Have you seen the news lately? I don’t recommend you do it. There have been many difficult periods for large swaths of humanity throughout the millennia of human existence. Most of the major challenges have been brought upon by war, famine, disease, or tyranny, all of which still exist today. Yet now we have massive new challenges to compound what already exist like global warming, the destruction of our eco system through the mass dumping of toxic chemicals for over a century, deforestation, mass extinction, a landfill epidemic, over population, chronic disease epidemic, obesity epidemic, opioid epidemic, overly frequent environmental disasters and more! These are all recent problems!
You could say Modern advancements (technology) are taking human ignorance and malfeasance to new heights. Generally speaking, prior to the industrial and then digital age stress levels, toxicity, social discord, etc. were barely issues or non-issues. Yet it would be all too convenient and lazy to blame science and technology. They are not at fault they are just simply a catalyst. We need to blame ourselves!
A knife can heal or hurt depending on how it’s used! The knife is simply a tool subject to the quality of mind attached to the hand that wields the knife. Technology is the knife, it’s simply a tool. We can benefit from technology or be harmed depending on the ratio of benevolence/malevolence in the mind wielding the technology.
A benevolent mind state is glaringly absent in school curriculum where the emphasis is on intellectual prowess. Yet it was taught by word and example by all great beings who all basically said the same thing which is to “develop the benevolent qualities of our mind”. This is all too obviously important when noticing how much these benevolent qualities are missing throughout humankind and the current problems and devastation that its absence has produced.
Anyone who thinks modern advancements have made life easier is blind. Honestly, it’s impossible to make life easier but that’s another article. Modern achievements ceased making life easier about a century or so ago. Yet modern achievements are not responsible for the current situation. Modern achievements are simply the knife. The cause of our current situation is the same cause that has always created prolific suffering throughout humanity which is the ratio of benevolence/malevolence within our mind state. Due to our over emphasis and even worship of intellectual prowess and our almost total absence of societal emphasis on ethical and moral prowess we get the state of things as they are today.
I know we have been told so often that we don’t even question the idea of material wealth producing contentment, yet after you have enough to lift you from poverty it’s not true! Our true desire which lies behind all other desires is peace and contentment. This peace and contentment which is behind all human desires can only come from one place. Unsurprisingly this place is the place emphasized by all great beings. We all know this is true, which is why we consider all great beings to be great! i.e., Jesus, buddha, Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa, etc. Wouldn’t it be weird to put Bill Gates and Elon Musk in this category???
We need to be aware that the fulfillment of our deepest desire will not be produced by technology and materialism. This awareness will be the impetus of developing the strength and making the effort necessary to step out of this swift cultural current. A current quickly turning into white water rapids heading towards the waterfall of devastation to our health and ecosystem. With enough of us we can create a new current heading to true prosperity which is peace and harmony through a benevolent mind-state and cultural emphasis.
Remember all these great beings stepped out of the swift current of their cultures to remind us of the path to our true desire. They set the example and implored us to do the same. This is the objective of Power Yoga and the path of yoga!
PS Even Albert Einstein commonly considered to be one of the greatest intellects to ever walk on planet earth considered benevolent qualities to be the pinnacle of human achievement!