I've enjoyed reading many comments here. Thankyou.
From where I live, I try to discern the underlying issue at the level of personal responsibility and relationships - for the nature of what is commonly held to be our human consciousness is not so different from what I see as our social and economic expressions of that consciousness.
Because I seek to speak from a different starting point, I can rarely make sense to any who presume their own self definitions and mutually agreed definitions to be self evident, but there is a difference between real wealth and money, between mutual agreements (that are generally tacit), and reality.
The myth of the Faustian pact serves well enough to illuminate that we can use deception and manipulative intent to gain a temporary experience of becoming or getting something that then cuts us off from our truth, wholeness and health - and whose seeming reality then disintegrates to reveal us hollow and without substance in the face of an overwhelming self-damnation.
But the fact is, that what is true remains always true - and is never a matter of definition, ownership or argument, but is a present discernment to which our heart surrenders and to which our mind must align. Sanity is not a matter of maintaining a private self interest at the cost of all else - even if in panic of fear, that is all that seems available to invest in. Nor is it devising a system of mutuality with the intent of balancing such fearful self manipulative intent so as to minimise the more extreme effects of coercive will - though this too is sometimes the best we can find until we calm to a deeper perspective.
A Foundations of sanity must begin with trust - for only the trusting can afford honesty.To 'trust' in deceptions is insanity no matter how many seem to share in it.
What are the real values in our intimate experience of life - and in the commonwealth of the world we share?
Are these discerned and embraced with joy and gratitude?
Or do we accept a substitute life in which we are essentially programmed by a false self interest easily manipulated even though led to believe it is independent?
The disintegration of what we thought real or a real protection, may be fearful - but at some point fear itself is realized to be an inherent aspect to the problem and a greater willingness to release old certainties or preconditions must rise.
Prayer is not so much a petition of beliefs - but a profound emptying or calming of the distractive layer of thought and emotion and experience - so as to become truly receptive - and directly so. Transformationally so.
I cannot tell you what it is to be restored to a wholeness of being - for it is not available outside the willingness that allows it. But I do say that such a willingness becomes the basis of an entirely different perspective because it is alive and awake prior to any machinations of a thinking, defining and judging mind - such as has become the currency of a 'reality' by which we deceive ourselves.
The nothing-ing of what we thought was in our power or possession is a great opportunity to awaken at a depth that before was unavailable - because we successfully insulate our awareness from our real relational being.
What cannot be allowed gracefully, will nonetheless be accepted ultimately - if it is simply true.
The entire basis of our thinking is being brought to view on the big screen. Not to judge or hate or rebrand in less toxic appearance - but to recognize ourselves in and become free of an ignorance and available to what is actually here.
Are confidence tricksters the guides for living? A wholehearted commitment to life cannot come from such a mentality. But don't pretend it is only in the those who exemplify it in the script of the world.
Maslow's pyramid must stand on its head - not for others - but for oneself. Cultural renewal does not come from incremental additions to man's estate - but discerning and following the call of life now. Always now. Then let all else be done within and out from such a relational connectedness. It is not religion in the sense of making and asserting an identity for oneself - but more in the spirit of uncovering a shared meaning in our relationships. We will see a different world from such a willingness and acceptance.
Beware the seductive attraction of conflict. It offers a cheap thrill that dopes its victim for the slaughterhouse. Watch the mind that thinks to 'watch the world in private'. The art of self deception is in pretending not to know. When this is fuelled by great fear its demands are ever more cunningly fulfilled - as a maze of un-understandable complexity. But it is the wish NOT to know that underpins the whole enterprise.
Whatever the world does or seems to be - our own experience is determined by the structure of our values, beliefs and commitments. If we are lost in a 'bubble' of an inflated self, then we can only miss the point and know not what we do