Sunday, July 23, 2006


Christians worship and pray. Buddhists meditate, send thoughts of loving kindness, chant.

However, it is doubtful that individual transformation through spiritual practices will result in the transformation of society. I used to think this. I believe that Toynbee may have said something about the real revolution society needs is the individual revolution of each of its members.

This sounds good until one examines the way things work and are.

What prevents personal transformation? laziness, ego, lack of awareness of one's thoughts, feelings, ---AND the world we live in.

Does it make any difference if the society, culture, milieu in which a person lives --- --- is based on greed, lust, immediate satisfaction with success and stature measured in dollars and property owned? If the system in place especially the economic system, and its accompanying political framework, cultivates these things---they are absorbed, reinforced in each of society's members. Most people just live --- and are dyed in the colors of the everyday world. Peer pressure is also applied to all of us ---characterized by the values of society. I think the most important segment in this is the economic system and the values it’s based on and the kind of people it wants and produces.

In order to transform the individual we must not only work on our individual selves, but we must work to change the total environment in which we live ---especially the societal environment, and within it, especially the economic and political systems.

Individuals working on themselves and those they come in contact with ---- will have some beneficial effects on the world----slowly by osmosis. It is doubtful that can bring about a just and compassionate society. The salutary effects of each person spreading wisdom, goodness, compassion among those around him is constantly being undercut
by the messages, lessons and examples of the culture.

To ignore one's spiritual life and work only on changing the economic/political structure of society will have some beneficial effects also---but by itself it will not cause the radical change needed in individuals' values and feelings.

However, if the two are done together -- then both the core (individuals) and the framework (society) can be changed. This is the best hope for mankind.

So, we need personal spiritual and humane growth and a society that promotes similar values. These two changes must be concurrent.

One of Jesus’ main teachings found throughout the New Testament is his goal for mankind --- of establishing the kingdom of God --- NOW, and IN THIS WORLD.
Caesar’s kingdom is to be replaced by God’s kingdom. This is extremely radical, but it seems as though this was Jesus’ plan for the world.

I think it's possible. However, we have to Wake Up and we have to Act.