Dancing With The Dead: The Fall Of Civilization And The Return Of Life
What have we done with the world? With our civilization, we have sought to make the permanent out of the impermanent, the eternal out of the temporary. We have eternity in our hearts, but we don’t understand that this world is not eternal and cannot be a firm foundation for our hopes. Bodies and other physical things are, by their nature, changeable and temporary. How could they, then, be forms worthy to house eternal beings? Bodies will never be suitable homes for us to live in, eternally. In a body, we can learn that we don’t need a body to live. However, if we place our hopes in a physical body as an eternal home for our spirit, we will always be disappointed with our body, and we might even attack our body for not being what we want it to be.
In order to make this world more orderly and less frightening, we have done many things. We have made buildings of uniform temperature and size, and we have made highways with smooth, even surfaces and with few unexpected twists and turns. We have paved the world with flat, uniform surfaces because we are afraid of the unusual and unexpected. In our civilization, we have made the world as we want it to be, and we simply cannot see or perceive anything else. We collect the books, music, and movies that reinforce our view of the world. Our books tell us only what we want to know. Our music makes us feel only how we want to feel.
Civilization is not decaying. It is dead. Something that is decaying still has life and can be used as nourishment for another type of organism. Civilization is dead because it is frozen in one type of thinking. It is a closed loop in which few challenges to the expected norms can enter.
Why have we made this kind of civilization? It is because we are afraid of change. According to A Course in Miracles, we are afraid of change because the first change we experienced was the change from oneness, love, joy, and knowledge, to a state in which we are without these things. We don’t realize that another change is needed to help us return to our original state of joy, love, knowledge, oneness, and peace. Creation is currently shattered, separated out into isolated bodies and objects. We make our environment uniform so that we won’t be so afraid of it and so it will resemble the oneness that we lost. However, when we try to make physical things uniform and permanent, we only temporarily delay the change that is in their nature. Our spirits are indestructible and eternally secure, so we don’t need to worry about them. Our bodies are impermanent and changeable, so we don’t need to worry about them, either. We don’t need to worry about anything.
The following quotation is from a book of prophecy called Jeremiah.
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.”
(Jeremiah 2:13, NASB)
What is life? Our spirit already has eternal life. Our body does not have any life of its own. It is merely a vehicle for the spirit, and it will disintegrate when the spirit leaves it. What does the quotation above mean? God says that we have made two mistakes. We have abandoned God, who gives us life (who is a “fountain of living waters”), and we have made containers for ourselves that cannot hold or contain or preserve life. I think that God is saying that we cannot find or preserve life with our dead civilization. God must inspire us with his thoughts each moment if we are to have real life. His thoughts teach us what is real and worthy and what is unreal and unworthy of a spiritual creation of God. Bodies and buildings are not worthy houses for unlimited, free spirits. However, because we have made the mistake of thinking we can find eternity in a changeable world, we think that we can preserve our spontaneous ideas and thoughts in a book and call those frozen thoughts knowledge. We think that we can preserve our spontaneous joy in a music file. And we think that we can buy and sell our knowledge and joy. However, knowledge and joy are our inheritance, and not something that can be bought and sold and preserved in physical objects. Our physical objects cannot hold spontaneous life (or “living water”). They can only limit life.
When we realize that our spirits are eternally secure, we won’t put our trust in crumbling bodies and we won’t try to preserve knowledge and joy in material objects. Instead, we will look to God for continuous inspiration and life. Our happiness will come from the assurance that once we learn that all of our mistakes cannot permanently keep us in a state of separation from God or each other, and that we don’t need to feel guilt or fear for our mistakes, we will be free to let God take the final step of lifting us up out of this temporary world into eternity.
Before we all return to eternity, however, we will have the opportunity to prepare and purify our minds in a world that civilization cannot touch, a world in which fear of change does not disturb the happiness and love we feel for each other, a world in which the spirits, temporarily using bodies, interact with each other in freedom and harmony.