Just to clarify: I was being sarcastic when comparing the level of “spiritual nature” of other people. We need to be concerned about elevating our own state, regardless of whether we are high or low, rather than commenting on the state of others. Desiderata says:
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
It seems we are in the same economic class. I call myself lower middle class. Last year, my family brought in $57,000. The average in Alberta is $72,000. Life is OK for us. There is no new car or vacation in Las Vegas in our budget. But, for us, that is not important. We are a little foolish with some of our money, but there are no vices to support. We have a modest house with a mortgage we can afford to pay. But there is no money going into retirement, which kind of worries me. We are in a break-even financial position.
I make $31 an hour. I often wonder about households where the main income earner is in the $20 an hour range. Add in a vice or two, I don’t see how they can manage their money — based on my life experience. But that is mostly their challenge, not mine.
The problem I find with the concentration camp scenario is that we will not know how we will react until we get there. And I don’t want to get there to test my nature out! It is one thing to survive on a “working poor” income and maintain a high spiritual nature. It is another to be thrust into a situation where every gram of human dignity is shred from you and you still keep your faith in God or humanity or whatever.
I’m now going to repeat an anecdote I gave to someone in Medium in the past week. If it was you, accept my apology in advance.
When Jesus walked into Jerusalem, he was treated as a folk hero, with crowds in great adoration. A week later, when he was undergoing his trial and torture, he could count his friends on one hand. Statistically speaking, the chances of any of us doing the right thing at the right time is low. We have to be conscious that we probably belong to the majority, not the minority. It’s far too easy to say, when the situation is good, that we are righteous people. Until we are thrust into a bad situation, we cannot say for sure how we will react. That, to me, is the lesson from that part of the New Testament.
And I believe that people can be led to a more spiritual mindset. It is possible to be from the working poor class and be happy with life. But right now, our political structures will not provide that leadership. I find it ironical that you are trying to encourage a more positive spiritual mindset in others, yet far more people are affected by the crazy world around them. For every one you might be saving with your Medium articles, thousands are being corrupted by the current political, cultural, and materialistic forces.
We are living in a culture that does not appreciate the bettering of individuals. That culture needs to be seriously challenged. The TDG can offer that challenge. A few philosophers pontificating about human nature cannot. Good thoughts must be turned into good action.