Another year has passed on ever-ending earth - one that was packed with roller-coaster rides of events and emotions. Last year, we informed our friends of the cyclic evolution of this planet. We also briefly let them know the reasons why the Supreme Being came to found the Cao Ðài Religion. This post will first elaborate on those reasons in slightly more length.
Why the Supreme Being came to us
Early in the twentieth century, the world was writhing in the pains of World War I, the Great Depression, colonization, slavery, and pandemics. It was one of the darkest times in history, probably much more so than the dark ages. It threatened to get even darker on the verge of further collapse and conflicts. Humanity, especially the colonized, enslaved, and oppressed, was crying out for mercy and relief. Who could they turn to when those in power were the ones that caused their suffering? Religions only served to exacerbate these crimes, straying from their path of goodness and holiness.
"The goodness of God was wiped out. Darkness had taken over the world."
"Most human beings on this earth worship devilry. It is always allied with death and will therefore be destroyed and never know the eternal life. If I do not save you in time, you will perish."
(God's Divine Message, 1926)
To protect themselves, nations relied on science and weapons. They resorted to violence and hatred to counter the hatred, ultimately unleashing, fueling, and inflaming it to the point of demonic-ness. They thought that nuclear power could put a stop to those tragedies, but it would only push them all towards the point of no return. Mass destruction is waiting for a push of a button.
Seeing the looming dangers, the Supreme Being came to pronounce that only Love and Justice could save us from these disasters. Only Love and Justice can win over hatred and destruction. He also guided us on the path to eternal life with Him not only up there but also down here. That is, He taught us how to build Heaven on earth. To accomplish this mission, we have to first abide by the Covenant with Him.
"You must renounce your physical body for your spiritual seeds to multiply. It is the principle of the Tao." (God's Divine Message, 1926)
Why should we care about it now?
The Covenant is timeless and eternal. It is similar to those signed in previous religions. Although it sounds simple, it has hardly been abided by over the course of a century. Hardly had it been signed before it was breached time and time again. According to Divine Law, we are now guilty and can be condemned to damnation.
Ours is an age of worldwide capitalism, materialism, indulgence, competition, domination, etc. The ills of the world war decades have been reincarnated into a different form - the business (and probably also political) context. No matter how leaders sugar-coat them with good-sounding terms like purpose, stakeholderism, and the common good, the bottom line almost always boils down to greed, domination, desire, delusion, and dehumanization. The rat race leaves no one behind.
Jesus, the Buddha, and other holy figures have had their roles usurped by executives, chairmen, m/billionaires, etc. Faith groups are losing members to company cults whose daily ramifications have replaced religious teachings. The path of good has been erased by career paths. Merit is measured by how much wealth one can rack up. 'Leaderat' is the name of the game. It is gauged by how many rats one can coax into the race up the rat ladder to churn out more rat products worth millions of rat dollars. Moving up the rungs gives them the power to use those below as underats. The race to the top tends to be ruthless and often only reserved for white rats. Once they get to the top 1%, they nest more than 50% global cheese or scavenge thousands or millions of times more than others. Imagine how they take over the world as they already have. Their destruction defies nightmares, and yet they call it their dreams.
"D… imitated Heaven in organizing their own hierarchy for the sole purpose of tormenting you. I grant them this privilege to seduce and tempt you to become their servants." (God's Divine Message, 1926)
One may wonder why state leaders are keen on supporting or even accelerating the race. Their political systems feed on almost nothing but rat taxes. They consider it the main source of wealth for their nations. Those who accumulate the most rat riches can lord over others in many ways simply because they all worship it. Romans have been reborn in suits and ties. In the lairs of some regimes, the incarnations of Qin Shi Huang, Zhow of Shang, and the like are tightening their reigns. The rotten seeds of Hitler and Mussolini quietly sprout in the minds of supremacists, ideologists, and narcissists, who stroll the corridors of public, office, and ivy-donned buildings...
"I have told you that I unleashed many beasts among you to devour you at any chance. However, I have also given you an armor to protect you... If you abandon the armor, you are exposed to harm, and if you abandon the Tao, you will be possessed by evils... It is natural that among numerous candidates, only a few may pass the examination."
