My wise father once told me in one of my painful childhood moments that “everything has a way of working out”.  That phrase stuck with me and has comforted me in some of my life’s darkest times.  It has served as a sort of mantra that allows me to alway remember that life goes on, that whatever I am experiencing in this moment will too pass at some point.

Although this reminder has served my personal life, I can also apply it to the greater world “out there” when I am perceiving dark times for my country or humanity.  No doubt, many of you are challenged by world events and wondering how we will navigate through the troubled waters ahead.  I encourage you to remember that the ultimate arc of human history has even been upward.  Yes, there have been times when we took a step or two backward, but the greater direction has always been positive.  Things have a way of working out.

Recalling this fact does not alleviate us of our personal responsibility to stand up and act in the world when we need to do so.  Instead, it gives us hope that our actions are contributing to the movement through the darkness and back to the light.

Five years ago, I published a book entitled Be Yourself Evolving the World Through Personal Empowerment.  My elevator speech about the book went like this…..”the world is at an evolutionary choice point….our outward conflicts are evidence of this crossroads….although we will ultimately move forward as a people, we play a role in whether we bring about a greater world now or if we experience more darkness before proceeding to our higher possibilities….there are 3 keys to moving us forward….one is focusing more on how we are alike than we are different….the second is to focus on a common vision for the positive future….and the third is to ‘be yourself’, which means to find your inner purpose or calling and begin to live it fully because in doing so, you will no doubt find your purpose aligning with service to the planet….”  I generally pointed out that the book was full of exercises designed to help you identify your purpose.

I have had great feedback on the book and it has been used by groups for study since it came out.  Click here if you want to find out more about the book.

The aspect of the book that I wish to stress here is the “choice point”.  Here is how I put it in Be Yourself:

So, what are our choices here?

In one direction lies a world of peace and prosperity, where all humans are valued and have the opportunity to express themselves and succeed. In this world, technology makes life easier, the Earth’s resources are valued, and humanity serves as a good steward of the planet.

In the other direction lies a world of violence and scarcity, where humans are in competition for limited resources. Some of us will come out as winners; most will end up as losers with little opportunity. In this world, technology may assist us, but it might overtake us. The Earth is changed for the worse by humanity’s neglect.

Although your descriptions may differ slightly, I have little doubt that most of you have looked to the future and seen similar choices ahead. Which road will we follow? How can we make the best choice? What can you do? What can I do?

Can you relate to this?  Does it not seem even more likely after the passage of the past 5 years that such a choice is closing in on us?

Although I am optimistic that we will ultimately wake up and make the collective choices that move us to our higher possibility, I have to wonder “how much pain will it take before we do so?”

Last year, I interviewed progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann about his book The Crash of 2016.  [Link to interview]  He indicated that we were overdue for a turn of our historical cycle where a “crash” would occur before we started our next turn upward.  His book painted a bleak picture for humanity for a number of years, financial difficulty, shortages, war and so on……I asked him if he thought it would get that serious and he said “yes”.  But what was key was that this experience was needed for us to transcend it and move forward.  What I heard him saying was that we needed to experience the “breakdown” so that we could make the next “breakthrough in our evolution”.

A similar point was made by Theosophist teacher William Meader in a talk a couple of years ago, the video of it is available here. Although he uses more “esoteric” language in discussing humanity going through an “initiation”, he too says that the worldly negativity is evidence that we are experiencing a shift, that we are moving through a type of threshold on to the next level of our evolution.  And, he thinks, too, that things are going to get worse before they get better.  But his talk is filled with hope as he says that this is part of the evolution of humanity’s soul.  I encourage you to listen to it if you have the time.

Now I get it that this all sounds like one great big downer……..but I am really describing these connections at this moment to offer hope.  The takeaway that I want to be giving you is the following:

  • Evolution is not just about “survival of the fittest” playing out in earthly life, evolution is also occurring in our individual and collective consciousness and in our personal and cultural expressions.
  • Evolution does involve dead ends and set backs, but the ultimate direction of evolution is upward, to greater and greater levels of peace, prosperity and care for our fellow spiritual travelers on this planet.
  • Just as our individual lives sometimes have to go through pain and difficulty to transcend some area in which we are stuck, collectively humanity must do the same.
  • The pain we may be feeling on the planet may be part of the necessary next step on our upward evolutionary journey.
  • Knowing this does not take away our need to be a force for good, to be a change agent that moves us towards our higher possibilities.  Rather, knowing this clarifies our place in the realm of human evolution and calls us to action to move us towards a world of love and growth.

So, yes, everything does have a way of working out…..but we can help that process along by our taking responsibility for our personal growth and evolution and being a social activist for the power of love on earth.

Peace and love,

Mark Gilbert

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