I spend a lot of time in denial that the world we live in is not that bad. No one wants guilt.
I attended a talk last week by Suprabha Seshan hosted by Shibumi friends in Amsterdam called "Rainforest Etiquette in a World gone mad". It was both inspiring and in retrospect, as Lipika said, depressing.
Suprabha's message was simple "where does one end and another begin." We like to imagine different aspects of our universe are disconnected. So the impact of our lives and our lifestyles are minimal to nothing. However, the truth is that everything is connected--I learn this every day in science; I learn this every day in life. And if we remember and incorporate this simple understanding in our actions, there is most certainly hope.
She also spoke of the living Earth. That the Earth is living, for me, is a fact. Perhaps our definitions of "living" differ because it is surely a different perspective. One that we have systematically removed from our modern culture to reduce our own guilt. The industrial civilization has removed other facts as well, and suppressed a number of our senses.
You can't deny the larger-scale forces, everywhere. As individuals we're different. As a group we're different. The bigger the group the greater the propensity for change -- good or bad, it REALLY is up to us and within our control.
In the universe, there is matter, and there is non-matter. It's a game, a dance. The human body is made of matter, but there's distinctly something non-matter in all of us. That's what religion really speaks to us about -- in ALL older civilizations. I'm not talking about today's organized religious practices (which have made me run away from this understanding for too long).
There's a lot of wrong in the world today. In India, the ego in Mumbai is rising at an alarming rate. My beautiful wonderful country is slowly but surely becoming a giant landfill of rotting garbage. And everyday, we're happy to continue our plunder without consequence. Just because our political governance does not impose consequences, doesn't mean they're not there. We need to start realizing our own consequences.
So let's take a step towards opening our senses. All our senses, even the unacknowledged ones. Let's welcome the intangible and change. Changes are required at all levels. A world filled with only humans doesn't seem very exciting. A world where humans control EVERYTHING doesn't seem exciting either.
Remember the idea is not to leave everything and go into a forest and live (we'd only destroy the forest). My message today is only awareness. It's to wake up.