Continuing with the last week’s thoughts on my outer world realities as a reflection of my inner turmoil; is it any wonder that if we are inwardly in turmoil then we are certain to see a tumultuous world?
Just as we question our personal intentions and behaviors to change, we also must question the social intentions and behaviors of our current society. The two are never separate. What applies to the individual is equally applicable to the collectivity and the society.
Growth and moving forward begins the moment we summon the courage to create change in our lives. Courage is a universal phenomenon. It is something we all muster up in times of challenge.
The challenges and travails we endure as individuals we also endure as a collective society. However, without awareness of this we fail to see that our individual problems stem from the fact that our cultural ethic condones a life of isolation, fear for survival, the need for comparison, as well as a multitude of other ways of being that diminish our quality of life. And in the same way that we are numb to the disastrous effects that the corporate state is having on the planet, so too are we numb to the fact that this corporate state and the life it espouses is detrimental to us as individuals.
Finding Ethics Over Fear
Early this year, as part of a series of articles on Quantum Physics of Beliefs, I wrote in one of those articles, Quantum Physics of Belief – Scarcity is a Limiting Belief that the competitive business practices advocate that there is not enough for everyone to win, and therefore we have to make sure we are one of the winners. This demonstrates that we believe profits are not abundant, but rather they are scarce; and that the only way to secure our personal or business need is to compete against each other. As shown in that article, this fear driven ethic is simply a self-limiting belief; underlying this is a profound reality that there is no limit to the abundance that exists in the world, except for the limits that exist in our minds. As such, we can learn to be better at choosing how we perceive the world.
But without questioning and inquiring into the possibility of a new way of life, at both the individual level and at the societal level, we condone a spiritual death that eventually consumes the entire soul of humanity.
I encourage you to think for yourself and question standard cultural assumptions. For example, question to yourself, what is “progress” at the social level? Is progress all about how we create greater sums of profit? But has not profiteering off the destruction of our ecosystems had devastating global consequences?
Outward To Inward
The dominant cultural ethic suggests to us that our advancements in technology, medicine, and production outweigh the consequences of their proliferation. Yet, a race that is not mature enough to use advanced technology destroys itself. A race that does not allow its greatest medical achievements to reach everyone, because it is a for-profit industry, leaves millions bankrupt and or dead prematurely. We need to look at this reality if we are to grow as individuals.
Whatever happened to the idea that progress is the creation of a communal ethic that creates harmony out of the empathy we feel for each other?
Real individual growth is all about being aware to the fact that our lives are inseparable and thus creating a society that allows for harmony between our inner and outer realities. Without questioning ourselves and without questioning society we fail to grow. The two are not separate. Everyone depends on each other for their individual survival.
Given the state of our world as it is now we can no longer afford to be afraid to look at the hard truth.
Facing the Change
It is becoming overwhelmingly apparent that our society is in the midst of big challenges. Here in the United States of America we have staggering inequality, a real unemployment rate around 8%, and the future of our current economic infrastructure is in imminent danger of collapsing.
The corporate elite who cajoled the public, without a voice, into bailing out their institutions with taxpayer subsidies created a situation that devastated the middle and lower classes. The elite who control political and economic affairs know the system is broken. They are using all tactics possible to accumulate the last bits of wealth and dismantle public power as they go out to create their untouchable gated oasis.
Unregulated markets make monsters out of men, and yet the real problem is our apathy that condones this way of life. We must seek personal insights to overcome our unique personal challenges; we also need to seek social insight into the way we live.
Again, as we fail to see that the collective social problem is our personal problem we are creating a future that is not in the favor of the majority of people. The excess and narcissistic indulgence that we enjoy now comes at a major cost when we will no longer be able to afford the security we need to survive in the future as the integrity of our planet degrades.
Living As One
Spiritual and emotional work is not just personal. It is primarily social. Imagine asking Martin Luther King or Gandhi what was important to them. It was not their individual gains that led to personal well being, but rather it was the joy and sense of accomplishment they received from their involvement in pushing society towards justice for all. When we continue to allow those in power to keep “business as usual” without protesting for what is “right” justice and equality continue to decay. To see the truth can be a scary thing. But without knowledge and insight we will not grow, but rather, we will cannibalize ourselves into spiritual death.
St. Augustine stated that the rebel knows that hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage — anger at the way things are and the courage to see they do not remain as they are. We are at a point now that individual growth is short sighted if it does not account for the well-being of others and a healthy functioning planet.
Do not expect any government to fix these problems. These problems are not exterior to any of us. They are within us. And only with radical courage to see things as they are and a determined collective of voices to make change can we grow as both individuals and as a collective society. We are undoubtedly one. And the challenges we face as individuals, in a profound way, arise because we have lost sight of establishing a society that puts the gains of the community first as opposed to the gains of the individual.
Next week, I’ll continue with the interconnection between the inner and outer realities. Namaste!
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.