Civilizations Are the Outer Embodiment of
a Certain Stage of Development in Human Soul
Carlos Cardoso Aveline
The end of every civilization unfolds as a spiritual failure, before it takes place as a sociological disaster.
It has been demonstrated since the remotest antiquity that the ruin of societies is linked to the depletion of natural resources, especially forests.
But before the ecological failure of agriculture (due to overpopulation and deforestation among other factors), there was always an ethical defeat of the human soul before Life.
Evaluating the degree of Ethics in present-day society might be a revealing exercise if we take into consideration the accumulated experience in History. The lessons from the past show that the defeat of Ethics is followed by social and institutional implosions.
The causes of the present deficit in ethics are easy to identify. They relate to the popularization of a self-delusion regarding the path to happiness.  It will take some time – and perhaps a new cycle – for many people to understand that truthfulness leads to happiness, while falsity opens the door to quite different places.
The unfortunate tendency to believe that indulgence is happiness, and doing nothing is the celestial life, constitutes a grave social problem. The truth is that following unrestrained lower desires is the hallmark of those destined to great suffering, and laziness creates disaster.  
The dominant forms of political and social thought today are rather stupid in that they don’t even question the legitimacy of exaggerated love for money and the worship of material pleasure. Many an economist and social scientist is unable to consider universal principles as voluntary simplicity and the need to place respect for life above the pursuit of money.
Yet nothing and no one can forbid present citizens from awakening from the nightmarish dream of indulgence and see the value of a simple life.
There is a paradoxically positive aspect in the anxious spreading of maya, illusion, marketing, propaganda and lies which is taking place today. Since illusion cannot sustain itself, the more illusion one finds in the current atmosphere of Western Culture, the deeper may be its renewal, which in fact has started already.
The apparent chaos is part of a larger order, which we may learn to see, and whose natural unfoldment we can help take place in accordance with the laws of the universe. These laws we can find in our hearts and minds.
Each mistake and every failure help prepare right action, in the right time. Decline paves the way to rebirth. Contentment is the substance which prepares bliss. The purpose of duality in the Universe is to keep the eternal creative motion of that boundless Unity, of which each one is part.
The inescapable fact is that, whenever human beings become wiser, social and economic structures naturally improve, there is more justice, and leaders are ethical.
In the absence of wise citizens, however, no socio-political reform produces really good or lasting fruit. Therefore theosophy stimulates the awakening of the soul in every aspect of human life.
The growth in wisdom is far from linear or continuous in human spirit. In times and periods of “material progress”, it is not rare to see a moral and psychological decline. Whenever people think too much of external things and appearance, they forget the state of their souls. The lack of attention to the state of the mind then causes a moral crisis that destroys social and economic structures from within.
Civilizations are the outer and collective embodiment of a certain stage of development in human soul; and if the soul changes, so must the civilization. Every civilization whose structure fails to listen the soul becomes useless to the evolving Spirit and dies. However, the societies which help the flourishing of the soul are in harmony with the law of the universe, and deserve to live.
An initial version of the above text was published in the April 2017 edition of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, pp. 6-7. It had no indication as to the name of the author.
On 14 September 2016, after examining the state of the esoteric movement worldwide, a group of students decided to found the Independent Lodge of Theosophists. Two of the priorities adopted by the ILT are learning from the past and building a better future.