A worthwhile read in the New York Times Sunday Review: Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History.
I’d change that to “known history” but he touches on some important points. Things are, for people the world over, getting better.
The news media focuses on the lowest common denominator – an identified ego that wants to know what’s wrong and who’s to blame. Then it can feel better about itself and confirm inner fears about the world.
However, the author says “That’s because most of the time, quite rightly, we focus on things going wrong.” The “quite rightly” is where many have it wrong. It may be the author’s job to supply content to that beast of contraction but it misses the detail that what we focus on grows stronger. What we fight and worry about, we increase.
Instead, give your attention to what is right with the world. If there are challenges, focus on solutions. Focus on what we want to increase.
Not that we should ignore world events, only that they should be held in proportion.
Of course, with an identified ego it’s natural to swing back to a focus on what’s wrong. That’s where transcendence comes in. By going beyond the mind into our essential being, we taste our universal nature and begin to expand all of our capacities.
The article also mentions a new book, ironically named “Enlightenment Now.” Ironic because it is an appeal to the 18th century philosophy of rationality, the prior intellectual enlightenment rather than the current spiritual enlightenment sweeping the globe. The book argues the success of the former approach in bringing us greatly improved quality of life. I fully agree. Without fundamental security, our attention simply isn’t available for spiritual development.
Yet once we have that stable platform, it’s time to go deeper. Nothing we’ve gained from rationality will continue past our final breath. We want to seek fulfillment past our contracted individuality. That’s where we’ll find what lasts.
“I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, A little better all the time…”
– The Beatles, Getting Better