There’s a great old allegory that crosses the religious and cultural boundaries of the East and West. Some details vary, but the message is identical. There are two rooms, one representing Hell and the other Heaven. Everything in the rooms is identical. There are tables, sumptuously covered with delectable food, with people seated around the tables. Every person has a lengthy spoon (western edition) that enables each one to reach the entire feast spread before them. The spoon is attached in such a way as does not allow people to feed themself. In the room that is Hell, greed keeps them from feeding each other, even though the spoons allow for that, so there is constant lack. In Heaven’s room, the choice has been made to feed each other, so there is no want.
We must choose now whether we will destroy ourselves in hell or thrive in heaven.
For a more detailed version of the story in poem form, check out this delightful rendition The Three Foot Spoons.
We’ve attained a level of knowledge that cannot be sustained in the age of reason (enlightenment). Why? Because knowledge and power are linked in this era we have worshipped for 500 years.
This is Part 4 of We Must Act Now Series.
Part 1: Here We Go!
Part 2: It’s Time for Substantive Dialogue!
Part 3: When Demonizing Marks Dialogue
Knowledge can take us anywhere we want to go. It can also precede us in ascending pinnacles we are unable to descend when we discover destinations untenable to our survival. Ultimately, knowledge is capable of reaching beyond our power to control it. We are climbing that pinnacle at this moment.
How do we escape the untenable position?
By removing Power from the driver’s seat.
It always ends up corrupting whoever has it, so knowledge is never completely safe in its care. Put it in the passenger seat.
We must give the driving to Selflessness.
It is time to re-think everything that we glorified in the age we called enlightenment.
If we don’t, we have chosen a room called Hell, and we won’t survive.
We need to call the best and the brightest from every discipline together and consider what it will take to move into a new era with Selflessness driving.
If the age of reason can bring us to the room called Heaven, the era of enlightenment will have fulfilled its purpose.
And we will have enabled a new era.
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Great story … I’ve always liked it! It is with our hands to build pockets of Heaven, right here, right now because Heaven is the world we have, seen from another point of view.
“If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.” — Stephen Covey
Thanks Bill. Even though it seems improbable, it is my hope that somehow we can remove the controls of this world from those who love power and greed and give them to those who love without power and greed.
I just found this quote, and it seemed appropriate: “Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” – Edward Abbey
The question is, then, how do we avoid this trap of power? Is there some way to carry on without the concept of “power”? I like to believe so.
There have been great people of every generation who have lead without letting power corrupt them. They have not seemed to penetrate into the realm of politics, however. That, sadly, is the realm where, for the survival of mankind, we must see selflessness win preeminence. I view it as a “survival of the fittest” evolutionary type leap that must be made if we are going to survive as humankind. Jesus shows us this as God’s image implanted in us. Will we reach higher than we ever have to attain it? The time is very short for us to do it. If we do not, our current obsession with apocalyptic may not be far-fetched.