the process, harm others in the Human Family.

The other thing wrong with the quote is the article it’s in: a careful analysis of the “solution” to a failed factor in the equation of material civilization. There is no mention of spiritual values. The only word even coming close is “ideal” and it indicates a material use of brain-power directed toward a material solution for a material world…

There is no doubt that we live in a material world.

There is also no doubt that the proponents of strict material solutions for the crises of our world have completely failed to resolve those crises and daily add to the confusion and suffering of our Family.

Material civilization has contributed many wonderful and positively helpful products and processes to our struggle as spiritual entities with material bodies  living on the Earth.

The issue is the continuing and disturbing failure to recognize the spiritual side of the equation…

Spiritual Quotes:

“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality. Even as it hath been said: ‘He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the world to come.’ If by ‘life’ be meant this earthly life, it is evident that death must needs overtake it.”
Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 120

“A superficial culture, unsupported by a cultivated morality, is as ‘a confused medley of dreams’,[1] and external lustre without inner perfection is ‘like a vapor in the desert which the thirsty dreameth to be water’.[2] For results which would win the good pleasure of God and secure the peace and well-being of man, could never be fully achieved in a merely external civilization….

“Be just: can this nominal civilization, unsupported by a genuine civilization of character, bring about the peace and well-being of the people or win the good pleasure of God? Does it not, rather, connote the destruction of man’s estate and pull down the pillars of happiness and peace?”
[1 Qur’án 12:44; 21:5.]
[2 Qur’án 24:39.]
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 60-62

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21 thoughts on “Path Toward Peace – Step Ten

  1. Leaders will do what they perceive is “right” at a given moment. That is not to say this will be compatible with your own view of what is desirable. Each human being creates a reality based on personal feelings. If you maintain your own expectation and attitude, then your real life situation will evolve accordingly. If you feel disappointment, then you are distracted from your expectation. You are urged to work through that inner disappointment to the point where you feel some kind of relief, and then you change your energy vibration. What you see, highlight and experience relates back to how you feel. The evidence emphatically surrounds you. Truth is felt. Stop facing reality and start creating reality.

  2. Liara,

    Can you extrapolate a little more about how your thoughts, so well expressed in this comment, relate to the two aspects of material achievements and spiritual perfections?

  3. So innocent and powerless as we are,as standing in a dictionary how potent for good and evil we become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.Nothing is illegal if one hundred business men decide to do it.
    Pray there’s immeasurable power in it.

  4. Achievement reflects desire or ambition. You can desire to learn on different levels, to obtain physical things, even think you work to attain levels of spiritual enlightenment. What makes sense to a person at a given moment can also change in the next moment. You may have different desires and work to achieve them simultaneously. You may also attune to energy and forces unseen and go with the flow. This does not require struggle. Spiritual perfection exists all the time. It always has. Each human being is perfect. Yet, he who nurtures ambition forgets there is no need to “achieve.” As Catherine so astutely remarks, legality is subjective. Self-interest and its consequences are also subjective. As you learn to rise above what you used to fear, you realize you are safe, secure, loved and nothing harms you unless you choose to believe it does.

  5. Liara,

    You say, “This does not require struggle.”.

    What would *you* say to a person who feels they need to struggle to find the freedom you profess?

    What steps can they take to “lose” the feeling of struggle?

  6. Pingback: Path Toward Peace ~Prologue « RAVENSCAWL

  7. Struggle is a choice. Not struggling is also a choice. A person needs to arrive at a level of awareness where the nature of choices is better understood. Individual human beings only accept and take responsibility for their lives when their consciousness is ready. It is not your job to teach people or force ideas on them. If someone creates a need to struggle, then somewhere, deep inside him, he is convinced he has lessons to learn from that. He will only shift mindsets and stop struggling when he has learned all his soul feels that he must lkearn from that particular experience.

  8. Liara,

    ” It is not your job to teach people or force ideas on them.”

    It is certainly not my job to force ideas on people but it is my job to teach…

    “He will only shift mindsets and stop struggling when he has learned all his soul feels that he must learn from that particular experience.”

    This is why I feel it is my job to teach: to, hopefully, help people learn what their soul has to teach them; to help them navigate their experiences in a productive fashion…

  9. In answer to your questions at the top, obviously that depends on how you define “spiritual.” To most people, “spiritual” is almost synonymous with religion. In that sense, my answer would have to be “spiritual solutions” are a huge part of the problem. Organized religion has probably been the most destructive force in the history of the world and continues to be so. And, certainly, any exclusionary belief that pits my God (or lack thereof) against somebody else’s, or gives those with my beliefs a name that differentiates us from them, does nothing but create a more divided and hateful world (Krishnamurti took this even further, saying that all beliefs are inherently divisive, and I’m not sure he wasn’t right).

    To be fair, I’ve read enough of this blog to know that what I’ve just described isn’t what you’re talking about, nonetheless, I’m a bit dubious about the claim I see again and again among “spiritual types” (who include most of my friends and they seem to count me among them) is that the problem is that our society has lost the spirituality we had in such wonderful past times as the Middle Ages or the Puritan colonies or the corrupt theocracy of the Lamas in Tibet. The trouble with that is that practically everybody in America believes in God, while the far more compassionate societies of Northern Europe are the most atheistic in the history of the world (I’m not counting the forced, official atheism of communist countries). Certainly, it seems strange to say that the U.S. has been trying for “purely material solutions”–this is a country in which nobody can seriously so much as consider running for president without publically espousing his belief in God, and in which conservative fundamentalists have played such large roles in the government over the past thirty years–including in undercutting environmentalism, as they believe the Rapture will come before things get really bad…and, in fact, it’s in order to make that happen sooner that they seem to see armed conflict in the Middle East as a good thing. The George W. Bushes and Osama Bin Ladens of the world certainly see the “spiritual side of the equation”–in fact, it’s central to their worldviews, so it seems awfully strange to me that anyone would imply that it’s this “side of the equation” that’s being neglected.

