Deep Spiritual Conviction and Great Courage
While this new, holistic awareness offers us the ability to think on a sophisticated and grand scale, to see Earth from space, and to comprehend that, as far as the health of the planet goes, so to does our own health and wellbeing in relation to it. We find societies, whether developed or emerging, returning again and again to seemingly inevitable violence in order to resolve conflicts and impose values on others.
To some people, water, one of the essential elements of life, is no longer honoured as a home for aquatic organisms and a natural means for transportation but the latest, trendy consumearable. Air, another essential element, is invisible as a vital substance that is indispensable for breath and health, and abused as vacant space into which industrial waste products are emitted. Soil is not honoured as a necessity for growing food but as property to be owned, fenced off, and contaminated with agricultural chemicals and industrial and domestic waste. Mountains, whilst being ignored for their majesty, are valued as places to be stripped of minerals and ores. Forests are not seen as animal habitats and places for spiritual retreat but as potential planks and boards. Even space beyond the sky above is not seen as an opportunity for galactic exploration but as a place to dump planetary rubbish and spy on our global neighbours.
Human beings too are often viewed as a commodity when our thinking is fettered to the ways of being deeply asleep. Children in some parts of the world, for example, are seen as labour pawns in sweatshops or, in developed countries, as future rank-and-file employees. Senior citizens, at least in Western societies, are not revered for their wisdom but warehoused in old people’s homes until death finally gets them out of the way. People of in-between ages, are often trained in warfare or programmed to ‘get even’, if not ‘get ahead’, even at the expense of other fellow human beings. Perhaps the worse dismissal of human value occurs in the term ‘collateral damage,’ which would have us heartlessly gloss over the killing of innocent people who happen to be caught in a war zone, while voters hover between complacency, apathy and dependence, voting for politicans who promise the most generous benefits from the public treasury, borrowing heavily from the future. Such is the human predicament.
The current state of human consciousness is torn between an older brain, where greed, intolerance and fear prevail and a newer consciousness, based on love. The older awareness tends to worship an angry, dominating, jealous god who scourges his enemies with plagues and sends his chosen people on so-called holy wars to ensure his dominance. The newer awareness has discovered a God of love and compassion, expressing tolerance, freedom and kindness to all, and practising generosity.
Gandhi reminded us to be the change in the world we want to see. We can no longer view everything, even nature’s beauty and bounty, as a commodity, valued only as a means to generate profit. To be free requires deep spiritual conviction and great courage.
from the Shanti Yoga team
Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.
Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography
Travel with Shanti & Peter Gowans this November for a trip of a lifetime.