Is Millennial Political Apathy the Curse of Our Generation? Millennial political apathy. It’s the unspoken truth that every politician knows — millennials don’t vote. They don’t even care very much about what’s going on in the world. They can be safely ignored in the policical process so long as they remain asleep and focused only…
Mainstream politics is slipping deeper into polarity wars for control over us and the direction of our nation’s future. Each side professes to fight for their respective core principles when in reality they fight for power and influence, and the perpetuation of their seat at the table where they get it.
It is their addiction to power that allows them to be manipulated by those who want it wielded in their favor.
As each side takes turns getting its way, it grows the role and reach of government ever larger, ever costlier, and ever-more independent of the people — so much so that it has taken on a life of its own. In short, we’ve created a beast that feeds on power and the struggles of those who want it (for whatever purpose).
These power games are played based in two primary ways. First is to reinforce the desire of different constituent groups to get something they want out of the political process.
The other is by playing upon fears of what the other guys might do.
We the people dutifully do our part by picking sides between them, most often the lesser of the two evils that will give us the most of what we want and the least of what we don’t.
If we’re to reclaim our system of governance and lay the foundations of the kind of world we want to live in, we must first begin to look through their carefully crafted efforts to keep us under their control.
The solution for our political wars isn’t greater control by one side or another who would impose their vision of how things should be. It instead starts with us, the awakening individuals within a conscious electorate. For it is our abdication of responsibility to our lives, to our world, and to the future we crave that allows them to play their games.
This change starts with expanding our own consciousness and calling forth leaders who can advocate the principles and visions needed for the new world while standing up to the powers and temptations that will stand in our way.
It requires personal self-awareness so we can recognize when our fears and desires are being tweaked, and the presence of mind not to jump on their fear or desire train but instead turn away from those who would try to get us to do so. That means not only rejecting candidates in the voting booths, but also turning off the media that encourages their battles by trotting out legions of surrogates to spew their respective venom.
And perhaps most importantly, examining for ourselves the issues over which they fight to understand our own motivations and other factors at play within us, and then balancing them with the many competing interests involved in a manner that not only serves our reason but the inner voice that whispers to us inside.
This process will empower us to break free of the emotional responses their efforts tweak and heal the inner scars that allowed such behavior to form in the first place.
After all, how can we build a new world without a strong foundation of inner and outer peace? And to have that, we must root out the rampant fear and runaway desire that keep our world in a state where conflict and control keep us at odds with each other and set the stage for all we’re trying to get away from.
As always, we must remain cognizant of the collective vision toward which we strive, and align our efforts daily with whatever it takes to get there and live within it.
But that alone will not be enough. For not everyone wants to go where we do. Many still need to experience conflict, struggle, power and control. These include the powers that be that are leading our nation and world headlong toward the abyss.
Maybe we can’t stop them. But we can make a stand for what we believe in, even to the point of shouting it loud enough for all to hear that there is a better way.
Our job is to recognize their efforts, engage and neutralize them as best we can. But always, always, ALWAYS, keep living as if the world we seek is already here and expect — no, DEMAND — that those who are called to lead us are held accountable to act in ways that can get us there.
Above all, we cannot sit idly by and allow power-addicted control freaks to lead us any longer, nor look to white knights to ride forth to save us from ourselves.
The future is not some nebulous concept we can leave to chance. If we want a nation of less cost, less government, less intrusion, less oppression, but with more peace, more prosperity, more joy, more happiness, more freedom, and better relations with our fellow human beings and the world around us, then we need to strengthen our intent to make it so and leave no stone unturned to get there.
We cannot continue to live focused solely on our own lives pursuing courses of runaway self-interest and expect our leaders to do anything else. The only way they’re going to change is if we show them the way — and that change starts within us.
The time for a new beginning is now. Our daily politics are trying to show us the future we want is not in the direction and means of travel our current crop of leaders are trying to take us. So far, though, all we’ve done is allowed them to drag us into the fray so they can keep on playing their games.