    Would I like to see a society in which people understand our deep interconnectedness, that we are, ultimately, all one? Yes, I would (hence that thing above about spiritual types considering me one of them). However, in doing so, I think the last thing we need is to turn to the Koran or Bible or any other text with so much blood splashed on its pages, and away from religious belief (which would include secular religons like Marxism, as well as atheism, which is based on suppositions every bit as unprovable as those of any religion).

    Wow, I wasn’t planning on going on such a lengthy rant and hope I haven’t given (too much) offense….

  10. ~Liara
    “He will only shift mindsets and stop struggling when he has learned all his soul feels that he must learn from that particular experience.”

    Or when his mind and/or spirit is broken….

    “It is not your job to teach people or force ideas on them.”

    I assure you the the idea of peace cannot be forced, Indeed it is to be planted like a seed and cultivated, and one who would seek to share the knowledge of it’s growth is a Teacher…

    ~kem

  11. YogaforCynics,

    No offense taken.

    Much insight gained.

    I fully understand how the term “spiritual” can induce feelings that rise up in defense against the antics and crimes of members of organized religions.

    My own Faith says:

    “Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth, give birth to spirituality, and bring life and light to each heart. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act. For it is clear that the purpose of a remedy is to cure; but if the remedy should only aggravate the complaint it had better be left alone. Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion. All the holy prophets were as doctors to the soul; they gave prescriptions for the healing of mankind; thus any remedy that causes disease does not come from the great and supreme Physician.”

    Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 130

  12. To clarify what I said before, “it is not anyone’s job to impose ideas.” Yet, human beings do this, consciously or unconsciously based on what they feel is important to them. It is up to each person to decide which ideas to adopt. We are all called toward improved life experience. Catherine’s comment about ‘the religion of kindness’ makes a powerful point. We are each the creator of our own experience. Unless we choose to view our lives through selfless senses or the ‘eyes of Source,’ then we are not choosing to be all that we are. To guide all your thought, word and behavior by love or positive feelings, opens you to all you are.

  13. ““Lord,” I prayed, “am I dead or alive?” A dazzling play of light filled the whole horizon. A soft rumbling vibration formed itself into words: “What has life or death to do with Light? In the image of My Light I have made you. The relativities of life and death belong to the cosmic dream. Behold your dreamless being! Awake, my child, awake!””

    Well, I was going to leave a comment here and then I did something I don’t usually do. I started reading all the other comments….and completely lost my train of thought. It went out the window.

    So I respond to some of the comments. I had a discussion the other day with a very close friend and we talked about healers and healing. After she said that I was a healer. I said, “No, I am only ME. I have no desire to set out to heal or teach anyone.” My friend looked puzzled and I said, “I am not saying that things I may say or do or be might not help another person heal or learn. But to say I am going to heal or teach another person doesn’t exist for me. It’s the wrong focus. I have stepped away from ‘being’ into ‘doing’. I prefer to focus on ‘being’ Robin, ‘being’ Life, ‘being’ Love as much as I can. I prefer to focus on letting go and simply loving. I don’t need books, or words or concepts…I simply want to love. I am compelled to love, whether it is returned or not. That does not matter. I prefer to focus on creating positive change that infuses me with love and healing. In doing these things if my life touches another person’s and they grow or heal from it…wonderful.
    But to step away from myself and say, ‘I am going to ‘teach’ someone…then I am not ‘being’ with/in myself and they are not really getting ME. If in being myself and moving through the world doing the thing I crave most, which is to love, if that changes lives or the planet then that is grace.”

    I also believe that we are ALL teachers (whether we are wise or not, whether we are kind or not, whether we are learned or not). I have been around “painful” people or in painful situations and they have at times been my most cathartic and powerful teachers and healers, because I chose to use what came at me for growth…to create more Life, wisdom, compassion and Love. So I think in essence we are ALL teachers, all of Life is a teacher, if we want to learn. But as to forcing myself, my beliefs, or my desire to teach or heal on another person I have no desire to do that. Why? Because I’ve learned that most people are already full and wise in themselves and what they really need is to be SEEN. Once seen they flourish because they already ARE the Divine.

    I believe that each person has their own path that is so beautifully unique that no can see themselves better than they can. Each person is a unique tangent of Life. And just as I saw (in the rainforest) individual creatures/beings within a given species evolving when all the rest were not…I know that we humans are the same. Life is the same. That’s infinity. That is the vastness of potential and evolution.

    In light of that I can only be fully myself and if that heals or teaches another person then that is beautiful, but I cannot begin to know another’s path of evolution. They may be walking a path no one has ever walked before. Because Life/Light is forever expanding. In my teaching I may bring them down to a level that is far below their own. I would do well to simply listen, learn and love. I might see things I’ve never seen before.

    The End!!! LOL LOL : )

  14. Robin,

    I loved the way you ended your comment with a hearty Laugh !!!

    Is the first paragraph, “Lord,” I prayed….Awake, my child, awake!”, your words?

    The whole comment thrilled my soul; it has the fragrance of divine roses…

    You know I’m a Bahá’í but I don’t think I ever told you the meaning of that Persian word: Follower of the Light.

  15. “A friend will know our tears before it reaches our eyes”. We will only realise the material achievement if we are spritually prepared. Spritual perfection is the only way to overcome greed and practice sharing and love among mankind.

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