(God's Divine Message, 1926)
A reminder to world leaders
Yesteryear, we appealed to world leaders to exemplify Love and Justice in this tumultuous time. As they play a key role in secularization, they need to help fix it. The destruction that their regimes have caused to the spirit of humanity must be reversed and redeemed. Let us see how the world has changed over the past year. Below is a short year-in-review video:
In addition to the SDGs, the key issues which concerned the global public in 2021 included:
Covid-19 pandemic: It definitely causes the biggest concern on the top of mind of everyone. Vaccination has been rolled out in many countries but vaccination rates remain very low in poorer ones. Everyone suffered both physically and mentally.
Poverty and economic hardship: The pandemic and its ensuing troubles have reduced or taken away the means of living of many. The extreme poverty rate has risen because eradication efforts were stalled in 2021.
Climate and Environment: The pandemic showed us how nature was somewhat revitalized in the absence of human activities. COP26 was held timely to take a hard look at how much our activities are responsible for damages to the planet. Bold goals were set for a net-zero future, but some doubted that these talks were mere green-washing.
What may world leaders anticipate in 2022?
Below is a short year-ahead video:
In addition to the SDGs, the key issues which leaders expect to work on include (Brown, 2021):
Equitable access to Covid vaccines and pills but lack of clear mental health solution
Ambition and accountability at COP27
Economic recovery and measures against inflation
Progress in gender equality
Humanitarian crises and conflicts
How about people on the ground?
Below is a recap video for 2021 followed by another for 2022. Please note that these videos focus only on one country which everyone knows. Due to limited information, not much is known about the rest of the world. It partly indicates how much they love each other.
A closer look at the Year-in-search report actually uncovers better sentiments across the world. Love was manifested in the rising search for vaccination volunteer opportunity, helping Texas, helping Haiti after its earthquake, and helping Afghanistan near the end of the year. Concern about the planet was expressed by interest in sustainability, conservation, and climate change which reached record levels in 2021. Meanwhile, mental health and yearning for love from soulmates appeared to be unaddressed at the start of the year but waned later on. These issues might have been aggravated by the misinformation, polarization, and addiction to social media.
Implications for 2022
A disconnect is rather obvious between leaders' concerns and those of their citizens. Their care or compassion is often expressed in monetary terms as a kind of charity conferred from above. Even such contrived love from the top does not trickle down to the ground where personal wishes and desires take the center stage. Ours is a love-deficient world at best. How leaders and their citizens strive to love each other still remains to be seen in 2022 and coming years. It does take time and effort, especially when the rat race goes back on at full speed. The essence of being and Creation will again fall into oblivion or simply be ousted by its decadent copycat.
Justice appears to be confined to courts where noisy crowds of smart professionals keep spewing out convoluted laws which are too complicated for any sane person to grasp. It is so expensive, cumbersome, and lucrative that countless firms cannot wait to make their living out of it. That explains why they love justice so much and eagerly go to work in court every day. Without the mental prowess to go through law school or the money to hire those 'smarties', one's chance of asking for justice is rather slim. In authoritarian regimes, asking for justice may just be seeking punishment. Their faces will not be slapped but be punched.
Upholding these very basic laws seems too far-fetched. Breaking the Covenant has become an easy choice for broken souls. Hoping for them to progress to the Way is like praying for rain in the Sahara. A better world is yet anywhere in sight.
The Cao Đài age will come neither as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam nor the United States or the United Nations or any other rebellious country but as the promised holy family. Until God’s sovereignty is restored over His Holy Body in His Holy City, the Covenant with Him remains broken.
A Moment of Contemplation
This space is reserved for our readers' contemplation. Instead of answering questions, individual reflection is encouraged this time.
Brown, Kaysie. 5 global issues to watch in 2022. United Nations Foundations, 2021.
Ray, Julie. World Review 2021: 10 Stories That Will Matter in 2022. Gallup, 2022.
The top 10 international stories of 2021. CNN, 2021.
Year in search. Google, 2021.
2022: a preview of the year’s biggest themes. The Economist, 2021.
Disclaimer: The references are only provided as food for thought. They do not represent the views of the Center. We assume no responsibility for their accuracy or truthfulness.