Most people would agree we all want to live in a kinder, more humane world — a world where there is respect for human life, economic resources are shared, and the old and infirm are treated with dignity. In each of these areas, there is room for improvement. Economically, many are still without the basic necessities of life and go hungry. Even in the richest country on Earth, often the sick go untreated.

Further, most would agree that somehow, as a planet, we need to work together to share our natural resources and improve our collective circumstance. It is at this point, when we try to identify and prioritize what areas need improving and how we are to accomplish this all, that we start to disagree and things break down.

Rational or linear thought is able to tackle some of these problems, offering possible solutions; however, this form of thought is not able to solve all problems. It has limitations and, in some areas, is like the cart and horse that is without a driver and going around in circles. Generally, for problems that involve the needs of divergent groups, there is no balancing factor and the needs of one group bounce unsuccessfully against the needs of others. In situations like this, self-interest repeatedly rears its head and there appears to be no corrective. Many are slow to accept that the needs of the individual are bound to the needs of the many.

What is the corrective to this harmful self-interest? What factor reconciles the needs of different nations while sharing the Earth’s resources in an ecologically sound manner?

The Balancing Factor
The balancing factor is higher knowledge, or knowledge that is spiritual in nature and tied to our collective higher destiny. It must be added to the mix and used with our other capacities to find solutions. Higher knowledge will not replace common sense, experience, hard work or economic imperative. That is not its function. It is an added capacity that integrates and works alongside others.

The spiritual traveler maintains that humanity is evolving to a higher condition. This evolutionary process is according to Divine design and is purposeful and directed. The outcome of this process results in individuals who are more complete, balanced and better able to serve others. This higher state of being can only be reached when the integrating factor is added: holistic thought or increased spiritual capacity. It is attained one traveler at a time and only by entering upon a path to spiritual completion. Better people make a better world. More complete travelers make sounder decisions and are equally concerned about their neighbor and themselves.

Many paths are sacred, and all travelers have the potential to reach higher. Higher consciousness teaches that we are connected and have within a Divine spark of energy. As we come to understand this and be one with this energy, we experience our connectedness to others and are better able to serve. Spiritually this oneness links us and we take positive, holistic action. Better people select honest, hardworking representatives. These representatives combine to form a useful government that participates in a richer, more humane world.

Work On Our Selves
If we are truly committed to making a better world, we start with ourselves. We seek to create the best version of our self and use all our talents. This includes added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge.

Yes, this planet can be a wonderful place to live. Yet, we must work together and solve our mutual problems. This willingness to work together comes naturally to some, for others only after a personal catastrophe or natural disaster of some kind. For many problems facing us, this coming together of people is essential. We are one family and must remember our common heritage or, in time, our planet will be lost.

Added spiritual capacity and higher knowledge is the missing ingredient and enabling factor. Each of us must take personal steps to add this element to our lives and fully embrace the higher potential in all the great religions. Then the needs of the many will more easily reconcile with the needs of the few.

Serving Others
Once there was a traveler who walked the highway in search of Truth. He stopped at every town and inquired. Sometimes the answers he received appeared to be useful and at other times, they did not. Always the advice he received was targeted at his worldly life: get a job, marry and have children. Or don’t work, live in a monastery and become a recluse.

Somehow, these pieces of advice did not satisfy him, so, he kept searching. One day as luck would have it, he encountered a wise man who said, “The answer lies within.” So for many years, this traveler with the help of the wise one examined the inner world and came to see these experiences as part of the answer.

Slowly, he realized what good is spiritual knowledge if it is not incorporated into the world? So he settled down, found a job, married and raised a family. He came to see that a truly spiritual life is a life that serves others and is guided by the unseen forces. And according to Design, he found real knowledge, used this knowledge in the way it was intended and the world about him benefited.

Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff is an avid student of Sufi Mysticism and the perennial philosophy. Professionally, specializing in the healing applications of therapeutic recreation, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health treatment, Bitkoff holds a doctorate in education and has served as a faculty member for six colleges and universities. He is the author of The World of Pond Stories, Light on the Mountain, Sufism for Western Seekers, The Ferryman's Dream, and A Commuter's Guide to Enlightenment, among others.. Visit www.stewartbitkoff.com.

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