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Rising above self, using technology for common good

January 2006
Rising above self, using technology for common good

Spiritual Straight Talk

A nation is not its land and buildings?it is its people. If we as a nation have to rise and be empowered, the first and the foremost thing we need to do is to empower the people.

Empowerment does not mean amassing of material wealth, or technology, but is entirely an inner process, a spiritual process. Without the necessary sensitivity, inner balance and the faculty of discrimination in individuals, widespread negativity and perversions creep in. This is how a human being or an entire culture sinks to its depths.

Never before has mankind been as comfortable as it is today. The kind of comforts and conveniences that even kings did not have a hundred years ago are now available to the common man. Today our pursuit for these is so vigorous that the very life of the planet is being threatened. Yet, it cannot be said that we are any happier than our forefathers. This is because people try to create an outwardly perfect life, but the quality of our lives

is based upon our interiority.

Modern technology has tremendous capability for both?creating well-being or total destruction. Without bringing in the dimension of spirituality that brings an experience of all-inclusiveness in individuals, it will surely bring destruction not just to humanity but the planet itself.

After all, whatever every human being is doing, whether it is pursuing money, or pleasure or God, he is only seeking his own well-being. Spirituality only expands this innate urge to include the whole humanity within oneself. This is the only way that human well-being can happen.

Developing the spiritual core of humanity does not mean propagating any particular religion. Unfortunately, today most religions have been reduced to mere belief systems. And belief systems are bound to conflict with one another. Spirituality means to raise the body, mind and spirit to its true potential. Once this is established other challenges can be handled rather effortlessly. When we strive to create human beings functioning at their

ultimate potential then his general well-being is naturally take care of.

In every society, it is necessary that there is at least a handful of people whose passion in life is beyond their own well-being. Every society needs those individuals who will go on planting mango trees without thinking whether they will get to eat the fruits or not. Of all the degenerations we have suffered, this is the most damaging, as the nation has been deprived of its greatest strength?producing exalted beings who are rooted in a different dimension of existence and whose very presence is a blessing to the planet.

One example that the world is familiar with and whose fruits we continue to eat is Gautama Buddha. As a prince, perhaps he would have had a few more wives and children and ruled over his little kingdom, but as an Enlightened Master in many ways he has changed the course of life on the planet. We value this culture not because we happened to be born into it, but because this culture had perfected the technology of producing such beings.

When I was twelve or thirteen years of age I happened to come across some literature in which Swami Vivekananda said ''Give me hundred truly dedicated people and I will change the face of this country.'' At that time it seems there were three hundred and thirty million people in this country, but he could not find a hundred truly dedicated people. I thought what a tragedy!

A man like Vivekananda, he's a phenomena, he doesn't happen every day. When he comes, we could not even give him a hundred people in this vast country. It seemed like a great tragedy for this culture and this country. From that day I always thought in my life I must create at least those hundred people the man dreamt of. For twenty years I have gone around working for this and today, I can proudly say, that we have created many people who place the well-being of the world around much above their own-life or death, these people will fulfill what has to be fulfilled.

Today, I can proudly say that in homes and the marketplace alike we have created people whose vision and experience of life is rooted in the harmony and unboundedness of life rather than any narrow perception of the limited. I can proudly say that it is not just the urban and the privileged, but even the impoverished, whose struggle for existence is a daily process, that are able to walk the inner path to well-being. But this is far from fulfilling what is needed.

There was a time where in a society a few people were spiritual and the rest of the people just went to them for blessings and sustained their lives. Today, with the tools of science and technology we have brought ourselves to a self-threatening situation that everybody in the society needs to turn spiritual, otherwise there is no survival for this world. With the kind of equipment, and capabilities that we have, it just takes one fool to blow it

up. And there are any number of those fools standing in the queue to get to the top.

So spirituality is no more a fancy pursuit. It is an absolute necessity for our own survival and the planet's survival that every human being brings in the spiritual dimension into his life. Unless some sense of oneness touches the people, especially to the leadership in the planet, then self-destruction is a live threat.

Skeptics are quick to ask, ''Is such a thing possible?'' I want to tell them, do not think of the future of the world on the basis of existing realities. Existing realities on the planet could be changed in a moment, because existing realities do not take into consideration people's will, they do not take into consideration people's commitment, they do not take

into consideration the love in their hearts.

Existing realities are just looking at the number of people that died on the planet today, the number that were slaughtered today, the number of bombs that exist on the planet, but statistics cannot consider what is beating in the human heart. If only we can stoke that, if only we can stir up what is happening in individual hearts, miracles are possible.

It is not far away, we just need to work for it. With the spiritual legacy of this land, with the spiritual processes that are available to us today, it is definitely a possibility. If we dedicate ourselves to making this happen around us, we can see in our own lifetime something tremendous and dramatic happening on the planet.

By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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