A Spiritual Perspective about Societal Issues
With social unrest percolating at a furious, oft-fanatical bubble these days, many pause to reflect on what is happening, why, and their potential culpability in creating, or contributing to, the issue array confronting them. Let there be no mistake, there is always value in becoming aware of and correcting societal or global injustices, of exercising compassion in the face of distress, and of seeking to mitigate the suffering of others. Yet there are subtle forces at play that factor into these situations such that having a spiritual perspective about them may have tonic value.
Cosmic laws operate mathematically and over the long-rhythm continuum of time. These can’t and should not be ignored. Our planet goes through evolutionary cycles – called Yugas in Vedic terms – which correspond to stages of ascending or declining spiritual awareness. Currently we’re in the early phase of an ascending era called Dwapara Yuga otherwise known as the Age of Energy. Without going into extensive details, a global shift is occurring transitioning us from a period of gross materiality to one of increasingly refined awareness. Initially this involves gaining insight into ourselves and the universe from an energetic platform. As less-enlightened paradigms wrestle with newer ones upheaval arises. Of course, the ‘newer ones’ aren’t new at all, merely reflections of more sophisticated levels of reality. The fact that someone only knows basic math doesn’t preclude the existence of advanced calculus: The latter co-exists at a strata of greater understanding. On the world stage, diverse ideological streams roil as they converge. Again, conflict during such intermingling is virtually inevitable. Planetary equilibrium shall stabilize as higher awareness continues to manifest yet, in the interim, prayers and actions for peace are helpful and, mayhap, necessary. We each can contribute, even in small ways, so don’t discount the value of personal prayer and meditation for the greater good.
On another level, much necessary attention is being given to long-standing racial, ethnic, and gender-based disparities. Again, any effort at correcting injustice is meritorious. That said, those who strive to effect change by blaming or shaming others in more ‘privileged’ life stations fail to realize that the laws of karma have a pivotal role in creating both fortunate and unfortunate life circumstances, plus, draw souls to corresponding situations according to the subtle realities of karmic affinity. This is a hard pill to swallow for it represents the ultimate platform for personal responsibility: “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” When confronted by adversity it is far easier to target society at large or those who are better off than it is to recognize the relevance of self-created karma. The truth is that each of us is responsible for our own lives and circumstances we’ve knowingly or unconsciously created. This is not meant to blame victims of dire straits nor hijack complex spiritual principles to buttress hard-hearted political agendas. Rather, I mention this solely to insert a necessary element of understanding: Cosmic laws factor into life scenarios. Those who may feel guilty for events or issues they had no hand in creating need to realize their existence is not a fault nor are they the problem. As Paramahansa Yogananda said, “Like attracts like. One’s karmic pattern draws him to incarnate in an advantaged or disadvantaged, good or evil, body and mentality, family, and environment that not only reflect the effects of one’s past actions, but provide the necessary challenges for learning from past errors.”
It does not behoove anyone to feel better or worse than another. We are all souls created equally in the image of God and each of us has the privilege to exercise free will in alignment with or in opposition to divine law. The former manifests good, the latter; its opposite. When confronted by difficulties seek not to blame but to correct. Express expansive perspectives that serve to heal not alienate. Understand that multiple, simultaneously-accurate viewpoints can exist in any given situation, pray for guidance, then act in alignment with Higher Wisdom. When in doubt be kind, not caustic, love; don’t lambaste. Striving for peace with violence in one’s heart or seeking justice while being unjust or hateful is hypocritical and anathema to idealistic outcomes. Start with yourself and work outwardly. As we correct ourselves we become increasingly powerful forces to help change and uplift others. As Mahatma Gandhi wisely said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…. We need not wait to see what others do.” Yes, healing planetary strife is needful yet, equally so, is the manner by which it is accomplished. Cultivating more enlightened societies or global order can’t be accomplished through repressive means or the exercise of ignorance masquerading as liberality. What we sow is what we get and it behooves us to act with kindness, clarity, and broad-spectrum discernment in order to reap a harvest worthy of nourishing ourselves and many generations to come.