We live in a world order that seems to have come to us out of prehistory. It's in the air we breathe - along with a lot of other stuff that's been produced by it. It's the motivational structure behind what most people do, most of the time. It's a world order that's all about position, power, and possessions. It's been responsible for most of the achievements, discoveries, and inventions throughout human history. But it's a recipe for resentment, aggression, and conflict. It's a zero sum mindset - those who want more have to take from others, who end up with less.
An old friend from college, Ed Brenegar, recently visited for part of a day, on a pilgrimage to see several east coast friends before he moves soon from Asheville, NC to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We sat and talked for hours about philosophy, life, and the spirit. We reflected on this old world order of position, power, and possessions that's beginning to look spiritually threadbare and not merely problematic, but actually self destructive over the long run. And we ruminated on what would be a better alternative - a spiritual vision of creativity, contribution, and service where our aspirations are guided more by love and compassion than by lust and acquisition. We wondered together if we're in a time of transition from one to the other, or whether a better world order of care and concern is just a dream.
What motivates you? Is it just a desire for position, power, or possessions? Or is it something more, something deeper and more lasting? There is something better for us, something calling out to us that will not at all diminish our drive to create and improve, but will put it onto better foundations. There is, of course, nothing wrong with position, power, and possessions. They're all great things, if used well. But they should never be the sole motivating forces in our lives, or the metrics by which we measure value. There is, indeed, something more.