It’s up to us to find another way.
The future is now. I can see it. Can you?
Liberty may be the buzz word for a lot of people, but it seems to me that self-determination is really what is behind their concern – the ability to choose our own path through life and travel it without interference by others.
Control is the means by which that ability is denied or altered. Begging the question of when control crosses the line into oppression, a bigger one keeps rolling around in my head.
And that is, what can we do to stop the controllers, or at least be beyond their influence?
The political season is in full swing, and the issue of the day is about power. Does government have enough? Too much? Is it used properly, or with sufficient efficiency? Do we give our votes to those who would roll it back, or give it more? Do we throw the bums out? Or give them another chance?
Ah, if it were only so simple. But to me, this is a shell game that keeps us from considering the bigger questions.
Perhaps you can tell me why this 200+ year old experiment merging representative democracy with capitalism is such a good system anyway. Sure, most libertarians I know would argue that it is the way this system is operated that makes it this way and that if only we could elect leaders who would roll back all that’s been done and start over, we can fix it.
Then again, are we kidding ourselves? After all, the proof is in the pudding. People may be sick of how the system works (or doesn’t) and voice their objections and proposed solutions. But when it comes down to it, what are the betting odds that we can reverse course and insure the same thing doesn’t keep happening?
Let’s look at how that system operates. We’re continually pitted against each other and forced to choose between one candidate or another based on fears they tweak and carrots they dangle before us. Never is it a choice between continuing under this system or going another way. Rather, it’s to see whose will will be done – and in doing so, aggrandizing ever more power and control in the systems and institutions that allow them to keep going. And the government just happens to be the tool that allows them to do that.
We live under a system based on control, and all the rules are written, enforced and interpreted in favor of giving greater and greater control to the government that has taken on a life of its own, and those who hold the reigns of power. If we really want to end control, should we perhaps be willing to try another way, and devise another system that better serves where we want to go?
Only the monied and power elite like the system the way it is (of course, they’d all change it to benefit their side even more). But when it comes down to it, we the people are left with empty promises they’ll do what’s best for us (as if they know), left holding a rapidly shrinking bag of whatever rights they allow us to have.
Why must we choose between control by big government (whoever is pulling its strings) and control by big religion, big money, big business, big labor, big social groups, etc.? Why are some so willing to speak out against oppression by the state but turn a blind eye to all the oppressive actions of those in other positions of power, authority, or influence over us?
And for that matter, why are we so willing to continue supporting a system that creates so much hardship and division for so many, without truly offering the opportunity to bring us closer together and bring out the creative contributions we each have to offer?
Jefferson was right. A tyrannous majority can deny the rights of the minority, take away their property, and make war on anyone who gets in their way. And to make sure they do, they can stack the rules in their favor so they can stay in power.
So long as our fellow citizens are gullible enough to be manipulated to play within the system and pass power back and forth between ruling factions who are only concerned with getting their way, there’s little hope that control will end and true liberty will be anything more than a pipe dream. And if enough of them can’t be convinced otherwise, those of us who want to set our own course will be less than free to do so as long as the system continues in its present form.
That’s the way I see it. Maybe some of the rest of you see it another way.
Please convince me I’m wrong and that this system really is worth saving.
On the one hand, the excess of individuality is decried as evil, with Wall Street protesters attacking corporate profiteering as greedy insensitivity to others’ struggles that keeps them from diverting those profits to some nebulous greater good.
On the other, big government and big business tag team us to take ever-more of our money, privacy and freedoms while forcing us into neat little packages that better fit their needs to control our behavior and get us to go along with their vision of how we should be.
Yet despite it all, a growing movement is taking shape that encourages us to “find ourselves,” to live in joy and passion even when it doesn’t bring the same idea of prosperity we once knew (or tried to), and to work to build a better world even when the one around us is swirling, seemingly ready to be flushed down the drain.
What’s a Self to do?
Ah, that is indeed the question. For all the tumult and turmoil are turning old ways upside down, making us question the beliefs and practices upon which our lives have been built, and the foundations of a society that encouraged them.
