Some things in life we may consider worth dying for. Our techno-centric societies in the developed world have empowered us, we feel, with unprecedented treasures of an advanced civilisation. Let nothing ever endanger our precious gems of human progress.
Just to defend such glories, we might even think to kill, in this way preserving our clever societies for the benefit of future generations. We shouldn’t lose our goodies to inimical tribes and nations. Another main motivator for an armed response is gratitude, indebtedness, for all the well-being and conveniences we’re sure our world delivers.
Just think and drool over the juicy advantages. Never before has life been easier, more effortless. Advertising shapes and shoves us 24/7, from every possible angle, avenue. Consumer products in limitless, ever-changing array offer so much to choose, make our very own, and then discard, for ever newer versions. Hypersocial media fills whatever few quiet moments remain in our life—how can we dare live without it?
What’s more, we can vote in democracies manoeuvred by multinational corporations and stupendously wealthy elites; we can share in global technological might that has become a geophysical force, altering nature on a scale never seen before.
Elbowing and bulldozing to achieve our self- created material burden of hot-blooded goals, we blind our eyes to nature. Future generations, we hope, will handle the ecological havoc. But who now can escape the omnipresent threat of nuclear war?
The yoga texts disagree that we currently have a genuine human civilisation. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna spells out the sociological reality: “What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.” (2.69)
The premiere yoga scholar and exemplar of the Gita, Srila Prabhupada, elaborates in his commentary to this verse:
“There are two classes of intelligent men. One is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the ‘night’ of materialistic men.
Yes, another level of life is attainable—it’s not airy-fairy, like horse eggs or flowers in the sky. Disconnected from comprehensive spiritual science, we forget that we don’t have to live and slave as fools. The real heroes in society are the authentically spiritual yogis and sages. But where are they?
The Gita commentary continues, widening our vision: “The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the person in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. Introspective persons are always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. They go on with their self-realization activities undisturbed by material reactions.”
These two dissimilar classes of humans will certainly champion contrasting versions of society. Where has the so-called normal day and night of today’s misled, bewildered humanity brought us? And who are the sages, the self-controlled, the enlightened, desperately needed to guide us?
THE NUKES SHALL SET YOU FREE
As a school child in New York, back in the fifties, I dutifully sucked up the standard version of American social gospel: “Most of the freedoms our great nation enjoys today are because we have nuclear weapons.” Certainly back then, no school teacher urged me to question: Freedom to do what, under whom, and for whom?
Even now, how many public educators dare to doubt the imaginary, hallucinogenic choices a rigged, materialistic society imposes on both its young and old?
Anyway, the common assumption is that for the security of cultured humanity, a few sober nations—not the rogue ones—do need to stockpile the delicacies, the nukes.
Let’s check the numbers: Approximately 16,000 nuclear weapons worldwide are ready for action, 94 percent held by the United States and Russia. Regardless of whether the leaders of the U.S. and Russia inspire or repel us, we feel a degree of imaginary confidence in them: “at least they would never dare launch their nukes—well, probably no more than one or two.” But what would you say about . . . Pakistan?
Yes, dicey and dubious Pakistan—chocka with brazenly corrupt generals, extremist politicians, and religious terrorists—has an arsenal growing faster than any other country. What does that say for the value of humanity today?
Sporting 120 warheads, Pakistan could, in a decade, take third place in the world’s nuclear rankings, well behind the United States and Russia, but ahead of China, France and Britain.
WAY DOWNUNDER: FAR FROM THE MADDENING CROWD?
My home base for the past twenty-three years, New Zealand has always been staunchly anti-nukes. Though American military hawks periodically hassle and hound, the Kiwis won’t permit the US Navy to park its nuclear-armed ships, even for a day.
