We are coming more and more to the realization that we are all part of a single web of life and that our survival depends very largely upon cooperation with a plan existing everywhere in creation. Invisible laws govern visible things and perhaps the end of education is to understand these invisible laws?
We find archetypally in nature that every form of life survives through a plan peculiar to its own kind. Each division and subdivision of the natural world operates according to some form of instinctual instruction. Living things fulfill their destiny; with the exception of ourselves, the various creatures around us probably never realize that they are following a patterned way of existence.
They have no defense against the ancient instincts or the early environmental training which they gained during their period of growth. We are the one being that can contemplate the mystery of life and, strangely enough, we are the one being that can violate its rules.
There must be then, be a pattern of law particularly applicable to the human being? We are no doubt, part of a natural creation. This endowment does not justify the violation of those natural procedures even though we have been endowed with a higher degree of conscious intelligence than the forms around us.
The more we come into contact with our fellow men, the more remarkable human behavior appears. It would seem that there are many inducements to live happily and with due regard for the rights and privileges of each other. Unfortunately, whatever these inducements may be, they are not sufficient.
In all the billions of years of evolution and hundreds of millions of years of growth on this planet, no other species has developed the same endowments. We are, therefore, uniquely self-responsible. Which means we each have a limited determinism to do that which we believe to be right.
It is because we posses this determinism that we are capable of becoming religious, that we do become religious. But, religion is meaningless unless an individual has the right to determine good and evil, and by which we can raise ourselves above the deportment and patterns of other kingdoms in nature around us which are instinctively obedient.
This means we must become consciously obedient and maintain the rules and patterns suitable for the best preservation of our own kind. Unless we do this, we are abusing our ecological position in the universe.
Humanity can and should be considered a unit. The name Adam is a plural, meaning a collective; and the Adamic and pre-Adamic forms of humanity are considered symbolically as individuals, people, composed of a number of separate personalities within their own structure.
Humanity as a creature under the archetypal pattern breaks down into many cultural groups, racial groups, national groups, but all of these exist under natural law, survive by keeping this law, and we destroy ourselves by breaking it. Turn back and look along the shores of the ocean of time and we will find many dead shells are found, resulting from the individual or the collective departing from the plan of which we are a part and which we can not violate with impunity.
The ancient orator Cicero defined civilization as a condition in which human beings dwell together in a state of civility. On that basis we are not doing so well. We are not fulfilling the needs of our human archetype. We are not fulfilling ourselves. We are forever sacrificing what we are to the accumulation of what we want.
It is time for us to accept our responsibilities to human society. Just as we are now reaching out to try to protect endangered species around us, it is time for us to reach out and protect ourselves. Unfortunately, on our present course of life we have made ourselves an endangered species.
The situation that we face is not an instantaneous phenomenon; it is the result of a long antecedent pattern of causes, a long ecological history involving the automobile, the motion picture, the airplane, the computer, the television, the advancements of all our industrial and economic processes until we have gradually become obsessed with our own worldliness.
But we can all do something about some of the problems that face us and recognize that it is absolutely necessary for us to discover the truth in the situations in which we find ourselves. Unless we are able to do this, we will continue to make the same mistakes indefinitely.
In the ecological identity of ourselves it should be regarded that every individual is as important to the compound as every tiny form of life is important to the earth’s integrity. If blades of grass fail, the planet will ultimately drop out of orbit. It is a long process, but it will follow.
So unless every form of natural product is balanced so that it maintains its integrity and its individuality, the collective must and will suffer. Each of us a small center within the vast structure of life, and the first thing that we can do is to put our own center in order, take hold of our natures, examine ourselves honestly, and try to find out why we are not as happy, contented, or as well-adjusted as we ought to be.
We will find that we are in need of an incentive if we are going to make any changes. No one seems to want to be good simply because it is good, anymore than the majority of people want to keep the law simply because it is lawful. We do things because of incentives, and there is perhaps a bit of ulterior motive in almost anything we do. The one ulterior motive that may be forgiven is the natural desire to be better, to have a better integration within ourselves.
We like to think of families of worlds, families of galaxies, families of all kinds of magnitudes existing in space, and we observe that the cosmos around us is confidence-inspiring. Here is a machinery beyond our comprehension, beyond our imagination, something that we must explore inch by inch, and in exploring it we must never fail to explore not only the greater but the lesser, not only the outer but the inner.
As we look out on this magnificent array of integrities, it is difficult to imagine that anyone’s life is an accident. It is difficult to assume that in this vast pattern wayward individuals can successfully change the plans of the infinite. We were not created to reform the universe, but to reform ourselves. It was our duty to transcend and transmute our material personality until we came to understand the reason for ourselves.
According to ancient legends, while “we” were in a state without sin, Adam lived in a paradisiacal region from which he fell by his own disobedience. The story may be a little difficult to accept literally, but the fact remains that in a way we have been disobedient. We are violating the principles that we know to be right.
Great generals and dictators have deliberately broken the law, “Thou shall not kill,” and have justified this because it fulfilled great ambitions of their own – political, social, industrial. We have covered the earth with blood for the fulfillment of our own private ambitions.
We have much the Alexander the Great complex. We look out longingly into space, searching for other worlds to conquer. Actually, the world we have never conquered is ourselves.
The human being is a magnificent thing, and for the most part this magnificent thing wastes itself. It does that same thing we do with our energy resources.
People are getting a little weary of being unhappy all the time and attempting to escape from this unhappiness by selfish pursuits.
Most people would like to be better than they are. Perhaps they are better than they know they are. Given certain inducements, opportunities, and advantages, human character might even be modified to a considerable degree. We can grow magnificently then, if we want to, but the average human being does not want to grow and, therefore, growth is forced upon us by suffering.
Ignorance is the primary disease. It is ignorance which permits an individual to have a bad disposition and do nothing about it. Ignorance is the basis of unkindliness.
Human evolution must be the victory of enlightenment over ignorance.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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