The Root Of All Problems - The Road To Hell...???

Mankind has battled many things in his time, however, by far the biggest battle we have to contend with is in the mind of who we are. This is where we all have the ultimate work to do and it is perhaps our greatest challenge to overcome. It is the root of ALL the problems we currently face in this world and this challenge applies to us both as individuals and to mankind on a global scale....

Most would agree that we have to go our own way in life. However, there are many things that may prevent us from doing just that. Laws, religions, prejudices, fashions, peer pressure, parent pressure, any or all of which can be a significant barrier in the way of living and experiencing things we may otherwise like to do. Such barriers may even prevent us following our most heartfelt desire in life, be it a vocation, an ambition, or even a marriage to the one you love. On top of all this, we have the physical circumstances of the day to contend with, which may also cramp one's style. For example, all those people that died in the Great Wars, not to mention the not so great ones, didn't plan on that I'm sure. The majority certainly didn't ask for it, or want it, and we could have all certainly done without it. Such events and circumstances were thrust upon us at the time. It was not the majority choice, but what we were forced into by others.

The belligerent aggressors in this world harbour the bulk of the responsibility for those kind of problems. If you set yourself up and then take your people, someone else's people, or even the whole world down a road to hell, a path of destruction, causing misery and suffering for millions, you have a lot to answer for. I personally wouldn't want to be in anyone's shoes if they have behaved on that level. However, we are all free to choose in this world and if you abuse your God-given abilities to that extent, without a second thought for those that you trample on, you will no doubt deserve all that comes your way. I often wonder how upstairs deal with the likes of Hitler, etc. He who was responsible for taking the world down such a road to hell and solely responsible for millions of deaths. Suffering and misery on a scale that we hope we never see again in this world. However, as said, one man cannot fight a war. Hitler may have been the inspiration and the ultimate boss, but he was supported in his evil endeavours by those around him. So, there is a lesser responsibility that rests on the shoulders of all those that supported and went along with him. It is very hard for ordinary people not to go with the flow at times when events become so overwhelming. Especially when you are staring down the barrel of a gun. For those in the German army, disobeying orders would have no doubt meant certain death. Nevertheless, we must all question all of the time if what we do is right and if those that we support are doing the right thing. If Germany had said no to Hitler, there would have been no Second World War, at least as we know it. If we do not recognise by now that we cannot take at the expense of others and that we must not trample all over others, we are open to bring this kind of thing upon ourselves. If we cannot understand and act on these simple basics in life, we give the likes of Hitler, or anyone else so inclined, an opening and an opportunity to wreak mayhem. It is our weakness and it will always cause us problems! We must learn to abide by these things both individually and globally. It's not as if we actually have anything to fight about in this world. We've been given all! So what is the matter?

Apart from genetic traits, our starting palette, there are two major things that dictate and constitute who we are as an individual, or a personality. The first is our knowledge of experience, which defines the length and breadth of our ability to recognise concepts and situations that may arise, and relate to them. We do this by drawing from our internal database of experiences and relating a concept or a situation we have previously encountered (learnt, or been taught), to a current event. This is our A to Z of understanding. It enables us to recognise and address or deal with an event as it occurs. You can't beat experience and how true that is. Be it good or bad, all experience adds to our understanding and makes us more knowledgeable, more empathetic, and more capable. To gather knowledge of experience is our primary goal and it is how we grow, both individually and on a much larger scale. On a much larger scale, that is, when we put smaller minds together to create something a lot greater. In fact much, much greater. Such a moderate example of which we are all a part of on our planet Earth. So many minds working as one, or at least that's how we should be!

