“Spiritual traditions of the East understand the individual movements of consciousness very well, and that is what they emphasize. Living in the world produces an individual identity (ego) superimposed upon the cosmic God-consciousness. This is the ignorance that obscures the wisdom of oneness.
Easterners believe that through many incarnations, the ego identity gives way to God-consciousness, and knowing that one is God,one is liberated from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Hence the adage from this point of view: you cannot change the world, you can only change yourself. Whatever change the world undergoes will come through these individual changes.
But in the West, the belief in only one life has undermined the drive for self-realization and transformation. Instead, the emphasis has been on ethics: following certain rules of behavior to bring oneself in alignment with God. Even under the aegis of materialism, the West has developed a social consciousness in which there clearly is some imperative for social ethics:
There is only one life and it is too short
Let’s work together and improve our lot.
So today we also have activists who try to change the world, but often have no spiritual notion of changing themselves. Can we see the necessity of both trends and integrate them?”
Amit Goswami, in “God is Not Dead”
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Jeff Maziarek, author of Spirituality Simplified and Codi’s Journey, launched Pondercentral.com in April 2007 as a Web-based forum for “PONDER on THIS,” a series of weekday inspirational email messages he began sending to subscribers in March 1999. A FREE service since its inception, “PONDER on THIS” provides subscribers with meaningful content to assist them on their individual paths of spiritual growth. In addition, it benefits subscribers, authors, and publishers by including links to Amazon.com where subscribers can learn more about the book being quoted, and also purchase it.