As tensions ratchet up during election seasons, I've tried to draw attention to the practices that divide us and keep us apart. Especially, I do so regarding the function of our affairs of governance and the political process that elects those who serve.
If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know I've suggested that taking sides in their partisan games isn't taking us where we want to go. Instead, it's adding even more energy to the conflict and causing it to dig in even deeper.
But maybe I'm the one who's wrong.
For in the process of sharing my perspectives and opinion on our problems with government and the escalating political wars, I am perhaps indirectly adding to the conflict by inadvertently causing some to cling even tighter to their views and write me off as some nut-case who doesn't buy into our American system.
Combine the inherent corruption of the system with the race between the parties to see who can give away more of our freedoms and ignore the constraints of our Constitution (need I make a list?), not to mention the gross overreaching and general performance of government, and it's easy to understand that we the people have a long way to go to right our ship and sail it to a destination that really serves us.
No amount of buy-offs or muscle-flexing or promises or political games or programs will do the job. It will take a mass awakening of the people, enough to throw off the yoke of the power brokers and their pawns, and a concerted effort to build something better.
It won't be easy. But we'd better get ready, because the way it looks, the game is getting out of hand even for them.
People vote their own self-interest. It's the button that's pushed to get them to support one party or another. When they feel that interest is going to be better served by the promises and payoffs of one candidate than another, then that's the way they'll vote.
Sure, politicians give lip-service to broad concepts like freedom, justice and equality. And they wrap themselves in the flag and kowtow to nebulous ideas like family and fairness. But when it really comes down to it, does it really matter? After all, how many people choose their candidate based on their adherence to core principles?
No, most people vote what they think is best for them. And that's usually a perception based on what's going on in their lives and how they feel about the prospects for their future.
Woody Guthrie wrote in his famous song, This Land is Your Land, "This land was made for you and me." But the more I look at the way things are, the more it looks like he was wrong. At least, as far as it applies to people like me.
The Democratic National Convention wraps up tonight; the Republicans finished theirs last week. And despite all the promises and bluster coming from both, to me it don't mean a thing.
Or more accurately, it's all just
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Because neither side gives a damn about what I think. And especially what I want for myself or my country. Let me explain why.
One thing they learn is that I listen, even when they wish I wouldn't. I hear what they say. I hear what they don't. I notice the judgments and beliefs that come out in the comments they make and positions they take. And I feel the undercurrents of energies that often flow unseen beneath the surface.
Perhaps its the lawyer in me, and the years of practice dissecting arguments and framing facts to persuade others to see things my way. Or maybe it's just the way I am, built to challenge beliefs and perspectives that pit people against each other and keep them in a state of conflict.
But when I get the chance to cut through the initial resistance to my exploration and all the emotional overlays built upon and around their carefully constructed (and justified) positions, inevitably what I find are deep scars inflicted upon their psyche from the pains of situations past.
Everywhere I turn I hear somebody talking about peace. World peace. Inner peace. Peace prizes. Apparently it has some value if so many people want it.
But when I look around, or turn on the TV, peace is the last thing I see. People hurting people is the order of the day. Everyone's fighting to get what they want, or to keep others from having it. And whether it manifests as oppression, control, war, terrorism, violence, lawsuits, corporate excess, corruption, political disputes, or simply people not being very nice to each other in their daily affairs, peace doesn't seem very high on our list of priorities.
If peace is so valuable and we want it as much as we say we do, why don't we put it at the top of our lists?
Why isn't peace the first thing we commit ourselves to every morning, and the last reminder we give ourselves before we go to bed?
Do we really expect it to just show up on its own, materializing in our reality simply by wanting it and thinking good thoughts? I doubt it.
In the grips of our government, we as a society have failed to maintain our liberty and see the results in the type of society we have become. There are only two very basic types of societies in the world. There are those that produce and those that ration. In a production type society, it is all about taking territory and using it to the best of its ability, then finding new technologies to be able to produce even more. In a rationing type of society, it is all about centralizing control of all resources and rationing them out to the populace.
With these two competing types of societies we see warring factions develop because one wants control over the other. Productive societies always value the innovation of its citizenry because such technological developments are used to sustain the growth of society as needs get larger and larger. At any given time, if the productive society stops innovating, it will become a rationing society. Rationing societies want control over everything and is therefore “threatened” by a productive society because any new innovation will be viewed as a direct threat to its control over society.
The majority of people living in America today would probably not agree if you tell them we have become a rationing society. They think that because we still have small business, and other such opportunities, that we are still a productive society. It is probably easier to illustrate just how wrong these perception are if we look at the extreme cases first. Look at our monopolies in this country. There are socialist and capitalist monopolies in existence. Both will, if left unchecked, eventually lead to a rationing society.
In Taoist teaching, "wu ji" was the state of nothingness from which all of reality ("tai ji"> was born. Together they represent the wholeness of all that is. Think of the taijitu, commonly known as the yin-yang symbol, with darkness giving birth to light, and vice versa.
Within the nothingness, there is only peace, embracing a seed of light (the white circle within the dark portion of the symbol); nothing else exists to disturb it.
It is this condition of absolute peace that we seek to draw into our three-dimensional reality (or if you will, allow the light to manifest in reality, but to bring with it the peace of its beginnings), and invite you to help us do so by participating in this meditation.
each Soul is Unique
dimly reflected in Life
each Soul is precious