The earth is a wonderful place. Spring is a fantastic device invented by God to draw our attention to Him. Really, it's too bad that we humans have such problems finding the rhythm and tranquility within ourselves that is constantly being reflected in nature.
Now is the time to find peace. There is a lot of disorder and violence in our country and we can't point to the war in Vietnam as the source of these troubles as has often been done in the past. The unrest is deeper than that. To put it simply, we are a very fragmented people, and we have great difficulty in even enjoying springtime together. Old people, business men, black people, women, and many other groups exist in this country, but individuals within these groups find it very uncomfortable at times to associate with one another. And nearly everyone from each group is experiencing some dissatisfaction–at times a gnawing dissatisfaction in their lives. We have Nature and we have our own inventions, but people aren't happy.
We lack peace in our minds, our families and our communities. We have realized perhaps that extended and developed technology is a tool of power and doesn't automatically serve to make life easier. A color television, for instance, will make life more difficult if everybody is always arguing about which program to watch. A second car won't help if it causes jealousy over who gets to drive it.
The more sophisticated and effective our transportation system, scientific research, communications, and weapons become, the greater we feel the contrast between the quality of what we have and what we are doing with it. What do we have to say to each other over the thousands of miles of telephone cables? There is some practical and good use being made of all of these things, of course, but the point is that we still feel dissatisfaction and we need peace.
There is a basic question that underlies all human actions and also every article in this magazine. That is, "What is the purpose of human life?" Most people don't seem to know, so there is both hope and despair in this world, but little clarity. People fear a scientific leap like genetic engineering because there is no trust that it will be used for completely humanitarian purposes. People fear the advent of old age because that is when despair seems toupper handupper'hand and death draws closer.
People of all backgrounds have been trying very hard to legislate peace, fight for peace, march and even drink their way to peace over these past years. Some have tried very hard and have put all of their hearts and souls into it. Most of us look for a better world only when we are unhappy, but now a new effort is needed. We need to try and we need to discern how peace is possible, both for us and for the whole world. Carl Sandburg wrote a poem in which he said:
"How is it that you speak English
and I speak English
and I never understand you
and you never understand me?"
Hope is a definite feeling that happens inexplicably inside human beings. It seems impossible that the whole world can be completely changed, yet that is required, and hope tells us that it will be done. Perhaps, to use a poet's license, overcoming impossibility is the lesson of Spring.
It will take something very powerful to bring us together, because we are now separated by long-standing divisions that have been evolving for thousands of years and through thousands of wars.
Spring is the time of year that we are drawn to look towards Nature, the one time of the year where we tend to appreciate the earth more. We can all agree on one thing; that we want our children and all of the world's children to be able to enjoy the majestic simplicity of Nature without having to struggle to see past beer cans, billboards or bomb craters. Earth is our common
ground, yet its gravity cannot unite humanity, nor can its beauty. We cannot even see the physical Creation clearly so many troubles are weighing down on us.
Neither bombs and ceasefires, drugs, spring, nor silence will give us the satisfaction that we need. Their effect is limited by time so they are not powerful enough to be trusted.
Unlike Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, or Mohammed, Guru Maharaj Ji has said that he can give peace to the whole world and he promises that he will give peace to all who ask sincerely, not limiting himself to one geographical location. People who have made statements like that in the past were not given a very good reception. They were ignored or treated badly. It is wisdom and our good fortune to learn from these mistakes and not to repeat them again.