Last week I wrote about the common spiritual understanding that the Law of Attraction will always follow the path of least resistance to manifest ideas into reality. I then expanded on this concept and showed that the Universal Spirit uses the path of least resistance to slowly evolve our souls into the perfection that he envisaged for us from the beginning of time. In this second part of the article, I will examine how the Spirit uses the same path of least resistance to evolve the physical world as a whole.
As I explained last week, God’s grand plan of perfected humanity and a glorious perfected physical world are, of course, nothing but his own perfect visualisation gradually unfolding into physical manifestation. There is no reason at all to assume that this divine power of creative visualisation operates any differently when it is used on the individual scale or on the universal scale. It is precisely the same faculty operating on a vastly different scale – as, after all, we are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, the creation of perfected human souls expressing the individualised glory of God, and the creation of a perfected world expressing the same both gradually unfold via the path of least resistance.
Once we understand this – and along with it, the impersonal indifference of God on the universal scale – it is impossible to view worldly circumstances as anything other than the slow but perfect unfolding of this grand plan. We are exactly where we ought to be at the present moment, and the world is exactly where it ought to be, also. A deep understanding of these truths will bring us peace and any worry or excitement about the state of the world will cease.
Worry or excitement about the state of the world are really just expressions of our own human preferences about how the world should be. Virtually since Jesus was crucified, Christians have been predicting that the end was nigh. And although New Thought, as a public and organised movement, goes back a far shorter period than dogmatic Christianity, New Thought writers have ever predicted that the Great Awakening was imminent. Yet from the peak of the New Thought movement a century ago until now, society seems to have declined sharply in consciousness by most quantifiable measures – even the standard of spiritual thought seems to have taken a dive. Admittedly, even the early New Thought movement had its “get rich quick” set, who painted the Universe as nothing more than an infinite ATM – but intellectually solid, scholarly men like Thomas Troward also enjoyed a significant following, and true spiritual men like Joseph Benner were making an impact in their own way.
I can’t even begin to imagine how disheartened Troward would have been if he could’ve gazed into a crystal ball and seen the world that produced TikTok and Justin Bieber. He could only have wondered what on earth had gone wrong, and whatever happened to the glorious dawning of the New Age. And yet even in this disordered mess of a society, which at first glance appears to be crumbling into intellectual, spiritual and artistic ruin – many, many more people are getting a first taste of true spiritual principles than possibly ever before. So is it the great awakening, or is it the end times? Or are we simply witnessing a series of opposing trend forces, some of which are trending towards disintegration and others of which are slowly trending towards truth and consciousness?
We are witnessing the latter, and all of these trends are following the path of least resistance. It’s just like our example last week – the Universal Spirit guides an individual soul in its evolution by exploiting its weaknesses, waiting for the soul’s reaction after things become unbearable – relying on its hatred of suffering to ensure the soul claws its way out of the pit – then waiting for things to become unbearable again. Society is just a collection of individual souls, and so it works exactly the same way.
But of course, some people in society have more power than others, and therefore more influence over its direction. By the very nature of the case, the people who rise to positions of power tend to be in a relatively low state of evolution, where the lust for material and worldly gain are the first priority, and high-minded principles are a distant second, if they come into the equation at all. Being born into the right families and knowing the right people also helps a great deal to get along in this world, and it is a simple matter for the Spirit to ensure that only people at a worldly stage of evolution are born into these families.
The reason why the world must presently be governed by this class is because we have not yet evolved to a stage where it can be governed by a wise and benevolent power – the people simply would not co-operate with it. Witness the treatment of Jesus. Until we are at a point where we can consciously and fruitfully direct the evolution of the planet, we must be forcefully subject to the tides of the Universal Will, ever directing us on towards our perfection, and ever indifferent to the method employed.
The easiest way for the Universal Spirit to force society onward is to appeal to the base instincts of the worldly status seekers in positions of power. Hence, since the beginning of time virtually all political leaders with any significant influence in the world have been amoral kleptomaniacs, brazenly acting in self interest at all times and regarding the good of the people as a matter of secondary importance, at best. This has never been more obvious than at the present day, when governments all around the world are selling out their own countries to serve global financial interests, without a moment’s pause. In virtually all countries in the world, the betrayal of the citizens is now so thorough and egregious that politicians barely even maintain a facade of representing their own constituents.
Again, God is using their base instincts to lead the world in a certain direction – in this case, creating a global system which will in time be used to bring truth and freedom to the whole world. Whether we see this framework used for good within our own lifetime, or whether it takes centuries or millennia is none of our concern. It is all part of a Grand Plan that cannot fail – and whatever events take place within that Grand Plan – whether they be joys or sorrows – will be used to further our own soul’s evolution.
However, it cannot have failed to escape anyone with their eyes open that the pace of change seems to be rapidly accelerating, especially over the past two years. For the people in power, this appears to be a great tactical blunder, caused by their exponentially increasing greed and impatience. For it is true that they now have tighter controls over the population than ever before, but more people are awake to their true designs than ever, also. Hence, we see the first rays of light shining at the end of what perhaps may have looked like an endless tunnel of darkness. Again, it may be some time before any significant awakening occurs, but the mechanisms are clear. Presently, most people find that self-delusion and complacency are the paths of least resistance, but in the past two years, many complacent people have realised that it is more painful to continue to delude themselves than it is to admit the truth and begin to do something about it. For these people, self-honesty and action is now the path of least resistance. When the remainder of society decides the same thing, then change will come.
