Power can create arrogance: arrogance changes people and can bring about their downfall. One way or another arrogance never works, it never lasts and it never pays.
The great challenge in being human is ego, often demonstrated in desire for “stuff’, for self-gratification and self-centredness. Having power in the ego mix too, leading to the desire for more power, more assets and an unquestioning self-belief can be a deadly combination, as the world is seeing now in the belligerence of Putin.
In his younger years, Putin was a cautious, risk averse ex KGB agent who spoke of his ambition for Russia to co-exist peacefully with the West and those countries which had claimed independence from the Soviet Union, and his change to become the unfeeling autocrat we see now is remarkable even in a world where power is so often abused and ego is everywhere.
His clear determination to rebuild the Russian empire to what it was before using his carefully nurtured and formidable military might means that there may, for a time, be three axes of global power which will comprise Russia, China, and the USA, each of which has a leader who is deeply flawed and potentially dangerous. The western world’s preoccupation with technological toys and consumer comfort – ego again - has left us vulnerable and exposed to exactly the situation we witness today in Ukraine: we gifted to Putin and Xi the great power to take, destroy and control our liberty and lives through careless assumptions and neglect of our food and energy security. Hard lessons are being learned, and of course being human is all about learning, and growing, from adversity.
Nothing happens for no good reason, and there are signs that Putin’s contemptuous ambitions to be a dominant force in Europe at least will be thwarted as like Icarus he flies too close to the Sun. One of his fatal weaknesses is that, as he judges people by himself, he underestimates the desire for justice and fairness that is in the hearts of many, many people, including in his own land. His brutal suppression of any opposition has created much anger in Russia where the desire for change and for democracy is strong.
Despite media manipulation the truth about the invasion of Ukraine, many of whose citizens have close connections with Russia, is known, and already protest at the military action is building in Moscow and elsewhere. It will be increasingly hard to find the real truth, for all of us, but as the Russian economy fails and soldiers are returned to their relatives for burial, as Ukranian contacts speak to Russian friends of the tragic assault on their nation, as opposition leaders speak out from the cells, there will be a turning against President Putin that could become unstoppable.
There is good in the hearts of most people, even those in the entourage around Putin, and his ambitions could prove unacceptable even among them.
The world is being shaken up once again as we take another step towards a new civilisation, and without knowing it or wishing it, Putin may, painfully, be helping us achieve it. He is trying to bring the past back to life in re-forming the old Soviet Union, but he cannot succeed for the pressure of change is too great. As he strives to control without compunction, under spiritual law which speaks of Karma and the power of the Will to Good, the outcome he seeks cannot happen, though it may take time for this to become apparent and the next new reality.
The Will to Good is important for each of us too, particularly now at a time of global crisis: remembering this, let us keep the people, the animals and the land of Ukraine in our hearts, and those in Russia and elsewhere who strive for good and not evil, and who suffer too.