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We are walking the earth at a critical time in its unfoldment and the next ten years may indeed prove to be pivotal. As the majority of the populace roosts dormant on their fleshy complacent backsides, their mouths swollen with potato chips, their minds in audio-visual space, their eyes transfixed by that wide-screen colour 'cool medium' in front of them - their bay window to tabloid escapism and subjective objectivity - it is sometimes difficult to tell whether they are all laughing or crying.

Never have affectation, hypocrisy and artificiality seemed so - well, legitimate. Never have there been so many people addicted to drugs, tranquilizers, alcohol and food. Never have there been so many individuals afflicted with ill-health and, to use Johabout usn Lennon's phrase, crippled inside.

The Industrial Age has delivered opulence and contentment to a select few but it has also reaped a bittersweet harvest. The gap between the have's and have nots continues to expand. Labourers pick up their paychecks and in their rush to get out of the company parking lot they earnestly avoid looking up at the pollutants being released into the atmosphere through the factory chimneys and refrain from thinking about the toxins being dumped into the adjoining river. White collar professionals are becoming so used to downsizing they don't ever bother to grumble anymore. And, after all, the employer's business philosophy is not that dissimilar from their own - taking care of number one.

The rampant cynicism articulated by Joan and John Q. Public relative to their representatives, federal officials and legislatures attests to their appetite for change and/or an outright transfiguration of the present socioeconomic political prescription. One seventeen year old New Yorker once told me - "In the States, just like in the old USSR, we only have one political party - the Democratic Republicans - and they simply take turns lying to us". Such youthful suspicion and disenchantment should make us all take heed. After all, the Iron Curtain was rent asunder practically overnight.

There is so much frustration with crime and the justice system that the easiest way to get a round of cheap applause these days is to appear on some talk show and expound - "Let's execute all the serial killers, drug pushers, rapists, molesters and abusers". Soon half the population will be incarcerated and the other half will be mounting guard. Was Albert Camus correct when he wrote that society "has the criminals it deserves"? Has part of the problem been that we have always accentuated penance and vengeance over clemency and rehabilitation?

If we further scan our polarized commonwealth we can distinguish power struggles being played out on a number of levels:

  • Media - it is (still) possible to ferret out occasional nuggets of accuracy and sober thought here and there but with each passing year the puppet press becomes more and more reluctant to denounce or even call to task our various political overlords, choosing instead to cheerlead governmental violence against 'enemies of the state' all the while keeping us mesmerized with soap operas and attention seeking 'reality' show buffoons.
  • Organized Religion - there are still legions of televangelists and clerics preaching hellfire and damnation and sinfulness, still dictating instead of inspiring.
  • Government - the erosion of our rights and freedoms continues in the name of national security as our duly elected 'servants' subjugate and restrict instead of leading by example and sowing the seeds of tolerance, honesty and respect.

And what is it all leading to? Will we snap out of our comas one day in our brave new world and ascertain that expedience, greed, indenture, superficiality, virtual reality sex, personal hand guns and casinos on every street corner have become the norm?

So, is the world going to the dogs? Is a "hard rain gonna fall"? No! The glass is half full - not half empty. What is happening on our planet today is fathomable, requisite and purposive. Humanity is on the verge of transformation. The cocoon is crackling and rupturing since the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is almost full-fledged.

Systems and ideologies tend to disintegrate once the energy of virtue and conviction is uprooted. The patriarchal senile custodians of convention and Old Age paradigms do not usually pass the baton voluntarily so the friction of the NEW grating against the OLD will be with us for years to come as individuals reassess their previous assumptions and priorities. Millions of our brothers and sisters may be a bit perplexed as to exactly where it is that they are heading but they are quite adamant about not wanting to go back to where they've been. This accounts for the fact as to why so many people are now looking 'within' for solutions to their particular quandaries and why they are quickly gravitating toward some aspect of New Age consciousness.

Now, at this point in time, there are legions of earnest seekers who are no longer comfortable with that label. They don't refer to themselves as New Agers because they don't want to be associated with the impostors and quacks who can smell a lucrative enterprise a mile away and are already marketing themselves. The moniker someone tags on a movement or group is only significant here as a point of reference. We are stuck with the handle until a more appropriate one surfaces (Aquarian Conspirator sounds a bit sinister and the Spiritual Knowledge Awareness Movement doesn't make for a suitable acronym).

I believe it was Arthur Schopenhauer who stipulated that truth goes through three stages. It is ridiculed, opposed and then accepted as self-evident. New Consciousness is certainly encountering the first two predicaments and if it can't survive this crucible of fire then it doesn't merit favour or respect. (The essays contained in the New Age section of this site will underscore what - in this writer's opinion - New Age is or should be - and not what scoffing nihilistic editorialists have sometimes portrayed it as being).

To phrase it as simply as possible - there are people in the world today who are adding to the LIGHT (by their thoughts, words and deeds) and then there are those individuals who are overtly or covertly doing their utmost to diminish it. But the army of Light is growing - and we want you to join us!

Vital Spark staff are familiar with many of the organizations / individuals mentioned on this site but we cannot officially endorse anyone. ANY structured association can be co-opted. ANY individual can be seduced by the allure of money, notoriety and power. However, this does not negate the wisdom that is at the core of most mystical fraternities nor does it disaffirm the depth and understanding contained in the books written by our present day spiritual teachers - fallible though some of them might be. Every student on the Path must tread carefully. Purity of motive will eventually lead you to the right mentors.

This web site's purpose is to enlighten and to transform. We are all about holism, unity, the re-spiritualization of the planet and the upcoming profound shift in human awareness. And part of our mission statement (unlike that of many others) is NOT to propagate one particular truth, one specific road to illumination or one school of thought that (in our opinion) supersedes all others. Our aim is to present a smorgasbord of ideas, healing modalities and organizations that all have one commonality - to spur the process of healing and "awakening" in every person drawn to the spiritual / mystical path of self-realization and collective unfoldment. Our mutual goal is to reach the top of the mountain. And the divers and unique paths that take us there are all valid. Our individual task is to choose the route / itinerary that harmonizes with who we presently are.

Vital Spark welcomes you into our Family of Light. We are non-profit. We give our thoughts, our words and our time freely. We encourage you to do likewise (article submission / forum).

And finally, to repeat, our personal philosophies of life, our truth, is not predicated on the premise that other contrasting ideologies are in error. When fanatics of every ilk harass me I often wonder whether it's me they're attempting to persuade - or themselves.

I think that it's crucial that we all uphold the same ideals. However, it's not demanded that all of us embrace identical notions or creeds. Do not adopt or take for granted any concept or insight delineated on this site unless it resonates in your heart, unless it strikes a chord in your Inner Self or unless you obtain demonstrable evidence via the proving ground of your own course of life.


Blessing

Paul Naras
Vital Spark Coordinator

Autumnal Equinox - 2002


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