As a result, we’re flying blind with no lights or rules to guide us.
All we have is each other, and whatever we carry with us inside — for all the outer trappings of physical life are in constant danger of being swept away while humanity tries to figure out where to go from here.
This is why I speak so much about knowing yourself and listening to your inner voice. Doing so will allow you to recognize the energies and interests at play behind the scenes, and help you work with them in better ways than through confrontation and conflict.
As you do, you will begin to create and experience your life in a new way, one that will express the best of what you find inside in a way that allow you to take your place within the greater society without all the confrontation and conflict that have marred human relations for so long.
Then community will come more easily, without all the egoic distortions that make co-creation and mutual support so difficult now and lead to the excesses of the world so many want to change.
Besides, what you have inside is really all you’ve got anyway, and as the chaos increases, there’s a good chance all you’ve worked so hard to build or acquire might be so distorted beyond recognition that you just might decide they don’t serve you any longer.
Somehow we have to find our way through this transitional period while working to build a better tomorrow for ourselves — yes, our Selves — and for us all, so others can come along as well.
This is the task at hand. It will surely get more difficult in times to come unless we rise to the challenge.
It may not be easy. But it’s why we’re here, to experience and use the transition to lay the foundation for something better.
Trust that somehow you’ll find your way through it, and end up with a life that serves not only you, but the world. We’re here to help should you stumble along the way.
Whatever happens, don’t lose hope. You can do it.
God bless you indeed.
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.
If you think it’s just starting, think again. It’s been going on since the beginning, but our Founding Fathers didn’t do anything about it. Neither did anyone else, though Andrew Jackson tried and failed when he created a National bank way back when. Others have tried as well, to no avail.
Even the great (sic) Bill Clinton, supposedly working with the people’s best interests in mind, in cahoots with a Republican Congress repealed one of the few efforts ever made to reign in some of the excesses. The Glass-Stiegel Act was supposed to keep investment (speculative) banking separate from the financial banking activities where the people’s monies were protected.
Yeah, right. We all saw what happened when that single firewall went down.
And how did they pretend to “fix” the mess that resulted? By allowing the big banks that were already too big to fail to grow even larger, aided and abetted by the current and previous Administrations and a knee-jerk Congress that at its best does nothing, and when it acts does so to the peril of us all.
This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans being bad. It’s about a system that’s broken and threatening to crumble under its own weight — and worse, take us all down with it.
Most of them mean well and really believe in the rhetoric and dogma they spew. They think this program will make things better, or that war will make us safer, or this type of surveillance will render us immune from potential harm by those who would want to harm us (now who would want to do that?).
They also think their games for power have consequence and can right the ship, at least if they can find a way to shut the other side up long enough to impose their will upon us.
Maybe they can, to an extent. Then again, most of their efforts tend to make things worse, and perpetuate the inner workings of a system that doesn’t serve us very well.
Sure, some good does come out of it. But it’s usually just enough to buy us off and shut us up for a while — until the next time the excesses come back to bite us.
So as you go to the polls to vote this fall, just keep in mind that by exercising your Constitutional right and duty as a citizen that you are helping to perpetuate the very wrongs you want to see fixed, and empowering them to do it again in the future.
I will leave you today with this quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a speech given at Madison Square Gardens, October 31, 1936:
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs.
We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.
They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”
I guess we know who the real master really is, don’t we?
Our news is filled with conflict. Political battles. War. Terrorist attacks. Senseless violence. Predatory economics. Dogmatic doctrines that promote separation.
That conflict is the result of business as usual in our world, built upon a model for human relations that doesn’t serve us very well. At least, it doesn’t serve well the half who find themselves on the losing side.
Yet our affairs are based on a winner-take-all system where the victor not only gets the spoils, but also the chance to set the rules of engagement for future battles.
And this is the dualistic world we have known, where extremes are pitted against each other in a never-ending war for supremacy, and when that is not possible, at least for an uneasy co-existence.
