Understanding the threat of Degeneracy
Let there be no doubt about it, degeneracy is a constant threat to our being in the world we live in today. Maybe it has always, and will always be a threat. But I can only be concerned with things as they are now.
Degeneracy comes at us in so many ways, its influence is very subtle at times, so I will give some specific detailed examples:
1) An obvious first example is those who become addicted to something that ends up ruining their life. Be it sex, drugs, alcohol. Or, in another form, it could be an unhealthy obsession with a person, a belief, certain possessions. In all cases they lose alignment with their true source of being over time, due to their fixation on something that in itself is ultimately lifeless without an active being supporting it, and the result is a degeneration.
2) A second, less obvious, example of degeneracy is certain social rituals geared to undermining peoples own sense of being. It could be a ritual humiliation, or a ritual of going along with some arbitrary, clearly false belief, just because an authority tells you to believe it. It could be a ritual of getting you to act against your own intuition and judgment. Such as peer pressure getting you to act against your natural compassion, and go along with a group of people beating up or treating someone badly for instance. Once again in these cases the end result is a degeneracy is set in by you becoming misaligned with your own sense and source of being.
3) An unhealthy dependent relationship with another person would be a third example of degeneracy of our own sense of being.
The threats are many, and they must be understood well so they can be avoided. It seems we cannot avoid degeneration ultimately of our physical bodies. But we can avoid a mental degeneration that speeds up the physical process also.
How much now of your own degeneration springs from subtle mental acceptance of things counter to your own source of being, rather than from physical decay? The job you took because it gave some security even though you didn’t enjoy doing it? The kid you beat up because others were doing it and you just went along with it, rather than consulting your own sense of compassion and fairness?
You, and I, and all of us need to ask ourselves questions like these regularly. Because there is much we can do here if we understand better the subtle factors and threats of degeneracy in our environment that infiltrate our whole mental outlook. Yes we can learn from our errors, but some errors leave lasting damage, so better to plan and think ahead, and predict threats coming before they have you in their grip.