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Solutions to Poverty
When man came on earth he did not live in a
society or hierarchy nor was he endowed with poverty. Good health,
longevity, natural cheerfulness were his own even as he found himself
amidst plenty. Like other species he lived or perished as the external
resources permitted but he lived or perished as a group. Only when the
society organised itself into a hierarchy, it was possible for one layer
to exist while another persisted during times of scarcity. Organised
ways of living, knowledge of all descriptions, systems created for
comfort etc. interfered with the natural living of MAN in hundreds of
ways. With the passing of time these stratifications of society come to
stay and even create a psychology by which even the victim takes his
victimization for granted. No question arises in his mind.
Had not the society
organised itself in such a way that segments of it are protected and
other segments were defenseless, MAN would have remained as MAN and
would not have been bifurcated into poor and rich.
Life Beyond Physical Allows for Poverty
Life consists of matter, the animus of life, mind, and spirit. In
society we are moving well along towards the organization of matter,
which enables infinite possibilities in the of the physical realm as
seen in machines inventions, technology, roads, infrastructure, shelter,
life sciences, medicines, etc. The US is of course in the vanguard here.
And yet the rest of life beyond the
physical matter remains unorganized. There is pain, suffering falsehood,
ignorance, evil, conflict, contradiction, disharmony, hate, desire,
attachment, and on and on. This reflects as poverty, war, disease,
famine, and many other social ills.
Progress in Ending Poverty
Progress on Ending Poverty
The 1997 UNDP Human Development Report observes that over the
past 50 years the world has made greater progress in eradicating poverty
than during the previous 500. (MSS)
Millions Who Have Come Out of Poverty
We know of the three scourges of humanity; war, disease, and
poverty. We see those manifest in many forms today. And yet cannot we
tally our recent accumulation of assets, such as the 500 million who
have emerged out of poverty in India in the last twenty years. Or nearly
a billion who have been set free into the new global market in China
since the emergence of Deng; or the freedom of the world from nuclear
annihilation, when Gorbachev saved our planet?
Progressive Change in the Relations Among
Poor and Wealthy
There is a vast shift of the middle
range poor of the world out of poverty. We see this especially in China,
and somewhat in India. Considerably so also in Eastern Europe, Ireland,
and South America. There is also a more hard-core poor in India, Africa,
and elsewhere that are not quite making the transition, though there are
signs that they will one day. There are also the rich who are beginning
to be concerned for the poor, as in EU and certain circles in America.
There is thus an evolutionary movement connecting
opposites. Poor moving to wealth, wealth to (i.e. concern with) poor.
There is also the less conscious movement of poor taking to poor, and
wealth only to wealth.
So we can say that there is a progressive movement
away from same to same and towards attraction between opposite poles.
Higher consciousness is to bring opposites together,
so that they become more similar. Consciousness however also allows for
infinite diversity, allowing for more dissimilarity as well.
Means of Ending Poverty
Poverty is eliminated by:
generating more employment;
raising the level of minimum
making the social elite aware of the
possibility of removing it;
presenting the government concrete
programmes of prosperity;
drawing upon the resources of every
social institution like Chamber of Commerce, university,
government, voluntary organisation,
U.N., U.N. agencies,
educating the public opinion that
poverty is not inevitable.
accepting the principle that the
world can compel
a nation to eradicate poverty.
1) Appeal for the changed PERCEPTION
from charity to MAN coming into his own right -- a right to good living.
2) Assess the effectivity of
information, ideas, opinions, statistics, studies, data, arguments,
examples, etc. on the segment of populalation that can move to eradicate
poverty and give them in that measure through appropriate media.
3) Introduce in the curriculum at the
right stage a full explanation that poverty is not inevitable, it is
there because it is suffered and explain how it can be eliminated.
4) Devise programmes suitable to each
sector that will indirectly eliminate poverty. E.g.
-- Craftsmen training schools for
-- Farm schools for the government that
try to raise production.
-- Adult education for voluntary
-- Development skits for media.
-- Themes for the writers that portray
the psychological endeavour of individuals to escape poverty.
-- Studies for universities that will
bring out case studies where segments of population have come out of
-- Success stories for journals.
-- Ideas for commerce which when
implemented will remove poverty while they work for their own profit.
5) Appeal for an apex national
organisation in each country that will address itself to the task of
creating all these programmes and ideas.
