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How can Spiritually Inclined People Change the World?

Change the World

People Change the World:

People desire and strive to change the world because they hope for one in better conditions than the present based on certain notions and ideas or a vision of what constitutes being ‘better’. It may be considered better in terms of being more peaceful, equitable, humanitarian, healthier, knowledgeable, productive, developed, and so on. The desire is usually seen as a mission with the aim of bringing about more personal meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life as well.

Changing the status quo is always going to be challenging and time-consuming due to ingrained habits, established norms and structures, and other powerful obstacles, but it is not an insurmountable task. It may seem monumental, but many improvements can be made at an individual level or start at a small-scale collective level and grow to become a larger movement.

People Change the World by collecting charity and spending money to resolve a pressing problem, while others sacrifice their time and exert effort in other ways to make a positive impact. Yet others have attempted to change the world through physical force throughout history, and military might is used by nations even today to gain control over others and their resources.

However, such changes are destructive and short-lived, as is also the globalist agenda to create “a new world order” or “build back better” in a Godless way. We are neither concerned with such fake global changes nor political ones with materialistic orientations but beneficial ones, as mentioned at the outset. The latter propel and uplift humanity towards a higher level of social cohesion and harmony, spiritual advancement, and create ideal social, economic, and environmental conditions. To see how it would be best to change the world, we should examine how others before us achieved such profound feats.

If we consider the most influential persons in history, it will be noted that most of them were prophets, saints, and other spiritual and religious leaders and mystics. In Michael Hart’s (1978) ‘The 100: A ranking of the most influential persons in history’, the top six positions are taken up by such persons, the first being Prophet Muhammad (uwbp).

The second was Isaac Newton, who is famous for being a scientist but was also very religious, an occultist, and an alchemist. Jesus Christ (uwbp) is third on the list, followed by Buddha, Confucius, and St Paul. Jesus Christ (uwbp) employed a strategy for Change the World that began with repentance, focusing on the heart, and developing a vision of the kingdom of God.

Saints are also renowned for changing the world. For example, Saint Francis of Assisi, without possessing any material power or possessions, saved the world and Change the World  from falling apart through his examples of caring for the poor, underprivileged, nature, and animals, thereby restoring the much-needed virtue of compassion at the time. Likewise, Muslim saints invite people to God after a process of self-purification and through practical examples that captivate their hearts. One popular form of this is qawwalis, an entrancing musical performance.

If we also consider the early lives of such holy people, we would see that they did not go about changing the world immediately. A commonality in the approaches taken by all the above is changing oneself before changing anything else. As Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of Change the World, but no one thinks of changing himself”.

Rather, only a few adopt the more powerful inward route of working on themselves before turning their attention to worldly matters. To understand why this is advisable, we may consider the view of Mahatma Gandhi, who led a peaceful resistance against British rule in India through a process of non-cooperation, which eventually helped to gain independence. He recommended to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and explained:

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change toward him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. (Gandhi in Indian Opinion, 1913)

Notably, Gandhi’s words point to the importance of focusing on the microcosm, which is our own human selves, and striving to develop spiritually as a means to effectuating worldly changes in the macrocosm. This is the ‘divine mystery supreme’ that all spiritual adepts employ, which naturally creates a better world for everyone. It is no coincidence that during a spiritual golden age when peace and harmony prevail worldwide, and connections with the divine are the strongest, attention to the development of the self and meditative practices are most widespread.

A small taste of these conditions can be seen in the social impact of the transcendental meditation movement of the 1970s in Western countries, including the United States [1]. The movement introduced meditation to the masses, and the mass meditation created what has since become known as the ‘Maharishi Effect’. It resulted in significantly fewer illnesses, crime, violence, and accidents and caused other improvements in social and economic conditions as well.

The changes in the world come about as a result of people’s changed intentions, inclinations, mentality, and habits, which ultimately lead to them modifying their actions. However, the more important realization is knowing that changing the world most effectively requires first changing oneself. It is the sure way to make the most massive impact and is the way of prophets, saints, and other spiritual masters. The Sufi poet Mawlana Rumi (ra) pointed to a realization among change-makers or change-seekers of the need to change the self first. He contrasted the two approaches, calling them ‘clever’ who try to change the world directly without first working on the self, but ‘wise’ those who strive to change themselves as the means to bring about changes in the external world. Rumi’s words were:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Buddhists understand this principle very well, too, because they focus on their inner nature exclusively to seek enlightenment. In fact, the Nichiren Buddhist viewpoint is that changing yourself first is the quickest way to improve and Change the World. An epitaph on the tomb of an Anglican bishop in Westminster Abbey is worth noting, as it expresses the same realization, although it came about while on his deathbed [2]:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered that the world would not change. I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.  

But, that, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me. But, alas, my family would have nothing of it.

I was thinking about People Change the World, And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If only I had changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may even have changed the world.”

An understanding of the aura and unifying etheric field can help to further understand why this is the case, that is, why it is necessary to turn inward and give attention to the inner world to change that which is outward in the outer world. The pure auric energy around spiritually enlightened people radiates from them and positively influences the hearts and minds of the people around them. The person becomes a role model for others to emulate. The consciousness-uplifting impact extends even further through the ether to which everyone is naturally connected. When positive intentions and thoughts propagate, they automatically feed through to other individuals and eventually manifest as positively transformational and beneficial actions on a collective level. The growing self-awareness of individuals leads to a global expansion of consciousness, making them become more intimately familiar with global issues and needs. A sufficient number of spiritually advanced souls and a powerful enough uplift are all that is needed to change the entire world positively and move humanity upward on a higher spiritual level. The mass spiritual awakening happening today is an example of such momentum in progress.

In the external world, showing generosity or altruism to someone in public can motivate others to do the same. Volunteering to assist people and engaging in community services are outward means to changing the world. All religions emphasize expressing such compassion because of its immense social benefits, but it also benefits the individuals who help others by creating a happier mood. Moreover, a strong spiritual and compassionate disposition and grounding gives authenticity, a guiding moral framework, and clear principles, develops empathy, and creates divine connections for untold advantages.

Many individuals have also unknowingly created powerful ripples in society. For instance, Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus helped to end the unfair racial discrimination on public transport in the US and emboldened the civil rights movement in the 20th century. Countless more people are unsung heroes who have change the world positively in small and big ways. One can also work with other like-minded individuals if the mission to change the world seems daunting by joining socially beneficial group projects. Every little effort goes towards bringing the change to fruition. However, spiritual seekers should pay greater and persistent attention to their own spiritual development while also engaging in activities that serve humanity.


[1] Transcendental Meditation in America: How a New Age Movement Remade a Small Town in Iowa. Joseph Weber. University of Iowa Press.

[2] How to change the world, Unhurried Living. https://www.unhurriedliving.com/blog/how-to-change-world.


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