The other thing that defines who we are as an individual is the way we respond to stimuli; how we respond and react to different events and circumstances. There are a lot of analogies in this world and one analogy that appears to be evident, is that of PE. In this physical world we know the acronym as standing for physical education, or physical exercise, however in a spiritual sense I think the term applies more to personal evolution. Whatever the case, physical or spiritual, PE it is about building up one's 'fitness'. Our resistance, or tolerance, to demanding events. Raising the bar, improving our ability to cope in situations of demand and duress. Of course such a concept does completely apply to both the physical and the mental, or psychological. The principles are exactly the same. Do we have the stamina and the ability to endure or will we collapse in a physical or a mental heap? Snap! It is not only how we respond to duress, it is how we respond to any stimulus or event we may incur in life. How should we respond or react? PEace, or not?

One thing we all have is the ability to learn to control our emotions and responses. I once tried to explain this to a past girlfriend, who at the time simply thought I was talking cobblers (she wouldn't be the first, or the last, I'm sure). She simply couldn't see how you can have control over, and affect your responses to certain events, and maintained that you can't help how you feel. In other words you just feel how you feel. Well, of course it is true that you do just feel how you feel, but it is not true that you cannot help how you feel. As human beings that is exactly what we can do. How we feel is definable by us. If we stop to think about it (and she didn't), this is exactly what we all have to learn to do in life to one degree or another. It is a core principle of all religion, or at least should be, and it is what most parents try and teach us to do. For example, not to throw a tantrum when we can't have our own way. It is what anger management is about and it is what people who are expected to do extreme jobs have to train to do. Training the mind and learning to control ourselves to select the best, the most positive, and the most appropriate response, to a lesser or greater degree, is a part of everybody's education. In sport, as well as in life, psychology is also a very major factor. As important as any of the physical skills may be, if you don't make the right judgments and decisions at the right time in a composed manner you will never win. There are many other examples one could offer. Learning to control ourselves and to get the best out of ourselves is a life art we should all aim to aspire to. Of course when push comes to shove and we are put to the test, we will all, without doubt, fall down at some point. However, exactly where that point occurs is definable by us. In a spiritual sense, that is what PE is all about. Raising the bar! Can we do better? Yes, always is the answer to that!

How we respond to, or deal with events, is the ultimate defining factor that makes us who we are. How we relate to others, how we deal with the different situations we find ourselves in. Are we nice or are we not so nice? Do we put a smile on people's faces, or do we constantly upset them? Do we harbour prejudices, ill-will, or bad feeling? As life entities we have the ability to completely eradicate ill-will and bad feeling. This is why forgiveness is so important and why spiritually we are much better off if we can forgive. Being able to forgive enables us to dispel any bad feeling related to that experience. We can eradicate negative feelings, emotions and responses. Selfishness, greed, lack of care, consideration, appreciation and respect, etc. If we want to feel good, totally good, these are the things we have to aspire to. Working towards this means we can improve ourselves immensely as a life force and feel better and healthier for it.

All that applies to us as individuals, also applies to our globe. To our global mind. The road to hell and the root of all our problems lies simply in the way we think and behave. We certainly don't want for anything else, but globally, one has to say we leave a lot to be desired. Some people in this world fall a long way short. In fact some are so short that the basic principles of decency and humanity go right over their heads (along with the bar). Earth definitely has more than its fair share of scumbags. However, scumbags may run amok in this world but I don't think they get it quite so good in the next. We would all rather smile, laugh and joke than be taken down. Nobody wants to be around those that emanate hate and bad feeling, or that cause problems for others. Therefore, it is worth paying some attention to defining our being and thinking about what we want to become. Let's put the shine on our machine. It feels much nicer to radiate love and good feeling and much nicer to be around those that do the same. Little or large, spiritually, we are all ultimately like fish, free to swim about in an ocean the size of our universe. However, a bit like a metaphorical salmon swimming up a river when its time comes, we may have to jump the waterfall to get there. It therefore pays to think about our PE and raise the bar a bit, so that when that day comes, we're fit enough and we can make the jump with ease. Make the jump to a promise of something far more impressive than what we see in this world. Sound a bit far fetched? Well, we'll just have to wait and see!
Crosstalk by Taz: June 2014