Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. If you don’t~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
want to suffer, don’t go to sleep.
What to do about the madness of our current world?
The most helpful thing we can do is to fully wake up to the truth of our interdependent existence and to help others wake up, too. The violent, antisocial twists and turns within politics and our communities are all due to misunderstanding our true nature, a delusion that makes us feel competitive, different and separate from each other.
This fundamental mistake is made worse when people gather together to collectively identify with their shared delusion. It’s hard to step away from because it is unwittingly reinforced from early childhood by our parents and the society in which we are raised, and like a fish in water, it’s not easy to identify the water all around us.
But it’s not impossible: stepping away from immoral people and societies is the only way to remain constructive and sane. We have seen a rise in utterly amoral leaders in the past few years, where previously a sense of personal dignity or guilt prevented their corrupt and self-serving natures from being publicly exposed. When caught lying, stealing, or otherwise behaving illegally, they would at least try to act the part of the humbled and shamed personality.
We should not feel duty-bound to tolerate their undemocratic behaviour in the name of democracy. Civil disobedience can be the highest moral act in a time when leaders openly flout the laws they were sworn to uphold. In the 2500-year-old Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is cast as the spiritual warrior who must defend what is right against the immorality of the current rulers, most of whom are his own family. A deadly battle is unavoidable, according to his Lord and advisor, Kriśna, if he wants to prevent further harm. Doing nothing is as good as doing harm. This is karma yoga: recognising that our actions and inactions are our own, and they will write our future.
New ideas and paradigms are arising in these troubled times, and we all have to make adjustments whether we like it or not. For those who have already woken up, the transition is clear and easy, but those who haven’t are literally and metaphorically fighting to maintain the old ways of controlling society they are still desperately clinging to.
We needn’t worry about how to change society. We must change ourselves. Cleaning up our own backyard and our own behaviour so—at the very least—we don’t contribute to more harm and suffering around us.
Recognising where our own suffering—however great or small—causes others to suffer and then healing from that is a hugely important step that might seem like a drop in the bucket, but ultimately every act is a drop in the bucket, and each one matters in sometimes obvious, sometimes mysterious ways.
Heal yourself to heal the planet. Dig deep to see where you can change your relationships to yourself and others, your way of consuming, eating and living. You are worth it, and it matters to all of us.
Wishing you much love and healing light as always,
I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like.~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Love says “I am everything”. Wisdom says “I am nothing”. Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.