6) Suggest UN should take on itself the
authority of accepting the invitation of any nation to eradicate
poverty or illiteracy or major diseases.
7) Suggest UN should declare that within
5 to 10 years poverty should be eradicated from the world. At the end of
that period UN may take over one or more countries under its
administration to eradicate it compulsorily.
8) Plead for a World Body that will
embark on devising detailed programmes for each country where more than
10% of the population is poor. These programmes should be comprehensive
and must be able to yield results within one decade.
9) Declare that NO nation has the right
to keep its population POOR. (MSS)
Skills Avoids Poverty
Productive skills at once raise the person above the future
eventuality of poverty. (MSS)
Poverty and Skills
Poverty is ignorance of practical skills.
Issues are global, not national.
Disequilibrium in welfare.
Aid is not a solution; it can aggravate the problem.
We cannot allow grass to grow under our feet.
The world needs a perspective to act in anticipation
and not wait till it is caught unawares.
and End of Poverty
The ability of the
society to support the individual's self-fulfillment, is the measure of
the society. As society overcomes its own divisions -- such as war,
poverty, disease, lack of conflict -- it is more likely to supports the
fulfillment of the individual. Society's divisions and dualities are
extensions of the divisions and dualities of creation itself. This
division and duality is also ironically the cause of the greatest
diversity, which enables the greatest potential for delight as the
societies discover its true nature. (MSS)
and End to Poverty
Only in peace hunger and
can be abolished and full employment realised. Only in peace the whole
world can live in and acquire prosperity. Only in peace the human
resource can blossom and expand. (MSS)
See Thoughts on Ending Conflicts of World through Economic Prosperity
Consciousness and Capacity of the Poor
through Higher Consciousness of the Poor
Unless the poor are determined not to be
poor, poverty cannot be solved. Poverty is best abolished by the
development of consciousness. Next best is to develop infrastructure;
including organization and education. For each country a unique plan of
development can be created in this way. Aid to other countries is not
wise; it is egotistic by the giver, and for the recipient destroys
self-reliance, and creates hostility. If a country like the US wants to
help end poverty it can help with infrastructure, planning, but not aid.
The best approach is to overcome its own poverty, which will vibrate out
as life responds to break poverty in corresponding places on earth.
(Paraphrase of MSS)
Keys to Moving out of
To move out of poverty one needs to -- truly want more, make the effort to
gain it, seek self-employment over normal employment, gain the necessary
skills to accomplish it and establish personal values like organization,
cleanliness, honesty, and others in one's life. If there is a foundation
of such virtues, then further opening and calling to the Force will enable
a multiplier effect of great achievement. Its a process that can easily be
understood, and with will and determination, brought about in the shortest
period of time with the maximum result. It's a formula for ultimate
success, prosperity, and joy. (Based on MSS)
The secret of
Prosperity lies in man wanting more and developing his capacities to work
for that more. (MSS)
Approach to Overcoming
Rid oneself of all poverty inducing
attitudes, opinions, and superstitions. Aspire for more in one's life.
Think for one's self. Become entrepreneurial. Be self-reliant. Take to
common sense. Add psychological strength, knowledge, skills, and
energy as needed. Applying personal values like organization,
cleanliness, and honesty. Avoid waste, and energy wasting behaviors.
Harm of Charity,
Aid; Need to Build Up Self-reliance
Self-Development, Not Aid
Aid in any form saps the
vitality of a nation and robs its self-respect.
Why speak only of aid from another country? No government has ever
succeeded in building up its own nation without the entire society
rising and taking up development in its own hands.
when aid comes in,
self-respect goes out. Worse than that, the very capacity of
self-reliance is undone essentially.
Self is the Soul of a nation. It is seen as
self-respect and self-reliance. They are not worth parting with.
Occurs When We Take It in Our Own Hands, to Wanting It
It is a truism in the field of development that a society will really
develop when its members take it into their own hands. Any work of the
government or other agencies may do the initial spade work, but it is
not capable of consummating the process of development - a high degree
of Prosperity. It reduces to man wanting more and more as days pass by.
From Charity to New
Attitude of Freeing Man from His Poverty
Man should give up the attitude of charity and move to the
attitude of restoring HIM to his original status of freedom from
poverty. By taking this attitude, the entire perception will change and
all the programmes drawn up will be of a different character.
