Nothing has ever changed. Desire, anger, and ignorance are the truth of human existence. 5,000 years ago, 5,000 years in the future, it doesn’t matter. I think Buddha hit the heart of the issue for human beings. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a society that has no toilets, or some fancy toilet that you can push a button and it will clean you without you doing anything.
So progress is a human being’s idea. True progress is getting enlightenment. That’s all. That is enough. Then the outside situation doesn’t matter. You can use it correctly. Suffering comes from not knowing yourself.
Yeah, with better science and less poverty there is less physical suffering. On one side you can say that. But, there are enough nuclear weapons to kill everybody. So actually, if you add it all up there is no change at all. Desire, anger and ignorance make suffering. Take them away, no suffering. It doesn’t matter what state society is in.