Tuesday, 9 March 2010


One often hears people complain that almost all modern manufactured goods have ‘built-in obsolescence’ to ensure that customers re-order on a regular basis. Whilst this is true, I believe EVERYTHING has built-in obsolescence but the time-scale varies a great deal. The Pyramids that were built thousands of years ago have deteriorated substantially over the years, even in the ultra-dry climate of Egypt. Many buildings, though lovingly tended and maintained, eventually crumble and decay. Metal objects, no matter how well constructed are subject to corrosion unless painted frequently and even then they will not withstand corrosive action indefinitely. Everything on Earth is subject to erosion from wind, rain, frost, sea and sun. Not even the mountains that seem so firm and everlasting can escape erosive action. Land masses gradually change shape each year as the tides erode some land here and deposit extra land there. Rivers carve their way through the landscape, none more dramatically than the mighty Colorado which created the magnificent Grand Canyon in Arizona. They remove soil from one place during floods and deposit it in another, thus changing the landscape in a different way.

It is not just artefacts, buildings and landscapes that have built-in obsolescence, empires, dynasties and other socio-political creations of humanity have it also. The most notable example of this is Hitler’s Third Reich that was supposed to last for a thousand years but in fact lasted less than twenty. The Roman Empire with its Pax Romanus did last around one thousand years but the signs of decay were evident long before the Goths and Vandals sacked Rome. The British Empire also lasted very many years but could not withstand the pressure of its subject peoples to have independence. The Pharaonic dynasties in Egypt lasted much longer than any other political system yet established but even they eventually faded into history. Many are the religions that held sway for generations that are now no more and it is very likely the same fate awaits those that are in the ascendancy now.

Why does such dramatic, though sometimes gradual, change seem so inevitable? As nothing exists without a purpose, what can possibly be its purpose? An examination of history, natural, political and religious will reveal that without exception, though the transformation may have been bloody and violent, what replaced the old was an improvement because the old had largely atrophied and was no longer fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. In every case the old gives way to the virulent and the new. This is true whether of ideas or of practicalities. It is a Natural Law that the old give way to the young in every sphere. The Earth itself will one day grow too old and tired to fulfil the functions for which it was created and it will die, eventually becoming part of some supernova that will explode and spread its atoms throughout the universe to be used in the creation of newer, better worlds.

Nowhere is this process more obvious than in the lives of human beings. We spend relatively few years at our prime, when we can influence events and people significantly in whatever circle we move. Soon we begin to decline as our energy lessens and our place is taken by younger, thrusting, minds and bodies. This is because our physical bodies grow to maturity and great power and then enter a period of decline until eventually they are unable any longer to contain our spirit and they die.

This is not the end however. The spirit vacates the worn out physical body, leaves the Earth and rises in a much more beautiful and glorious vehicle to inhabit the world of Spirits, a much, much more beautiful and rewarding place to live than the Earth. The new vehicle, our Spiritual Body, we have created by our efforts whilst on Earth. The good we have done, the consideration we have given to others in preference to ourselves, the sick and suffering we have helped, the ear we have readily lent to listen to those wishing to unburden themselves, the tolerance we have shown towards those with whom we disagree, the joy and happiness we have tried to bring into the lives of those around us. All these things go to create the bright light that surrounds the Spirit Body after a physical life lived to the best that we are able. So, even our bodies have ‘built-in obsolescence’ in order to replace them with something better and more durable. Make no mistake, without the physical body and the efforts needed to use it to the best of our ability, the spirit body could not rise in such beauty to take its place in the Spiritual World.

God and His wonderful laws have ordered everything perfectly, even those things that seem like imperfections to us are not. They are part of His perfect universe and we do not have the knowledge or insight to recognise their true qualities. Never fear growing older my friends for in reality, we really are growing better, despite our many faults!

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