LSA senior Melissa Pilewskie traded in her books and night of studying about evolution for the chance to hear a perspective on the future of human civilization.

Pilewskie said her interest in different religions, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks, drew her to the Bhatki Tirtha Swami”s speech last night.

“I think it”s important to remember to keep a balance in our lives and to know that keeping an idea of the negative aspects as well as the positive doesn”t have to consume us with negative thoughts because we can still find our own personal pleasure,” she said.

Swami spoke about the need for people to pay attention to what”s happening to and in the world and to look closer and be more sensitive to how the world affects them and the future.

“These are the days when we should be more selective on everything we deal with, and that affects our future, which itself is an extension of our present,” he said.

He said people use drugs and other escapes to try to find purpose in lives which are otherwise lacking satisfaction.

“People are dying, starving for affection, starving for love, starving for that altered state. The fast lane of the status quo isn”t giving them the happiness it promised them. These are signs that civilization is falling apart,” Swami said.

“So many of us do so many things that we miss the essence of our existence to experience love and to be connected to the source of that love,” he added.

He recommended that people focus on making choices and try to embrace the aspects of life that aren”t temporary.

“We need to be more mindful, to connect with our essence and the essence of others. This will change the world,” he said.

The event was sponsored by the Krishna-Bhakti Club, which was started this semester to provide a forum for individuals of all faiths to discuss spirituality and how it affects their everyday lives.

“I felt there wasn”t a broad-based group to discuss spirituality on campus,” club president Rajeev Prasher said. “We were lacking a group where everybody could come together.”

“If you are interested in spirituality, there”s a higher side to it and a higher side of life. This club offers a chance to experience tried and tested beliefs that have been around since the beginning,” he said.

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