The Seeker of Peace

The World Stays the Same
October 8, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: World | Tags: , ,

In the first few chapters of Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata: A Return to Prayer, she talks at length about how we are entering a critical “renaissance” period. This reminds me of similar things I’ve read from many other authors. Eckhart Tolle also comes to mind, and A New Earth discusses how humanity is now undergoing a “flowering of consciousness.”

I might find this compelling, except that the critical juncture to humanity’s development always seems to be whenever the author is writing. In Williamson’s case it was 1994, in Tolle’s case 2005. However, I remember from my youth talk about how the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius” similarly reflected a critical spiritual renaissance. There were similar claims of a vital period of spiritual renewal after the end of World War I. I have to think that people have been making claims like this for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years.

I’ve seen a number of spiritual teachers use the supposed renaissance as a marketing tool. “Sign up for enlightenment now! With the spiritual renaissance, it’s more important than ever, and the global vibrations make it easier too! Operators are standing by!” Again, I don’t see that as a new phenomenon. Various religions and sects have sought to create a sense of urgency for followers and potential converts using similar exhortations for a long time.

I don’t mean to imply that Williamson, Tolle, or any other specific teacher is making stuff up in the interests of crass commercialism. I’m sure that, to them, the modern world really does seem to be on a cusp. Rather, I’m suggesting that the world has always been on a cusp, and people seeking truth has always been critical to the future.

It’s true that we now have nuclear weapons, climate change, pollution, and other issues that are relatively recent. But do those really impact us any more than, say, plague and war affected those who lived through the Dark Ages? If peace and joy are something we find within ourselves, it should hardly matter what the external threats are.

In the financial industry, there’s a common aphorism used during both booms and busts: “When someone says, ‘It’s different this time,’ they’re wrong.” Similarly, it’s wrong to say that spirituality is somehow different at this time. People have always struggled for inner peace. They always will. Since that peace is found within, and not in the world, what happens in the world is largely irrelevant.

On one level, perhaps that’s reassuring: when we seek peace and enlightenment, we’re still going through exactly the same struggle that others have followed for millennia!


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: