Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor
Most people would agree we all want to live in a kinder, more humane world. A world where there is respect for human life, economic resources are shared, and the old and infirm are treated with dignity. In each of these areas there is room for improvement. Economically many are still without the basic necessities of life and go hungry. Even in the richest country on earth, often the sick go untreated.
Further most would agree, somehow, as a planet we need to work together to share our natural resources and improve our collective circumstance. It is at this point, when we try to identify and prioritize what areas need improving and how we are to accomplish this all, we start to disagree and things break down.
Rationale or linear thought is able to tackle some of these problems, offering possible solutions; however this form of thought is not able to solve all problems. It has limitations and, in some areas, is like the cart and horse that is without a driver and going around in circles. Generally, for problems which involve the needs of divergent groups, there is no balancing factor and the needs of one group bounce unsuccessfully against the needs of others. In situations like this, self-interest repeatedly rears its head and there appears to be no corrective. Many are slow to accept that the needs of the individual are bound to the needs of the many.
What is the corrective to this harmful self-interest? What factor reconciles the needs of different nations while sharing the earth’s resources in an ecologically sound manner?
The balancing factor is higher knowledge or knowledge that is spiritual in nature and tied to our collective higher destiny. It must be added to the mix and used with our other capacities to find solutions. Higher knowledge will not replace common sense, experience, hard work or economic imperative. That is not its function. It is an added capacity which integrates and works alongside others.
The spiritual traveler maintains humanity is evolving to a higher condition. This evolutionary process is according to Design and is purposeful and directed. The outcome of this process is better individuals who are more complete, balanced and better able to serve others. This higher state of being can only be reached when the integrating factor is added. This is holistic thought or increased spiritual capacity. It is attained one traveler at a time and only by entering upon a path to spiritual completion. Better people make a better world. More complete travelers make sounder decisions and are equally concerned about their neighbor and themselves.
Many paths are sacred and all travelers have the potential to reach higher. The higher consciousness teaches we are connected and have within a Divine spark of energy. As we come to understand this and be one with this energy, we experience our connectedness to others and are better able to serve. Spiritually this oneness links us and we take positive, holistic, action. Better people select honest, hardworking representatives. These representatives combine to form a useful government that participates in a richer, more humane world.
If we are truly committed to making a better world, we start with ourselves. We seek to create the best version of our self and use all our talents. This includes added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge.
Yes this planet can be a wonderful place to live. Yet we must work together and solve our mutual problems. This willingness to work together comes naturally to some and for others only after a personal catastrophe or natural disaster of some kind. For many problems facing us, this coming together of people is essential. We are one family and must remember our common heritage or in time our planet will be lost.
Added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge is the missing ingredient and enabling factor. Each of us must take personal steps to add this element to our lives and fully embrace the higher potential in all the great religions. Then the needs of the many will more easily reconcile with the needs of the few.
Once there was a traveler who walked the highway in search of Truth. He stopped at every town and inquired. Sometimes the answers he received appeared to be useful and at other times, they did not. Always the advice he received was targeted at his worldly life: get a job, marry and have children. Or don’t work, live in a monastery and become a recluse.
Somehow these pieces of advice did not satisfy him, so, he kept searching. One day as luck would have it, he encountered a wise man who said, “The answer lies within.” So for many years, this traveler with the help of the wise one examined the inner world and came to see these experiences as part of the answer.
Slowly, he realized, what good is spiritual knowledge if it is not incorporated into the world? So he settled down, found a job, married and raised a family. As he worked, celebrated and worried, he came to see a truly spiritual life is a life that serves others and is guided by the unseen forces. And according to Design, he found real knowledge, used this knowledge in the way it was intended and the world about him benefited.
About the Author
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff, spiritual traveler, poet, is a student of Sufi Mysticism and the perennial philosophy. Professionally specializing in the healing applications of therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health treatment; he holds a doctorate in education and served on the faculties of multiple colleges and universities.
Stewart is also the author of Sufism for the Western Seeker, published in 2011, was nominated by ‘Foreword Magazine’ for Adult Non Fiction Religious Book of Year Book of the Year Award, placing 4th (honorable mention) and is a must read, as well as The Ferryman’s Dream. Both books are also in Kindle format and available on Amazon.com or local bookstore.
Register for an upcoming retreat weekend with Dr. Steward Bitkoff atop Bangor Mountain, in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Kirkridge Retreat Center on Sufism & Enlightenment, May 30- June I, 2014. For information is available here: http://kirkridge.org/programs/upcoming-programs/ – click on Detailed Information for full program highlights.
Read my new book: Beyond The River’s Gate. Book is available on Amazon.com in paperback, Kindle format or local bookstore.
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