After all, a world where a tiny virus weighing a microgram can upset the world economy in a few weeks is either inhabited by a very, very clever virus…or then is really inhabited by an extremely strange group of people.
So now that the tsunami is on us, we need to ask: OK, what now? Have we started learning the lesson?
Major economic interest groups in our societies are already speaking of when the growth will pick up again. It is sad to say but it has to be stated clearly: they are the blind leading the blind of which a great avatar spoke 2000 years ago.
The same Jesus also spoke against material accumulation, and the abundance to which he alluded to in his teaching referred to the inner wealth we each already have in us. In other words, we simply need to discover what he called the Kingdom of Heaven, i.e., that infinite abundance of good – of peace, of joy, of healing abilities, of forgiveness and generosity, of strength and so many other qualities – we already possess as daughters and sons of the Divine, of the Source.
This is not theory. Simple living today is a demand made upon many of us on the spiritual path. Personally, I have been living it for many years. I only had a second-hand Mini Morris for 18 months when in my twenties and have been a joyful cyclist for 75 years. I have never ever owned a television and consider myself very well informed on world affairs. I have been an ultra-modest consumer for my whole life, and it has enabled me to use my money in ways I considered more useful and which brought me much greater joy. As a matter of fact, simple living is the demand on any world citizen in a world where half the population lives on less than $2.50 a day and 24,000 people (of which 8,500 are children), die of hunger every day.
Compare this with the Covid statistics which have us trembling simply because we readers of this blog are probably not even remotely menaced by hunger, albeit there are far fewer people dying of the virus than those dying of hunger.
If I do not follow my personal rule of not normally mentioning myself in this blog it is simply because for me simple living has been such a source of peace and joy for well over 60 years. One of the very first spiritual callings made upon anyone on a spiritual quest is not e.g. “Do you closely follow your teacher’s advice” but “Are you in your lifestyle a good world citizen?”
That is a highly spiritual question.
Let us live it.
A Blessing for Simplicity
In the whirl and swirl of our modern world, I bless myself in my ability to step aside, stop, and enjoy the greatest gift of all: the infinite simplicity and riches of Your Presence.
May I learn to prune my life of all its useless trappings and activities and simplify it down to its essentials, that I may have the time, energy and desire to hold on to what really matters: listening to You and serving my neighbor who also happens to be myself in disguise.
May I drop the hectic and impossible challenge of keeping up with the Joneses, the latest news, the latest book “I just must read,” and the latest fashion of this or that. May they just fall by their own weight, and may I stand in the simple elegance of one who has discovered the fundamental truth that the “Kingdom of God” is simply that place of sublime beauty inside us where there never entered a single unessential presence or thought, where reigns but the feeling of God happening within.
I bless my fellow humans that they may discover the healing peace of uncluttered lives, the healing simplicity of an existence guided by one single and only desire: to love more, to serve more faithfully and hence to rejoice more constantly.
Image – Jay Kuda – unsplash