Great change is taking place on planet Earth today. It is not always clear whether it is for good or ill, and change is usually that way: messy and argumentative; violent and yet idealistic. Those who are "seers" and see the change and understand its meaning or at least its application to them, and who then act boldly and decisively, are the ones who can "profit" by change in as many ways that "profit" can suggest: material, emotional, or spiritual.
Ananda's worldwide network of communities has been blessed by the wisdom of Swami Kriyananda, direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, the world renown yoga master and author of "Autobiography of a Yogi." Kriyananda has consistently kept alive Yogananda's prophesy (Yogananda died in 1952) that great changes were coming. He didn't mean in 1,000 years: he meant in the coming decades.
Hence the work of Ananda has been long been attuned and accepting (and preparing) for such great changes. We are not speaking here of "the end times." Rather, a period of turbulence that would make way for a new level of expanded consciousness that has a worldview such as we have never new existed in our current understanding of history.
Millions already posses this new awareness. It is characterized by many attributes, both positive and negative. But it has hardly become the lifestyle and attitude of even half the world's population and even less of the leaders of countries and institutions, including (and perhaps especially) religious institutions. Some of these attributes include the simple calm acceptance of a world that is interconnected and interdependent. This can be seen as an ecological creed, a pyschological creed, an economic creed, or a spiritual creed.
Some, according to their own level of consciousness, seek to exploit this view while others seek to serve a greater good through this point of view. But it is far from a global point of view.
In the meantime the old way, the way of conquest and competition, is enlivened by the technologies of war, of the production of fiat money, agricultural and industrial oil-based production, dictatorship, and religious hierarchy. But we are fast running out of options as we deplete natural resources whose ripe and fertile abundance made us drunk with our own power. The music may stop and many will, and already are, left standing holding only mountains of debt and worthless pieces of script.
We, today, the generations of baby-boomers can scarcely imagine either the destructive forces of change that are descending upon us, or the way of life that will emerge in the future. But some around the world are envisioning a world that reflects the popular bumper sticker: "think globally; act locally." In order to regain our "center" (having expanded perhaps too rapidly around the globe in every directiion), we will have to learn to live more simply and more harmoniously. It's really as basic as that.
How ironic that the power of the twin forces of democracy and capitalism are now challenged by a nation with a top-down government and economy! Neither, in their extreme, can survive very long. The watchword of success and happiness into the future lies with individual initiative. But large institutions of all types will fight to the death to preserve the privilage and wealth of the few over the many. Nor is success in terms of any mythical egalitarianism any where near in sight, now or in the forseeable future. As always, it will be an ebb and a flow. Still the trend and direction of consciousness is clear.
A dynamic tension is always what produces both the best and worst in people: whether in war, in business, or in spirituality (wherein the "devil" assaults the "saint"). This world functions on the basis of the mainspring of opposites who are locked in competition and combat.
Nonetheless like the great ocean that contains both violent storms and large areas of stillness, the unceasing ebb and flow goes on. At the same time a cycle brings new forms and directions to the ebb and flow, for this is never static or esle we'd discover too easily it's secret.
Build for yourself a castle of protection in the fortress of God's unconquerable Bliss. Through daily meditation reestablish your divinity and your true, eternal security. Armed and protected therein, stride into daily life in harmony with others of like mind to form communities, actual or virtual, peaceful warriors creating a new way of life: close to the earth while reaching for the heavens. Grow food, buy land outside the cities, get out of debt, develop new and practical skills and help others as you continuously seek the Divine presence in the temple of silence and in the temple of activity.
God alone, all is flux.
Blessings, Nayaswami Hriman