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Summary (TL;DR)

Getting involved through concrete problems is perfect, so long as one doesn’t attach to an outcome. “The Master does their work, then they forget it,” the Tao Te Ching advises. We must not attach, which is why abstract problems are so divisive to the spiritual effort and work. By abstract, I refer to problems that are not realized on a personal level (such as fears in news, media, social media, etc.) Fighting abstract problems, roots and attaches the individual into a downward spiral of mundane involvement. However, concrete involvement can release a person from their ego self. By concrete involvement I refer those problems realized in front of us. If we allow our natural nature to be sacrificed in order to help others, we can begin the process of transcending the ego. To the Rosicrucian who worries that any form of worldly help is an offense to the spiritual path, read on and keep in mind the teachings or our Master who Himself got involved whenever someone was suffering in His presence.

Intro

Awhile back I wrote about my conflicting thoughts regarding involvement in the world. On one hand there is the problem of too much engagement to the point of attachment – this leads to constant struggle fighting against an unending set of problems in a world of pain and suffering. On the other hand, although our spiritual icons warned against attachment to the world, they also engaged to help others. All of this I covered in great detail in a separate blog post, this post takes a different take on involvement – separating involvement from the abstract to the concrete.

Abstract Problems

An abstract idea or problem is one that is in the mind more than it is directly experienced. To illustrate this point, consider a person who is afraid of a rattlesnake in a film playing on their television. This is an abstract fear, as the danger is not personally present.

Much of our news, media, social media, politics and financial advice operates under this abstraction. We are under pressure to be concerned, worried or fearful of a danger that is not yet realized. A political candidate running for office in Tennessee, spreading fear about the Mexican border is spreading an abstract fear.

Often these abstract fears, unrealized as they are, are manufactured or over emphasized in order to gain power or financial gain. Political ploys use this type of abstraction all the time. “But there are real fears we must fight politically,” you might say. The problem with the political fight is that it is not usually something a person is directly experiencing, and even if it is the solution is abstracted to be solved by a 3rd party (elected official). Elected officials are hollow souls, they typically stand for nothing, but cater to special interest groups in order to gain enough votes to get elected. They might woo a religious organization saying they are “anti-abortion,” and at the same time crack off-color jokes to woo anti-semites. Politics lacks a coherent message, because the demographic base is so diverse – thus the message is nearly schizophrenic.

Some may point out social issues, such as civil liberties. Should we march, protest and stand arm in arm with victims of abuse? Looking back at the great masters, there seems to be an absence of this type of involvement. Each of the great spiritual masters sought to transcend this world, rather than fix it. It’s a different approach and certainly not appealing to the masses. I understand the need to attempt to fix problems, but the spiritual path isn’t focused on bringing about heaven on earth in this way, but through transcending the lower nature entirely – allowing the True Second Coming of Christ to manifest in our own nature – the so-called Coming New Man.

Certainly this explains why the message of Jesus was never to make a new Kingdom of Earth. The “Kingdom of God is within you,” He said. Therefore the work that needs to be done must be internal and personal.

Concrete Problems

Some seem to feel that this means we do not get involved with issues at hand. In other words, if we see a relative beat their spouse at a family gathering, do we just ignore it? Do we do nothing? This also isn’t the way of the great spiritual masters. Consider the teachings of Jesus who said, “blessed are you who fed me when I was hungry, who gave me drink when I was thirsty, who invited me in when I was a stranger, who visited me in prison… ‘Lord,’ they replied, ‘when were you this way, that we did these for you?’ When you did it to the least of these, you did it unto Me.” That is an instruction of involvement. Go out and help others in need. We aren’t to sit around and say, “oooooh bad Karma bro.”

Involvement is certainly called for. But how to we navigate not getting involved in abstract problems (unrealized fears) but get involved in other situations? Consider how Jesus got involved. The Master got involved to help those who were directly put in his life: The woman at the well; The woman being stoned for adultery; The lame man at the pool; The hungry masses. I suppose some could claim that these miracles were to establish his credibility as a Master, and yet He said to his disciples, “greater things will you do also.”

Put aside the fantastic miracles and focus on the real wonder, the message of helping others. Selflessness, giving, caring for others, preventing the death of another, self-sacrifice, all of these are the ideals of Christ taught through action.

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