" How do spiritually advanced people respond to horrible things happening in the world, such as the oil spill in the Gulf, extremism, global warming? I will tell you that the way that I respond is to try and avoid hearing about such things because I always think doomsday thoughts and get sad and anxious about bad things happening."
Thank you, Breanne, for articulating a question that is in so many people's minds. Your response is perfect. When there are things going on around us that bring us down it is best to remove your attention from them. That does not amount to denying what is going on, but it is acknowledging that these problems are outside my ability to resolve and dwelling on them merely dissipates my energy. So why do that? Good strategy to protect yourself. Don't let any guilt creep in. The next step is in answer to your next question.
"I hear about how 2012 is supposedly when the human race will become more spiritually advanced and will enter a new era of peace and harmony, stuff like that. I don't see how that's possible when so many things happening in the world right now indicate that we are nowhere near becoming more spiritually advanced."
Actually there is a lot of good going on in the world, quietly, unobtrusively and in a distributed fashion all over the globe. Someone asked the Dalai Lama recently if we as a human race are doomed. His answer was quite to the contrary. He said there is more understanding, more goodwill, more capability now in the world than ever before. Unfortunately good news doesn't sell and so it does not make the news. Bad news is sensational. The Dalai Lama urged the journalists and the reporters to focus on the good news instead.
They may or may not do so. But we can in our immediate circles. If we learn to do that then that expands. It is a law. Wherever we place our attention, energy and focus, we help grow.
2012 will be what it will be, we need not be overly concerned. We just have each to decide for ourselves where we will place our own attention, energy and focus -- on the bad that is out of our circle of influence or the little drops of good that is very much a part of our everyday life and feel grateful about that.
It is really our choice. As Mike Dooley says "Thoughts become things, choose the good ones".
Creating the ability to see Wholeness