Yes, everything happening in the world, no matter how distasteful to human preferences it may seem, will eventually set in motion an opposite reaction that will change things for the better. Allow me to give a couple of random examples.
The sexual appetites of society used to be governed by religious dogma, and then later by societal conventions loosely based on these same dogmas. Thus, for most people the path of least resistance was to get married and live a respectable life – thereby enabling them to indulge their sexual appetites and remain in good standing with wider society. However, the sexual revolution in the mid 20th century changed all that, and made ungoverned sexual behaviour an acceptable fact of society. Without religious and societal expectations to govern people’s actions, the path of least resistance naturally became the path of indulgence. The result of this was that marriage and true love declined while divorce skyrocketed, as did STDs, unwanted pregnancies and shameless promiscuity. After high speed internet was invented, many people – mostly men – found themselves hopelessly addicted to porn and lacking motivation to form real relationships or do anything else with their lives, so all-consuming had the addiction become.
At this point, many men found that the path of indulgence had become too painful, and that the new path of least resistance was abstinence from pornography, since it seemed to carry with it many overall benefits to their lives. The number of abstainers may still be minuscule compared to the number of users, but it is significant, and growing. When such people learn to govern their sexual behaviour, they are doing so with a profound understanding of the reasons behind this self-restraint. Once this understanding becomes widespread, society as a whole will have a far greater reverence for sexual purity than blind obedience to a religious dogma could ever have taught it. Thus, the original descent into sexual anarchy was a stepping stone to society’s greater evolution.
Corporate greed gives us another great example of the shifting tide. Many large companies are now refusing to hire full time staff, preferring instead to use the services of contractors, as it absolves them of any legal obligation to provide benefits to their workforce, and makes cutbacks and layoffs much simpler. Many companies are even cutting back on office space to save on rent, and expecting staff to work from home on a regular basis. In the short term, this appears to be a gross infringement of worker’s rights, and work from home arrangements appear to be unhealthy, unnatural and potentially isolating.
For a great many people, being a wage slave to a corporation was the safest path to take in life – the path of least resistance. But many contractors are now finding that is no longer the case, and as such they are beginning to awaken to the truth, which is that the corporations need them a lot more than they need the corporations. Many are beginning to see themselves as free agents, able to set their own conditions, and refusing to work with companies who cannot meet these conditions. Working from home has given them the first taste of flexible working arrangements, which can be beneficial to their mental health when proper precautions are taken and their social needs are met. Many are beginning to feel, for the first time, that they are not slaves to a corporation but businessmen, selling themselves as the product. This growing consciousness of their own power and worth will no doubt lead to even further circumventing of large corporations in the future. Thus, by following the path of least resistance – greed – these corporations have set trains of consequences in motion that will eventually bring their downfall.
I could go on and on with such examples, and probably will do so in a future article. But for the sake of brevity, I shall leave it at that and conclude with some comments about where we presently find society on the scale of consciousness, specifically the Hawkins scale of consciousness expounded in the book Power vs. Force.
Just as the evolution of a soul will always follow the path described by Hawkins’ scale, so will society follow the same course. The various levels below 200 on the scale are designated as “force”, or the stage where individuals are at the mercy of circumstances, and have not yet discovered their true inner power. On a societal level, this phase corresponds to all of human history up until this point. The majority of human history has been dominated by organised religion, and in a religious society, the path of least resistance is the path of obedience to dogma.
Christianity primarily used fear to control people’s behaviour. Of course there are many different levels of adherence to Christianity, and it would be unfair to deny that it inspired many into advanced spiritual states. But the predominant force that influenced most of its adherents was fear. Buddhism and Hinduism did the same in the east – inspiring many in total to great spiritual heights, and controlling the masses with superstitious threats about karmic consequences. After the wholesale abandonment of organised religion in the 20th century, we entered this brief, inevitable period of base indulgence, where sex, food and mindless entertainment seem to form the basis of most people’s happiness. But the resurgence of interest in New Thought principles in the last 20 years has shown that, as a society, we have evolved beyond that state. Most of us will not be content to derive meaning from base desires for very long. Most people are actually very unhappy living in this state, and many are seeking higher answers. For the first time in history, those answers are available.
Most will not seek the highest answers, as we are now only moving into the earliest stages of personal empowerment, where worldly achievements are the main goal. But as people grow in power, their ascent up the scale of consciousness tends to accelerate, as powers add to powers and they begin to evolve more rapidly. Hence we have every reason to expect that the next phases of the world’s evolution will be more rapid than the first. But as we are perhaps only now breaking through the level of 200 – a process which will take some time in itself – be aware that we still have a long way to go before we even get to the intellectual level, or Reason, which begins at 400, let alone the advanced spiritual levels.
Many excited New Agers have already declared that the intellectual phase is over – it was tried during the Enlightenment phase, and was found wanting because it was not united to spirituality. But all true intellectualism is in harmony with spirituality, and any philosophical reasoning that denies spirituality or affirms the meaninglessness of life is a product of the levels below 200. The Enlightenment was an arrogant and vain intellectual movement that attempted to replace the laws of nature with laws of man’s own devising, instead of understanding and working with the natural order. No-one in the levels above 400 could have any possible use for it.
But wherever society happens to be on the scale of consciousness, let us always be at peace with what is happening in the world, even though many things may look dire to human preferences. No negative train of causation can remain long in the world before it generates a positive backlash, all leading us towards our destiny of a perfected society.
In next week’s article I will expand on this point, and show how living in a state of resignation can bring us peace.