We could just as easily change our circumstances. Why don't we just change them then? It is because the animal still lives in our hormones, you see. Our bodily chemistry is yet stimulating us to live like the vital-elemental creature. Thus, we must have conflicts and opponents. We must eat and be devoured ourselves.
Certainly, we would like the quality of our existence to be different. But people in general are not yet moving toward anything significantly different. Thus, the would-be human world is yet a lower-adapted, subhuman world. Perhaps some people are more highly evolved - people who can live an apparently moral, ecstatic, or spiritually devoted life -but they are not common. Most people are fixed in their adaptation to living under stress, and they do not know enough to create human and spiritual sanctuary for themselves.
To create a human sanctuary for higher adaptation and the ultimate transcendence of Man is a true urge, even the primal human urge.We inherently desire a human and natural environment in which we can live without the chronic production of stress chemistry. We want to be cured at the heart of our mind and thereby transformed bodily. And we know, deeply, psychically, that we cannot realize that transformation until we can create a culture in which people can live without degenerative stress. Thus, sanctuary, or spiritual community, is the motive in Man that contains the genetic secret of the next stage in human evolution.
We do not live a life of love and peace and harmony, in which the basic requirements of ordinary physical and social life are mutually granted. Yet, such is the state of evolution or adaptation that mankind must enjoy in order to experience spiritual and bodily bliss both significantly and continuously. And it will not be natural or common for people in general to exist in such a condition, until the human world is profoundly changed in a very practical way.
This consideration of chronic stress, or confinement to lower adaptation, is not simply a negative criticism of the way we tend to live; it is also, unfortunately, a description of the way most of us must live at the present time. We must be stressful, politically and socially, to protect the world and our own lives and families and communities from the profoundly chaotic madness of this subhuman global society. We are all struggling. We all have our eyes on what happens in the daily world, in the news. Thus, we cannot exist in anything like a blissful condition all the time - and, truly, except in the case of profoundly creative spiritual practice, we cannot enjoy the higher bliss of Man even some of the time.
Because we believe that we are not easily surviving, that we are indeed under constant mortal threat, we die early. We think it is extraordinary to live to the age of seventy or eighty. Our expected life span is better than it was even a few decades ago, but, even so, our lifetime is not time at all. And we live under stress the whole time! Very little tends to be accomplished in such a span. Therefore, we are always dropping the body and having to begin again. We must find the ways to overcome the stresses of lower adaptation, to transform the chemistry of the body-mind literally, so that we can live our daily life without personal, social, cultural, and chemical stress. Such a life is not possible for a group of people until they manage to create sanctuary with one another - a mutually protected, stable, basically unthreatened way of life.
"We are threatened!" is the message of the news. It reminds us of our chronic situation. The theatre of the news is all about people who are threatening one another, either with terrible violence or with just plain social nastiness, exploiting one another to death. We constantly reinforce loveless society in our associations with one another. We teach each other and we pass on to our children all the techniques for living as a stressful personality. We believe bodily, stressfully, that our life cannot, even should not, be long, that it is not good to be alive in the body, that we are only supposed to go elsewhere. We have all these ideas that are Life-negative in bodily terms, but the ultimate way of Enlightenment is to become Life-positive in bodily terms, which is just the reverse of what we are tending to do. Human beings are living way down at the bottom of their evolutionary potential. Nevertheless, if we can personally, and with a few others, grasp the higher realities of the mechanisms in which we live, then we can practice a Way of life that stimulates and develops those higher factors. We must have sanctuary, a relatively protected world, in which to do that, because, if we are going to rise above the civilization of the daily news, we must live in a way that is superior to the way that people in general tend to live.