We need more global warming. No, not the kind where the average temperature rises. I mean where the average consciousness rises. The only true cure for many of the world’s problems—war, poverty, and even rising temperatures—is for mankind’s consciousness to expand.
We are currently in the second of four ages or yugas, having entered the current age, Dwapara, a little more than three-hundred years ago. As awareness, whether individual or global, rises, it also expands, and we become more altruistic, caring, and spiritual. As awareness decreases, it contracts, which finds expression in people’s becoming increasingly selfish, greedy, and egocentric.
The problems trumpeted in today’s headlines are all caused by contractive consciousness. The warring factions, politicians, and uncaring business practices are only expressions and tools of lower states of understanding.
Take water as an example. When its energetic state is low it freezes into ice. Ice can be cut into blocks that are kept separated. The human analogs of such blocks can clash with other “blocks,” take over territory, and keep what is “theirs” for their own. But as ice begins to melt, it loses it separateness. Those who are committed to keeping things separate find this threatening, and try—more and more desperately—to “keep what is theirs for themselves.” We are currently seeing this fear express itself all over the planet. We can’t change the world awareness simply by voting for a different politician.
Ultimately, the ice will melt, and there will be one undivided world. We are seeing this trend through technology and in the spread of increased opportunities throughout the world. As water heats up even more, it becomes steam. In this high-energy state, it can’t be kept separate at all. Paramhansa Yogananda predicted that the model of the “United States of America” would spread and there would be a “United States of Europe,” then a “United States of Asia,” and, finally, a “United States of the World.” We are already seeing some of these predictions come to pass.
How can we, as individuals, support this process? Our challenge, and responsibility, is, first and foremost, to undertake those practices that will raise our own consciousness. We must become the change we want to see in the world. The most effective tool for this is meditation.
We need also to fight against contractive consciousness. We do this, not by meeting violence with violence, but by actively expressing the opposite, expansive attitudes. The beautiful prayer commonly attributed to Saint Francis* expresses this perfectly:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much
Seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
In pardoning, that we are pardoned;
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.
The problems in the world are acute and now is not the time to be passive. We must all become warriors of light and instruments of peace. As each of us does so, we will become agents for global warming, not of temperature, but of hearts.
In peace and love,
* The prayer was not in fact written by St. Francis. An interesting tradition within the Roman Catholic Church states that it was written by William I (“the Conqueror”) of England.