World Crisis (2)
by Paramahansa Yogananda
(Excerpts from a talk "World Crisis")
Place More Wisdom Behind Government
To accomplish this there must be more wisdom behind government.
The American system of voting has a serious flaw in it.
Half of the time the people don't know why they vote as they do. The one who gets elected is usually the one who can afford to spend great sums of money to tell the people how good he is. The voting system should be based on recognition of the real worth of the candidate, and not on how much he spends to make his name known. The greatest scientists and statesmen of the country should be given a strong voice in the selection of the candidates who run for government positions. …
In wrongs committed through sense slavery there is compulsion, but treachery is voluntary, willful. Thus when the scribes and the Pharisees asked Jesus if they should follow the Mosaic law and stone Mary Magdalene for adultery, he said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." [John 8:7] One by one, they all turned away and left. But this same Jesus, who asked God's mercy even for his crucifiers,* said of the traitor Judas: "Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born."** [* "Forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34); **Matthew 26:24]
Jesus clearly meant that
he who is treacherous
is the greater sinner.
The deliberate sin of treachery is despised by God.
"I Pray That America Never Lose Her Universality"
The wonderful thing about America is that everyone has a chance; it has been a "melting pot of nations." I pray that America never lose her universality.
You who have loved freedom and who have responded to Lincoln's words —
"government of the people,
by the people, and
for the people"
— hold on to that ideal.
I hope this country ever remains a great land of democracy where people can think and express their views freely, with no fear of imprisonment in concentration camps. …
Insecurity exists because of
abuses of the monetary system.
A spiritual law is broken when people hold money and don't put it to work to create jobs and in other ways contribute to the welfare of others. Unfairness, dishonesty, greed—these bring on a financial crash such as the collapse of the monetary system in 1929.
When the selfishly rich hold on to their wealth and don't want to give the laborer his due,
This is what has happened. "The laborer is worthy of his hire,"* says the scripture. [* Luke 10:7.] Everyone should work—both the rich and the poor—to contribute to the welfare of the nation and all the people in it. …
Concentrate on a Greater Spirit of Brotherhood
The real need of the world is for a greater spirit of brotherhood. An example of how it works exists right here in our ashrams. We have land, we share food, we have our medical care, we all work to share the duties and to serve others—and we are happy. If I were to start reasoning that, as head of the society, I should have more than all of the others, what would happen? A quarrel would start. But if we continue to follow the teachings of Christ and the great ones, we will share and hold nothing to ourselves. Everything I have received I have given back to this work, to be shared. My thought is for you all, not myself. I am proud to live by the spiritual law. I own nothing, yet I know that if I were hungry there would be thousands in the world who would feed me, because I have given to thousands. That same law will work for whoever thinks not of himself as the one who is going to starve, but of the other person in need.
There is enough money to blanket the world, and there is enough food to feed the world. Proper distribution is necessary.
If men were not selfish, no one would be hungry or needy. Man should concentrate on brotherhood. Each one should live for all, loving everyone else as his own. I am sure that if anyone in Mt. Washington* were going hungry, we would all get together and look after him. [* The international headquarters of Self-Realization Fellowship is situated atop Mt. Washington] That community spirit must be lived by all people of all nations.
It is beneath the dignity of man to have homes of charity. Every able-bodied person should be given work for a wage, rather than be an idle receiver of charity. And to allow the old and the infirm to become objects of pity and charity is unfair. Every citizen has helped in some way to make America what it is. …
Life should be more than just working to feed the body, confined to a factory or an office for eight hours a day till death comes.
The whole world is at the brink of war. [* World War II.] Do you know where God is leading you? Even now, new streamlined methods of killing are being devised. And when everyone is finally armed to the teeth, God will show you that armament will not stop the war. If I use a sword, my brother will use a bigger sword. If I show him a gun, he will show me a bigger gun. People are tiring of this constant armament. Such principles can never bring peace. The countries involved don't want to talk peace now; but they will have to talk peace sometime, when they have lost much of their wealth and have killed off all the young.
If the politicians who sponsor war were required
to go to the front lines to face the enemy,
they would not be so quick to advocate war!
Adopt Plain Living and High Thinking Now
How can you meet the world crisis that is coming? The best way is to adopt plain living and high thinking. Unless you make drastic changes in your living habits immediately, you will be rudely surprised; conditions will change in a way you cannot imagine now. You still have food and clothing, even luxuries, that people in other nations do not. So it is best to accustom yourself now to simple living.
Choose a dwelling place that is adequate, but not larger than you really need, and if possible in an area where taxes and other living expenses are reasonable. Make your own clothes; can your own food. Grow your own vegetable garden, and if feasible, keep a few chickens to produce eggs. Work the garden yourself, or you will lose money in paying wages to a gardener. Keep life simple and enjoy what God has provided, without seeking false and expensive pleasures. There is much in God's hidden nature to fascinate the mind of man.
Use your free time to read worthwhile books, meditate, and enjoy an uncomplicated life. Isn't this better—simple living, fewer worries, and the time to seek God—than to have a huge house, two cars, and time payments and a mortgage you cannot meet? Man has to go back to the land; it will come to pass eventually. If you think this isn't so, you will find you are mistaken. But regardless of where your home and work are, cut out luxuries, buy less expensive clothes, supply yourself with things you really need, grow your own food, and put money aside regularly for greater security.
Everyone thinks of ways to spend money, but few think how to conserve money. Don't be wasteful, because you are going to have to learn to do without. Parents should set the example and train the whole family to save and to avoid waste.
You can save only by exercising self-control. Heed this warning. Take the best advice I can give; follow it and you will be spared much grief. Don't spend foolishly. If you waste money on luxuries you will not be spared. Pay cash for everything you buy, and if you don't have the cash, don't buy. Don't borrow; you will have a hard time paying on the principal because of the high interest. You must learn to save in every way possible. Don't have a poverty consciousness, but exercise whatever discipline is necessary to save and also have the means to pay your bills. No one else is going to pay them for you. …
God Is Your Greatest Security
Whoever comes to me in the right spirit, with devotion for God, will never be the same again. God has shown me how to break the secret thoughts of delusion that bind men's souls. ...
Most of all I emphasize that you should get busy seeking God through meditation. Self-Realization Fellowship gives you the opportunity to study and to progress spiritually at home. Become a member of Self-Realization. Read the immortal truths in the Lessons. After you have studied theoretically, you will understand everything about metaphysics; and if you practice these great teachings, you will be on the way to becoming a master. Don't wait, for you have a long way to go.
I do not speak to you through emotion, but through the vibration of my own experience. [* The vibration of Truth that great masters experience within themselves through the intuitive perception of the soul.]
God can be contacted at any moment, any day! It is possible to feel the inspiration of His presence anytime, in any place. So that whenever you think of Him, His inspiration will be there. In every lovely experience you will behold God.
Just beneath the shadows of this life is His wondrous Light. The universe is a vast temple of His presence.
When you meditate,
you will find doors opening to Him everywhere.
When you have communion with Him,
not all the ravages of the world can take away
that Joy and Peace.