I cannot remember a time during my half century of adulthood when the average human being on this planet found herself or himself looking directly into the face of more stressful events, circumstances, and situations than those now presenting themselves daily around the world.
In today's 24-hour news cycle, hardly a moment goes by when something worrisome (if not something absolutely horrible) is not making a headline on the Internet's news sources -- which themselves have proliferated to the point where we almost can't get away from incoming negative data if we wanted to.
In short, we are being bombarded with illustrations of the dark side of life at every turn. ISIS BEHEADINGS. RANDOM SHOOTINGS. EBOLA PANDEMIC. FERGUSON UNREST. UKRAINE CRISIS. GLOBAL WARMING. And all of this says nothing about the pressures building in just about every individual 's personal life. Family finances. Job losses. Forced relocations. Relationship challenges. Dementia tragedies.
And we're adding to that bombardment right here, right now, through the simple act of noticing it. Which brings us to the point of this Internet story. What is the spiritually evolved response to this avalanche of stressful circumstances? If we wish to be "spiritually awakened," should we simply ignore it? Is it the elevated way to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?" Should we "pay it no mind?" Give it no energy?
Is it best to just turn a blind eye to what's happening around the world (sadly shrugging that we can't do anything about it anyway), and to meet our personal challenges with a "tough it out" attitude that calls on us to summon inordinate courage and extraordinary stamina until the moment passes and we may mercifully be given a short break by Life before the next disaster or dilemma hits?
Should we not turn a blind eye, but look straight into the jaws of the lion and fearlessly embrace and exude all positive energies and outlooks? And should we take specific action?
This, of course, is not a new inquiry. Shakespeare put it this way, asking in the famous words of Hamlet "whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them"...?
What is the "nobler" thing to do? What is the role that is ours to play in the ongoing drama of life?
Much depends, it seems to me, on whether we choose to play our role consciously or unconsciously. That is, whether we choose to be active or passive in the creation of our tomorrows (both individually and collectively). And that choice appears to me to depend on how each of us sees the experience of Life itself; on what we imagine to be its origin, its purpose, its function, and its process.
We will discuss that first then, here, in the next entry of this series. As we await that entry, you may wish to enter the discussion in the Comment space just below. What do you think is the origin, purpose, function, and process of Life? That is, in your view how did we get here, why does our Life exist, what is its basic task, assignment, or role in the overall scheme of things in the Universe, and what are the mechanics, what is the procedure or methodology, by which that function is completed?
Most people on our planet, even in this, the latter part of the first quarter of the 21st Century, have never thought about these things. At least, not in such specific terms. Not many (if any) political leaders are thinking in these terms. Not many (if any) religious leaders are thinking in these terms. Not many (if any) economic and industrial leaders are thinking in these terms. Not many (if any) educational leaders are thinking in these terms.
Yet it is in the answer to these questions that our best way to meet and beat the stress of our times -- to say nothing of permanently and finally changing the conditions on the ground that produce the endless stress -- may be revealed.
So...your answers are...?
Feel free to use the Comment areas below.