Global shifts are happening at an accelerated rate and bringing all of us right into the midst of events happening thousands of miles away through worldwide communications, fueled by new technologies and social networks. Some of these shifts are downright scary, especially on the surface. Some are happening right in our own communities.
From a spiritual wisdom perspective, the case has always been made that change and balance during change source inside an individual. On the other hand, activists of every stripe rely mostly on outer action. A third approach is engaged spirituality which can be defined as tapping spiritual truths while responding to titanic shifts.
The inner and outer worlds aren’t separate. This is the holistic truth. They interpenetrate and influence each other. One can’t get away from the other. We’re living in an age where meditation alone won’t solve our challenges. And outer action alone has never been a complete solution. Blending the two appears to be the skillful means. Humanity has been creating civilizations and building societies for thousands of years. Being active in the world seems to be rather well-known to us, although we’re not always that good at it. What seems to be less well-known and practiced is the inner realm of stillness. So let’s learn about it.
Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
— Lao Tzu
Worldwide challenges demand our unrelenting will and presence. Corrective, preventive and innovative action must be taken collectively. Where such redeeming ideas originate is the larger question. Lao Tzu offers this (italics are mine):
Humanity grows more and more intelligent, yet there is clearly more trouble and less happiness daily. How can this be so? It is because intelligence is not the same thing as wisdom. When a society misuses partial intelligence and ignores holistic wisdom, its people forget the benefits of a plain and natural life. Seduced by their desires, emotions, and egos, they become slaves to bodily demands, to luxuries, to power and unbalanced religion and psychological excuses. Then the reign of calamity and confusion begins. Nonetheless, superior people can awaken during times of turmoil to lead others out of the mire. But how can the one liberate the many? By first liberating his own being. He does this not by elevating himself, but by lowering himself. He lowers himself to that which is simple, modest, true; integrating it into himself, he becomes a master of simplicity, modesty, truth. Completely emancipated from his former false life, he discovers his original pure nature, which is the pure nature of the universe. Freely and spontaneously releasing his divine energy, he constantly transcends complicated situations and draws everything around him back into an integral oneness. Because he is a living divinity, when he acts, the universe acts.
Action is invaluable to change. There is no change without action. At the same time, action by itself is without a living spirit. It falls short and can even reverse progress. The wellspring of ideas behind our actions must also be considered clearly. Action has wise ideas or ignorant ideas behind it. We have to find ways to increase the percentage of the former.
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Authentic Japanese Reiki Master Teacher / Healer at my Oasis Reiki Dojo – Available globally. Meditation, Healing, and Spirituality training and services. Meditation Guide. Intuitive Coach. Spirituality Writer. Photographer. Poet. Artist. Dad. Plant-based.