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Raise consciousness not the debt ceiling

National Debt Clock
National Debt Clock

It's easy to blame Congress or a past or present president for our economic mess. But no one stops to consider whether they themselves have contributed to the problem. Americans have been on a spending spree since 1945. People used to live within their means, saved, and invested wisely. Now we live in a consumer society in which people are encouraged by retailers and banks to spend money they don't have. We rack up thousands of dollars in debt using credit cards and loans. The total household debt in America was 11.7 trillion dollars in 2010 down from a high of 12.5 trillion in 2008. And the only reason it went down is because people defaulted on loans. Divide this amount by the population and you get $37,620 of debt for every man, woman and child. The current national debt, what the federal government has borrowed to fund its programs, is 16.4 trillion or $52,733 per person. This is the debt ceiling. If it's not raised soon, the government will not be able to pay it's obligations (social security, military pay, medicare payments) and debt to China. If this were to happen, it would set off not just a national financial crisis but a global one bigger than the much-feared financial cliff.

No doubt some agreement will be reached to raise the debt ceiling, most likely tied to some promise of future spending cuts, as has happened time and again. But even if politicians were to remove the debt ceiling entirely, it would not solve the problem. We need to raise our consciousness, not the debt ceiling. The way to do that is through the reintegration of spirituality into education and the loosening of its ties to government. When spirit is divorced from educational material, students are not inspired, and they learn to value money and material things over morals and ideals. When educational programs are tied to government purse strings and requirements thought up by bureaucrats instead of innovative educators, the result is our present situation. The graduates and dropouts from such an educational system form a materialistic consumer society with a middle class that lives beyond its means and a lower class that looks for handouts from the government instead of becoming productive members of society. An educational system that incorporates spiritual values will engender a society that will be productive not just of goods but of good. It will graduate innovative government and business leaders with foresight and values who can come up with solutions that will benefit all, not just themselves and special interest groups.

It may be that the government and economy has to first collapse before a new foundation can be built with an enlightened educational system. If that happens, what will get us through difficult times is to find or form spiritual communities like The Hearts Center with a threefold social organization that will become the seeds of a future nation and world ruled by wisdom and love, a veritable heaven on earth.