Turtle Talk Editorial:     The world is getting better . . .

Don’t sweat the small stuff–and it’s all small stuff, is the title of a book by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

This concept is very difficult to perceive at best when we are constantly bombarded through the media with tragedy after tragedy and horror after horror, both naturally and man-induced.

It is extremely difficult to consider as small stuff ongoing crippling accidents and fatalities, the loss of life, property, possessions, and self-esteem through domestic violence, natural disasters, or from escalating wars throughout the world. But these physically and emotionally devastating occurrences begin to pale with the discovery of who we are, why we exist, and especially in what incomparable age we are living.  As this awareness heightens the rest increasingly becomes “small stuff” in comparison.

We were shocked by a Peace Statement from the Baha’i Universal House of Justice 21 years ago which asserted that World Peace is not only possible but inevitable!  The prime decision offered to rulers of the world at that time was whether it would come through an act of consultative will or through unimaginable horrors.

Having seemingly chosen the latter after ignoring the divine formula for the former, we have been more recently urged: “O, Ye lovers of God, make firm our steps in His cause with such steadfastness that ye shall not be shaken though the direst of calamities assail the world.  By nothing, under no conditions, be ye perturbed.”  For these finite horrors are but “small stuff” in comparison with infinite peace and love.

This theory is made more clear in the Baha’i Ruhi Institute study circle (Book 1) on Life and Death, Reflections of the Life of the Spirit, which introduces thought-provoking concepts of our physical and spiritual reality. Perhaps Philosopher Depok Chopra put it most succinctly when he stated “We see ourselves as physical beings seeking spiritual experiences when it is actually just the opposite.  We are spiritual beings seeking and dominated by physical experiences.

According to the Baha’i Writings for this age “Man is in the highest degree of materiality and at the beginning of spirituality–that is to say, he is the end of imperfection and the beginning of perfection.  He is at the last degree of darkness and at the beginning of light.  That is why it has been said that the condition of man is the end of the night and the beginning of the day, meaning that he is the sum of all the degrees of imperfection and that he possesses all the degrees of perfection.”

   The deciding factor is “the dangerous weapon of free will which only exits during the comparatively infinitesimal period spent on this earthly plane, neither present in the matrix of the mother before entering here nor in the worlds to follow.  This is why the humorous lyrics to a song by one artist piqued my interest recently, “The world is getting better–but people are getting worse.”

Add to all the beauty and wonder of nature the explosion of knowledge in science, technology, and the arts, and the world is unquestionably getting better.  But with mankind’s material maturity, spiritual infancy, and dangerous weapon of free will, our present world situation is proof positive that people are getting worse.

“When man is happy, then will he forget his God” state the Baha’i Holy Writings.