Living In Interesting Times

“May you live in interesting times ” goes the ancient Chinese curse.  For many people, things seem to be spinning into a new chaos where civility, kindness and the truth are no longer valued and have been replaced with avarice, and greed and self dealing at the highest levels of society and government.  Interesting times, indeed.

What you see on the surface of our culture is what lies below.  Right now there is anger and disappointment in the world.  The unspoken truth is that a culture based on materialism which worships getting and owning goods as the key to happiness is a broken promise that can never be mended. It fosters greed and greed can never bring happiness as it is an addiction which can never be satisfied. The less happiness it brings, the angrier we get. Promises made of happiness through acquisition of wealth, goods and comfort,  have not happened. In fact, in this time, even basic necessities are on the edge of disappearing for many who live paycheck to paycheck . People are disappointed and frustrated and are lashing out, as ever, at others.  Meanwhile those that have much want ever more. Separation occurs.

This system has a history of failure. We keep looking in the wrong direction when the feast is right before us. Think of Rumi’s advice about consciousness and love: “there is more to want here than money and being famous and bites of roasted meat.” These three maya standards have been the building blocks of cultures so far. All of these cultures have been unconscious of where true happiness lies. All have been lost in ignorance and have disappeared.

Dissect the current situation from the point of view of consciousness:
Most folks are living unconsciously like robots. In this state they do not take personal responsibility for their lives, and automatically blame outside circumstances and others for their condition. They are ignorant about the true source of happiness which comes from within and instead follow the promise of materialism , a system which ultimately benefits a few.  When the Buddhists use the term “ignorance” it is not pejorative. It is simply fact. Most people are unaware, unconscious  and therefore ignorant.  The recent Presidential election in the United States demonstrates that many many people are still giving their power away in hopes of a better life. They are ignorant that true happiness comes when we overcome our own obstacles to compassion and love. The world changes when we change. It does not matter who wins an election. To be ignorant of the blessings of love is living in a prison of disconnection and frustration. In addition, it is the responsibility of  those of us who are more aware, more conscious, to manifest compassion for these poor, ignorant, unhappy beings and offer them love. Remember, everyone wants to be loved for who they are right now! Pointing fingers just causes more separation.

The good news is that you are not powerless, regardless of what the mob does. It is up to those seeking a kinder and more compassionate world to create that in their own lives and spread this in their  personal aura or vicinity. This is the only way things will ever change for the better. You have the power to make this change in your life and spread it to others through a loving example! You are at the controls. This is a very exciting challenge. It also takes courage.

Meanwhile, it is not in the interest of leaders of governments or religious institutions to have this change happen is it?  It is contrary to notions of secular power as a source of personal happiness. We have work to do that does not involve the top down power model.. If we do our work, eventually it is hoped everyone will discover the truth just as we have.  The Bodhisattva vow seems to indicate that this will take some time! So,  let’s keep at it!
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