Universal destruction or salvation?
Do either Kriyananda or Yogananda, in writing, or speaking, about small spiritually centered communities, address whether large cities and other social and political structures are a necessary infrastructure for the small villiages to survive. Is there an expectation that a few of these can serve as "antibodies" toward the eventual more peaceful world, or will all need to be in villages? It seems that the belief in eventual, universal salvation is a necessary condition for "Ananda's" to work .
Yogananda spoke often, and forcefully, of future global events. A realized Master is able to see past, present and future more clearly than we are able to perceive current events.
He saw great upheavals, natural cataclysms, global economic depressions — the result of which would be hundreds of years of peace on earth. A necessary purification and pruning process that will help humanity on this planet to enter a higher age with an expanded consciousness.
Will anything or anyone survice this transition? Certainly, but what?
The concept of people living together for mutual support and benefit is expressed in numerous ways, one of them being the City. For all of its benefits, the Super-City has now become a grotesque organism that does more harm than good, and hardly serves or protects its inhabitants. It actually cuts them off from important souces of life — like clean water, air, good food.
In Yogananda's time the population of Calcutta was 50,00'; the population of Los Angeles 1,500,000. Today these cities try to support 15 million and 6 million respectively (not including other surrounding urban areas). They are profoundly non-sustainable. Will they survive in their present form? Probably not, according to Yogananda and Kriyananda's assessment. Greed, competition, un-sustainability will be their downfall.
But smaller living units, many of which exist all over the earth, possibly will — communities which are sustainable and offer their inhabitants meaningful employment and social, cultural and spiritual activities.
This was Yogananda's vision: home, job, education, "church" — spiritual structures, cultural and social activities, all in one place, based on principles of "simple living and high thinking."
Yogananda and Kriyananda talk about (and you can find this in Kriyananda's book Intentional Communities) smaller communities which are based on cooperation, mutual support, contact with nature and natural resources. And networks of these communities which share goods and services. The Ananda communities are being developed on these principles, and other "non-intentional" communities have these characteristics as well — small communities which by their nature are more sustainable and cooperative. Friends of mine have moved to an island off the coast of Washington State where such a community is thriving.
There is a movement whichis developing "Transition Cities," which are based on principles of sustainability. Scientists and policy makers in many countries are arriving at the same conclusions, and beginning to establish more liveable towns and smaller cities.
In India there are at least two initiative of this kind: Auroville, established in 1969 with several thousand residents today; and Lavasa, a planned city development outside of Pune, which at build-out in 2015 will have about 100,000 residents I think. Not far from this location, Ananda is building its new world-brotherhood community where hundreds of residents will eventually live.
So, changes are in the air and preparations are being made. If you have not yet visited one of Ananda's communities, I hope you are able to do so soon. And if your travels bring you to Europe, please stop and see us at Ananda Europa near Assisi, Italy.
Joy to you,
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