Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Future of Western Civilization?

Once, a long time ago (about 60 years ago) I lived with my family in a house overlooking a lovely litttle lake called "Sparkle". We had many weekend guests at the "Lake House" as we would call it later but for me the most memorable was an Indian gentleman, a real Guru. He spent a weekend with us in the Autumn of 195?. We went onlong walks around the lake, wading through the red and golden leaves, skimming stones over the lake and talking. On Sunday afternoon it had turned cold and gray so we sat together, all of us, parents , my four siblings, Mr Tata, our Indian guest and I. We talked of many things but mostly about the Bomb and the troubles facing our world. Several of our neighbors were building or had already fiinished bomb shelters in their basements and my brothers and sister and I were all practicing air raid drills at school. At a pause in the conversation I asked Mr. Tata about what he thought the chances for peace in the world might be and I remember very vividly his reply. He was doing a headstand when I posed my question and after I asked he paused a while before he said:

" My dear young friend, the only chance for peace that we will ever have in this world will be when we become more evolved and the only way that man can evolve is for him first to become "in-volved". He must be able and willing to focus his mind inward to learn to understand his own actions and feelings truly and objectively
and only then will he be able to truly understand others.
Until we can truly understand each other, there is no hope for peace in the world"

Almost like Diogenes, and his search for an honest man, I have been looking for some sign of evolution since my first meeting with Mr. Tata and like the Atenian philosopher I'm still looking. If there are any at all (and perhaps the Dalai Lama, Ghandi and a few others might ) but it seems hard for me to believe that I would find someone who is truly in-volved in politics today. The very things that draw people to political life in this century would probably repel the "in-volved" person.

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