Changing the world versus changing yourself!

Devils' Advocate

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In this so called Reality. Well, most of the time.
The latter, of course, fall into the rare category of noticeable difference. How many people know of Adolf Hitler, and how many can say that the directly affected their lives? Not many, I would warrant

Not today perhaps. It has been 70 years! But at the time. I expect hundreds of millions were indirectly or directly affected by what this man started. Is time frame relevant to the discussion?
 

Devils' Advocate

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In this so called Reality. Well, most of the time.
Many people have the concept that being spiritual means "being in the world but not of it".
Having opinions on 'worldly matters'(and expressing them) does not make anyone less spiritual.
People who make this distinction are living in a false duality, that, in their own minds, sets them separate & above above everyone else.
Spiritual ego.

These are good words. Particularly the concept of the false duality. This concept springs, perhaps, from a lot of theology over the centuries that has espoused not to be concerned about your lot in this life as it is the next one that really matters. Which encouraged a disparate view of the here and now versus the beyond.

Whenever we speak of dualities we have to be careful. Not that they cannot exist; too often though they create an artificial barrier between opposing concepts. Here and now versus life after death, good versus evil, honest versus fraudulent. And on and on and on and on. These are all artificial place markers we use. Using them is not necessarily incorrect as they are a convenient shortcut to create a contrast that is relevant to making a point.

But they are artificial never the less. No one is completely good versus completely evil (talking humanity here). Sure there are exceptions that come very close to one end of the range, and they are the rarity. The majority of people are a sliding scale attempting to find a balance between opposing forces at which they can comfortably live with themselves.

I postulate that this is true of life itself. Assuming for a moment that there is an afterlife, from the moment we are born we have one foot in this reality and one in the next. Most of us believe we move closer to the latter as we age and my suggestion is that is also an illusion. We exist in the here and now AND in the hereafter at the same time. Whatever your version of the hereafter might be. The duality we perceive between the two is no more accurate than any other artificial duality.
 

GuruZero

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If you think you are making a difference in this world, go have a party! I simply disagree...BTW. You did not see the Buddha getting into politics or worldly matters. All politics came later...the Indian yogis, Fakirs in Islam were ALL non-political.
 

Nasruddin

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Oh, I agree!

The latter, of course, fall into the rare category of noticeable difference. How many people know of Adolf Hitler, and how many can say that the directly affected their lives? Not many, I would warrant, although he did.

And Tim Berners-Lee, I might suggest, is a reverse case, how many people know the name, and how many lives have been changed by the internet? And I don't mean by some internet miracle, simply by the fact that the internet has impacted on the world in which they live.

Every person changes the world, simply by their presence in it. (It's gotta be a quantum thing, surely?)
Indra's Net, perhaps?
 

Nasruddin

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If you think you are making a difference in this world, go have a party! I simply disagree...BTW. You did not see the Buddha getting into politics or worldly matters. All politics came later...the Indian yogis, Fakirs in Islam were ALL non-political.
I always saw the Tao Te Ching as a work that ties together the spiritual and the political. Whenever two or more are gathered, that is where politics begins to arise.
 

BigJoeNobody

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(to paraphrase the Talmud [I believe]): if you save one life, it is like you have saved the entire world. Yes, some of the Righteous had lost everything, but the people that were saved have helped others and so forth.
Not sure where it is in the Bible, The Quran confirms that Allah had sent it before though:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (5:32)
 

Thomas

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Just wanted to add to the above that the Buddha very much challenged politics and the world in which he lived.
 

GuruZero

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Just wanted to add to the above that the Buddha very much challenged politics and the world in which he lived.
Well , you can certainly say that but it will not make it so...the very idea of (Buddhist) the middle way is - in the form of "no pull", "no push" is neutral politically and in social matters. When we pull (beget, desire) or push (reject, deny) we only getting deeper and deeper into crap. For no reason or justification, I might add. If you had bothered reading my first (longer) post, even when we "solve" a situation, a new situation shall arise, yet to be solved, so you are spinning your wheels and exercise futility.
This does not mean no action, when see suffering, hunger or a situation that calls for help. When help is needed one must act, but without the belief that action is saving the world thus taking the ego out of action. When you help in secret, anonymously that is the best way.
 

A Cup Of Tea

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When you help in secret, anonymously that is the best way.
Best for what?

I think you are lumping things together. You are right that Buddha wasn't a politician and he didn't start a non-profit organisation. But he taught and acted as an example that effected those around him and this rippled through the world. The world would be very different without him or if he had acted differently. He changed the world and the politics in it.

I can spread kindness or hostility everyday though simple simple actions. Not enough to make an impact in history but for one person in one moment.
 

Nasruddin

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Best for what?

I think you are lumping things together. You are right that Buddha wasn't a politician and he didn't start a non-profit organisation. But he taught and acted as an example that effected those around him and this rippled through the world. The world would be very different without him or if he had acted differently. He changed the world and the politics in it.

I can spread kindness or hostility everyday though simple simple actions. Not enough to make an impact in history but for one person in one moment.
Historical figures impact our culture in powerful ways, that is clear, but what impact do you have? Do you see yourself as a small person in a big world? There's no telling how you have impacted the world little cup of tea, one day you may see just how influential you really are. :)
 
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