The world is in a bit of a mess to say the least, and despite the many concerned people on the planet that are dedicated to solving our various problems, they are never eliminated - as soon as one is addressed, almost immediately, another flares up. But we are always dealing with effects. To make any progress we must address the cause of our suffering. Unless we can do this, we’ll never succeed in achieving much more than the constant application of well-intentioned but basically symbolic bandages on an ailing world. The cause is our corrupted mindset.

Instead of always looking outwards in suspicion and fear - scanning the horizon for potential threat - we must do exactly the opposite and now look inwards to where the problem lies. I make no distinctions here, for at a core level of consciousness we are all connected; every last one of us. Einstein stated that: “The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.”

Many others have said much the same thing: an incredibly diverse assembly of history’s greatest thinkers from Plato to Jesus Christ, Nietzsche, Buddha, St. Augustine, Tolstoy, Swami Muktananda, Andre Gide, Confucius, the Prophet Mohamed and even John Lennon in his quirky way. The list is as varied as it is long and I quote, in this instance, the Prophet Mohammed, who said: “The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.” But here we already run into a problem, with some perhaps finding it odious that I quote from such a controversial source. Even the word Jihad has unfortunate connotations, being equated with terrorism and the intended meaning is therefore immediately embalmed in prejudice. To its detriment, humankind remains fractured in its frequently divisive tribal associations, and in this manner then fails to realize its possibilities.

But if so many have presented us with the same message - the necessity to liberate ourselves from the self - we must therefore ask ourselves why it is being repeated so often for thousands of years. We have been aware of the problem of our ego - our false personality or sense of self - for so long yet nothing much has changed at all. Presumably many of us weren’t listening! 

Imagine if we’d been told that we’d inherited a dangerous virus and it was therefore imperative to go to a doctor who had a certain cure - there would quickly be impatient queues around the block; but if told, as Plato stated: “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories,” then how many of us are likely to do much more than shrug their shoulders and carry on with their lives in exactly the same way? You are well aware of the answer of course.

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