DECISIONS IN A CRISIS
THE IMPORTANCE OF INSTINCT AND SPIRITUALITY
Human history is a long and bloody process of massacres and disasters. All sorts of unfortunate things happen. Philosophers down through the ages have asked, “how can horrible things happen to good people?” and we don't have a cute, nice answer to that question. What we can say is that in the great religions of the world, there is a concept of judgment day and the world to come. So that what goes wrong here can be corrected, and there's also the issue of time, that people are here for a very short time and in the future, they are going to be around for a much longer time.
In the case of Hinduism and some versions of Buddhism, there are chains of incarnations, in which people go backwards and forwards. People follow their dharma, their role, the laws of truth and they move forward. Those who do not follow their role...they move backwards. There is a logic to life. So, this is something that can help make tragedy...probably not acceptable to the people, but there's a certain logic and a hope to this.
FAILURE OF ATHEISM
One of our themes since our founding in 1995 has been the importance of religion in politics and in general, because the idea that you're just around here for X number of years and you're going to get as much money and sex or whatever it is that you want, fame, power is not a very compelling argument. It's not, and it's not a very satisfactory view of life, particularly since on our planet things are really headed for a real turn for the worst. We are talking about a death toll in the billions, so that's not so good.
RISE OF POLITICAL CULTS
This is why we have the emergence of political cults. We can see a lot of false cults emerging, claiming to be genuine religious movements inside the major religions. We need to study these to understand how they think because they have a logic that is compelling.
Since we are talking about the Taliban, ISIS, people such as that...they correctly see that the life offered to people by American imperialism, American ideas, is a fraud. It's not going to work.
They’re not going to have the great job at Google. They're not going to have the porn star that they see on the Internet as their girlfriend. People know porn stars don't actually exist in terms of being real people, these are fictional people, but a lot of people don't understand that.
So, connected to this is the issue of Islam, of jihad, of holy war and of sacrifice. Someone can see their life here correctly as really being worth very little, and yet there is a sales pitch that they can use this life as a weapon to punish the people that they see are responsible for their unhappy fate in life and thereby gain entrance to Paradise. It is a very compelling message.
In Islam, the theological basis of this, as discussed by groups such as Hezbollah, is the argument of self sacrifice and we do not buy that argument in Islam, nor are we saying that everyone in Islam buys this argument. There's a glory of martyrdom in Islam but we do not see any theological justification for a suicide bombing, for the killing of civilians by suicide bombings. These are evils. These are not genuine moral goals, but these things are presented, and they make a certain amount of sense to people who are absolutely desperate. This is true of cults in general. I remember listening to a member of Jim Jones People’s Temple who I guess didn't go to Guiana and survived, didn't drink the Kool-Aid and so. He said “Jones you took over my life but what'd I have to lose. My life was nothing.”
NEED FOR GOALS
Here in America, we see a lot of people feel that way and it's very compelling. So in order to deal with this situation, we have to present meaningful goals in terms of what's going on and the number one goal is to prevent the destruction of the planet. People need to mobilize to stop that. There are other issues such as a country like America, which is a social justice chamber of horrors where people should work for national health insurance and issues such as that. We’re not going to get into a detailed list of what you should do politically, but there is a political dimension to all this and a political sense of purpose.
There's also the issue of how you make decisions and decisions are also connected to life direction. We do believe in God. We do believe if you're going in the right direction, you will be given enlightenment. There's a limit to where reason and in decisions you can reason your way forever, and usually don't have time to quote, “get the facts.” You have to make decisions in life on the basis of macabre guessing games and we know people suggest, perhaps meditation. We're not going to get into that in this lecture, we can only say the crude statement, that if you're going in the right direction there's a possibility, a good possibility you will be given the right decision, so you don't step on the landmine as you walk through the minefield. That is the best that we can tell you right at this moment.
Very grim times are coming. We see, very very hard to stop violent political cults from gaining ground because people have good reason to be angry at what the leaders at the top have done to them, particularly in the West and people on the receiving end of the world economic imperialism of America, such as the people not getting the vaccines because the rich countries hog them to themselves.
Of this very reason, these people tend to be filled with anger and there is a very good reason for this. People to say, “my life is worth nothing, so why not become a soldier in this war or that war, and at the same time strike back at the people who caused so much harm, strike back at the people who caused so much death, strike back at the people who are destroying the planet.” That's going to be a very compelling sales pitch, so how do we move motivated people to be more constructive without sugarcoating the fact that the world as we know it is headed for very big trouble?
In conclusion, life begins anew after tremendous catastrophes. An American G.I. once was garrisoned in a German home in World War II and the whole city and been incinerated, a definite war crime by the way, by the American Air Force. But their home still stood and one morning, when he came in for breakfast, he saw flowers in the center of the breakfast table. So, life can begin anew and does, and people rise from the ashes. How we motivate people... we don't have an exact answer. We urge other people to read this and send suggestions. Come up with ideas on your own, but this is our effort to encourage that kind of thinking in this lecture.