As noted by so many, the present state of the global society, fragmented and partitioned through forces such as nationalism, pride, and economy, is far from perfect. However, were the world of humanity only in such a condition for sake of necessity, things might not be so bad.
This, nevertheless, is not the current situation. Rather, certain forces, not altogether unseen but often ignored, work tirelessly to subjugate the common man into a sort of slavery far worse than the wearing of shackles and collars; the internal slavery of man, the bars erected at the borders of his ever narrowing capacity for thought, is the greatest enemy to the freedom of humanity, both now and in the days to come.
The following seeks to provide the beginning of an answer, albeit incomplete, to the global situation. By focusing on the underlying theoretical issues and following their implications, the paper attempts to pit two camps, entirely different in scope, against one another.
If any one issue deserves blame for the situation in today’s world it is the focus, the ends, to which mankind aims all actions. Clearly an end determines all means employed, whether or not they be justified. Did not the final solution predetermine the actions of the Nazis, even if severely unjustified? Likewise, the suppliers, that is the “movers and shakers”, of society have determined their ends and, not unlike anyone else, will use the means necessary to achieve these ends. Without speculating, these ends are fairly noticeable to anyone accustomed to observing and questioning whatever happens around them.
This relationship between cause and effect, means and ends, brings any rational entity to a fork in the road, a place of departure. Which way will you choose? Which way did the suppliers choose? Obviously there are seemingly multitudinous variations on the answer to the question; however, there are actually only two primary routes. At this junction the “Greatest Commandment” of Jesus might point to one way, whereas the Greatest Commandment of consumerism may point in the other direction. Recall, Christ said “love God and love neighbor”, consumerism really says “love the self”.
Clearly, though, the problem may not be so simple, it lies in the parameters of this decision. Where a society decides, consciously, to elevate the status of the common good, all its means will aim to that end and, in so doing will effect an increasingly positive change. Otherwise, where the ideal of consumerism is at work, society will slowly move into areas of darkness and deception, not unlike the present world in which we live. How though, can we change the current state, if the suppliers have already determined the way things are going to go?
Repossession of Our Greatest Asset
What is your greatest asset? Your home, a collectible baseball bat, or classic car? Think again – your mind. Nothing is as valuable as a mind, if it is free. The problem currently, and many of us are aware of this, is that those around us (maybe even ourselves to some extent) are not free. The bonds that tie our minds down are fortunately voluntary; these bonds are within our power to loosen or even exterminate. How much longer can we preach nonviolence and continue to play first-person shooter games or watch gory horror films? The old adage, “practice what you preach” is more relevant than ever before.
So, first we must determine our ends – the common good of man; next, we must free our minds. Even with the ends in place, the target so to speak, we are useless without the tools needed to reach the target, likened unto darts and the arm to throw them. Even after liberating the will, the necessary agent to decide to seek the common good, old habits still remain. Remember giving up the compressed McDonald’s patties and greasy fries for organic salads? Time and will heal.
Once the mind is repossessed, the great work begins. We must begin to consciously evolve, to take hold of the future for ourselves and, more importantly, the whole of our species. Man is a gift to the world or a curse, depending on how he directs his powers of stewardship. How can we win, though, if all the “power” belongs to those above us?
Here lies a key point – what is society? Certainly better, more complex, answers exist, but isn’t society basically a grouping of people for sake of the higher probability of survival? And after survival is basically expected, what is next? The consumerist model suggests finding ways to control and subjugate your fellow man in order to elevate your own status. Is this the only answer, as so many would have us to believe? Rather, be it ideal or not, some of us choose to believe that the upward evolution of society leads not to consumerism but to unification and charity. At this state the “doors of perception” require cleansing from the vision of society we are accustomed to and a reawakening of the ideal of society presented by all great teachers, spiritual or otherwise.
Living this Out
In regards to implementing the awakening of society, “non-violent resistance, survival and self-sufficiency, political solutions, personal growth, alternative economy, alternative education… alternative healthcare”, and so forth, the “plan” must start as a seed in each person. The greatest gift an individual can give another is to assist in his liberation, the very steps contained in this paper.
The movement, the reawakening, must start from the bottom up, must be a grassroots movement. We must begin to outsmart the suppliers because, despite the political, social, even military power they possess, we have potential to possess more population power; there are more common men than controlling upper-class men. At present they rule us, but we can take back the power. Today is the day, the beginning of this resistance and this repossession of the freedom rightly allotted every man at birth.
Thus, in Sum
The plan I suggest then, begins thus:
- Choosing the proper ends for a society
- Repossessing the asset of your mind
- Cleanse our perception of society
- Begin to form a society, grassroots up, that fits the model of charity