I sometimes get messages of sympathy and gratitude for the content of this little website. It is always nice to know that I am being read and readers appreciate the words I share. Recently, I received a message from a young man in a search for meaning. Utopias have been buried in the 21st century, giving way to cynicism to govern the world and minds. But now he refuses to fall into that trap and seeks advice. I can predict that my words will be shocking.
On December 12, 2011, 15:20, Nathan M. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
(…) This morning I discovered with surprise your site, your thoughts and your remarks. I enjoyed reading these words full of meaning and hope. Today at 22 years old I am trampling, bored, going around in circles, in a school cage where one learns to seek profit on the weakest and without looking at what the world is becoming.
I wish to grow up and not live in a world of illusion, I want to serve my neighbour to build a just, clean and equal world for all. But the more I move forward, the weaker I feel facing this world that only wants to postpone the day of reckoning.
Kipling's poem tells us “If you can think —and not make thoughts your aim”, so sir, if there's even one piece of advice you could give me to help me get my head up, do it.
With all my gratitude.
Hard to answer such a call. Besides, you're not asking me a question, you're urging me to do something. It puts me before the moral responsibility of proposing a path, an enlightened idea. I accept the challenge. It's not going to be easy. But I think you're ready to hear it.
As I read your letter, memories came flooding back to me from when I was the same age. When I was 22, I was asking myself these kinds of existential questions about the meaning of my life, wondering if I had really chosen this destiny or if I was undergoing it instead, and if not, what should I do? I mean, what else is there to do, what other possibilities do we have? We can quit and leave everything behind at the price of giving up something dear to us. Now, at the age of 40, I have my answers. It has taken me more than 10 years to mature this reflection. It's disappointing to read this, it's always the same song from an old to a young man: “Be patient, it takes time…” Alas, I don't know how to do otherwise since I have only practised one path, the only one I know.
You ask me for help and here it is. I wouldn't tell you to get involved in a humanitarian action, to choose this profession and not another or to join this group in order to blossom. You will decide for yourself what is good for you. I'll tell you what I know.
First of all, the question is the right one. Your sense of weakness is real. Because you are weak for this world we have built, this world we have inherited. And that legacy, you know you're going to have to accept it, that is, suffer it. Since you disapprove and it doesn't suit you, you ask yourself: how can we change the world? Faced with the magnitude of the task, many choose resignation, accept the legacy and pay the price: domination for some and frustration for others.
All men claim that they have never wanted war, death, violence, plunder, misery, inequality and all these lies, that misfortune is caused by other men while refusing to recognize that they are those men themselves! The feeling of insecurity, of losing his honour, of suffering moral or physical harm is so permanent that everyone deems to be in a position of self-defence with the law of retaliation as the only solution — of which the judicial system is a skilful offshoot. Each one defends himself by turns, retaliating against the aggression of the other in the hope that it will cease once and for all. We are caught in a vicious circle in which evil is repeated from century to century without ever giving the impression that it is possible to free ourselves from what must be called by its real name: a curse.
Sometimes, an awakening like yours occurs when a new generation emerges or following an event that shocked the crowd (student strike, revolt against a government, opposition demonstration, or, as today, the “indignant” or “occupy” movement). Given the vast amount of work to be done — impossible for one man alone — and the silent crowd resisting change, many will give up. The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice but conformism: a submission to circumstances and outside influences.
You're weak for this world, but you can be strong for another only if you want to be. It starts with a handful of humans who decide, in all conscience, to live differently in order to break this vicious circle and dry up this perpetual vengeance, who talk to others about following this practise, and with time, the number will tip the balance, the weak of today will be the strong of tomorrow.
But since it will be slow to come, why bother? Because the world must change. That is the only truth. I am a human being who has decided to free himself from this heritage, who acts and talks to other men to behave the same way, to rise up and finally develop their humanity, this state of greatness that we should never have left. The human being's place is not the world that those before us built. We are worth more than that. We are stuck in a trap, our feet in the mud, reduced to struggling heavily with tired and pathetic motions. Our potential is so much more sublime, we deserve more: to be ourselves, freed from the dogmas of men, to reclaim our power of creation and goodness.
