Spirituality & Social Change

Flickr - Candles - Ash-rlyDr. Stewart Bitkoff, Contributor
Waking Times 

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
-Kahlil Gibran

Looking Back

As I sit around watching my grey hair turn whiter, I keep seeing the same social and political problems occurring worldwide that I saw back on television 50 years ago when I was a teenager; of course back then my hair was dark brown. Yes a Lady Clairol dark brown: full head with luxuriant soft yellow highlights from the sun. OK. Maybe I am exaggerating a little about the amount of hair, but once I was young and full of expectation; concerning the possibility that spiritual learning might be the spark that changes this planet and brings us all together, finally.

The Great Change

Back in the mystical school (mid 1970’s), many of us realized we were at the end of one Spiritual Age and entering another; this New Age was to be ushered in by the return of the Dove, lifting ALL joyfully to a higher state of consciousness.

We were cautioned, the decades ahead would be a difficult time; and during this period, we were to continue with our individual spiritual learning, help others and daily work toward a better world.

Many times, we wondered, why must it be so? Why can’t all the people of the world cooperate and share the growing abundance: feed the hungry, help the sick and share the unprecedented wealth that had emerged across the globe. In Africa, South America and the Far East, why must babes still die in their mother’s arms, hungry and sick? This occurs, year after year; although many work to correct these ills, not enough people want this change.

  • This was the universal choice. To help correct injustice and reach higher; or live in our own world, doing the best we can, unconcerned about our neighbor’s plight. Daily each traveler makes their own decision and this suffering continues as part of the Universal Design. Remember: sometimes it isn’t a matter of what you do, but that you do something. In a famine, even the smallest donation can help feed and save many.

    Certainly the future has not been written; it is a potential, humanity must work to transcend, creating a better tomorrow. Always it is the Creator’s Love that will save and renew us; a post apocalyptic, universal, spiritual solution to a world filled with personal, social and political greed; finally a world of violence will be substituted with a kinder, gentler, Reality.  And chief among the false presentations will be the use of religion and spiritual learning as a tool for personal greed and chaos.

    One Traveler at a Time

    Because we tasted something finer, through our spiritual experience, we knew the deception; realizing a better world was made one traveler at a time. When individual travelers reach higher and seek through personal action the greater good: this action can offset the building darkness. No one knows what can be accomplished by one awakened soul, who is in the right spot; or a small group of traveler’s working together using the internet/social media to topple and over throw a corrupt government.  Look around, the social unrest is mounting and spilling out across the world; ours is both an end and a beginning.

    The Prophecy

    Traveler:             Tell me of the Prophecy.

    Master           It is written that much of what you see shall be destroyed and from the ashes He/She will arise. The Dove shall be reborn. He shall spread His wings and gather together all of humanity, drawing each person to God’s Bosom.

    Traveler:             Why is this terrible destruction necessary?

    Master:              For many years humanity has failed to follow the natural Laws and like the babe who plays with the flame; the heat must be experienced.  In the burning, the Lesson shall be taught. As the fire cleanses, our hearts shall herald the new world’s birth.

    Traveler:            I am frightened, tell me of the new world and ease my fears.

    Master           The Mountain of selfishness and fear shall fall way; the night shall bow to the day; and each traveler shall awaken to the Name of God caressing their lips.  From the Dove’s nest, humanity shall again be joined in the One Religion of Love. And each traveler will be cherished as part of the whole.  From the Creator’s Heart, this wondrous dream shall become Reality, and you will experience it all.

    Why People Change

    One does not have to be a social scientist to understand psychologically why travelers change; we see the motivators every day, all around us through addiction, illness and wanting to do the right thing.  Human behavior has not changed much in ten thousand years; and much of our behavior can be explained through fear or love.

    All political and religious organizations use the fear and reward (love) stick to motivate action/change.

    • Fear. Most often, traveler’s change and take action or direction because they are frightened of something, someone or a harmful outcome. Fear is a chief agent in human behavioral change; ‘my health is failing and I must live healthier or die.’  Anyone who has been in a position of power knows how to motivate through fear and love; daily parents use the carrot: ‘if you want to stay-up late, clean-up your room.’ 

    Governments, religious organizations and corporations have a similar stick: ‘look our way is the best way, and others who want to take from us are just wrong. If we wish to maintain our presence and strength, everyone must do as we say and work together.’

    • Love.  Conversely as a motivator for human behavioral change and positive action, love is the strongest and most difficult energy to fight against. For most of us love is the center of life; it is what makes life worth living. When we caress another or help our smaller brother cross the street, we reach upward as human beings.  Without love, this world would wither and die; it is the Light against our personal darkness and the very energy of the spheres.  It is much easier to motivate a person, when they wish to take action out of interest, love or caring. Recall all the martyrs who died in the name of their faith and belief. Recall the joy as your mother caressed your forehead before you fell asleep.

    When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God.’  And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

    -Kahlil Gibran

    Individual Spiritual Evolution

    Of late, a common theme in the spiritual literature is the notion of individual spiritual evolution.  Yes it is the destiny of the human race to advance individual consciousness, behavior and self development, one person at a time.  That is the goal of human development systems like Buddhism, Sufism, Yoga and Catholicism. Yet even with this world wide interest in personal change, the question remains unanswered: if as a species, enough of us will reach higher in time to stop our own mounting self destruction.

    Only after you have matured psychologically and spiritually, can you reach out and help another: free of resentment or need for reward.  Helping others, without self-interest, is part of being human; it helps define who we are as a species. As a fully mature traveler, we are all responsible for helping self and others reach higher.

    One day, through God’s Infinite Mercy, we will all be raised together on the Wings of the Dove. In that joyous moment, may we all shout out together: Praise Be to the Light.

    Hell is within the heart of man/women. It is a reality we create. Similarly heaven is within our reach. Daily we are faced with the choice. Which do you choose? -SB

    *            *

    Just as water must undergo change to become snow, so, must we undergo a process of alteration?  Slowly the world of the senses must be taught to give way to the world of the soul; then the change is complete.

    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 Seekerpublished 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.

    For more information about the author, please visit www.stewartbitkoff.com, and if you are interested in learning more about universal mysticism and Sufism contact: drbitkoff@yahoo.com.

    This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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