My usual article reflects on some aspect of the world's problems, and their causes. But to me the root cause is that within our own individual selves. After all, what is a society except a collection of individuals, and if their collective behaviour is not "civilised" then the root cause to that might be found in the character of each individual of that society, particularly in its leaders.
Sheakespeare, in Measure for Measure, illicits this sentiment:
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not.Whether we like it or not, a higher morality of some form must be brought to our attention for us to live in brightness, not darkness, otherwise we become in danger of becoming animal-like.
The beauty is that many in these past few decades have rejected religion yet then go out and form their own 'way' which in itself becomes a religion when imposed on others! After all, the word 'religion' simply comes from the Latin religio, meaning "to bind together". The word can be applied to almost any group, even a set of football club supporters
But do we reject a (spiritual) religion because we mix up the reality of the message with the edifice of the church? I think so. It is so easy to look at the fleck of the surf and not delve into the sea itself, is it not? But if any of us were to delve into the depth of the sea then - I have found - we would derive benefit of indescribable value.
That yearning - to find something of "indescribable value" - has been within me from my early years, but the pressures to conform to society's norms meant that my progress was slow. Until, at least, a shocking event when I was 30 sparked me into looking more deeply.
Since then (42 years ago) I have looked in great depth at the world's philosophies and religions, and lived them. I saw the commonality of the essential message in all teachings, And then (some 18 years ago) something caused me to observe that, after all, the teachings of Jesus made sense: they fitted in to the teachings described elsewhere; that there was a common direction in which all people are going. All paths do, indeed, lead to the One God!
After that realisation, I was inspired to understand more on how the teachings of Jesus fitted into 'A Universal Direction.'
But I also became acutely aware that the need of Man was to know how to practically understand the teachings of the spiritual messenger, whether it be Jesus or another. How, in other words, does my accepted Faith require me to act in my daily life? It became clear to me that the Church has mis-led man on this issue for many years, essentially in their effort to keep people paying their dues into the church coffers and keeping the church edifice in place. The real issue (as the old seers said) is to Know Thyself. That can really only come from daily practice, with the Love of God and the Love of Thy Neighbour, as the central themes, as well as spiritual study.
So, what does one do next to discover more? Well, I found my own teacher/guru some 18 years ago, who teaches me all I need to know. However, some time ago an old schoolmate made a suggestion , and that was to look at one of the programmes put out by a person named Joyce Meyer. In the UK she can be seen on Freeview, Channel 65 (TBN) - usually at 9pm - but all can see her on this link.
She regularly puts up new videos of her talks ... and they are both good ... and amusing! She has experienced a great deal in her life ... and experiences that would submerge many. Importantly, she understands a great deal of what is in the Bible.
From my point of view I disagree on the theology bits that she sometimes talks on, but the practical advices she gives from the Bible, and how to tackle life problems, are very good. And are relevant to Western man.
Importantly, she addresses the needs of man (and woman) to know what the message of God is in relation to a practical life without having to live in cloistered surrounds. The message of God - in all spiritual teachings - is relevant to the day-to-day life of everyone.
If we were all to try some of this 'medicine' we might all be a lot better in health!
Thank you for reading this.
Love All; Serve All!