The good life and the need for understanding ourselves

Many people now have reasonably good lives. Medical and material life is good, and life spans are increasing too. This may be due to the benefits of medical science, healthy food, the organization of society with welfare etc. – physical wellbeing is great and improving.

There are problems and crises, but the long term development seems set on a good course.

But life is not fully satisfactory – many people do not see a purposeful end to all the buzz, it is becoming a case of just more of the same, we are not connected to a larger vision, we are just milling about, we are consumers foremost, we enjoy, we are entertained. The purpose and deeply felt contentment is not there.

We feel some sort of unease – there is so much information, so much to know, so little we can do, we are controlled by others far away, information is piling up, and you can not do a thing about it.

The world has opened up through travel – geography is not a hindrance as you can go all over the world, and time and seasons do not matter much. We are no longer connected to a base where we live, work, grow or find food. We are being up-rooted.

And the world is ours, we get everything from other places or unknown spaces, our jobs are enourmously specialized, we have been many places, we move about. Other people are doing the same, goods are flowing in all directions in large quantities. Media are going full blast, we see the whole world, all problems are our problems, there is a global thinking emerging, and it seems to be full of unsolved problems, things going bad.

The result is that we think too much, we are constantly worried by all that is happening, all that we know. The world has become one global place, our world and what is happening to it is a problem. The politics of (now) terrorism is also scary, adding more thinking and practicalities. The environmental questions are building up too, and the combined result is that we live in a mental mess.

We are becoming part of a system that we do not fully understand or know what to do with. It is complex, and we are part of it – in all its intricate workings.

And outer space is not yet fully explored – but we are fully aware that more knowledge is coming. New dimensions are introduced. We are even beginning to have new views of how we ourselves function, mentally, spiritually and physically, how we are built and how we function.

So it is safe to say that our lives have profoundly changed. A new era is coming, we have not fully measured up to it yet. We have not seen enough yet – and our attention is not put into it, we are slightly afraid of that, and we hide it by busying ourselves with work, consumption, entertainment.

But a new world view is dawning – the huge interdependencies we see, the interconnectedness of it all, the need for a new understanding of it all. And going global is not the solution – we need fixed activities in our life, a base, a home, but at the same time we should be able to benefit from other places, other people.

Local is the solution, and what you must first do is inner work so that you understand how you function, how you relate to others, how to find livelihood and that that is your responsibility, and then start the work about  what we do to the world and its systems, building support and evading destruction.

The art of inner work is not new, but must be spread to far more people so that it can have an impact. We must find our preoccupations, see our egobuilding, control our consumption, understand the use of stimulants, building new relations in our local communities, cooperate with others, relate consciously to the wider world, not merely travelling around as tourists.

The large questions of being born, living and dying must also be seen into so that we can develop new understanding in these areas too – essentially finding more about what life is. These questions are important too – giving perspective, understanding the span we have, thinking about what can be done while we are here. The old question of what life really is has not been approached in a wide sense, and we still do not fully understand what life is.

So the work ahead must start – a lot of new areas are opening up, they have been seen, it is about ourselves and our relations to others and the wider world, we must be conscious about what we do – more consumption and entertainment just will not do.

So there is a task out there – it is individual and it is collective and related to the greater cosmos. It could be interesting, even fun to engage in deep work here.

Challenge yourself! A new understanding must be developed – a different world is coming.

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