Evolving Our Generation’s Mentality
I find it fascinating to look back at generational shifts and see the resulting societal changes, particularly in the United States. Even more interesting is how they explain where American society is today. For example, during the post-World War II era, parents who lived through the Depression and the war wanted a better life for their children (now known as the Baby Boomer generation). At the same time, the idealized notion of a little house with a white picket fence, a dog, a cat, and a car in the driveway became accessible to many Americans. This became the foundation for creating an ‘ideal life’ for their children.
This led to a generation of idealists who questioned authority with its limiting viewpoint, fought for equality in the Civil Rights movement, and sought self-improvement and self-fulfillment on many levels. As a natural result, they felt entitled and self-righteous. It created a Me generation, a group of ivory-tower individuals who, with a silver spoon in their mouth, thought they had the answers.
These attitudes became further compounded by the explosion of the drug culture. It’s well known that drugs have a tendency to pit groups of individuals against each other, in this case, the ‘hippies’ against society. Many of these individuals have become today’s academicians, overtaking the universities. Other individuals turned conservative and went into politics and government positions. Both groups ended up with the attitude of: “If only everybody thought the way we did, what a great world it would be.” Though well-intended, idealism reigned, and both sides attempted to create it in their own way. Thus they birthed the social engineering and political correctness movements that permeate all levels of our society today, including the educational system. They also began targeting groups that did not conform to their thinking.
This is where we find ourselves today. Certainly, we can do our best to work with it intelligently. However, it will take time. The ‘social engineering’ movement has a great deal of momentum, and it will take the test of time to reveal the validity or invalidity of their endeavors. Fluctuations in social mentality go through society like waves through the ocean, carrying the masses of people with it. In India, these waves are called Karma. There are major waves, minor waves, clashing waves, and mutually supportive waves, all playing out over time — all overtaking the mentality of the individuals caught in those waves. Even the mentality ‘you’re thinking outside the box’ is a karmic wave that, in today’s world, carries many people. The point is these karmic waves so overtake the mind and emotions, that people don’t even realize they are caught in them. They can’t help but be certain their beliefs are truth.
So, what is the solution? Freeing the mind. Ancient spiritual Sages spoke of the conditioning of mind and heart. Today, we call it programming or indoctrination. However, we don’t tend to realize the depth, breadth, and degree to which conditioning overtakes our lives. We are programmed to believe in our conditioning wholeheartedly. We call it our truth. We call it the truth. To the conditioned mind, other perspectives are just plain wrong. So the question becomes, how do we free our mind from conditioning? Reading books about how to live the life of an unconditioned mind is just another conditioning. Round and around on the hamster wheel we go, chasing one conditioning until it stops working, only to pursue another. The Buddhists call it the Wheel of Karma. The ancient Sages declared that freeing the mind is a physiological process. A conditioned mind (a programmed mind) is a physiological state, and is highly addictive. So what is the technique the ancient Sages prescribed to free the mind? Proper meditation.
Incredibly, most meditations, even ancient ones, are techniques that reinforce conditioning, and program the mind to function the way we think it should function. It is sort of like hypnosis. We can hypnotize ourselves to feel relaxed and we will actually think we are relaxed, whereas in actuality, our blood pressure, heart rate, and the discord in the brain waves go up. Freedom from conditioning has the opposite effect. The technique to attain it is proper meditation. To learn proper meditation at no charge, click here.
An unconditioned mind spontaneously accesses inner divinity, and what the ancient Sages referred to as “cosmic intellect.” When freed from conditioning, we spontaneously live from this level. This is what it means to live in harmony with nature and the depth of our being. As more and more people live in harmony with nature, society naturally begins to operate in a manner that is in harmony with nature. Life, then, is just naturally supported by nature — more abundant, happy, peaceful, wise, fulfilled, etc. Even the karmic waves well up in harmony with one another and with the foundation that supports all of life.
What might happen to our society and the generational shifts if a significant number of people started practicing proper meditation? Would they actually shift in a different direction or would they just soften? We know what a generational shift looks like when it is not in harmony with nature, but just imagine the possibilities if an entire generation was functioning from a place of harmony.
Michael Mamas is the founder of The Center of Rational Spirituality, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the integration of ancient spiritual wisdom with modern rational thought. Michael Mamas helps individuals and organizations develop a deeper understanding and more comprehensive outlook by providing a ‘bridge’ between the abstract and concrete, the Eastern and Western, and the ancient and modern. Dr. Mamas writes on a variety of subjects on his blogs, MichaelMamas.net and RationalSpirituality.org. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.