By Jagabandhu das
But at the same time we might also consider that it’s as if all the world’s collective good karma has just ran out resulting in the end of the world as we know it. Maybe the end of the world as we know it would be ultimately good, although very bad at first as many people (Westerners especially) have mostly enjoyed nothing but a contrived, artificial affluence for the past sixty odd years (resulting in things like the great American obesity “epidemic’) and have grown very soft “living it up” in the lap of modern relative luxury. Subsequently, many lack the “sand”/”spine”/character/substance or fundamental human decency necessary to endure severe hardship in the way that our predecessors did when they pulled together to face the Great Depression.
In their desperation to obtain and retain life’s basic necessities people won’t have time to ponder philosophical conundrums like who gets to be a spiritual leader or what are the soul’s ultimate origins as they struggle to not starve to death (or not be murdered for what little food they do have). In the cities it will be worse. Much worse.
I remember from the 1960’s how my Ukrainian grandmother’s entire backyard in urban Edmonton was still a working vegetable garden established during the Depression, with her basement a root cellar used to preserve pickled vegetables from her own garden. Nowadays a very high majority of the population don’t even know how to prepare their own food from scratch, what to speak of growing it first. And never mind about relying on the modern wonder of refrigeration. Things might get real bad, real fast for a populace completely ill-equipped to deal with having to endure immediate severe hardship quite possibly unlike anything in our modern world history as Mother Bhumi purges all the artifice with the help of the Devas.
In the 80s, after “Hands Across America/USA for Africa,” my wife and I became very involved in feeding the poor and homeless in downtown Oakland, California/USA: doing all the collecting/cooking/serving/cleaning while living in a tiny studio apartment. We’d spend all morning at the local driver’s license bureau with our handwritten photocopied fliers raising a dollar at a time before we took our collection to buy beans and produce to take home for preparation in our ancient Saab (which eventually became an ancient Peugeot). For nearly two years we were allowed by God’s Grace to feed an average of a hundred people a night, seven days a week before Providence made other arrangements. Our good friend Gurudas eventually filmed us for a San Francisco Bay area public television special on homelessness. In the late 90s, we did a similar program in Gainesville, FL/USA. During the time the Lord allowed us to do this service we learned many things about compassion. Along with learning to respect the inherent dignity innate within all souls. Regardless of how materially down and out they might appear. As we kneeled before them serving them anand/kichuri from our five gallon buckets assuring each that they were “very welcome” as they thanked us, we could feel that in some measure their despair was relieved and their greatly diminished self-esteem restored.
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