There is another way, one based on the love and light we Lightbearers are bringing to our lives and sharing with the world around us. But as powerful as love and light are, they will never have the impact we want them to have until we shift into places where they can be more effective than simply casting our seed on fallow ground, left to picking up the pieces when the fighting stops.
Those conflicts we so despise are opportunities to find another way. But when we find ourselves pulled into the fray by our support for one extreme or the other, we’re unable to make that shift. Instead, we get locked into views that cause us to not only perpetuate the war, but deny us the chance to effect a lasting peace that serves all.
As Lightbearers, we can set an example for others to follow. But for us to seize this possibility, we cannot continue to take part in the conflicts that the world would drag us into.
This doesn’t mean ignoring what’s going on or separating ourselves from those who are still engage. Rather, it is to embody peace in all we say, think and do.
The first step is to acknowledge that if a conflict touches a nerve in us, it does so because BOTH sides of the battle are going on within us. And when we pick a side, we’re denying that part of us that supports the other, exacerbating an inner conflict that will inevitably erupt somewhere else down the road.
Instead, we must find a way to integrate the extremes that are already within us, acknowledging their presence and finding the value that each offers us (or else we wouldn’t have it there). Then, recognizing them not as evils to be banished but necessary parts of us that we must honor and use for our own expansion, we can set about the task of bringing balance to those energies within us.
Like all of life, we can choose how we will meet those conflicts. We can choose if we will take sides, and whether we will allow the turmoil of the outer world to upset our inner one. We can, most of all, choose how we will experience, process and engage the energies that try to drag us into the fray.
Then, once we have found our peace, we can help those in our lives see that they don’t have to take sides either. We can let them see what we have done, and how it is allowing us to move forward without this conflict. And we can let them bathe in our peace until they can create it in themselves as well.
This possibility is behind my vision for the Alliance. It is not to grow another group just to say we belong to something else, propping up our egos with a false sense of contribution simply because our names are attached to what we think is a good cause.
It is, instead, meant to be a living, growing community — a family, if you will — of those living by the light and accepting the responsibility that comes with the great power it infuses into us.
Within this community Lightbearers can come together, not only to support each other, but to embody the very principles they want our world to reflect. Together, we can build a prototype for a deep and lasting peace that others can see and build upon.
How that community develops I leave to you. But then, whether it does is not up to me. I’m just here to share the vision and perspectives I’ve been given, and hopefully empower you to overcome the things that hold you back.
Instead, what this Alliance becomes is up to you and you alone, in conjunction with your fellow Lightbearers. I will do my part, but all of you must do yours. And that part is far more than simply being another name on our growing list of members.
If you stand for peace, if you stand for community, if you stand for the possibility that love and light can make this world a better place, then it is up to YOU to find a way to build this group into something real, something tangible that will truly make all proud to say, “I’m a Lightbearer. And if you let me, I will show you what I’ve found.”
God bless you indeed. I am
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.
* * * * *Now I realize that when I talk about not taking sides in their silly games, I’m talking to the wall. Because the political power struggles aren’t games; they’re very real exercises in trying to let people know which candidate will bring home the bacon, and for whom.
Those that deliver the bacon keep getting re-elected. And if they don’t, they’d better make a good case why they’ll do a better job delivering it during the next term than their opponent will.
Isn’t that what our presidential election is about right now? Obama didn’t bring it home last term, but he’s hoping that enough people will buy into his promises that he will this term to keep Romney from carrying the day.
We are a very short-sighted nation. To us there is only now. And the promise of some gain in the short run — a good paying job, training to get a new one, the chance for a college education, lower taxes, a place to live that we can afford, more business or ways to fund it, and so on — carries far more weight for most people than a longer term view of what to do about the problems facing our world.
Fear is a strong motivator. But a fear of something that might come in the future is not as strong as a desire for something we want now, or the fear of the repercussions we might suffer if we don’t get it.
