Posted by stublog on Jun 21, 2011 in ethics
The history of humanity — our “high story” — has in the past been an accounting of warfare between families, tribes, clans, kingdoms, nations, and empires. But we are now engaged in a much more subtle, deeply-rooted, and serious battle. It is a battle for our moral and ethical evolution, and its outcome will determine whether we are capable of safeguarding life on this Earth, or even whether life on Earth will survive at all.
Our physical survival is closely linked to our moral evolution. In fact, the latter predicates the former. Our chances of physical survival, and the hope for the survival of almost all other species on this beautiful planet, are determined by the state of our interpersonal and inter-species morality, and the ethical guidelines that evolve from them.
By any standards, we are not doing well. Although we pride ourselves as having achieved an advanced stage of technological development, ethically and emotionally we are still a primitive species, too powerful for our limited moral controls. We treat our fellow human beings and almost all other animal species with great disrespect, too often accompanied by acts of extreme and barbaric cruelty. We rape, we pillage, we make war. We destroy entire ecosystems for the personal profit of a few.
However, but it is not my purpose to list here all the deficiencies of our species. On the positive side, there are probably more people alive today who feel great anguish at the state of the world than have ever been alive before. There is a good chance that you already are painfully aware of humanity’s egregious failings.
My purpose here is to point you towards the arena in which this moral struggle will be fought, and the ways in which the battle will be waged. I suggest that the main arena is now and has always been within ourselves, an internal struggle to overcome our personal greeds, hatreds, blindnesses, and delusions, to liberate ourselves from our personal unconscious conditionings, as well as to awaken from our collective hypnoses.
The secondary struggle is to take whatever personal progress we may have made, out into the world. This is the work of the Warrior activist, those countless small and large social, political, and charitable acts of compassion inspired by our common spirituality.
Sometimes people confuse the primary struggle with the secondary, and resort to cruel and extreme acts to achieve their ends. This is unfortunate. The primary battle ground is spiritual and psychological, not military or political. Compassion for others must be the prime motivation, not the outcome of a battle or a revolution dictated by a dogma.
The inner struggle is within ourselves; the outer struggle is with society. The outer struggle cannot be successfully concluded without victory on the inner plane. This makes our revolution primarily a spiritual and not a political one. Our task is to awaken and liberate the entire world from suffering. It is the struggle of this time. We are making progress, but slowly, and the forces of destruction are close by.
If we succeed, there will be a future for life on this planet. But if we fail….