One of the concerning side-effects of the current issue of the day, is the division it creates. People are polarised around this, particularly in two ways:
- The nature of the issue (what it actually is, how serious it is, and how accurate the reporting of information and around it is)
- How individuals and governments should respond to it
This polarisation is increasingly how the world responds to the big issues we face, be they in politics, health or spirituality.
You’ll have noticed that I’ve not specified the issue I’m referring to here. I could specify an issue, but it would apply equally as well to whatever the next issue of the day is.
This polarisation is a perennial problem.
Instead of a continuum of stances, there is a grouping at either end of a spectrum. Issues become a choice of ‘This’ or ‘That’, with nothing between.
Polarisation is a human thing.
But the the natural world is not like this. Turning a continuum into a polarity is an activity of the mind which humans excel in. For example:
- “It’s as clear as night and day” – but when does ‘day’ end and ‘night’ begin? There are 86,400 seconds in a day so which one indicates the changeover?
- “It’s a black and white issue” – but there are countless degrees of grey between these two. Even defining ‘white’ isn’t easy, as you’ll know if you’ve ever been to a paint shop and asked for a tin of white paint.
Because there’s so much information out there; its easier to take a stance in a simple A or B decision. It’s a time-efficient way of coming to terms with complex things, and I do it myself sometimes.
Taking the considerable time required to study and come to your own conclusion on all every issue isn’t a practical option – there are simply too many. It would be a full time job to do the research. And so we simplify.
It’s also easier to understand who you agree and disagree with if you simplify the arguments of others. It’s easier to determine who’s right and wrong if it’s a ‘This’ or ‘That’ decision.
Unfortunately, this polarisation doesn’t seem to wane in a hurry either. Each group becomes more entrenched in their position and more convinced they are right and the other end is wrong. If it does wane on one particular issue, then along comes another issue and it starts back up again.
This over-simplification, and desire to determine who’s right or wrong, also brings a more serious problem.
Divide and conquer.
It’s a maxim that has been around since Greek and Roman times. It’s still a classic strategy in political, military and indeed in any other field where one party wants to gain power over others.
It has stood the test of time because it works.
Divided forces can be more easily overcome. And conversely, a unified force is more powerful than one split down the middle by disagreement.
Division is the great distraction in our times.
There are dark forces at work in the world behind the scenes. There always have been. They succeed when humanity is divided.
If we were able to unite the whole human race and cooperate, then we would be far better positioned to deal with the challenges we face. But in a world so divided is that even a possibility?
While we obsess over our differences and attack those who don’t share the same view as us, the outlook isn’t promising.
But there are small steps we can all take to begin this journey towards unity, cooperation and a better world for everyone.
There is one thing in particular that is not only helpful but essential to our success.
It is something that has been available to us throughout our history and will be there throughout our future. It’s never been adopted to its fullest extent by the human race, but one day it must be.
I believe that regardless of the challenges we face, and no matter how overwhelming they may appear, there is always a way forward that can be found when we adopt a simple strategy for change.
The power of prayer
Mahatma Gandhi famously described prayer as:
‘”…the most potent instrument of action.”
Prayer is not about the archaic idea of a request to an old man on a cloud in heaven, who decides on a whim whether to grant it or not. Prayer is a powerful way that we can forge our own future from the challenges we encounter by rising above them.
The beauty of prayer is that it is available to all, regardless of the religion you belong to, how much money you have, what colour your skin is, and so on.
The church I belong to, The Aetherius Society, runs online world healing prayer services. These are broadcast almost every day from our centres around the world.
If you’re not already involved in spiritual activity to send love out into the world, then I encourage you to investigate them. To participate in many of these services, you need nothing more than an internet connection and a curiosity to experience it for yourself.