It is precisely through the onset of old age, through loss or personal tragedy, that the spiritual dimension would traditionally come into people's lives. This is to say, their inner purpose would emerge only as their outer purpose collapsed and the shell of the ego would begin to crack open. The emphasis shifts from doing to Being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, knows nothing of Being. It asks: being? What do you do with it?
Of all the nations in the Western world, the United States, with the most money and the most time, has the fewest readers of books per capita. This is an incalculable loss. This, too, is one of the few civilized nations in the world which is unable to support a single magazine devoted solely to books.
One has but to observe a community of beavers at work in a stream to understand the loss in his sagacity, balance, co-operation, competence, and purpose which Man has suffered since he rose up on his hind legs. He began to chatter and he developed Reason, Thought, and Imagination, qualities which would get the smartest group of rabbits or orioles in the world into inextricable trouble overnight.
Whether low-income people are dealing with access to veteran's benefits, or a protective order to guard against domestic violence, or a way to guard against the loss of their home due to foreclosure and unscrupulous behavior by mortgage providers, there's no way they can afford a lawyer. And that's a serious problem. Because that erodes respect for law, it erodes the prospects for justice.