What can we do when we see terrible things happening in the world?
Transcriber: Sudeep Naik
Question: What can we do when we see terrible things happening in the world?
Answer: Whatever actions we do are reflections of the consciousness we have. Consciousness of different people is directed in different ways. Suppose we are walking on a road and we step on someone, as soon as we realize that we stepped on someone we immediately apologize. Normally a person is sensitive, when they cause pain to others, they feel sorry and apologize. However, sometimes some people may deliberately step on someone. They feel pleasure when they cause pain to others. At extreme level, people are sadistic or psychopaths. They feel pleasure in causing pain to others. Such people do not feel any remorse as there is no conscience left. These are different levels of awareness.
Wars happen, people kill, damage ecology, because their consciousness is at a particular level. Our consciousness is directed at the level where we find pleasure. Somebody who is compassionate, kind hearted feel pleasure in bringing joy to others. Somebody who is self-centered, sadistic get pleasure in causing pain to others. Somebody who is materialistic or technologically infatuated get pleasure in watching TV or playing video games.
We need to raise our consciousness because the more our consciousness evolves upwards, the more we become a part of the solution. Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” Practice of spirituality raises our consciousness upwards. We may be associated with some field – finance, engineering, politics, education etc. However, irrespective of the field, our consciousness will make us either a positive contributor or a negative contributor in that field. Spirituality help raise our consciousness which help us become more of a positive contributor. The world is a big place and we do not have control on how people act. However, we have control on how we act. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. If each of us try to raise our consciousness then we can become the part of the change.
Suppose we are sitting in a room and the power goes off then we may get annoyed, complain or yell. However, we can switch on the flashlight in our mobile. The flashlight does not replace the room light but gives enough illumination to take few steps forward. Similarly, the world around us is a dark place. It is easy to curse the darkness that we are surrounded with. Yes, there are many problems, but it is much more productive to light at least one light. That light is the light of our own consciousness. If we can spiritualize our consciousness, then whichever area we are in we will be able to contribute and who knows we may start a chain reaction by which others elevate their own consciousness as well. A small change can lead to a big change over a period. On the mountaintop, it starts with a trickle of water but eventually becomes a forceful river. Similarly, a change in our consciousness in the right direction, can lead to a bigger change in the society with time.
On 60th anniversary celebration of United Nations in India, the United Nations in-charge of India told, “In last 60 years, we have worked very hard, got thousands of volunteers and spent billions of dollars. When we started, UN had 60 different forums like World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO etc. In all these 60 different forums, things have become worse. Not even in one of the areas, things have tangibly improved. UNESCO charter states that, “Just as war begins in the minds of people, similarly peace also has to begin in the minds of people. Now we are recognizing that social activism is important but we need something to change the consciousness of people. The change has to happen inside-out.” The world is focused a lot changing the outside. Outside change is required, but for the change to be sustainable and transformational, it must be an inside-out process. By raising our consciousness, we are trying to be part of that inside-out change.
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