The world periodically goes through a period of devastating inflation. All the evidence suggests that the present inflationary trend will continue to eat away at people’s earnings, their savings, their social security, and any other form of insurance they may have, shaking thereby the entire structure of their material security.
It might be helpful, therefore, to take a glimpse into the future. I shall draw from certain predictions that were made by my teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda — predictions which, at this time, seem rapidly to be coming true.
But first, let us consider the progress that mankind has made during the last two hundred years.
Wouldn’t it be fair to define that progress in terms of energy? It is because of the energy we derive from coal, gas, and oil that we’ve been able to build and operate machinery that has made modern civilisation possible.
In the last two centuries there has been a veritable upsurge of energy-consciousness in the minds of men. And in the twentieth century, with the discovery that matter itself is actually energy, the door was opened onto the serious possibility that, once we know where and how to look, we’ll end up finding nothing but energy!
Now, then, we might consider a prediction that was made by Paramhansa Yogananda, whom many consider a man of great prophetic powers. He claimed that, despite the many signs to the contrary, civilisation is on the upswing.
As Yogananda explained it, we are living in a time of increasing awareness of man’s inner potential. With this upsurge of awareness, he said, civilization would definitely continue to progress.
My own inference from his prediction is that he fully believed that mankind would continue, in addition, to discover new sources of energy, since the sources so far known are also know to be limited.
To bring this discussion to a more immediate, personal level, let me add a further thought: The more you yourself have the consciousness of energy, the more your own life will overflow with abundance.
Money is one channel through which energy flows. But on this point the world has devoted far too much attention to material abundance in the form of money, instead of to its cause, namely, the energy put out to earn money.
Because of our concentration on an echo instead of on the source, I think we are about to be taught a severe lesson. We have, in fact, become too materialistic. If in our materialism we have prospered, it is because we have not wholly lost the dynamism which produced that prosperity. But we would surely lose our prosperity, if we lost touch completely with the energetic awareness that lies at that prosperity’s roots.
We would lose it, for example, if we lost faith in our destiny as a people, or as a species. Every past civilizations that lost faith in its own destiny has failed, without exception. Again without exception, of the civilizations that failed, every one first lost its faith. For without fath, the will becomes paralysed. And without will power, the flow of energy ceases.
Because of our cynicism, and not because of our dwindling energy resources, we have grown too dependent on what we get out of life, instead of concentrating joyously on what we might give out to it. Cynicism inevitably proceeds from an attitude of selfishness, from concentration on what the world owes us, rather than on what we might contribute to others’ well-being.
Materialism, too, is the result of thinking in terms of what we can get from life, rather than what we can give to it. Materialism and cynicism go hand in hand, consequently the greater the cynic, usually, the greater the materialist; and always, the greater the materialist, the greater the cynic.
With our materialism there has come a loss of faith — for example, a widespread, and growing, philosophy of meaninglessness. Were this loss the strongest trend in our world, I would see no hope. Thank God it is not. Nevertheless, because the trend is so powerful, we are, as I said, about to be taught a severe lesson.
For the years immediately ahead of us, I think we are going to experience grave financial hardship. Yogananda in fact said the dollar won’t be worth the paper it is printed on. I would seriously suggest that you take steps accordingly — putting money in land, for example, where at least you’ll be able to grow your own food. If in this way you live simply, close to the soil, the economic burden of the world at large will weigh much less heavily upon you.
But this is not the place to go more deeply into that aspect of the matter. Here I must stick to my main point, which is simply this:
Place your life unreservedly, dynamically, in God’s hands. He is the source of all abundance. Learn how to tap that source, and security will always be yours. To quote the Bhagavad Gita: “Know this for certain: My devotee is never lost.”