Yet religion and politics also want to change the world. But what a failure! After 2000 years, religion has failed. It has sterilized the creative power of wisdom into dogmas and ritual practises. It has coveted earthly domination through devious interpretations of the sacred, of which it claims to be the sole guardian. It is now a merely authority like any other, enslaving and distancing itself from its ideals. In the same way, politics has turned ideologies into tyranny and democracy into a new feudalism: peoples dared to vote no to the European Constitution in 2005? Never mind, the powerful leaders have arranged things differently, committing an act of high treason against the power of the citizen. Popular representation has become an illusion and elections are being distorted into a procedure for managing a professional career. To this end, they silently convert democracy and the rule of law into a more authoritarian and autocratic power, they make individual freedoms and equal rights disappear by granting legal privileges to interest groups or oligarchs that are easier to control. And what about the great economic systems that abuse nations, intimidating them into being outside the law, without rule or constraint. Their economic violence makes a small number of people rich, ruins everyone else and exhausts our planet. Their technological progress perverts itself in supporting a totalitarian power, without equity or responsibility. It only serves the power, be it financial, political, ideological or religious, and this power is obsessed only with its limitless growth. Today, progress evokes disaster.
Any political, economic, religious, ideological system based on a form of exclusion — the “us versus the others” or the “we are superior to the others” — has always been a failure. Unfortunately, as soon as one disappears, another takes its place.
This curse, this vicious circle, this perpetual vengeance, caused by the anomalies of a polluted system and contaminated minds, I call them Evil to reduce a complex situation to its core. This Evil is not inevitable. We can get out of it. We just have to replace it with Good. And I can see right away that you shrug your shoulders in doubt before this babbling of nonsense, which rivals a childish story. If it had been that simple, it would have been done long ago! That's right, this call is thousands of years old. But, guess what… nobody did it, believe it or not, it is true, or they were so few in number that no wave was formed. For centuries, man has been suffering and stubbornly building a wobbly society to satisfy conflicting interests, by calculations or doctrines. For centuries, politics, religion and science have encouraged the maintenance of this state. They have devised compensatory mechanisms to sustain this unstable equilibrium and an ever precarious social peace. They systematically fail. Time and again, cracks appear where evil resurfaces and injustice reappears.
In response, the “indignant” who occupy the major capitals around the world proclaim that they represent the 99%. They oppose to the 1% that dominates power and wealth. This is a mistake, we are the 100%. We will change society with everyone. Everybody has to be a winner. It is wrong to believe that in order to win, the other must lose, because he will be frustrated and will want revenge. Since they will have no peace, they will have not won. The novelty, the challenge of our time is to be the first to choose to give up Evil for Good and live free at last, be ourselves and straighten up our sublime humanity. The world must change, that is the only truth. Don't you think it's time?
You understand that the human being is not an organic machine whose brain gives a neurochemical response to a stimulus. We have something more than scientific reasoning cannot satisfy. It's this complex that makes the human being complete. Unfortunately, religious and political systems have disappointed us, we rely on them and they are unable to accomplish the impossible. Faced with a void that nothing fills, we have become organic machines again. And nothingness spreads in our heads, the collapse of our ideals, then comes distress. Each of us copes as we can: through denial, violence, alcohol, drugs or any addiction that soothes anguish, selfishness or individualism to try to save our necks if we don't have a soul.
