I look around and see a world at war with itself. It is a war between the body and the soul — not just the body and soul within the individual, but the body and soul of all things, of every experience, of every opportunity, of every art, or every movement, of every aspect of life. The body is the selfish and materialistic aspect. The soul is the altruistic and spiritual aspect. Every thing and every moment has both of these aspects, and for some reason they always seem to be in conflict. And so the war rages on: In the parliaments, in the boardrooms, in the bedrooms, and in the minds of those who dream of something better. But though it seems ubiquitous, it didn’t have to be this way.
The peace treaty was delivered over three millennia ago on a little mountain the desert. Still, the fight continues unabated. The path was revealed and a royal decree issued to tear down the wall between body and soul, but the call was generally ignored. The absolute clarity that could have been is overshadowed by the fogginess that is, like mud in clear water kicked up by centuries of the unnecessary handwringing and mudslinging of the small-minded, the bloodthirsty, and the ignorant. And so this barrier continues to haunt us, and remains the flashpoint from which all conflict emerges and hatred burns. The propagators, the promotors, and all those who benefit by receiving their cut lost sight of the big picture long ago. A world of abundant goodness and wealth is bled dry by the shortsighted greed of those who, if they would only open their minds, would see that they themselves would benefit more from giving. But we cannot place blame, nor find fault, since they have been effectively trained for their vocations and they’re just doing their jobs. Even they have mostly grown tired of it, but they have gotten used to playing this game and have found effective methods to alleviate the guilt.
At the same time, I see alternative realities around every corner, waiting for the right moment so they can emerge, waiting for an optimistic soul to be open to the promise, to allow them to brush aside the oppression and injustice. It’s like we’re teetering on the precipice of revolutionary change, yet shrouded in clouds that obscure it.
Why does such obvious potential for immediate goodness and peace coexist alongside such blatant violence and ugliness? Or, perhaps more practically, what am I going to do about it? Today, more than ever, it is up to each individual to be a revolutionary. Not the flag-waving, gun-toting, manifesto-spewing revolutionaries of old (though we can certainly still use a few of those on occasion), but personal revolutionaries who embody transformation in a real way in their own private lives — in their thoughts, in their relationships, in how they live their lives.
The rules of the game seem to dictate that we have to play along or risk getting written out of the script altogether. (Imagine the horror!) So we play it safe by playing along. But the supposedly safe course is no longer guaranteed to provide even the most minimal return on investment. There is no pot of gold at the end of that road. Each person has their portion of the world to illuminate. I can’t do this by sitting on the sidelines observing, playing by fake rules written for an extinct and irrelevant reality.
Is the world beautiful or ugly? Is it blessed or damned? Will I tap into the power of the soul, or succumb to the world of the body? Ultimately, that war is over, though it rages on as if it had just begun. The only battle left is the one I create in my own mind, so the revolution begins within my mind as well. I choose which reality is allowed to persist. I no longer need to fight for the beauty that is the harmony of body and soul to persist. I just need to allow the inherent goodness and balance in the world to just be, right there in front of my face, right there where it was all along.