If we find ourselves –
we should not be surprised … because, after all, we have grown up in a culture wherein these values are not shared (to any wide-spread and general extent).
Western Civilization (in general) and the American (United States) culture, in particular – is Devoutly Materialistic. From the Roots.
I am NOT saying that NO one in this culture is Spiritually oriented. I’m just saying that such people are still a MINORITY, and that the faction of the culture which shapes the institutions and controls the Values – is (still) Materialistic.
We SHOULD (of course) work to humanize the culture. But meanwhile, we should (also) take responsibility for own Inner State. We need to ‘take on’ – as a life-long Project – the development of our own Character, Heart & Emotions, Education, and (in general) – our entire Inner State.
Because, you know … if YOU don’t chew your food … WHO WILL?
If we want Spiritual Maturity, we need to Pursue it.
Pursue Self-knowledge / (enlightenment)
All such things require Practice. (And, as far as I can tell … self-knowledge requires Meditation.
And (if you can figure out that you’re Alienated) you should pursue Love. Foster Love & Connectedness. Orient your life (more & more) around Love & Service.
(There is, by the way, so much trash along our roads BECAUSE we do NOT feel connected to those life-support systems which, all day / every day, keep us alive. Mmm?)
When Rumi was alive, he had 10,000 students.
Rumi says –
“Someone who does not run
toward the allure of love
walks a road where nothing
lives. But this dove here
senses the love hawk floating
above, and waits, and will not
be driven or scared to safety.”
And here’s some counsel from Hafiz –
“Go for a walk, if it’s not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.
Always exercise your heart’s knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:
Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the sun gazes warmly on the earth.
Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants —
Why not let them get drunk and wild!
Every rung we’ve climbed on Evolution’s ladder.
Whisper, “I love you! I love you!”
To the whole mad world.
Let’s stop reading about God —
We will never understand Him.
Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe
That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!”
And here is a comment (on Education) by William Cory –
You go to a great school not for knowledge so much as for arts and habits; for the habit of attention, for the art of expression, for the art of assuming at a moment’s notice a new intellectual posture, for the art of entering quickly into other person’s thoughts, for the habit of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms, for the habit of working out what is possible within a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage and mental soberness. Above all, you go to a great school for self-knowledge.
Our own “Institutions of Higher Learning” are, for the most part, full of people who imagine that they are ‘buying their ticket’ – to ‘a good way – to make money’.
(And, while I suppose this is not surprising, it is dismaying.)
In the Urantia Book [paper 149:4.6 (p. 1674.2)] Jesus says –
While it is true that many men and women must assiduously apply themselves to some definite pursuit as a livelihood vocation, it is nevertheless wholly desirable that human beings should cultivate a wide range of cultural familiarity with life as it is lived on earth. Truly educated persons are not satisfied with remaining in ignorance of the lives and doings of their fellows.