Now, man needs spirituality, to find meaning in his life. To change the world is not to reform society, it is, first of all, to awaken dormant hope, the Life that we are suffocating. Spirituality gives birth to a new soul and contributes to self-development. When combined with actions to achieve Good, it becomes more powerful and dynamic. Remaining contemplative will yield an unfinished result, even useless if we refrain from action. I am talking about spirituality, but not about religion or fanatical submission to problematic laws. And I know that God has no religion. How many have figured that out? This is the kind of statement that today scares away any rational person, casting doubt on any serious talk about it. Debate is impossible. Spirituality has been methodically slaughtered by our civilization and merely daring to talk about it creates suspicion. And quite rightly, I must say, we must protect ourselves from charlatans.
Today, I manage to grasp the potential of human being. I live a free spirituality, without religion, therefore without a “system” ruled by the community's tradition and culture. With this liberation from influences, I have also freed myself from prejudices and preconceptions that prevented me from fully loving and understanding my neighbour. I feel incredibly free from these conventions, this heritage, this education that are imposed on us without thinking. I am no longer a willing victim, but a New World human being.
This is the path that I have followed all these years. Yours will be different, but take it, it's worth it. To help you, I give you seven practises:
1. Stop lying, now. Even the smallest lie to please someone will be banned (for example: instead of saying you don't have time, say you don't want to). Be proud of who you are and accept your weaknesses. You have the right not to be good everywhere. No one is, everyone wants to make you think so (hypocrisy and arrogance are lies). Don't be like them, they hide distress. You will see that this will considerably simplify your life and your relationship with people. You will gain respect. However, it will be difficult, the little lie is so tempting and so comfortable.
2. Think of all men as your brothers. That's what humanity is all about, what makes us supreme. We are the 100%. Try the following exercise: when you meet a crowd, such as in a public place, a long queue, public transport or when you get into your car, do not insult people (in words or thoughts) who do not behave in the same appropriate way as you do in these situations. It's going to be very hard, because swearing goes so fast! Don't judge them, erase from your mind any biased beliefs or preconceived ideas that would distort your opinion. To help you, think that this person could one day save your life (maybe it's a nurse or someone who will call for help or testify in court for you in 10 years).
3. Give. The human receives and gives. That's what feeds him. If he only receives, that is to say, takes without offering anything fair in exchange, he is only an animal. But do not keep an account of what is given and received, it does not work like that. Giving is not getting rid of the superfluous material things for the benefit of the needy; this is generosity, an act of human fraternity. Giving takes many forms: share, help, teach, smile, a listening ear, exchange glances, giving time, money, an object… Giving is an act that must create a movement, a dynamic, like an energy that is transmitted to the other. The recipient needs the strength that comes from giving to continue to move forward and progress, whatever his path. Do not judge that path unless it is motivated by selfishness, idleness or lies. And in turn, he will give or re-distribute this energy.
4. Stop alternating Good and Evil whenever is convenient for you. Like (almost) everyone else, you stand in a fuzzy zone swinging from one to the other according to circumstances. You can no longer distinguish between the two and you lose yourself like everyone else. Look: everyone is convinced that they are good deep down inside. If he sometimes acts with malice (whatever the degree of hostility, from the smallest lie to the most barbaric act), it is because he hopes for a beneficial result! He believes that it is not malicious or wrong to act when he has a good reason or excuse. Evil is so ingrained in their minds that he downplays its presence.
Evil is a flaw: we have abandoned vital principles that must be relearned in order to return to Good and rebuild our full humanity and integrity. It does not only embody wickedness, it also forms a faulty order and a vitiated spirit. The solution is to create in you a sincere sense of brotherhood, as strong as blood ties, and to experience your supreme humanity. And you will naturally achieve unconditional love, unconditional peace, complete forgiveness, true heart guidance, and absolute freedom (freedom from prejudice, influence, and tradition) with your human brother. We are so far from this truth that it has become difficult to believe that such simplicity is accessible to all humanity without exclusion, to simple people as well as to the most intelligent, from all walks of life and all ages. Yet, insidiously, others are convinced that this message is ultimately not relevant to them. Since everyone feels that they are inwardly good, why bother? It is not belief that matters — one can continue to worship — but actions. Because by acting we create and shape the world. Evil exists because it is active in the world. Good must do the same to take back its place. It is the only reality that can defeat Evil. This is very obvious and logical.
