Getting the Spiritual Evolution of Mankind Back on Track
“For when the day comes, and when the world begins to look for a new life, it is our belief they will find a well of hope... here... so here we shall stay, with our books and our music and our meditations; here we shall be to guide the footsteps of a weary people. Here we shall be, with our way of life, based on one simple rule: be kind.”
—Father Perrault (Lost Horizon)
The Sanctuary Project is an ongoing effort for the creation of a holistic lifestyle, to assist with the development of all aspects of humankind: body, mind and spirit.1 It achieves this by providing the resources to improve the fundamental character of man, allowing him to “be all that they can be,”2 in contrast to the prevailing ego-gratifying consumer society, which just provides more distractions.
Eastern cultures have, over time, developed these concepts using such traditions as Qigong, Mo Pai, Nei Kung and Patanjali’s Yoga. What is new about the Sanctuary Project is a result of the Information Age—more information and knowledge is at our fingertips than our recent ancestors could have fathomed. Through consolidation and research into the foundations of spiritual development, the Sanctuary Project can provide simple tools and techniques build and to improve the ethical and spiritual character of man, keep the body fit, healthy, and to retain a clear, sharp mind well into old age.
The ancient practices have shown that compassion, moderation, growth and happiness are a result of spiritual understanding, applied to intelligence. This produces a greater number of intelligent, ethical people that are self aware—and do not desire any malice or dis-ease upon themselves or others. A community of self-aware individuals becomes self-aware as a whole—clean surroundings, deliberate reproduction, well being, cooperation, and ease—become the default state, because each individual cares for the root well being of the self. Pollution, overpopulation, disease, stress and conflict become self-regulating as the participating individuals regulate those states within the self, finally taking their place as good stewards3 of the Earth.
The accomplishment of these goals is a long, but simple, deliberate and straightforward process. Change takes time, patience is faith in the knowledge of what is to change, and many modern societies tend to lack patience. The first step is is to create a place that has a slower more deliberate lifestyle, where someone can literally have the time to “sit and think.” Contemplation, meditation and self-introspection have always been key in the development of spiritual understanding. This was the intention of ancient monasteries and religious retreats, but can be upgraded with modern amenities making personal development less of a physical hardship, but not facile undertaking. The Sanctuary concept strives to develop all aspects of the human experience, body, mind and spirit—you cannot deny one to obtain another—so out with the “hair shirts” and cold, stony floors. Meditation works just as well in a natural position (sitting on the floor, or in a nice chair, depending on your personal preference) in a comfortable environment.
Contemplation and meditation in a monastery is fine, once you have new concepts that require contemplation. The second stage of the Sanctuary Project is to create a research library, an archive of ancient and arcane wisdom that has accumulated over the millennia from around the world, from every culture and every religion. Sanctuary recognizes that each person has their own path to spiritual growth, and the research library would provide information on many of the directions and alternatives that others have followed; where they went and how they got there. This is a tool for each individual to consciously choose how they want to proceed with their own, personal development. All paths lead to enlightenment, but it is nice to find the occasional short-cut. Another important function served by this kind of research is the access to materials in their native tongue, which would enable a better understanding of all the “assumptions” that go into translating one culture’s concepts into another’s.
When walking a spiritual path, one encounters others that share similar intent and desire to discuss the highlights of their journey. That is human nature. The third stage of the Sanctuary Project is to consciously create an open exchange of ideas and information through a school, where people can freely share their thoughts and discoveries with others. It is recognized that there are both formal and informal paths to teaching and learning, and such a school must accommodate both the structured courses of training for specific goals and procedures, as well as the ad hoc, “guess what I just figured out,” impromptu lecture or dialog. Scheduled classrooms handle the formal classes, whereas “commons,” such as decorative gardens with places to sit comfortably, handle the impromptu discussion with ease.
These three stages provide the necessary infrastructure for the exploration into the nature of consciousness, the ability to inspire people to focus on their own, personal development, and a place where that development can be used for the evolution of Self, spilling over and inspiring the evolution of mankind. This is not limited to adults; our children are our future. With access to people, paths and materials in an open, supportive environment, children would flourish in the development of body, mind and spirit. They will carry with them the understanding to shift the human population towards goals that will ensure a positive, hopeful future for mankind. Our future is in the hands of our children, or as Roger Damon Price put it… The Tomorrow People.