Renowned English poet William Wordsworth once observed, rather lamented, ages ago, The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The very opening words hint at the world, the material world, which has got into us too much. We are so deeply engrossed in it that we see little in nature that is ours. In his impotent fury, the poet calls all our materialistic achievements a sordid boon, to which we have given away our hearts.
Poets are indeed visionaries. They sometimes utter universal truths, like the current one. The world has long since moved on, and has transformed into an entirely different place from the old one. But certain things have stubbornly refused to change, and unhappily, are taking a heavy toll on the mankind. Wondering what those stubborn things are? Well, have a look around you, and you will know what I am hinting at.
In this world of material progress and achievements, man is caught in a rat race, furiously chasing illusive dreams, and in the process, giving oneself away to debilitating consequences, e.g., gross neglect of our spirit, soul. We have moved too far away from the nature which has been our lifeline in this world. On the concrete, material side, we have been laying waste our powers, energies, especially mental. In long run, that shows up. It starts with fatigue (mental) and if not taken care of timely, grows into a burnout, impacting both, body and mind. Once the burnout manifests, the victim goes into an alarm. Health both physical as well as mental suffers considerably. Performance starts taking a toll and in that proportion, achievements too.
Depending on the degree of ailment, one starts pressing various types of panic buttons, seeking relief and cure. All sorts of modern medical and other therapies are explored and tried. But solution still seems a remote possibility. Why? Why me? And a lot other anxieties seem to overwhelm the suffering soul with no solution in sight. We need to find a treatment for mental health and thereby, the spirit. We need to have the nerves relaxed a little bit. But how?
While dealing with such a crisis, the ancient traditional wisdom seems to show a light. It says, “Strike at the root of the ailment.” And the root in the present crisis invariably happens to be an overdose of materialism, That carries its unhealthy products like lust for money and luxuries. If one really wants a cure, one has to apply the antidote. Obviously, the opposite of materialistic world is the world of nature, and the cure for materialism is spiritualism. One needs a proper initiation into spiritual practices too to take care of the spirit.
There could be numerous approaches to that. One significant hint for a healthy solution comes up from Wordsworth himself. The Nature’s Priest gives a call for ‘back to nature.’ In his desperation, Wordsworth prays and wishes, even at the cost of being dubbed a ‘Pagan’, for – …standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; The poet is sure that once back to the nature, man would automatically get back into tune with his life and the world. He would regain the crucial balance between the two and would be able to enjoy the pleasure of both.
Remember, ‘prevention,’ as the axiom goes, ‘is better than cure.’ The sooner in life one gets to discover this wisdom and adopts it, the greater would the advantages be, and above all, one would be saved the misery of burnouts and the tragic consequences following it.