Social Transformation Through Individual Transformation

Taken from June 14th 2012 Satsang. Part of the “One on One” series with Amir Mourad.

Earth Offering Picture by Amy Woodruff

The followers of world religions have certainly created and are still creating much violence on the Earth, but even without religion, suppose you removed religion completely from the world. That will not solve anything because we still have not addressed what is the root cause of the problem. And the root cause of the problem lies within the human mind. Even if you removed religion, people will find other excuses for violence. Political systems are fighting with each other, nations are fighting with each other, and it is not by some mysterious hand that history is repeating itself. The reason why history keeps repeating itself in cycles is just because the mind keeps repeating itself in cycles. So one of our greatest problems, and why we are creating such a mess out of this planet is that we are living too much according to our past conditioning, our past programming, we are not addressing realities as they are. Because to address reality as it is, this needs an intelligence which is grounded in the present moment. One of the greatest obstacles for solving any problem is actually the very desire to solve the problem. Because before we start thinking about how to solve the problem, first we must look at the problem, not think about how to make a movement from Point A to Point B. And that’s always how the human mind works, it is rarely ever grounded in reality. The mind is either daydreaming about the past or anticipation of tomorrow. And what is tomorrow ? Just imaginary. It’s just a concept.

We are always seeing things through rose colored glasses. It doesn’t have to be rose colored, it can be any color, but we are not addressing the realities as they are. So how effectively any human being can act in the world – this applies to any dimension of life – is just how clearly we are perceiving reality as it is. The less clearer we are perceiving reality as it is, our actions will not be in tune with the reality. So what does it mean to live out of clarity of perception ? It means you are accepting total responsibility that your well being, freedom,and happiness is determined by nothing else except your own awareness, your own consciousness. But the very idea of assuming total responsibility can be terrifying. It can be horrifying, because it means that whatever happens in your life, you are the one who is at the root of it. But no, we always want to point the finger – that religion is the problem, the government is the problem, or political parties are the problem.

 Q: Im still not settled about what happened a few weeks ago with that student. I can’t take it out of my mind. An international Chinese student, some psycho Canadian guy killed him. How can you take a life that you haven’t created ?It’s a human life. Even animal life, you can’t. Personally I’m afraid of animals but I keep my distance, I never want to hurt any animal, but this is a human being we are talking about. And you know how China is with the one child policy, so his parents don’t have another child. It’s been two weeks now and I can’t even sleep, I just can’t,I keep on thinking about that. 

The world is already filled with enough misery and suffering, right ? Now by your becoming disturbed as a result of somebody else’s disturbances, your becoming sick as a result of somebody else’s sickness, how are you helping ? You are simply contributing your own stream of suffering to the collective stream of suffering which already exists.The greatest contribution both to oneself and to the whole humanity is to make oneself as wakeful, clear, joyful, compassionate, and blissful as possible. That alone by itself, even without your doing anything in the world, will have an effect of it’s own. It will be just like a single ripple creating so many waves expanding across the lake, it’s vibrations will radiate into the world with or without your effort. It is just a scientific situation, that just as your environment has an influence on the mind, the mind also has an influence on the environment. Man is not separate from existence, he is interconnected in an enormous chain of cause and effect. That is why inner transformation is not just a question of inner transformation. If your transform yourself, that alone will have an influence of it’s own, your own inner light will radiate in the whole space around you. All it takes is just somebody who is receptive enough to such a presence, then the flame can be transferred from one lamp to another.

In the same way, it is only because somebody is in disharmony within himself that he is certain to project it in the world and spread it around, it is inseprable. That is why for me the equation is very simple. It’s only through individual transformation that there is a possibility of social transformation. Otherwise, we will be dealing with all of the symptoms of the problem. Things like trying to take care of the environment, these are all petty things. There are some people who are so careful not to eat another animal because they want to be vegetarian, yet at the level of the mind they are still violent, they don’t know themselves, they have not inquried into themselves. Without self-knowledge, without awareness, then it is futile.


One thought on “Social Transformation Through Individual Transformation

  1. “You see the sliver in your friend’s eye, but you don’t see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend’s eye.”

    “Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking.”

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