Non-Value of Charity to Poor Nations
Charity to other nations to
poor nations is resented by the recipient. This type of help hinders those
poor nations, causes other nations to resent us. There are better ways to
help, starting with genuine concern for their plight rather than just dole
Foreign Aid is Damaging Because it Saps Freedom,
Individuality, Creates, Self-respect, Dependence
For an above average
Man, physical freedom symbolises a field of plenty. Settlers who
migrated to the USA found wages in New York ten times higher than in
Europe. Externally the fact was shortage of labour. Vast freedom is more
than a challenge to Man. He who survives that becomes an individual. The
individuality thus created in the midst of adversity makes one rise head
and shoulders above the average. His productivity rises ten times. Hence
the high wages. Productivity is prosperity. Prosperity is Money. One
cannot receive aid without losing that individuality. Western Europe
received the aid of Marshall Plan and became economic satellites of the
aid giver. Russia refused that aid and preserved its independence.
Monetary aid in practice renders the receiver culturally subordinate to
the giver. The very capacity to think will be immobilised. It is a bad
policy to receives aid or give aid. It saps the energy of the nation.
Aid develops a dependent attitude. No one who is dependent can stand up
as an individual. It is moonshine to develop individuality in a nation
that develops essentially on foreign aid. Individuality can be physical
making men warriors. Economic individuality brings self-respect. He can
survive on his own. Only one who has such individuality can think on his
own, become a thinker. Spiritual individuality is beyond all of them. A
country that desires to develop individuals will do best to return all
its aid and as a policy decide against it forever. What one country can
receive from another is training and technology, not capital. Capital
borrowed itself is harmful. Aid will dissolve any sense of independence
a nation enjoys. Productivity is prosperity. In order to produce, one
should be an individual, not a wage earner or a salaried employee. Those
who seek such employment will discover that the nation is devoid of
entrepreneurs. A nation devoid of venturesome entrepreneurs is one
without an economic backbone.
Those Who Receive Help Hurt the
The unregenerate vital is
unwilling to be under an obligation. He who receives a help has a
natural tendency to hurt the benefactor. This is a truth known to us
centuries ago and is captured in a proverb: if only you take pity on a
suffering creature, the SINS of six months will at once land on you.
History, literature and life offer copious confirmation of this truth.
The Recipient of Any Gift Resents It
It is a rule of life that the recipient of any gift, especially an
unsolicited benefit, resents it and as a result desires to be insolent
to the benefactor. Based on this truism, a joke was popular in the 20th
century in Europe which is summed up in the statement, ''I do not know
why that man hates me, I have not done him any good. (MSS)
Issues that Arise Concerning the Impulse to Help
-When we genuinely wish to help another, the ego enters the picture in a
subtle fashion and offers the help. We miss seeing it.
-It is an invariable rule in human relationships - with very rare
exceptions - that the beneficiary never fails to offend the
Inside the family and close friends group, ALL the problems arise ONLY
from this rule.
-If one does his duty pleasantly without fail within the limits of the
other person's good will, such an aberration is avoided.
-In intimate relationships, the idea of generosity is strong. One wants
to give rather than take. Once it crosses the limits, the horrible rule
I now described comes into operation. (MSS)
Poverty and Terrorism
Poverty is the root cause of terrorism. (MSS)
Poverty as well as ignorance can be wiped off the face of
earth. Then VIOLENCE will be unheard of. (MSS)
by Ending Poverty
Terrorism will vanish when its root cause, poverty, is eliminated. That
poverty can be eliminated through higher levels of education, which
enables true truths to flow, and greater knowledge of what can be
achieved in life for the individual, replacing the falsehoods and evil
that rise in the soil of poverty and ignorance. The world has to come
together to try to figure out a way for these countries (plus the
countries of Africa, and the many pockets of misery elsewhere) to emerge
from their neglect, so that fundamentalism and terror will evaporate,
and that the energies of angry men and women can be absorbed for
productive and happy lives.
End of Hold of
Religion Behind Terrorism through Prosperity, Education, & Enlightened
After the end of the Cold War, we see ferocious animosities focussed at
precise undefined points in the shape of terrorist explosions. Presently
the world is finding it difficult to come by a satisfying answer to this
Marx's description of religion as the opium of the masses deserves
Opium intoxicates in usual doses, destroys in overdoses. What is a usual
dose of a drug to a cultivated mind is an overdose to a superstitious
mind. Idealism for a great mind is fanaticism for a small mind.
