Values and Civilization

Sister Jayanti believes that spiritual values are essential in order for us to restore balance, so that human beings can work in harmony with the environment. Sister Jayanti was part of the International Co-ordinating Team for Global Co-operation for a Better World (1988 to 1991) – the project that invited people from around the world to give the values they wanted to see for a better world. She was head of the Brahma Kumaris delegation and a speaker at Rio+20, the UN conference on Sustainability, in June 2012. In 2013 Sister Jayanti received a British Community Honours Award in recognition of her ‘special contribution to the welfare, prosperity and inclusion of minority communities within British Society’.

Spirituality provides the empowerment which is necessary to ensure that my own life, personally, is based on the core values which I understand are important for me and also ultimately for the betterment of the world. In fact, if we look towards the next millennium, the question arises as to how it’s going to be possible to move forward with a civilization that is stable and progressive. For me the answer has to be a return to the core values which humanity finds important and necessary to base any life on.

With spirituality I am able to understand how to develop those values. In fact, within every single human soul are those original qualities, which may be described as love, peace, purity, truth and joy. Every single human soul has these original qualities. But yes, we do observe how, both for ourselves as well as for others, there seem to be percentages of these qualities, not only in terms of our capability in developing and experiencing these, but also fluctuations from the time of day, to the time of year, to the different moods that we express. Perhaps I may begin the day feeling deep love, feeling peaceful and yet, as the day progresses, my power of tolerance decreases and my quality of love changes. So we know that although we experience these qualities, we don’t have stability within them and nor are we able to develop them to the extent that we desire in our own lives.

But underlining awareness of my original identity, returning to the consciousness of my own spirituality, knowing myself to be a being of light, a soul, I find that I am able to access these original qualities of mine, which truly belong to me. I don’t need to search for them outside, but they are within me. Having experienced these original qualities and emerging them within my daily life, the next step checks how I am able to express these qualities as virtues in my interactions with others. Then love and peace become not just qualities of my own inner experience but I use them, exchange them and share them with others around me. And so in terms of my personal interaction and relationships, I begin to use these virtues right now. The impact then ripples out and influences others around me.

Beyond this, my personal understanding is that virtues are sometimes described as values. When it is not just in terms of my personal interaction, but when they become a code of conduct, or standards of behaviour, ethics or morals that society holds, within civilization, then these original qualities of mine will be expressed as the values that I hold.

Perhaps the reason humanity has reached a point where values seem to have disintegrated in society is that we have forgotten how to get in touch with our own inner being. But as I return to that experience of these treasures within, values are restored in my life in a natural and easy way. Not just personally, but collectively. As we express values, they have an impact on others. And perhaps what appears to be a minority approach will become increasingly acceptable and finally become a majority feeling too. I sense that this is the world is moving in this direction rapidly. From the point where values disintegrated, the pendulum has now swung to the other side and we are recognizing that values are important that soon civilization will reach the point where values become natural and are the norm.

Beyond the level of values, these original qualities of the self can also be expressed as powers. For example, on a personal level I may experience peace but in my interactions I will share that peace. Peace becomes a value held dear to my heart; I give peace highest priority, placing great emphasis on it such that violence reduces dramatically and is finally eliminated from my life. At this point, peace is not only a quality and a value but peace becomes a power and does not only influence my life but extends far into the world. Then the power of peace is able to influence other people and the atmosphere; even a small minority that experiments with generating the power of peace can create a world of peace and non-violence, a civilized world filled with divinity.