Beloved Guruji, I am concerned about our world, the nature, our life and the lives of our children as pollution and destruction is happening more and more. What can we do? Can you share from your wisdom how we can sustain this world?
Guruji Sri Vast:
“What a wonderful world! We want to sustain something, that is this wonderful world. What is sustainable, to sustain? We are living in a world and we are part of this eco system, it is like a family. And how we are sustaining this life, the whole system, how are supporting each other... there is a pot and you have some cookies and we keep on taking these cookies, how long can we take, until it is empty? Then we eat alone or do we like to keep something for the coming generations? How to maintain it all?
Comparing with twenty years back we are more aware and knowledged of the personal impact, of global warming, fertilizers, pollution and recycling. But at the same time the impact is higher now than twenty years back. How is it possible and why? Why? This means that there is an imbalance, some kind of gap. Somewhere the link is missing.
We create a bigger ecological footprint than twenty years back. When we talk about the environment or sustainable development we are aware of the crisis, what is wrong, what is not functioning, where the pollution is, what the mistake is. But we are not aware of what is beautiful. When we say sustaining – we are not talking about what there is to sustain.We are talking about what is not functioning – what a wonderful world! Since we are not able to see what the wonderful world is, we don’t have the comparison. We become more combating and argumenting in what way this is not beautiful, things are not functioning.
But the reality is full of pollution, pain, so much suffering, Guruji, what can we do?
Guruji Sri Vast:
There is pollution, crisis, abuse, there is this and that… Yes, but are these the only things that are happening? Do we talk about the flower that is blooming? When the flowers are dying, we scream ”They are all dying!” But when the flower is available, can we enjoy it? Suddenly if they say the moon is not going to come back, we scream. But the moon is available right now, but we don’t see it. We don’t see the beauty what is existing, but we scream when something is happening to the beauty, as if we are celebrating what is there. For me, this is the link what we are missing. In the name of sustainability, in the name of sustaining this world, in the name of environment, we become more negative argumenting . And everyone is talking in what way I am pitiable. But do we know the wonder of the world? Everyone is trying to find the solution to the problem – six billion people, six billion solutions. One who is able to convince his solution to many people, becomes a leader. And yesterday’s solution is today’s problem. And today’s solution is tomorrow’s problems. In that case, the world is nothing but a problem. If this world is nothing but a problem, are we talking about sustainability? If this life is suffering, what is the use of sustaining this life? What is the use of sustaining this planet? Let it go, it is fine. At least after twenty generations there won’t be any planet, there won’t be any suffering. That means we did our job: I welcome any company which is polluting, because anyhow we are helping to finish the game, since the life is anyhow suffering.
And we are very good people, not sadists, we don’t want to see anyone suffering. We are all complaining about this world, about this life form, the planet and what is happening, but still we are afraid of death: “ Can I push you?” “ no, no, no, no!” ‘Why? Life is not functioning.” “No, no, no, I like to live.” “For what?” That means we like something. What is that?
I don’t think we see us here living, to fix the problem. Take one full day and say how many hours you are involved to fix the problem of this life? That means we are here to live, that means something is attracting you to be alive. If the life is so problematic we wouldn't be here:
You go to a restaurant and don’t like the chef, don’t like the music, don’t like the food.Then you don’t have any reason to be there, you are out, looking for another café, another restaurant. But if you are still sitting there, that means that there is something is there that you like. And what is that? What is the clay to which you are sticking in this life? What makes us to be here in this life form? Unconsciously we are enjoying this life, and consciously we are struggling. Consciously we are suffering, unconsciously we are celebrating this life. There is something which makes us to be alive, to be part of this system, to be part of this whole. What a wonderful world!
I recognize the beauty in your words, beloved Guruji. What can I do as an individual living in an industrialized country, so that I don’t have to expect others to change?
