PEARL

AGE OF UNREST

I conceive of God, in fact, as a means of liberation and not a means to control others.
James Baldwin

To assert that we are living in a time of unrest is as self-evident as observing seasonal change unless one has been living underneath a rock for more than a century or one happens to be a visitor from a far away galaxy. Whether in the form of newspapers, magazines, television, social media or the blogosphere, pundits everywhere churn out all over the media, accounts and reports of general restlessness, day in day out. So, too, do the recognitions from our own observations tend to confirm this and the general consensus is that we human beings are suffering from too much unrest.

People are afraid of quiet hours when work cannot give them distraction from their inner selves. In such hours, they become alert to their inner being, which wants to be heard.

This restlessness is the subject of detailed observations, considerations, and evaluations. Psychologists, theologians, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, politicians, church leaders and others have pondered extensively on the significance of this phenomenon of the present time, whether for the individual, for nations or for humanity as a whole. Responsible leaders and researchers are anxious to combat this plague as energetically and as vigorously as possible, in order to eradicate it, or at least contain it at manageable levels, because there is already clear evidence that its consequences can be devastating.

What is the actual cause of this contemporary malady? What can bring us closer to the realisation of the cause of the unrest of our time, which is able to provoke fear of an uncertain future and fear of life in general? For if the present is already joyless, the future would seem to be one without hope.

Many people are uprooted by the unparalleled scale of natural disasters, which often strike from one hour or day to the next. Millions of other people in different parts of the world have been displaced or exiled, violently uprooted from their homelands, have lost their belongings as a result of the effects of the war and revolution and are often left languishing for years on end in so-called refugee shelters which are more like prison camps than safe havens. What progress had been created through laborious work, sometimes across generations, is lost in one fell swoop. Experiences such as these make it hard not to succumb to resignation and despair. Yet, the mental and spiritual needs in many cases far exceed economic ones arising from such events. The state is hardly able to make restitution for the incalculable mental and spiritual hardships and damage, even if, through its own resources, or via aid from abroad, it can make good the material losses. The existing restlessness, even after monetary compensation, is unlikely to disappear completely for a long time. Every human being needs his emotional-spiritual inner life to be in balance and harmony with his external surroundings, in order to find his inner self, his spiritual self, which alone constitutes the real man.

To superficial observers of human experience in our time, people

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