Culture is the best ingredient of Mind that makes it level headed or
great. It is education that prepares the mind to receive culture. Man
thinks of education when his stomach is full. Hunger prevents one from
Physical threat and insecurity can drive man so hard, that he even
overlooks the claims of a half-filled stomach.
Superstition forms and takes hold of people at all levels of
insufficiency. There is a 'proper' superstition to each level of
maturity or immaturity.
Superstition makes men fanatics. After the end of the World War, as well
as the Cold War, there appears no valid reason for fighting.
Still, isolated intense fights, or rather attacks are there all the
time. In the absence of prosperity and education, religion does havoc to
the mind through the instrumentation of superstition.
Therefore, we see the power of
Marx's observation. It is a historical
fact that wherever life opens prosperity, religion goes to the
background. Equally, the rising enlightenment of the mind prevents
religion from having an intoxicating hold on it that leads to rabid
We also see in those hotbeds of internecine conflicts - Palestine,
Kashmir, Ireland - there is mass migration seeking better economic life,
disregarding religious persuasions.
Religion is the opium of the masses not when they are educated or
prosperous. Hence the remedy for terrorism lies in opening up the
avenues of economic betterment. (MSS)
Additional Thoughts on Terrorism
Waste and Ending Poverty
Military Disengaged Can Only Be Absorbed by Raising the Masses
The enormous energy absorbed by the military is now disengaged.
It is there for us to use. Except in raising the masses, it
cannot be fully absorbed. (MSS)
Limited Cost to End
Poverty Compare to Waste in Military Spending
has calculated that $40 billion a year would be sufficient to eradicate
global poverty within ten years. Yet long after the end of the Cold War
and at a time when there is not even a serious potential enemy in sight,
world military expenditure remains at $850 billion a year. The war is
over, but a costly, wasteful, unproductive anachronism persists.
Change Poverty Internally in the West
to End Poverty Globally
Philosophically we also believe that if we in the West change our
consciousness to the poverty that exists in our own countries, it will
have a ripple effect where poverty will begin to spontaneously be
reduced in the rest of the world. For example, if the US seriously
addressed its own poverty, there would be a similar positive development
suddenly arise as it relates to world poverty. This observation is based
on our observation of a law of consciousness that we call "Inner-Outer
Correspondence;" that is, that the world around us reflects for better
or worse our own internal condition. If we change what is inside us, our
inner attitudes, values, and consciousness, the world will suddenly
change in a similar way. This is true for individuals, institutions, and
nations. Actually for the universe itself.
Overcoming Poverty Helps Fulfill Humanity's Evolutionary Purpose
If we look around the world we will see that poverty is driving
all instability in society. Whether it is a near-slave laborer in
China producing Western goods at a pittance salary, the 30%
unemployment amongst young men in Baghdad and other parts of the
Middle East, the fight over territory and resources in rural Africa,
or the impoverished individuals stumbling out of the disaster of
hurricane Katrina in America, poverty is the root cause of most
anguish and insurrection -- including terrorism -- in the world.
Poverty should be attacked as a global problem more nefarious
than even terrorism. The war of terrorism should be accompanied by a
war on poverty. A rapid reaction force against the evil of terrorism
needs to be accompanied by a global rapid reaction force against the
scourge of global poverty. One without the other will
prevent either from succeeding.
A plan to fight poverty involves the activation of thought, i.e
our mentality. It is easier to revert to physical brutality to step
the symptom. It is easier to get anguished and rail against two
sides in a conflict such as we observe in the war in Iraq. It is
more difficult to be rational, exercise our minds, and come up with
comprehensive plans for development that will end or at least
substantially reduce poverty on earth. Without doing so, the
physical and vital individuals and forces will gain sway, and will
continue in their brutality and rage -- whether the unemployed poor,
or the Western powers that seek to repulse their violent outrage.
To come together to develop plans of development that ends
poverty requires the giving up of ego at all fronts. The national
ego that is self-assured must be given up in order to cooperate with
other nations. The self-righteousness of individuals who take sides
must be abandoned to cooperate for this higher purpose and good.
