The Need to Prepare

How will you and your family and friends fare in the years to come? Will you continue to eat well? to drive your own cars? to own your own homes? Will you still be able to vote in free elections? to choose your own line of work? to live and travel where you please? Are world wars now a thing of the past? Is mankind moving toward greater plenty, security, and social justice? Or are we in a tailspin toward hunger, poverty, political slavery, global destruction and chaos?

Sweeping Changes

If ever there was a time when the future of the human race was in doubt, it is now. Man’s sophistication in the techniques of destruction seems hardly to be outdistancing his willingness to destroy himself. Numerous scientists have stated that we are fast approaching a time of such overpopulation that our planet simply won’t be able to produce enough food to feed everyone; that within a very few years — quite possibly in the present decade — millions will starve to death, or be killed in global wars as nations strive to exploit the available food supplies. More and more reputable economists are predicting worldwide depression. Dwindling sources of energy threaten dire shortages of many of the prime necessities of modern life. Whatever the future holds in store for us, one thing is certain: We may look forward to sweeping changes in our lives in the years to come.

Forewarned Is Forearmed

To try to pierce the veil and peer ahead in time is not always, as people often claim, utterly futile. Present signs often point at least to probable future developments. And especially in critical and insecure times such as these, it behooves us to do what we can to plan ahead intelligently. During other periods of great change in history there have always been men and women of foresight who managed to ride the storms to new heights of success, while others were crushed and broken by calamities for which they were totally unprepared. Yet common sense was seldom the only guideline of those fortunate few. Many of them were led by a sort of sixth sense, an inner certainty of impending developments. It is as though, in times of widespread need, inspirations were sent to man from higher, spiritual realms: silent suggestions which a few sensitive people have been inwardly attuned to receive. And not people only. Consider how often animals seem to know in advance when an exceptionally cold winter is due, or famine, or a record flood. Animals generally have been known to prepare for disasters of which human beings had no premonition. The squirrels have laid in larger stores of acorns; the beavers have built dams to higher levels. When the time comes for new strides in civilization, too, more than one person often “chances” on the same discovery at the same time. It is as though the idea had been put into the atmosphere for all men to receive it who were prepared to do so. Paramhansa Yogananda, the great master of yoga and spiritual teacher from India, wrote that scientists are inspired by God to discover, at the right time and place, the secrets of His creation.[*]

Warnings and Promises

In every age, there have been a few saintly persons who were especially attuned to the subtle messages of inner, divine guidance. Especially in times of great danger to humanity, these persons have often raised their voices publicly in prophetic warning. Whoever heeded them was spared many of the afflictions suffered by other men. Our present age would seem to be such a time. Great seers have raised their voices to speak of coming calamities. At the same time, however, they have claimed to be able to see through the tunnel of approaching darkness to a landscape brighter and more beautiful than any in mankind’s present memory. The trials they predict are, they say, a preparation for a better world, a necessary purification, and not merely a punishment for past sins. At the same time, they have also offered us a present light to guide us through the tunnel, that the coming darkness may be lessened, even dispersed — if not by mankind generally, then at least by sensible individuals. If anyone cares to prepare wisely for the road ahead, he would do well to heed the words of warning, as well as of promise, of those great souls.

Swami Kriyananda. The Road Ahead (Kindle Locations 75-108). Kindle Edition.