To the Light, California, 2008
The topic that has taken up much of my thought this week – change. The thoughts have sprouted from the current situation of our country and the world and the desire for global change. But with sincere, inner exploration toward the subject, my mind kept leading to the same mantra – To change the world, we change ourselves. This rang in my heart as so obvious, yet seemingly forgotten for some time.
Well, screw that! (With love, of course.)
In getting back to tending to the garden and ridding it of weeds, today I turn to Deepak Chopra for inspiring words of wisdom, which he has many. Here was one little blurb regarding this period in time that stood out to me as wanting to be shared, but he offers endless insights toward a path of mindfulness and consciousness.
“In the end, arriving at a new world comes down to what makes us happy. We use oil because driving our own cars and traveling at will makes us happier than being limited to railroads and mass transit. Reformers lament that more people don’t give up their cars and resort to mass transit. When you think about why they don’t, the answer isn’t decades of cheap gas, ingrained American selfishness, or a crass indulgence in personal pleasure over the health of the planet. We don’t change to a new way of life because we are following an old way of happiness. Duty and guilt tell us to save the planet. But another voice speaks louder, and it asks if we would be giving up our happiness. Global warming won’t be solved by lecturing the human race about saving the polar bear.
“Here we face the most difficult challenge of all. Our conception of happiness has to move away from materialism. Every wise teacher has declared that external comforts are unreliable and not to be trusted. Christ didn’t say “The Kingdom of God is within a four-bedroom condo.” He said it lies within us. In India, turning inward became a powerful social force because people agreed that the inner path was real and desirable. To back up this conviction, most ancient people looked around and saw disease, poverty, and violence in all directions. The seductions of money and physical comfort weren’t present. Our situation now teeters on the brink of peril, too. We have reached a crossroads that appears only once or twice a century. Two roads aren’t diverging in a yellow wood, however the divide exists in consciousness. The world’s wisdom traditions inform us which way to go. Only time will tell if waking up was the way we chose. If so, peril will turn into a creative opportunity. The other way surely leads into more inertia, reactionary values, dead habit, and worst of all, deeper and deeper sleep.”