Many assume that Good belongs to the weak, that it is useless to resist those who use power and coercion. This is false, tragically false. Because it is not a battle between good and evil, kind against wicked, truth against lies, peace against violence, justice against inequality. It is not a balance of power or force. Good and Evil are not rivals because they do not play on the same level. They do not compare and do not weigh themselves on a scale to seek balance. Evil is defective, of a crippled nature, whereas Good is complete. Nevertheless, this opposition can be violent, but the state of mind is radically divergent. When Gandhi was on hunger strike against iniquitous rules, he wanted the governors to understand that these laws created injustice and death, that this consequence was not statistical but real and that they would be responsible for his own death! Gandhi did not fight these officials as they would have done against him maliciously. He tested their consciences (by awakening a sense of human brotherhood or compassion) and called them to change, successfully. Thanks to the chosen and deliberate effort to change your heart, you grow an incredible strength, you don't bend, you don't surrender anymore, you become a power that does not compete but transcends others, you see their lies, their intrigues and their vain illusions. And believe me, they feel and fear this charisma that pierces through you. You are no longer in their league, you live outside their curse. This is neither a fiction nor a naive tale. This Power of Life is real, you too will taste it.
5. Peace and forgiveness are necessary to move forward, otherwise we repeat the reasoning that feeds grudge. Peace must be unconditional, immediate and permanently respected to exhaust any temptation to fuel perpetual revenge. Once peace is secured, comes forgiveness, which is not the religious indulgence. No, true forgiveness is more demanding. It is a promise: it is forgetting the acts of the forgiven because he will have changed his attitude, will feel regret and will not do it again. As time passes, his probation will confirm whether he has adopted a new behaviour, and the journey towards forgiveness can then begin. At the end of the road, we might even become friends!
6. Because you have changed, you will be patient and honest in your relationships and behaviour with others who do not share your principles. However, it would be best to stay away from unhealthy and stifling surroundings or toxic influences. Generally speaking, you do not exclude yourself from the company of other men. It's about building deep relationships and refusing to settle for superficiality.
You will have to gain the respect that is automatically granted to others and to adapt intelligently to circumstances without betraying yourself. When someone puts you in a difficult situation, be careful and never react under the influence of emotion. Trust time to find the right answers. Through patience, the solution will come to light by itself.
If you invite people to be inspired by this wisdom, do not persist if the people or the environment do not allow it, for you will be disappointed by their feedback. If you try to convince too much, you will create doubt. For example, very few people are willing to listen and understand this message. They have denied their humanity so much that you will face a wall of refusal, which represents the instinct of protection when change is assimilated to danger. Be strong in yourself and lead by example. I am a great believer in this leadership by example. Never convert anyone, it is a spirituality and an identity, not a religion. Just talk. Only talk about what you know and what you apply, out of honesty. When they are moved by a simple word, they will be ready to listen to more. And perhaps, after a patient maturation, they will be ready to take a new path?
7. Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous. You are no longer a wretch, it's time to develop your creative power and goodness. If you don't do it now, when will you do it? Why do things so averagely when you can be better for yourself and others?
Being committed to these seven guidelines will be easy. Using them as a rule of life will require little effort, as long as you overcome the sweet seduction of giving them up. Are you ready to get started now? It's a lifelong battle of every moment.
Those who believe they can change the world are the ones who succeed. I can assure you of one thing: you will not be just a man, my son. Better yet, if you stay strong, you will be a human being, brother.
Time will be short for a human to change his heart, but long for humanity to change this world. Remember: a shout, a call can only be heard if it is repeated. We must take action, we must take action.
Note: Compared to the original reply, the text has been edited and expanded to make some concepts and reasoning easier to understand. Some general ideas taken from the spirituality proclaimed by the revelation of Ares were used as a starting point for my thoughts.
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