The Greatest Spiritual Explosion by Bhikkhu Bodhi

By Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi – The great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca once said: “The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth, there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of that great revolution.”

As a Buddhist, I consider the Buddha’s enlightenment (and his “turning the wheel of the Dhamma”) to be the greatest spiritual event in human history. But I still find it striking that Lorca says the eradication of hunger will launch a “spiritual explosion.” To my mind, this suggests two things.

First, it suggests that the biggest barrier to the eradication of hunger is not, as we often assume, lack of technological expertise or a shortage of funds and resources. Rather, it is moral and spiritual paralysis. It’s a well-established fact that we have the technologies needed to eradicate hunger. We have the funds and sufficient resources to produce enough food to feed everyone. Hunger persists for a different reason. It persists because we lack the will, the heart, and the collective imagination to end it.

The numbers of those who suffer from hunger are staggering. Close to a billion people are condemned to chronic hunger and malnutrition every day; another two billion subsist on inadequate diets; each year ten million people—60% of them children—die from hunger and hunger-related illnesses.

Read the rest of the essay

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