Tuesday 10 October 2023

Crisis, what crisis? The best time for spiritual action

Cover art from the Crisis, what crisis? The 1975 LP by Supertramp - deservedly, one of the most popular bands of my middle teens; because of their touches of inspired lyricism. (Of course, the underlying value-tendency of the lyrics was net-evil - but so it goes with successful mass culture. And beauty is always good.) At the time I never noticed how enormous are the sunbathing bloke's feet - human flippers!

When there is an official crisis - as at present; all the presented options are wrong - because all are misdirections from what we ought to be doing. 

The three options at present are actively to support one side or the other, or active pacifism

The idea is encapsulated by the message behind the illustration above: we, each and all, should Do Something... Now! Before it is too late! And that something we must do is always material, physical, socio-political (even if, nowadays, symbolic-virtual).  

In effect: the presented-options are all attempting a negation of the negative - which is not a positive. The crisis is the negative, and the choice of actions are designed to negate that negative. 

In theory this might be asserted as 'clearing the ground' for something positive; but that only applies when there is a positive to begin-with. 

And here-and-now, there just isn't. 

To demand we do something, when all the somethings are supportive of one-evil-or-another is a recipe for making things worse. 

What about when the underlying problem of the crisis is spiritual not material - including the exclusion of the spiritual as well as the prevalent value-inversion? What then?

Well, clearly, the response to a spiritually-caused crisis ought to be spiritual -- and yet, the urgency is always for some choice of physical action. 

They always say, and with upfront validity, "Let's just sort-out this crisis first; and then - when this immediate and acute situation is over - that is the right time when we can (and should!) sort-out the spiritual stuff."

Superficially sensible... apparently the only realistic option; but only if you fail to notice that aiding evil (of any kind) is bound to make matters worse overall - and worse spiritually (because that is exactly what we are supposed to set-aside). 

So, what we are being asked to do is to select between counter-productive options: especially when the crisis has not (yet) physically upon us, except virtually; and when the inhabitants of totalitarian bureaucracies are (by design) materially powerless.

And, what when the crisis is never over; but instead we move (or rather, are-moved) from one emergency to the next? The time for spiritual re-evaluation will never be ripe, will never happen

Yet;  if or when a crisis is resolved, and another has not been assembled, then the spiritual urgency has diminished, the masses are then lulled and distracted by the pleasures of peace and prosperity. 

Official crisis is always the necessary time for spiritual re-evaluation; when 'issues' become real, when mortal life is revealed for the serious thing it is

Also; spiritual re-alignment is the only way to solve the crisis. 

From where we now stand, all options are bad, all futures are negative, all actions lead to greater harm... 

Only from a different spiritual perspective may we - possibly, if we are serious about it, and put the spirit first - perceive a positive future; and only a positive future can do us genuine good. 


whiteknight32be said...

Sadly only (maybe) one percent of the global population can (or is willing) to understand what you wrote and less than one percent of those people again are willing to act spiritually.

With 1 out of 10.000 people "doing what could help", the world's situation hardly can be improved. Maybe the one and only thing we can do (if we're one out of those 0.01%) is act spiritually on an individual basis?

Bruce Charlton said...

@wk - I disagree. One person makes a spiritual difference - and that difference can be decisive. We can't predict it.

whiteknight32be said...

I think so too that a time of crisis can be an opportunity to make a spiritual difference and to advance spiritually. And it is true, one person càn have a spiritual influence and change the world even. Prediction of such an affect is not possible indeed.

Maybe my "numbers" were not quite right, but I still believe that the movement we see today - in the general public's attitude, spiritual and other - is rather moving towards "evil" than towards "good". And in my opinion technology is for a large part but not exclusively the culprit. That's what I have been witnessing, personally, for half a century.

Personal experiences always differ of course, from one person to another.