Gurdjieff International Review
Ravi Ravindra was invited to contribute to the book, Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet. The invitation was to respond to the following question from the editor of the volume, “In your honest opinion, do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crisis? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival, as well as that of other species on the planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest of terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?” Ravi’s response follows:
e may not be able to find a way past the current global crises, but a way may be found through us if we are willing and able to be instruments of subtler levels of energy which permeate the entire universe.
If we contemplate the universe and the extremely intricate laws which govern the appearance and disappearance of galaxies as well as the emergence of the butterfly from a cocoon, it is difficult to persuade oneself that human beings are in control and are at the top of the spectrum of consciousness or intelligence. How can we not feel the sentiment expressed by Albert Einstein when he speaks of his “rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection”?
It is the unanimous testimony of all the sages in the history of humanity that the entire universe is pervaded by subtle and conscious energies—variously labeled as the ‘Holy Spirit,’ or the ‘Buddha Mind,’ or ‘Allah,’ or the ‘Tao.’ All spiritual traditions say that without the subtle and conscious energies of Brahman (or God or the Eternal) nothing can be done, but without human beings nothing will be done. We need to do our part as instruments of the all-pervasive Intelligence. In our individual or collective hubris we forget the obvious—that we do not know all there is to know, and that neither the physical nor the spiritual universe is centered on any individual or on humanity or on the Earth. We need to search for our contribution to the continuing unfolding of the Mystery, not so much from ignorance but from innocence, open to unexpected voices and solutions.
Ahimsa—usually understood as non-violence or physical non-harming—is, in fact, closer to non-violation, non-imposition or non-manipulation. Ahimsa is the essential principle of all true ecology. Finding our place and playing our part, making room for and caring for other human beings, for all creatures and for the planet naturally follows from this. □
Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet (2014) Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books, edited by Todd MacLean, p. 183.
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Featured: Winter 2019/2020 Issue, Vol. XIV (1)
Revision: August 13, 2020