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The human situation which has emerged from the cataclysms and anguish of war and crisis, still shows insufficient spiritual awakening. And yet this awakening--and this alone--is the only instrument of our salvation that is worth looking for because it is the only one which is not doomed to be destroyed. All other instruments may be effective in ordinary times, but we are living in exceptional times. Today they can offer only the illusion of success or happiness with the actuality of failure or misery.

But so few people are fortunate enough to have the time, leisure, energy, and opportunity for spiritual culture, that the awakening from social lethargy is often the first sign of any awakening at all. The social awakening may nowadays be a troubled upheaval rather than a smooth progress. But human egoism and passion being what they are at the present evolutionary stage, this is inevitable. However, the awakening must be understood as the first part of a deeper awakening from spiritual slumber which is yet to come. We must see in all this social renovation a necessary preliminary and unavoidable preparation for the subsequent spiritual one. When the political, scientific, and economic reorganization of the world which is going on before our eyes culminates, when more settled conditions begin to prevail again, men will realize that materialism has brought them its best and worst. And realizing, they will turn to discovery of their inner needs. Therefore we may expect no general spiritual awakening in our own lifetime whilst this external new era is being established, but after that such an awakening will surely come because it is evolutionarily due. Thus there is room for both an optimistic and a pessimistic outlook; neither alone is quite true. If we look only at the next few years, there is gloom all around; but if we look through them to some decades farther ahead, there is light.

-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 367

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