By Suma Varughese October 2008 The most discussed date in spiritual history is just round the corner: 2012. What lies ahead and what should we do? Disaster ManagementA Spiritual Modus OperandiIt’s not a pretty thing to talk about, but it must be faced. Our transition to Satyug may encounter rough weather: literally and metaphorically. The next few years may throw up tough challenges in terms of natural disasters, environmental crises and man-made horrors. We are moving from severe imbalance to perfect balance and that is by no means an easy task. So what must we do when events like the Delhi serial bombs or other such horrors burst upon us? • Stay calm and peaceful no matter what confronts you. It’s all happening for the best. The suffering is voiding a lot of collective karma, and it will leave us and the earth more purified. It’s entirely possible that the Delhi blasts will have inspired millions to move towards peace and a higher way of life. All disasters are opportunities for growth, personally and collectively. • The change starts with us. Each time an event releases negativity into the environment, we need to turn into Neelkanths, and become adept at swallowing the poison. Instead of turning against other communities or losing faith in the government or human nature, we need to use the ‘All the more reason… principle: ‘All the more reason to support and practice peace, unconditional love and acceptance. All the more reason to care for the country. All the more reason to knit the fabric of society closer together.’ • Make up your mind to uproot all hate, anger and disquiet within you. No matter what provocation is offered, strive to retain your even temper. Remember you are doing this not just for you, but for the world. Within your family aspire to be the peacemaker, the one who can bring warring members together in genuine harmony. Take that role upon yourself in your office, your club, your satsangh. Let that be your personal mission.• Take responsibility for the event no matter what – bomb, flood or tsunami. All of us have conspired knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously in creating the present situation. There is a concept called Ho-oponopono in Hawaiian spirituality which affirms that we need to take total responsibility for whatever happens and to heal it. How? By saying these four statements: I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. I thank you. We can say it to ourselves, to society, to the environment, or to God. It reintegrates our shattered unity and makes us whole again. So chant!• Get together with your satsang group or friends circle and explore other ways to heal the devastation in society and the environment. Pray. It’s the most powerful thing we can do. Send white light to all in pain, sorrow, anger or alienation. As seekers we have a special responsibility in healing and purifying the atmosphere.• Finally and the most non-negotiable. Work on yourself. The future of the planet depends on you. Use every opportunity to grow in wisdom and understanding, in love and compassion, in generosity and selflessness. Whatever we uproot within ourselves we are also uprooting from the body politic. Whatever goodness we nourish within ourselves, we are also nourishing in the outside world. The Mayan Candedar It is the best of times. And the worst of times. This celebrated line from Charles Dickens’, A Tale of Two Cities, has never been used with more justification. Worst of times: Even as I write this, news of the Delhi serial blasts is reverberating through the TV channels, making Delhi the fifth Indian city to be targeted this year. And even as we go to press, the papers are full of the financial meltdown in Wall Street. Terrorism apart, turbulence is peaking. Prices are spiralling, placing the fulfilment of basic needs beyond the ability of the common man. Stress is soaring as 24X7 weeks are becoming the norm. Family relationships are fraying, and conflicts, depression and divorce are the gloomy fall-outs; environmental degradation is destroying thousands of species and polluting the soil, air and water. Illnesses have never been more rampant or resistant. Alzheimer’s, cancer, Aids, and frightening pandemics are reaping countless victims. Communal conflicts are heating up. Everywhere there is a sense of things falling apart, the centre, as Yeats put it, not holding. The best of times. Now turn the lens in another direction and what do you see? A rise in consciousness. More people meditating and practising yoga than ever before. Spiritual discourses printed in daily newspapers. Personal growth and spiritual books and CDs selling in millions. Spiritual gurus and meditation teachers rising in thousands. Internet dispensing spiritual wisdom as casually as it does the daily news. People across the world campaigning for peace, environmental protection and freedom from pollution. More and more talk of a need for a different way of life – a life of peace and joy and simplicity. At one and the same time we are seeing the death and decay of the materialistic age and the possible rise and resurrection of a more spiritual one. Observes writer Eckhart Tolle, in his book, A New Earth, which many see as the definitive guide to move into the new consciousness , “We are witnessing not only an unprecedented influx of consciousness at this time but also an entrenchment and intensification of the ego.” Both good and evil seem to be pitted against each other in one final overwhelming confrontation. And the convergence of this historic clash seems to be 2012. Why 2012?Why 2012? Surprisingly there is a lot of evidence going for it. The Mayan calendar has been proven to be precise and accurate – it predicted, for instance, that white-skinned bearded gods would descend upon them from across the sea on March 5, 1519, the exact date when Cortez discovered the New World. The Calendar comes to an end on December 21, 2012, predicting an end of time as we know it. Uncannily enough, the Chinese I Ching, or Book of Change, has also indicated a similar prophecy. The I Ching makes personal predictions based on 64, 000 hexagrams, each of which has a precise meaning. When writer Terence McKenna decided to plot the hexagrams along a time line, he found that it was an accurate map of time. The odd thing? It came to an end on December 22, 2012. Science endorses this prediction in more ways than one. Geophysicists claim that on December 21, 2012, the earth will be in exact alignment with the sun and the centre of the Milky Way, an event that occurs only once in 25,800 years. As a result, the North and South Pole positions could change, spelling largescale climatic changes and shifting sea levels. If the event happens too fast – well, doom could be the outcome. But don’t tear up your insurance papers as yet. Not many take this doomsday prediction seriously. It is unlikely that the world will end in 2012. Almost definitely what we are seeing instead is the birthing of a new consciousness. Yes, there will be turbulence. But how traumatic the birth pangs will be, depends entirely on us and our willingness to change. Meditation teacher and originator of the Synchronocity Experience, Master Charles, puts the whole issue in perfect context when he says, “The most anticipated, controversial and, in many cases, misconstrued focal point among the spiritually aware is 2012. It is an event that most view with a mixture of fascination and fear. Yet, from a more holistic perspective, it is nothing more or less than an appropriate and timely expression of the progressive evolution in Consciousness… on a collective scale. He adds, “The “fall-out” from 2012 is rooted in the fear of transformation… resistance to change… clinging to the old and outdated ways of living and being. Nevertheless, this leap is inevitable and Consciousness will move forward to a more holistic and unified experience for all of humanity… even while those who cannot go with the flow will be greatly challenged.” The road aheadEckhart Tolle writes grimly, “Responding to a radical crisis that threatens our very survival – this is humanity’s challenge now. The dysfunction of the egoic human mind, recognised already more than 5,000 years ago by the ancient wisdom teachers and now magnified through science and technology, is for the first time threatening the survival of the planet. A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognise, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die.” In the book, The Mystery of 2012, author and scientist, Peter Russell, asserts that 2012 will create what he calls a singularity in time. He explains that evolution has been speeding up relentlessly since the beginning of time, as we ourselves can recognise. This could eventually lead to a mind-boggling implication. “Evolution – whether human, machine, or a synthesis of the two – would continue at an ever-increasing pace. Development timescales would continue to shorten, from decades to years, to months, to days. Before long, they would approach zero. The rate of change would then become infinite. We would have reached a true mathematical singularity.” He quotes McKenna to bolster the argument that this singularity in time will approach in 2012. Then there is a whole school of thought with a different set of vocabulary in describing the change. Their approach could be called a shade occult, as they seem to get their knowledge through channelling information from higher spirits and ‘masters’ from the other side. Over the last few years their numbers have grown enormously as apparently more and more of those on the other side come forth
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