Guruji Sri Vast:
The more we become aware of the beauty, the joy comes. The more we become thankful we start to appreciate what is there. When I am enjoying the flower, the trees and all the beings there, there’s a connection between the existence and me, between the planet and me, between what is happening around me. But when I am not enjoying, when I am not participating, when I am not celebrating this life… my ecological footprint is high, my impact is so high. When we talk about sustainability we are talking in a way about consumption, people are consuming. Every organization, every ecological movement is talking about how to reduce the consumption. We also blame the western society, which consumes. We have a comparison – America consumes this much, Europe consumes this much, Japan consumes this much and other countries consume like this, and this… And we want all these western societies to consume less, don´t we? We want everyone to reduce the consumption. So everyone is telling you that you are doing something wrong, you have to stop, you have to reduce your consumption. My question is: who is consuming?
Something is making you consume. For me the consumption of a person is not the problem, it’s a sympto something that is lacking there. Something is missing and this person tries to fulfill this gap by replacing it with some materials. A person who wants to buy a car does not just want to buy a car. He is trying to replace something , he is missing something. He believes "If I buy the car, that gap will be gone."
And the whole politics, the whole environmental activism is talking about how to reduce the consumption, or change the mode of consumption: I buy rice, previously chemically produced, now I have become ecologically friendly, and buy ecologically produced rice. I have a nice house, curtains, carpets, different fittings. Previously I just bought it, now I am aware and conscious, now they are ecologically produced curtains. My air conditioner runs ecologically and my car is with solar power…
Two things: One is reducing the consumption, the other one is we are talking about changing the mode of consumption. Whether you consume ecologically or not, for me it is consumption. It is good, it is a better consumption, you become a better consumer. We are changing the colour of our consumption. That is good in a way. But something is making us consume more, day by day. We consume and we question how to take care of the impact of our consumption, our lifestyle – and that itself is a big impact.
The truth is, the more we become eco-friendly in the west, we don’t reduce the amount we consume, we only started to change the colour of our consumption. I can see there is more recycling or we talk about waste management, but I also see that those things are dumped into some other country: When a guest comes, what do we do? We take all the things from the living room and we dump them into the bedroom. And we make sure the guests are not coming to the bedroom. And we feel good when they say it is so clean. Yes it is clean, but don’t go to the bedroom. And we made our western countries as very nicely fixed living rooms. We have made these dumped bedrooms in so many developing countries.
We know about all the bad things happening, and still we don’t change. Why is it like this?
Guruji Sri Vast:
Something is missing. We become more aware… but still there is no transformation. Why? We become aware of the problem instead of the beauty in life. When a person becomes more aware of the beauty of this life he is able to connect to himself: “Wow! There’s a flower, and this flower is just blooming for me! What a possibility, what an opportunity! What a lucky person I am! I have come all the way and I am able to see this flower!” And there’s something happening in between this flower and this person. This flower is not happening accidentally on the road, but this flower becomes part of your life. The more and more a person becomes happy, the need for consumption is reduced. If a person is happy, you can’t sell anything to this person, can you? You can´t sell anything to a happy person, you can’t control the happiest person.
“I can buy you a car, will that make you happy”? He’ll say: “No, I am already happy. I don’t need to have a car to be happy.” “Maybe I can pay you a travel to be happy?” And he’ll say: “No, I don’t need travelling to be happy. I am happy within myself. I am independently happy. My happiness is not based on what is happening around me – what I have or what I do not have.I am happy within myself. I am blissed myself”. Can you control this person? When a person becomes happy, you can’t control the person, you can’t sell anything to this person.
Why is the society still functioning? Because we are more negative about the life. That is the only reason why the economic system functions the way it functions now. The more and more you become positive and satisfied with the life, this system will collapse. The only way to make this system stop functioning in this way, is to become independently happy: Your cell phone is not functioning: “Yeah, the cell phone is not functioning, but I am functioning. I am not the cell phone, it is not changing my function. I am happy with myself, what a wonderful world!