The reason I think it is important to discuss matters of the spirit now is because we are moving into a dark, unknown future. Our civilization seems to go through cycles between times of relative peace and well being for most of us, to those dark times when economic, social and political institutions and policies are manipulated to the advantage of the wealthy few. The recent election in the United States, and similar political movements elsewhere, indicate we are on the cusp of darker times.
The root cause of our current situation has been the increasing influence of materialism. The industrial era, with nearly full employment, meant increased wealth for nearly all of us, which lead to increased consumerism, and a growing economy. Home ownership exploded, and we went from nearly every family having a car, to nearly every adult having their own. All of this required huge amounts of energy, which overwhelmingly came from fossil fuels.
Unfortunately, this quickly led to the situation where making profit became the goal, regardless of the resulting impacts on people’s lives, as workers became just another resource needed by industry. Wages and benefits were sacrificed in order to maintain profits. Automation was implemented whenever possible, although that meant the loss of human jobs.
Similarly, no consideration was given to the environmental costs of industry. The air and waters have tried to deal with the huge increases in greenhouse gases, but are becoming increasingly overloaded, and unable to do so. There are many different ways this is affecting our weather patterns. We will see increasingly violent weather, droughts, fires, and floods.
In our hearts, we know this is wrong, and needs to change. People use different terms to refer to the spiritual parts of life–God, Spirit, Inner Light, all kinds of Eastern religious terms. We just don’t have good words and ways to talk about spiritual matters. But we need to do the best we can, because the only way I see to address these problems and work toward a better life for all of us, is to return our attention to matters of the spirit. Things would not have gotten so out of balance if we had been doing so.
This is why I have been so inspired by the work of the water protectors in North Dakota, for example. They have not fallen for materialism, but instead have continued to live their lives with a spiritual focus. We need more people to put more focus on their spiritual life, because this will inevitably lead to spirit led actions for a better life for all.