Recent events seem to show our world being turned upside down. With political, ecological, economical and religious stress everywhere, we ‘ve been experiencing one crisis after another, with no end in sight.
Can anything good come out of this?
Although there is currently a wave of change occurring at a global scale, the natural state of human beings is one of crisis.
We are the only living beings (that we know of) that are aware of our own existence, of the changes we go through internally and externally, and how we expect the world should be.
We are constantly in the process of going from the known toward the unknown, the familiar towards the unexpected. It’s no surprise that we are constantly in crisis, the crisis of being alive. We feel this crisis in our perpetual states of existential anxiety, tension, and anguish.
Why is Crisis Necessary?
Our basic spiritual desire to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” are born from the crisis of being alive and not knowing what on earth to do with ourselves.
At a fundamental level, we’re wired to dislike change because it is something we (the ego) can’t control. But our resistance to growth keeps us stranded in a state of stagnation. As a result of this inner stagnation, many of us try to fill this void with all kinds of distractions: work, material consumption, travel, food, socializing, movies, video games, and much more.
The truth is that this abyss within us is always here. But many of us refuse to face this void until we’re forced to, usually through a crisis of sorts.
Every great change in history has occurred in a period of crisis. From Martin Luther King’s revolution and Gandhi’s movement to the French Revolution, the most effective changes have come from the most intense periods of dissatisfaction.
And we’re in such a period right now.
With political and social instability on the rise, we’re starting to see the wide-reaching impacts of chaos and the way it breaks apart our old patterns and paradigms.
Have you ever noticed that when everything is static, we as a collective feel socially indifferent to any particular view? As a result, not much change is possible. But when chaos arises, change is not only inevitable, it is destined.
This is why crisis is actually a necessary force. Without it, we would be stuck rotting away in our ingrained habits, beliefs, and structures.
Rethinking our system and structures is expensive, and there are a whole bunch of people who are invested in preserving the status quo. This system is protected by wealthy elites armed with the power of law, privately owned media, large multinational companies, propaganda, the police force, and the army.
The only way that we, as the other “99%” can make a real, soulful change, is through the force of crisis. Crisis is the only thing that can motivate us enough to change the way we think, feel, and behave.
We have come to a point where a new vision is needed. It has never been needed as much as it is now. Not only is our Earth in an ecological crisis due to our abuse of it, we’re also experiencing a severe political crisis with untold future repercussions.
For these old foundations to dissolve, we must lay new foundations. But for the new to be born, there must be some birth pains. That’s what the crisis we currently face really is.
Why Our Political Leaders Are Immature
The history of politics in Western civilization is full of stories featuring power grabbing or, at best, well-intentioned but psycho-spiritually immature leaders.
Genuinely wise, balanced, whole, and mature politicians are rare. Too many leadership choices are motivated by greed and fear and enabled by immaturity, paranoia, and lack of moral development.
Perhaps our political system is a reflection of our society and education systems that teach us to contribute to the “common good” through self-interest. In our society there is little consideration or exploration of what the “good of the whole” might mean or exploring the primordial questions: “How should I live?” and “How should we all live together?”
Yet when we trace back to the origins of politics we realize how divorced it is from its original Socratic intention as the search for the ideal “good life.”
The good life for Socrates had two primary aspects: what he called “the improvement of one’s soul,” and on the other hand, there is the improvement of one’s society. This sort of Socratic knowledge was what he called wisdom.
This pursuit of wisdom cannot be simply legislated or bureaucratically enforced. The government is only an institution, human-made, and cannot provide the wise society that we seek.
Instead at the center of such a cultural and consciousness revolution must be a spiritual, intellectual and moral rebirth of ourselves as individuals; what Socrates disciple Plato referred to as “Periagoge,” or “a turning around of the soul” toward truth, beauty and good.
Why We Desperately Need Mature Action Right Now
The Platonic ideal of finding wise mature leaders and state heads that are lovers of truth and righteousness rather than wealth and power can be exemplified in cultural leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.
These men were great not so much because they were “special” and unlike us, but precisely the opposite: they exemplified, in concentrated form, what is most human about us. They were aware that the highest form of personal self-actualization comes through serving the growth of the community.
These matured and whole individuals acted almost like crystals of light that were dropped into a toxically charged political system, causing everything to crystallize into a more ordered and harmonious state.
The politicians we have today are spiritually stunted and immature, yet despite this, they continue to get elected. In the end, our leaders are a reflection of us as a society, and as a planet at large. Therefore, our social and ecological health are entirely dependent on our capacity as voters to do some intense inner work, and go through a genuine process of human maturation.
Only once we have more matured Souls on this planet will we realize that “self-interest” actually includes the concern for other people because we are all interconnected.
The current state of our world brings great despair and anguish to all of us, this is especially true for the old souls with mature hearts among us who feel the rape of society and torture of the earth more intensely.
Mature action involves preserving and protecting all that is left while simultaneously exploring our inner selves and reconnecting to our Souls.
Whether it be political or charitable action, mature action must come from an inner place of humbleness, rather than from a place of “needing to do good” which can easily be tainted with all kinds of needs, such as self-gratification, power, and control – as is the case with so many politicians today.
True change cannot come from an external system, from an institution or a dogma, it must be born from a deep inner freedom, a matured sensitivity, and wise perception within each and every one of us.
Caring for the soul of the world today is a daunting task, but our earth and very lives depend on it.