Approaching the Age of Maturity and Spiritual Civilization, Part 3

Exploring the framework for a “Balanced Development” model


Ramses Rashidi

©2008 Center for Balanced Development   (


In the last two articles we talked about human relations and the education system as well as the concept of work and career in a balanced development model. Here, we are going to examine some of the other major features of the age of maturity and the approaching spiritual civilization.



Health and Happiness


Talking about the root cause of many of our personal issues and conflicts, health is at the core of our physical, mental and spiritual balance. Without good health it’s difficult to have a meaningful life and

to contribute to society. Yet, it seems like in the modern society making money and focusing on projects often takes priority over health. We become so preoccupied with work that we forget about our need for good relations, mental clarity, proper nutrition, exercise and rest. We push hard to make more money and spend endless hours at work. When our body sends us signals in the form of pain or infection, we just take a pill to get rid of the symptoms, and then keep going. This approach, gradually and over the years, takes its toll on our health. Often, we start paying attention when it’s too late and the damage is irreversible.


Do we need to compromise our health to make a living? Are we locked into a system in which human beings are reduced to mere accessories? Is our frenetic lifestyle out of our control? Are we aware of the factors that could impair our ability to function?  The answer to these and many other questions about the quality of our life could be debated depending on how much we understand about ourselves and our surrounding elements. However, one thing is very clear. Whatever we do, or wherever we live, the current popular model of development with its emphasis on material comfort is putting tremendous pressure on us, and impairing our ability to maintain our balance, to manage our relations, to think clearly and to be happy.


In this global society where specialization is critical to one’s success, there is very little time to learn about or focus on many other aspects our lives. This is particularly true about our knowledge of human health. The medical professionals, who are responsible to advise us, go through many years of training and focus on health issues in a symptomatic and fragmented way. This approach, which by the way is very similar to how we do just about everything else in life, is not designed to identify root causes. So we go on living with stress, bad nutrition and pollution. Meanwhile, the lists of disease that the medical establishment cannot address keep getting longer. Migraine, Cancer, Tinnitus, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Autism, Depression, ….. and the list goes on.



A Complete Picture


Here, let’s look at things with the balanced development lens where we try to connect the boxes.

First of all, health depends on a combination of elements including our interpersonal relations, thoughts, nutrition, exercise and rest. We need to address all our activities at the body, mind, and spirit level, or otherwise what we achieve is merely a partial and seriously fragmented picture.


When we look at the social relations element, where we seem to be having lots of difficulties, conflict and stress have become a constant companion to many of us. Whether we are talking about the breakup of the family or tension in the global community, we feel the effects in our own health as well as those from whom we are separated. Common sense says that healthy interpersonal relations are vital to our wellbeing and tranquility. Whether this means spending time with family and friends or responding to the needs of our global community, we must take steps to address the health of the greater body of humanity that in turn would help us with our own health issues since we are cells within that body.


Examining the next contributing element to health, we move up to the top floor, where the mind is constantly challenged to find a way to survive in the highly competitive society. We see how some minds choose the path to labor and how some minds spend years learning highly complex concepts and complicated skills. However, whether you’re a receptionist or a doctor, the worries of making the “smart” choice and the anguish of moving up the ladder of success are constant reminders. Could extreme tendency toward “individualism” itself be considered a disease? As we have mentioned before, balanced development calls for a change in the way we assess our potential and the type of activities that we choose. An integrated approach, supported by society, will help fulfill our purpose in life and contribute to the greater well-being of all humanity. By utilizing our unique talents and skills we could gradually move towards a cooperative economy. In this picture, our success depends on our positive outlook, mental health, and our capacity or capability to empower others.


In regard to our physical health, there are several elements that we need to talk about. Here, nutrition plays a central role. Obviously, eating a highly acidic diet of animal protein, fat, grains, sugar and processed food, is bound to pose a challenge to the chemical makeup of our blood stream which is an alkaline environment. It’s interesting that an acidic environment is conducive to the growth of bacteria, destruction of cells (aging) and frying of the nerves. People with highly acidic diets tend to be on the edge and temperamental. Lack of enough water and clean air could further acidify our bodies. By simply adding more greens and seaweed which are highly alkaline we could balance our physical health and improve our level of energy. Eating fruits and small amounts of nuts and seeds could also provide us with the needed nutrients to function properly. Exercise further helps to pump blood throughout the body and oxygenate the cells which in turn make us feel better. Rest and sleep give the body an opportunity to repair itself from the daily wear and tear that is a bi-product of our “life in the fast lane”.


Here, it’s important to mention that human beings do not have the dental and digestive features of carnivores but with our lifestyle of high stress and breathing pollution as well as the variety of chemical that we put inside our bodies, we might as well keep taking animal flesh and products to boost our system to be able to work 12 to 14-hour days in the corporate environment.


In conclusion, the health picture is much more than just putting something in our stomach and taking a few pills to either boost our basic constitution or to offset the symptoms of a disease. Health is a critical element in our life that is partly dependant on what we breathe, eat and do. Health is also dependant on what happens to our human family half way across the world. Health is a deciding factor in how we operate, how we relate with each other, and how the economy functions. Our health gives rise and affects just about every industry including; agriculture, food preparation, medicine, pharmaceuticals, insurance, entertainment, media, transportation, communications, housing, travel …… etc.

So the next time you attend a trade show or a conference where there are presentations focused on a specific industry, think about how that industry is affecting our health!


In the next article (part 4) we will examine the environmental issues as one of the other main features of the age of human maturity and the approaching spiritual civilization.



Ramses Rashidi  ( is the founder and director of Center for Balanced Development.

The center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and services to foster global balance in social, personal, ecological and economic development.