Letter of the Month | January 2020
The question we need to ask ourselves – to a colleague
The 64 questions we were asked to answer, and in some cases explain our answers, certainly focused the mind. For me it raised the question of personal responsibility. Certain kinds of expression may become symbolic and inspirational but they so easily place responsibility outside self. The fact is that in the affluent West if we draw breathe we are part of the problem. What are we really prepared to give up? We avoid that uncomfortable question for as long as we are pointing fingers. Raising awareness is a first step but alone it is not enough, not nearly enough.
This prompted an email to a colleague.
In December the Greenpeace organisation asked its members to participate in a very long and detailed survey on the responses we members want to see made in view of climate change.
Spiritually this needs to be made into the time of the individual. We are accustomed to the practice of using individuality – because the human soul is none other than the seat our individuality – to ask for salvation for ourselves; now we have to learn to use it to a different kind of salvation, and with this role we will grow up into spiritual adulthood.
There is such hope in this autonomy. It does not need to wait for others, for permission or for legislation. It takes personal responsibility for what we are all a part of and feels capable of doing something that will make our own lifestyles, our time, our opportunities and our households all places which are managed with intelligence, awareness and love.
Raising awareness in a general public is one aspect and a very important aspect, but we need activity also, a next step for those who have awareness but don’t know what to do because we are accustomed to feeling small and powerless in our complex societies.
We are all consumers, including those attending demonstrations and pointing fingers at major corporate transgressors. And what happens when the ranting and righteous anger stops? Do we simply get back into cars, buy a package of plastic wrapped sandwiches, open a can of drink and get on our phones. Job done, do we go back to being 21st Century consumers because that is what we are and know no other way of being. We have to work with and through this condition not go around it or leave it out of the equation. Pointing fingers at others does not achieve that; walking our talk might.
I observe that this is where we need we help.
Consumption quotas set by reliable environmentally focused organisations (not the utility suppliers themselves who, after all, have a product to sell), and guidelines to follow for the reduction of water, gas and electricity, household waste and plastics could bring on stream practical savings in UK households and make participation in helping or planet a reality.
As a counsellor I know that very many children are distressed by the invidious blend of anxiety and inaction that is delivering such a negative message within their own homes; as an esotericist I understand that when three things come together something happens. Thus each household could be encouraged to focus on making targeted reductions in three specific areas.
Children are a huge untapped resource because they take an interest in such targets and so many UK homes are now fitted with Smart meters. We might as well make them work for us. The cost of installing them must be eye-watering.
What other kind of response can awareness give, if it is not to try and prepare for what we perceive present trends are leading us into lead us to? In many ways, how successful we are in anticipating this and organising ourselves, is less important than that we demonstrate a commitment to living with awareness and to opening, if only a crack, the door through which future generations will pass with greater awareness and competence. And as we stand on the brink of a new era, facing much that is unknown, uncertain and unfamiliar, let us not forget that it is through the quality of our intent, not our achievements, that Man serves consciousness, but we must be prepared to walk our talk. Miss that step and we are simply striking fashionable poses, playing games with ourselves and wasting time.
Very best wishes
LETTER OF THE MONTH