Global movers and shakers prod us way down here to wonder and worry. After all, they say, in an ever dangerous world, will the national anthem “God Defend New Zealand,” sung mainly at sports matches, save this tiny but spectacularly scenic and wholly secular nation—where religion died decades ago? Come on “land of the long white cloud,” why maintain your aversion to the supreme—the omnipotent mushroom clouds?
Far across the ocean, always religious, the Americans sing “God Bless America.”
But heck, to back up the Almighty, the Yanks have a potent arsenal.
Yes, their dollar says “In God We Trust.” And gazillions of bumper stickers proclaim “Jesus Saves.”
But we know what actually safeguards America: faith in nuclear salvation.
In other words, real nations sport nukes—launched via land, sea and air, targeting populations deemed hostile or expendable.
Spending lavishly on their weaponry, nations in the nuclear club are ready to literally fight to the finish, risking even the entire earth, just to protect their smashingly glorious materialistic lifestyles.
Highlighting the depraved mentality dominating the world, Krishna describes in Bhagavad Gita (16.9): “Submitting to their own twisted conclusions, lost in demonism, bereft of genuine intelligence, the perverted determinedly advocate and sponsor wretched, horrible projects meant to destroy the world.”
EXCELLING IN LUNACY, NOT PEACE AND PROSPERITY
As if seeking to confirm Krishna’s supreme presentation, the US military, its budget enthusiastically approved by politicians, has now embarked upon a thirty-year programme to refurbish its nuclear arsenal—at the unfathomable cost of . . . er . . . one trillion US dollars.
Part of that unthinkable grand total, some mere billions are earmarked for new darlings of destruction: so-called mini nukes. According to General James E. Cartwright, formerly of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”
Not to be left out of the rave, both presidential candidates for the 2016 election have announced that firing nuclear weapons should be “on the table.”
The Russian military quickly countered with its own brand of devilishness, purposefully leaking hints of a nuclear-armed drone submarine.
The drone would carry a large nuclear device into coastal waters and detonate it, touching off a radioactive tsunami to flood and contaminate seaside cities, rendering them totally uninhabitable for a long time.
When the world’s leaders advance such catastrophic innovations . . . what is there to fear . . . Relax, residents of other continents—stuff—including a nuclear blast here and there—happens, eh? Somehow life will lurch onward?
The spiritually erudite bhakti-yoga preceptor Srila Prabhupada comments on Krishna’s analysis of the materialistically depraved mentality:
“They try to enjoy this material world to the utmost limit and therefore always engage in inventing something for sense gratification. Such materialistic inventions are considered to be advancement of human civilisation, but the result is that people grow more and more violent and more and more cruel, cruel to animals and cruel to other human beings. They have no idea how to behave toward one another.
“Animal killing is very prominent amongst demoniac people. Such people are considered the enemies of the world because ultimately they will invent or create something that will bring destruction to all. Indirectly, this Bhagavad Gita verse above anticipates the invention of nuclear weapons, of which the whole world is today very proud.
“At any moment war may take place, and these atomic weapons may create havoc. Such things are created solely for the destruction of the world, and this is indicated here. Due to godlessness, such weapons are invented in human society; they are not meant for the peace and prosperity of the world.”
RE-ENGINEERING YOUR LIFESTYLE
Is the earth hell? Definitely not—human life is a chance to make full spiritual progress here, beyond the temporary coverings of the body and mind, back to the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation, Krishna. But we are making this planet and the human window of opportunity it offers madly hellacious. Therefore, artificially, the planet has become uninhabitable for the sane and sensible.
How desperate the world is for profoundly comprehensive spiritual knowledge and applied spiritual technology. Join the bhakti-yoga community of Krishna conscious agents for inner and outer peace.
Truly become the change you want to see, because only a major spiritual transformation of consciousness, individual and collective, can rehabilitate a world gone—in the name of progress—crazy. Watch and see how our destroying the human inner spirit and outer habitat allows mass madness, deception, and illusion to masquerade as civilisation, advancement, and growth. Is this tragic mistake worth dying for—or even living for?