Public Comment

Mindfulness, Survival of Humans, and Our Deficiencies

Jack Bragen
Friday May 31, 2019 - 10:12:00 AM

Learning to have a better quality of consciousness is a great aspiration. Doing this adds to the collective level of consciousness on our planet and contributes toward the possible survival of life on Earth. If we lacked mindfulness on our planet, and if we lacked other disciplines to improve the mind, such as psychology, people would be stuck in primitive, archaic and violent patterns, even more so than we are now, and we would not have made it this far without destroying ourselves. 

When embarking on the pursuit of meditation, environment makes a massive difference. People can not pursue meditation when there is an onslaught of aggression toward them. When people are excessively in one's face, when they won't allow a person to have somewhat of a peaceful environment, when they are manipulative, deceitful and sabotaging, it is extremely difficult to attempt mindfulness. 

Zen temples, and other places of meditation and/or spiritual practices, are meant to be peaceful places. Being in a peaceful place is good for you. If you are a soldier, you can't follow the ethic of non-killing. If you are incarcerated, fellow internees will force you to defend yourself. 

In some contexts, meditation practices simply won't help you. In other situations, meditation isn't practicable because people won't let you exist in peace. 

Tibet has been under Chinese occupation for numerous decades. According to a simple web search, more than a million Tibetans have been killed. The Dalai Lama is from Tibet and is an amazing leader of Tibetan Buddhists. He exiled himself from Tibet a very long time ago and can't go back. China has committed atrocities against meditation practitioners and others. Mindfulness, at least on the physical plane, doesn't fix that. 

Evil people, evil corporations and evil governments would like it if no one was permitted to live in peace and raise their consciousness. They feel a need to dominate everyone. When under such rulers, you can't meditate. 

On the other hand, mindfulness is collectively, absolutely needed if the human species is to survive the next few centuries. 

Albert Einstein was a "militant pacifist" until it became apparent that the Nazis were trying to develop an atomic bomb. Apparently, when he discovered Relativity, he had no concept that a bomb could be made with Uranium, with the physics that he had discovered in his mind. He contacted the President, and the Manhattan Project followed. 

Peaceful people have not found a good way to fend off predatory people. Predatory people aren't interested in helping anyone but themselves, and we don't have a good way of changing them. 

The human species is in a difficult predicament because of our human nature, because of advances in technology, and because human consciousness hasn't evolved enough to allow peaceful coexistence. Mindfulness will be an essential part of the solution. There are, however, some very big missing pieces to any possible solutions to the multiple threats to our continued survival. 

Any ideas? 

Jack Bragen is author of "An Offering of Power: Valuable, Unusual Meditation Methods."