In his honest and eloquently written book, Earth in the Balance, Al Gore, [former] vice-president of the United States makes an interesting observation:
“The more deeply I search for the roots of the global environmental crisis, the more I am convinced that it is an outer manifestation of an inner crisis that is, for lack of a better word, spiritual…
“Looking for a map to guide me on this journey, I reluctantly concluded that I had to look inside myself and confront some difficult and painful questions about what I am really seeking in my own life and why.”
During my time in the United States I met many people who felt empty, lonely, and lost. One man described the emptiness as a dark shadow encircling his heart with a vice-like grip, strangling all the joy out of it. This dark shadow contained fear, shame, grief, anger, bitterness, guilt, worry, jealousy, feelings of violence and self-hate.
Most of us have a similar shadow, but have hidden it from others so that we will be seen as ‘good’.
But every now and then the dark side rattles the prison bars inside us until the loneliness of emptiness closes in. Then we become voracious consumers trying to fill ourselves up, raping and pillaging and plundering the earth’s rich resources and leaving huge wastelands in the wake of our greed.
Our emptiness creates a belief in scarcity and lack which forces us into competition with each other for ‘limited’ resources. In an abundant world we are starving…for love, self-love.
The way to find this love is to go inside and release our dark side from the prison we have put it in. By going within and allowing each fear and negative to come to the surface so we may ask what it has to teach us about ourselves and how we need to change for our highest good, and the highest good of the planet we are lucky to live on, we gradually integrate this dark side and become whole.
A developing sense of wholeness creates inner power – the sort of power that attracts everything that one needs for continued growth. The drive to compete diminishes as we develop more faith and trust in our own ability to create what it is we need.
As we discover more about who we are and live it, the natural inclination is to share our talents and skills and wisdom to empower others. From this arises a co-operative spirit that works for the highest good of all.
Rather than striving to be like everyone else, we are free to become the unique individual who has always been there, waiting for our own acceptance to flower before our eyes. And then we can celebrate our differences because we will feel secure about who we are.
Our present society says: “What can I take to fill up the emptiness I feel inside?”
A society based on personal wholeness and inner power says: What can I share from my feelings of fullness and inner wealth that will serve the highest good of all?”
When we can live like this, each one of us will be enriched many times over, and abundance will become a permanent feature in our lives.
First published in the Ballarat News, July 19, 1995