People are more and more inclined, nowadays, to give priority to the economic dimension and it seems, at first sight, that they are right to do so. It is obvious that if you haven't got enough money to pay for food and lodging things can be very complicated. But, in reality, the economy is not everything, for it depends on factors of a higher order. You might say that the economic aspect is the dead aspect: it cannot move or do anything by itself; it decide to move it from here to there and, depending on whether the decision is inspired by wisdom or by folly, the results will be totally different. When the head that decides on a move is ill, it is the economy itself that is wrecked. And then you have discontent, strikes and revolutions.
It is a pity that human beings have let themselves become so deeply immersed in matter that they forget that it is not matter that is the most important but the factors that influence it. Suppose that you have an immense amount of money and weapons and you feel very strong and secure. The only trouble is that you are also very stupid and, when someone who is more intelligent than you comes along, he can wipe you out, because he has an element at his command that is superior to everything you have. Yes, intelligence often triumphs over material means.
Every occurence on the physical plane depends on phenomena that occur on a much higher plane, on the plane of thoughts and sentiments. I remember talking, one day, to somebody who held a very high position in the political sphere in France, and he said that capital was the moving power behind society. But i replied, 'No. Just think for a moment: what moves capital from one place to another? Ideas. It is ideas that take precedence; it is ideas that control and displace capital, that fashion the world.' But human beings look no further than outward appearances.
They see only the material aspects: capital, the lack or the abundance of raw materials, etc. They fail to see that all that is controlled and organized by human intelligence and will, which are spiritual elements.
They seem to think that these are two seperate worlds. As long as men fail to see the invisible element that influences and acts on the material dimension, whether for good or for evil, they will never understand reality. The truth is that nothing of an economic, technical or industrial nature can function all by itself.
When you want to describe the human body, you use a series of plates illustrating its different system: the skeleton, the circulatory system, the muscles, the nervous system, etc. None of these plates represents the whole human being, only one aspect of the whole, and people do not realize that there are yet other systems still unknown to established science. For example, no one ever mentions the auric system with its currents of light and colour, and yet it is the auric system that controls the nervous system, just as the nervous system controls the circulatory, respiratory and other systems. Science has not yet studied every dimension of human beings.
Let's take an example from the field of medicine. One of the major landmarks in medical science was the discovery of the endocrine glands which secrete hormones. Nowadays, in fact, people believe that virtually everything depends on these glands, but this is not the case, for the fact that these glands sometimes secrete too much or too little means that they themselves are subject to other factors. Just as the endocrine glands influence the overall health of the organism, they in turn are influenced by other, subtler factors originating in a person's thoughts, emotions, soul or spirit. The day will come when medical science will study this question. It will also study the question of how the sun afflects these glands.
By attaching prime importance to the economic dimension (raw materials, capital, commercial outlets, imports and exports and so on), human beings demonstrate that they have confined their attention to the three most material systems: the skeleton, the muscles and the blood. They have not got as far as the nervous system yet - not to mention the auric system! It is understandable that, when they focus all their energies on economic growth and on getting rich, it is to the detriment of certain rules, laws and virtues which correspond to the higher systems.
This is why political leaders, who are principally concerned with the economy, are leading the whole of humanity to a state of decadence. If you are determined to be stronger and richer than your neighbour you will be obliged to do things which are not always perfectly honest. It is inevitable.
Whilst opulence is on the increase, therefore, respect for the divine laws is diminishing, and it is this that will lead to disaster for humanity. I know that people cannot accept what I am saying because they cannot see it. They are blind to the fact that to succeed on the economic level one is obliged continually to commit dishonest, criminal acts. It is the same in politics and espionage: anything goes! The excuse is that it is for the sake of one's country. Yes, but what about the other countries? When men are led to destroy moral principles it is always because their economic interests are at stake, and when you give these interests priority, all your noblest qualities are wiped out and replaced by egoism, violence and deceit and the complete absence of scruples. The economic dimension of life is certainly indispensable, I have no argument with that; but it must be kept under control and made to obey other necessities; other, higher powers. Otherwise man's highest aspirations will be trampled underfoot for the sake of a few egoists who want to be rich.
It is time men began to think about this and to understand clearly that it is the Divine World that must be given priority, and that everything else must be at its service. The fact is that human beings have mistaken the means for the end. They know that there is always a goal to be aimed at, and that there are various means for reaching that goal. What they don't see is that they are using all the most glorious faculties and talents that Heaven has given them as means in the pursuit of a terribly mundane, inglorious goal. They are ready to use their noblest qualities in order to gratify their basest appetites! They even expect the Lord Himself to aid and abet their licentousness and their folly. And are they aware of all this? Not a bit of it! They never take the time to wonder what they are like or what they are looking for. No, it takes a spiritual Master to come and question them: 'Wait, my friend: look where you're going! Straight to Hell! And the means you are using? The Lord and His Angels, science, art and religion... Yes, you are using all these things to help you along the road to Hell!'
Material, economic life is the only thing that counts for most people and they are so ignorant and underdeveloped on the higher planes, that they are constantly anxious and ill without understanding the reason. Then, of course, they put the blame on others - the neighbours, society, the government and the Lord Himself. They don't understand that their problems come from a lack in themselves, that they haven't got the ability to see things clearly nor the strength and goodwill to remedy the situation. Oh, no; it is always other people who are to blame for not having given them this or that. The truth is that, even if they were given what they demand, nothing much would change because, when someone is too stupid and inwardly limited, he is incapable of taking advantage of what is given: instead of getting better, he gets worse.
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