The Soulful Loving Wisdom
of Satish Kumar
The way to healthy living is to shift from quantitative economic growth to quality of life, food, water and air - to shift from craving to contentment and from greed to gratitude.
Look at what realists have done for us. They have led us to war and climate change, poverty on an unimaginable scale, and wholesale ecological destruction. Half of humanity goes to bed hungry because of all the realistic leaders in the world. I tell people who call me 'unrealistic' to show me what their realism has done. Realism is an outdated, overplayed and wholly exaggerated concept.
There is at the moment in the world a battle going on between those who are pursuing materialistic paths-globalizers of economic growth and those hell-bent on this 'big is better' idea-on the one hand, and on the other hand those who are dedicated to spiritual renewal, more small-scale development, more human scale, more sustainability, more crafts and arts. Where human beings are not just sold to companies and money and those kinds of things. Where human beings have a sacred path.
Without the land, the rivers, the oceans, the forests, the sunshine, the minerals and thousands of natural resources we would have no economy whatsoever.
We depend on the gifts of nature, but these gifts must be received with gratitude and not exploited or abused.
At the moment, for example, maybe ten percent of money in the world is related to goods and services. Ninety percent of money is just moving around the world, chasing money. So, money has become the ruler. And we have become the servant.
Economy without ecology means managing the human nature relationship without knowing the delicate balance between humankind and the natural world.
What we call 'economic growth' is in fact a growth in waste and a decline in the health of natural habitat.
If we go on using the Earth uncaringly and without replenishing it, then we are just greedy consumers.
We are not slaves of the market. Our human life has a greater meaning than making money, making profit, and working for the market or for multinational corporations.
We live under the power of Modern Consciousness, which means that we are obsessed with progress. Wherever you are is not good enough. We always want to achieve something, rather than experience something. The opposite of this is Spiritual Consciousness. By that I mean you find enchantment in every action you do, rather in just the results of your action. Spiritual Consciousness is not a particular religion but a way of being.
The scientific world, the materialistic world, the world of commerce, the world of business, the world of individualism, the world of capitalism, world of communism - all these worlds are the old story now. Where we think we exploit nature, we exploit people. Market rules, profit rules, money rules. We work for name, fame, power, money, profit. That's the old story.
We have to shift our attitude of ownership of nature to relationship with nature. The moment you change from ownership to relationship, you create a sense of the sacred.
Happiness is possible only when we are kind to others and contented within.
The force and the strength for peace will come from people. And that will happen when people start to realize that all the diversity and differences we see of nationalities, of religions, of cultures, of languages, are all beautiful diversities, for they are only on the surface. And deep down we share the same humanity, the global humanity.
The great work of social transformation begins with the first small step of stopping, calming, relaxing, reflecting and acting in a beneficial way.
If individuals start to walk on the path of spirit and feel a sense of the sacred connectedness, then social, economic and political problems will also begin to get resolved.
Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth; Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust; Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace; Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.