Man is meant to move to ever-higher states of harmony. It is his
evolutionary destiny. Poverty provides one such opportunity. Before
WWII, the nations of the world were unconscious. They did not
cooperate. In fact, the financial powers engaged in speculation that
drove down the world's economy and gave rise to Nazism and fascism
that caused over 60 million to die. Only after did Europe learn its
bitter lessons of non-cooperation in the face of a rising menace,
and the earlier greed of rampant financial speculation. That is a
lesson for our own times. We must cooperate on development to
overcome poverty to prevent the dark forces from rising and holding
sway, whatever their source. It is the time to act.
The 20th century was the time of
the rise of the Common Man, where the small individual gained vast
rights and was able to rise to improve himself to a level that a
prince or king would enjoy in earlier times. Now man must become the
True Individual, even the True Spiritual Individual. One way he does
this is by discovering his deep commonality with others. Even the
recognition that we each share a soul relationship with one another.
Harmony of purpose is one dimension in that rise from Common Man to
the True, even the Spiritual Individual. The opportunity to overcome
poverty has come to serve that very purpose. It comes to help us
fulfill humanity's evolutionary destiny on earth.
Poverty and Further Organization
In many fields of
life, such as computer software or efforts to eradicate
poverty, there is
chaos, confusion, imperfection, duplication, inefficiency, etc. It is a
great problem in life. It can be solved when their central organizing
principles are further organized. (MSS)
If every Indian citizen chose to take full advantage of the enormous
range of opportunities afforded by the current atmosphere of freedom -- to
learn, teach, think, invent, produce and achieve all that he or she is
capable of -- then poverty will soon be a thing of the past in this
country. Eradication of poverty is a necessary achievement and the
sooner the better. (MSS)
How Money Trust
Creates Greater Wealth in Society
How is greater wealth in society produced?
Money is goods. So also, money is TRUST. Today values of life are
deteriorating on one side. On the other side, banks recover over 90%,
perhaps 93% of consumer loans.
Money was created as a medium of exchange. It has always represented
Man's Trust in currency and the government. That trust is, on the
balance, more today. Hence there is more money in circulation. This
answer is vague.
Individually, one can see that NOW he who is
optimistic is better off. He who avails of confidence-raising schemes is
better off, as he rises with the rising confidence of the nation. All
those who have risen meteorically are people whose work is trusted. One
way of becoming prosperous is to raise that level of trust in our lives.
(MSS, slightly modified)
the West and Negative Life Response
Thousands die every day in Africa of AIDS and Malaria,
but little is spoken of it here in the West. It is
callousness of the worst sort. It attracts "bad karma,"
which is the principle that what you sow is what you reap
in life. 9/11 and situations like it thus comes as a negative response from
life in return for our callousness to a variety of the world's
We do not see that our lower consciousness --whether our own
or that of any collective -- is constantly
attracting negativity from the field of life. Look around
and examine your life, and watch for negative circumstances that
come to you. It is most likely related to lower movements of
our consciousness; it is especially there in our wanting
attitudes. Let us try to
identify a negative attitude and then change
it. Life will then respond to you ON
ITS OWN with sudden good fortune. Problems
will suddenly solve themselves, and sudden opportunities
will arise from out of
nowhere. It is the instantaneous miraculousness of
callousness can turn into true concern -- including true
follow-up to our positive public statements -- new
solutions to the
problems of Africa, the Arab world, and elsewhere can instantaneously spring
forth on their own. The key is to move out of our narrow, self-centered
attitudes that separate us from the conditions of the world around us.
It applies not just to the West, but to any country, any
culture, any individual.
Additional Thoughts on
Demilitarization of the World
Thoughts on the Nature of &
Potential for Prosperity
Self-Employment, Entrepreneurship, Risk-Taking, Self-Reliance
Articles on Poverty
Perception of Poverty
Society's Problems Through Higher Consciousness
Principles of Social Development
and End to Poverty
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother worked to establish the spiritual power on
earth, so that suffering, pain, falsehood, cruelty, and
poverty in any form
would be fully and finally abolished forever from earth's existence.
Scarcity is the desire NOT to see the abundance around. (MSS)
It is an imaginative extension of thought that conceives of poverty as
an agent of pollution. This conception extends the physical environment
to a social dimension to include living human beings. Environment that
includes MAN is certainly polluted by the existence of poverty which
means insufficient needs at the most physical level of hunger. (MSS)
In truth the message is not abolition of poverty but a society
where all enjoy equally with equal freedom with no fetters to women.
These accomplishments still leave more than one billion people in