As is commonly known, technological advancement and material wealth may not always contribute to the common good. Living in an age of ecological concern we have in fact become all too familiar with widely contrasting facts such as:
- The present average speed of cars in London during the rush hour: 13 kilometres per hour; the same as in the year 1900 without today’s stress, pollution, etc.
- Only a few decades ago plastic was universally promoted as a great industrial product, while today governments frame strict laws and preventive regulations regarding its use. Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
- The Earth has entered a water shortage crisis, while in most homes one-third of the water used is flushed down the toilet.
- The average American consumes twice as much as 50 years ago and 6 out of 10 Americans are pathologically obese. The US has 5% of the world’s population and 30% of its waste. 4% of the US forests are left, 40% of its waterways are undrinkable.
- Rainforests — the lungs of the Earth — are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute, while the Earth suffers from tremendous CO2 poisoning. Every one of those trees would absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. In the Amazon alone, 2000 trees are cut down every 60 seconds. There is mounting evidence about numerous much-needed benefits of trees to the climate, agriculture, and their various water-trapping capacities. Tree shade alone can reduce the world’s air conditioning bill by 10 to 15 per cent, at the same time as we are fretting about the energy crisis and the continuous need for nuclear plants.
In order to determine the nature and essential elements of “common good”, we need to agree on benchmark values. Every minute, every hour it is becoming clearer to more and more people on Earth that more unites us than divides us. We all want to live, be free, realise our potentialities, and enjoy their fruits.
We require this common denominator: What it really means is to live and let others live, what it means is to be free and allow others the same freedom, etc.
PROUT suggests that the spiritual sphere is the common value, or essential resource, of all. The spiritual sphere can adjust with any physical and mental factor; it is universal and eternal for all human beings.
PROUT concludes that progress is possible only in the spiritual sphere. All other types of advancement and development — prone to adverse reactions and regression — are progressive to the extent they tend towards the spiritual sphere.
The spiritual is the benchmark value of actual progress.
Copyright PROUT Globe 2011