Saturday, January 21, 2012
When most of us hear the term Materialism we probably imagine fancy cars, expensive vacations, and credit cards maxed to the limit. Or the more philosophical amongst us will immediately think of the dictionary definition which states that reality is based only upon matter. But the materialistic outlook on life isn’t merely limited to worldly indulgences and matter-based philosophies. It’s much more insidious when the materialistic worldview seeps into our subconsious.
More specifically, I’m referring to entire cause-and-effect mindset and how the entire human race has effectively embraced it as a fundamental doctrine. Science, the New Age god of the religiously disinclined, has stated that everything in this world operates on the cause-and-effect model. This isn’t limited to the laboratories, but has found its way in everything we say and do.
Our sustenance comes not from our Creator, but from our monthly paychecks.
Our success comes not from our adherence to our principles, but from our efforts and struggles.
We have becomes slaves not of our Lord, but of this materialistic worldview.
And so, when we decide to stand up and struggle for the truth in the face of tyranny and oppression, we find ourselves restricted to ‘proven’ tactics and ‘established’ movements. We must determine the odds of victory and evaluate the calculus of success. We must choose pragmatism over idealism. We must compromise and concede for that is the way of the accomplished high priests of the material world. Our models of success are no more founded on the anachronistic ways of the Prophets, but on the avant-garde techniques of today’s global leaders.
So it is when we finally see a breath of 'fresh' air in our political worlds, we see cause for celebration. We have inexplicably convinced ourselves that political success can only come in the form of a political party that is born from the same decrepit system that has been plaguing and ruining our societies.
The examples set forth by our beloved Prophets, we tell ourselves, are strictly limited to the spiritual realm. Any issues we may have with our political or economic existence must be dealt with tried and tested methodologies extracted from our textbooks and institutions. To suggest that the spiritual world can interoperate in the political is extreme folly. At least, that is what the secular materialists have taught us so effectively.
We are so affixed to the cause-and-effect model that we have lost sight of the power of our Lord. With the 'unparalleled power' of our modern minds, an ark in the middle of the desert would be foolish, escaping from a ruthless army and fleeing towards the ocean would be mad, and 313 would never, ever defeat 1000. We have convinced ourselves (or have become convinced) that the only way to victory is by our efforts, not by our principles and beliefs.
Thus, instead of sticking to our principles and looking to our religion for guidance, we rejoice when political idealists such as Obama or Pakistan’s Imran Khan tantalize us with their flowery promises of hope and change. We naively see in them a means of rectifying our broken system. Instead of realizing that never did a Prophet make change from within the broken system, we blindly pursue success with political parties.
Would a Prophet ever submit himself to the evil machinations of modern-day democracy by leading a political party?
It matters not, for those Prophetic examples set forth in our Holy Book are to be read strictly for spiritual blessings, not for any practical application.
Sadly materialism is alive and well, even in the more spiritually inclined amongst us.