Each night, when I put my head on the pillow and turn my thoughts to things ethereal, I am hopeful that the world is a little better place than when I awoke that morning. I hope that the dissidents, extremists, murderers, plunderers, bigots, philanderers, cheaters, molesters and others of mean-spirit find that their chosen path is not a beneficial avenue. I hope they see that they themselves are not truly benefiting from a mean-spirited philosophy.
It is because I am addicted to Right Action and Positive Thought that I see the Light shining on our sorry world. I believe, with the very essence of my Soul, that mankind will evolve from the hate and bitterness to a place of peace and contentment. Admittedly, that hope requires a very positive attitude!
It is essential that we learn to live with each other as those of different religions have done for thousands and thousands of years. A tall order these days with the conflicts precipitated by a shrinking globe, economic competition, changing demographics and the convoluted social structures produced by technological advances. That, in a nutshell, is a statement of the problem as it has existed for many years, now exacerbated by the intensity of extreme views, turned militant.
Spirituality does not require a church. Goodness does not require a pew. Compassion and Right Action are part of the Spirit. And if that Spirit can be bridled within all of us, then the work of God is being done.
Politicians will tell you that geopolitical influence ... the territorial imperative ... is the
causal culprit for today???s ills. Economists swear that if you trace any problem to its source, you will find money as the reason for the problem. Those are both half-truths. If you carefully study the emotions involved, you may conclude, as I do, that the major factor in today???s conflicts is the intolerance of the belief system of others.
Clearly, religious differences have caused (and are causing) the disruption in the world today. Territorial and economic factors are essentially without emotion ... religion is central to the Soul and devastating in its importance when extremists prevail. It is only with the hope of Inter-religious Dialogue (IRD) that a fundamental and permanent understanding can be achieved. That path is long and difficult ... but as the gentle fingers of night pull back the curtain of dawn each day, new hope is born, and each of us must make this world a little better place than we found it.
The primal religions have some bizarre examples at which we might scoff, were it not for our respect for all belief systems. And Dialogue requires of us, if we are serious about it, to accept even these primal notions as being valid and worthy paths to God. I have in mind the worship of airplanes in the South Pacific ... seen in the sky as a part of a deity, the primal mind is clear that the large object could not possibly ???fly??? unless it was God driven. And crashed planes on the ground become sacred shrines. Totally believable! I do not scoff at this at all ... in fact I admire the primitive mind and its devotion to an idea that manifests in their culture as a sign of God.
It is true that materialism has become a way of life in our time ... witness even the Communist China phenomenon, edging towards economic growth rather than communal existence. And the emphasis on wealth and position in our country is a well established condition. None the less, the Spirit prevails, and the burning desire within each of us to commune with the God of our choice dwarfs the call of materialism. Everyone wants to do the right thing.
Respect for others is central to the human condition and a basic tenant of rational and peaceful existence. It is one of my pet peeves (I should have none) when I see a human being not respecting others. I believe that this lesson, which needs to be learned by many, is the root beginning of a peaceful planet. Most certainly, on an individual basis, respect and compassion are fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding. Respect for parents, ancestors, teachers and clergy ... all find powerful support as a virtue in the world???s religions.
The Alchemists of old worked over many years ... centuries ... in their quest to turn base metals into gold. At least that is the popular notion. In fact, alchemy is a blend of science and philosophy. It has been so since before the Common Era, when the ancient chemists did attempt to turn inexpensive metals into expensive ones ... but always with the underlying thoughts that their work was also symbolically related to the perfection of life.
Through the power of the Spirit and Positive Thinking, do your best to disallow depression ... turn, instead, to happy thoughts. Look for the Light, the ???good side??? of an issue. Visualize a happy and positive outcome of whatever it is that is causing you some mental grief. I promise you that if you think positive thoughts, they will manifest into the reality, in ways that will surprise you.
Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.
Excerpts from ???Looking for a Better World??? By Stuart J. Malkin, Ph.D.
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