Love Is Still the Answer
A friend asks, "Why haven't we as a society made more spiritual progress?" There are at least two ways of interpreting current events in light of that question, but to begin with the more obvious one, our progress can't be measured by the things we see in the news - lives and property damaged or destroyed, hateful messages and deeds - but by the extent to which our (individual and societal) response is sourced in love and compassion rather than violence and hatred. By that measure it may well be that we as a society haven't progressed since we baby boomers were young adults, or indeed have regressed, but we must look beyond the news to find out. Each of us is responsible to look into our own soul and ask whether we are contributing to the problem or to the solution through the energies we resonate to and broadcast. If we collectively have not raised the level of our energy, our vibration, beyond the negativity that ego generates, then we cannot expect love and compassion to manifest in our world. The necessary response from people of good will is not to despair, but to redouble the effort to broadcast love and forsake hatred. This is an imperative for individuals, but it must also become a goal of society that is implemented in the ways we relate to ourselves and others and, above all, the ways we teach our children. This is not a goal for a day, a year, or an individual lifetime, but for the future of life on this planet.
There is a sense in the spiritual community that a wave of compassionate connection is sweeping across our society. This is not because spiritual people don't read the papers, but because their awareness reaches the deeper level of the collective soul. If indeed the imperative to "choose love" is taking root and spreading, then it is predictable that the collective ego will react violently to prevent it. This leads to the second interpretation mentioned above, which is that an upturn in the level of violence actually is a positive sign because it shows that the forces of hatred are threatened by the increasing influence of compassionate teachings, and are reacting in ways calculated to generate anger and violence.
I'm not a big fan of apocalyptic good versus evil theories, nor do I believe that there is a devil or some other intelligence behind the swing toward xenophobia and hatred in some areas of popular culture. The knowledge that each individual has an ego that will fight desperately to protect its grip on individual consciousness is sufficient to explain the mass effects of many egos pulling in the same direction. But I do choose to believe that an increase in violence is at the very least not inconsistent with the spreading influence of love and compassion (as, for example, racial or gender-based violence can be triggered by new expressions of societal commitment to racial or gender equality).
For this reason, I encourage you not to despair, to stay the course, teach love and compassion, and make the effort to cultivate the lotus that grows from the garbage heap. If we allow ourselves to be guided by our own egoic impulses rather than the teachings of Spirit, we can't expect better from others or from society.