Sherborne House Talk; 1973-07-12
(Published in The Enneagram, #6, June 1976)
“In making some attempt to look forward to the next thirty or fifty years, we said that those who are looking for an acceptable way of life, who have already lost confidence in the institutions and the way of life that now dominates, they first of all should fix their attention on what was wrong with the institutions, with their stupidity and destructiveness.
We had that period of the 1960’s, of political activism. People were trying to stop the development of destructive weapons, to stop wars, to promote social justice, to combat racialism, and this ended in a very wide disillusion. People saw, without understanding it, the working of the law of things becoming their own opposites; they saw on an enormous scale that the people who tried to work for peace play into the hands of people who want war, the people who tried to liberalize institutions play into the hands of those who want to impose a hard line; that those who want to decentralize give weapons into the hands of those who want to concentrate power in a few hands, whether it concerns governments or military power or industrial power, whether on the side of management or labour. So, we saw all that happening and now we are in the 1970’s where there is a different climate already, where people are tending more to look for themselves and look for a way of life perhaps without institutions -in many cases deliberately discarding institutions, wanting to have nothing to do with them, wanting to make themselves independent. There are two trends that I can see in the industrialized countries -in Japan and Europe and North America. One is the tendency to group together in small communities, of which there are tens of thousands all over the world -and the other to look for quick ways of transformation, of arriving at a new life in independence of the outer world forces by quick transformation: large scale mass spiritual movements of many kinds with which many millions of people are experimenting. ” …
……”The denying force is now so overwhelming that human affirmation is really snuffed out, and this does make a different kind of situation. Of course, sheer political interference does occur and will occur, and there will be suspicions that things have political intentions and implications, all kinds of things of this sort. But I say that the forces at work are on a very great scale, including this one, the reconciling force. It is not really anything that we call the Work, in the sense of all the people who work on themselves; there is something much greater working. It does not mean that some people will not be martyred in the process -this does happen. Martyrs are in fact necessary. There are certain energies that cannot be made available except through a special kind of suffering. This is true. But if we look at the situation as a whole -that mankind should be saved and that there should be a new world is worth a few worthy beings.”