Friday, June 8, 2012

Baba on Population

Here is what Meher Baba had to say about human population.
"Selfishness, multiplied by population, results in wars, exploitation, persecution and poverty. 
Selflessness, multiplied by population, brings about peace and plenty" (Lord Meher, p. 3162)
There are many experts on the subject of population that would agree with Baba, that population alone is in fact not the principal cause of war or hunger, that such a direct correlation is artificial, and that the causes of strife in the world are far more complex.

Here is a sample of population densities (people per square kilometer) which demonstrate that little correlation between poverty and population exists. High populations and high annual GDPs are highlighted in red.

 People per square kilometer
 Per Capita GDP
 South Korea

Here is a map of world population densities, which expands if you click on it, followed by a photograph of lights at night showing population centers.

World population density map
(click image to enlarge)
Lights at night showing modern population dispersal
(click to see a much larger image)

India's rarely discussed wildlands
Most often people cringe about population when it is the population of poor countries. Yet if one examines the populations of many of the poorest we find it is paltry, while wealth exists in some of the most populace. Many cringe at the population of India, yet hardly do over the Netherlands or Belgium. In fact the population densities are so small in many of the poorest countries in Africa that there is now a well-publicized land-grab going from outside to seize farmland to export food to wealthier nations. Poor countries where this land-grab is occurring include:
  1. Congo
  2. Eritrea
  3. Ethiopia
  4. Kenya
  5. Liberia
  6. Madagascar
  7. Mali
  8. Mozambique
  9. Nigeria
  10. Sierra Leone
  11. South Sudan
  12. Sudan
  13. Tanzania
  14. Uganda
Propaganda says that this is good for these nation's 'economies.' Yet if these nations have a surplus of fertile arable land (enough to feed wealthier nations) and other resources sufficient to be removed by outside powers, then how is it that they have so much poverty and hunger within their own borders? The answer is centuries of colonialism and exploitation. To see what colonialism did to the black and brown nations, especially India, watch this extraordinary BBC Documentary. At the same time this goes on, outsiders are today being increasingly lead to believe the internal hunger and deprivation in these countries is due to their overpopulation, which is not entirely true. Paradoxically, by this strange logic and misrepresentation of reality, on top of land-grabs are also occurring heartbreaking forced sterilization programs in the guise of humanitarianism, in many of these very countries, designed and funded in the West to solve those people's 'population problem.' Baba's words thus begin to truly come to life when we begin to study the facts.

How does Baba explain our current higher population? Baba gives a most unusual explanation. For Baba the world is not a number game, but a soul game, a spiritual journey of souls through their evolution and involution. Baba says there are 18,000 planets in the universe with human life, and yet the earth is the sole planet where God-realization is possible, and the only planet where the Avatar takes birth and where the hierarchy is. Thus it is, he says, that:
". . . souls. . . from other inhabited worlds [planets with human life] finally take birth on this earth for their emancipation, more so during the Avataric advent when the highest spiritual benefit is gained, and most so when the Avataric manifestation is greatest. Hence the present influx of population on earth is but the natural outcome of the rush of migration from other worlds. . ." (Meher Baba, Much Love, p. 429).
He goes on to say:
"All this has been recurring since timeless ages in a neverending tide and ebb" (ibid).
And here he says:
"Our population is increasing by leaps and bounds for the same reason that souls are migrating from other worlds as they want a human body on the earth in this Avataric age" (Meher Prabhu, 1985, p. 4461, unpublished).
Today many sources tell us that the only way to 'save' earth is to induce population control, most often called "birth control" which sounds nicer. What kind of love is behind wanting to prevent anyone from the marvelous experience of having a child. Many actually support sterilization programs.

Here is what Baba said about such use of birth control to control population.
"The attitude that most persons have toward birth control is oscillating and confused because it contains an admixture of good and bad elements. While birth control is right in its aim of securing the regulation of population, it is disastrously unfortunate in the choice of its means" (Discourses, p. 107)
Baba does not encourage indiscriminate breeding, but emphasizes that from a spiritual vantage point, internal or mental means are the only truly appropriate method to regulate the size of one's family.
"Mental control secures the humanitarian purposes that inspire birth control but keeps clear of the spiritual disasters entailed by the use of physical means. Mental control is not only useful for regulating the number of children but is also indispensable for restoring to humanity its divine dignity and spiritual well-being. Only through the wise exercise of mental control is it possible for humanity to rise from passion to peace, from bondage to freedom, and from animality to purity. In the minds of thoughtful persons the much ignored spiritual side of this question must assume the importance it deserves" (ibid).
Again, for Baba the world is not a number game but a spiritual journey, and life ought to be measured by spiritual values, not simply pragmatic regulation, even if his path seems harder this is what he says. For more on this subject see Discourses.

Here is another source with some of the same material by Baba (with its original chapter heading) from The Advancing Stream of Life, 1969.


Meher Baba

There are 18,000 worlds in Creation which are inhabited,
some by human beings with 100% intelligence, others with
lesser and varying degrees of it. But the value of our Earth,
where mind and heart balance, in inestimable. For it is here,
and here alone that one can go through the process of
Involution and experience the subtle and mental spheres;
here alone that God-realization can be attained. Thus it is
that souls (jiv-atmas) from other inhabited worlds finally
take birth on this earth for their emancipation, more so
during the Avataric advent when the highest spiritual benefit
is gained and most so when the Avataric manifestation is
greatest. Hence the present influx of population on Earth is
but the natural outcome of the rush of "migration" from other
worlds, and the ones migrating from the worlds of highest
intelligence are responsible for carrying science to the peak
it has reached today.

Baba said, “All this has been recurring since timeless ages,
in a never ending tide and ebb. Even this Earth expends itself
in time and another such earth takes its place. Science will
soon come to know a little of what I have said.

My dictionary:

Panic: Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior.

In case it isn't obvious from the above, my own person position is that population is a make-believe problem foisted onto modern people of Earth by very undeveloped people, and that while this notion is trendy and many Baba followers attempt to quote Baba in support of their belief, Baba never implied anything of the kind. In support of my position that the "population explosion" (or explosion, crisis, bomb, or whatever scare-word is in fashion) is an myth repeated by uncritical people.

Take the deforestation of the East Coast of the United States. Today most of the the Eastern half of the US is second-growth forest. When were the original virgin forests harvested? Since the population began to rise (after the Civil War)? No. It was forested mostly prior to that rise.

A rebuttal argument is that the East Coast of the United States was more populated by Europeans than any time during its pre-Columbian human history (of 10,000 years). Untrue again. The population of North America prior to the arrival of Columbus was as large as it was in the period that Europeans decimated the nation's forests. Estimates are that about 50 million people populated North America in 1492.

The difference, then, was not population competing for too few resources (an idea by Malthus, borrowed by Darwin to explain all of life), but a state of mind -- one that had no feeling for nature, and had a greed for money at any cost -- which they gained by selling to people with lust for power bought with giant ships, and large houses build from giant timbers.

The Malthusian myth is just that -- long disproved over and over.

Today, as of Fall of 2016, the Earth is suffering from a glut of oil and food -- two commodities that population alarmists have harped on for decades (with oil) and (with food) centuries.

A true examination of the Earth reveals a planet that is both new, fresh, bountiful, and (over most of its habitable land surface) very sparsely populated.

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