The WORLD, in the Radius of the Three Contexts of Appearance. Part Two
(Here is the link to the introduction and beginning of this topic discussion:)
How does non-duality interact with the greater world?
In a word, it doesn’t interact.
Many so called “spiritual teachers” say that of course we live in family, community and world. They say this will be the integration of self realisation with normal life. Only they don’t give it any emphasis at all. It is a completely hollow statement. Whereas people involved in this search are more honest and conveniently disassociate from world pain. They blatantly say the world is an illusion, or it is not my world. I know of only one western teacher, who spends effort with girls schools in Afghanistan, or in that region. (I have edited this because I said only one. But I am well aware of Indian Gurus with vast followings of over 100,000 that do great works for villager health and economic wellbeing, reforestation, and many other worldly programs. I don't mention names because I would leave some important ones out.)
Our abilities to engage with the world, or even to allow ourselves to be informed about the world come from the same mechanism as our abilities to function as an individual. We have a story or world view that has a small space in it for us to act. If that story that we hold is very negative and has no space for us to move, we are its victim.
Because of our negative story we have very bad feelings whenever we think of or engage with worldly events. Thus we are completely disempowered by our own story. Remember, it is our story, and there are a million things happening, each with very imprecise knowledge, and each with a broad perspective of how we could interpret them. For some reason, we are choosing to interpret the way that we choose.
I think that an optimum way in which to start this discussion would be with a giant reversal in thinking. I would like to propose another viewpoint, even though I don’t expect you to adopt it. Unfortunately It is too vast for me to do it justice.
the History of Violence and Humanity
The best I have comes as a rather long Youtube presentation of an academic paper. I admit that I myself rarely take time to sit through long movies, but in this case I found the presenter qualified and interesting. The audio was clear as were the graphics. And the subject was fascinating, quick paced, and enough to hold interest. It is the History of Violence and Humanity, by Professor Steven Pinker, presented at the University of Edinburgh, a couple of years ago.
All of our present stories may be similar, in acknowledging that we live in the most violent of times, and that war and murder are at an all-time high in humanity, with an eminent self-destruct on the horizon.
Pinker asks why should we count bodies, when every other statistic is based on the percentage of the total population? Deaths are usually reported in a number per 100,000.
He assembles many period studies of war from 500 BC to the present. He contrasts war and murder in stateless societies, (what some would call the Garden of Eden periods, the ultimate of hands off neoliberalism). And then contrasts this with the rise of kingdoms and states, and central governments, to see where killing was the most.
He even covers prehistoric times by noting that 15% of all skeletal remains and mummies ever found have died a violent death, were murdered.
Perhaps you’ll never guess that he claims that the 21st century is by far the most pacified period in world history, and his bar graph for murder and war in these years is only one pixel high, compared to the mayhem of all previous periods. Even Nagasaki and Hiroshima are low on the scales.
I hope that you find the time to participate in this discussion.