After all, we all know a very big hammer is hanging over our collective heads from the combined weight of our national debt/deficit spending, “entitlements,” foreign wars, housing armies overseas, energy supplies or the state of our environment. But none of those is imminent at sinking us today. We’ll worry about it when we get there.
So even self-interest alone isn’t enough; it’s our interest now vs. our interests of the future, or those of our children and our children’s children. And to them we say, “Son (or daughter), you’re on your own.”
If we are to evolve, somehow we either have to give up this attachment to our own self-interest, especially those in the forefront now, or redefine what that interest is in terms that better serves the kind of lives we want, and the kind of world needed to live them in.
Hopefully, we will begin to see that “me” includes a healthy dose of “we,” since what affects one affects all. Until then, I guess it’s every man and woman for themselves.
So as you watch the candidates blabber on as their campaigns unfold, just keep reminding yourself:
What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?
To consider anything else would be blasphemy, and undermine the very foundations of our society.
God bless you indeed.
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.
A word about my roots
I was born into a family of West Virginia Democrats. And frankly, coming from coal country and the battles between Big Coal and the United Mine Workers, I can understand why.
The coal companies paid a pittance for life-threatening, back-breaking work, and treated their people like dirt — if not worse. And much of that was in scrip, forced to use company stores that gouged exhorbitant prices for food, clothes and other necessities.
They even built coal towns, and housing for the miners — housing that was used to hold over their heads in ways like, “You don’t like what you’re paid? Then get out. Now!”
Trust me, these homes weren’t mansions; in fact, most were hardly more than three or four room shacks with coal littering the “yards” around them. Yet still I remember visiting cousins who ran barefoot through them, blissfully oblivious to the thick black soot, cuts and ankle turns that inevitably resulted.
These coal companies represented the interests of wealthy investors who invaded the mountains to plunder its God-given natural resources. Sure, those resources are essential for maintaining the viability of U.S. industry as well as fueling our ravenous demand for energy. But it’s HOW they did it that didn’t stick well with folks from our neck o’ the woods.
You see, I’m from Cabin Creek, near the site of the famous coal miner strike of 1921, where mine workers got so “out of hand” that President Warren Harding sent in federal troops to force them back to work, as well as sent Billy Mitchell’s squadron in the hills to carry out the only bombing campaign against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. You can read more at http://www.wvculture.org/history/minewars.html.
So I can understand their affection for the Democrats, who generally were responsible for many of the programs that kept Appalachia afloat during the Great Recession (we won’t get into their part in our current one).
Nevertheless, you can’t live on past laurels, and to me, both parties have lost their way — or at least, they took a turn in one direction while I and a lot of other Americans kept going in another.
Coming from such independent stock, you need to know that freedom matters. Not just to me, but as a foundation for the nation I was brought up to believe in.
Now, this is supposedly the land of the free. And to a large extent it is, so long as we live by the many laws and regulations imposed at all levels of government.
Then again, that’s the rub. Because there isn’t anywhere to turn that we don’t bump up against those laws. And after a career in law, I saw them first hand and the mountains of paper ordinary people have to deal with a system where the deck is stacked against them.
So I guess you’d find me aligned more with what are euphemistically called “third parties” like the Libertarians or Constitutionalists, or even the Green Party (if it’s still around). After all, I was a libertarian (small L) long before I ever heard there was such a party. And though I don’t participate in or particularly support any such party, my leanings follow those of Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Ghandi and others who believed that
“the government that governs least, governs best.”
For a long time I considered myself a conservative Southern Democrat, even after they had long since passed from the political landscape. Throughout the days of Reagan Democrats and later the so-called conservative Democrats like Bill Clinton (Conservative? Yeah, right!), I remained a Democrat.
Yet I honestly can say there weren’t very many Democratic candidates or policies that I supported.
That isn’t to say I opposed the intentions they stated were behind them (like helping those who can’t help themselves), but the way they went about it didn’t sit right with me.
For they engaged in a war of oppression just as bad as that waged by Republicans. Seize power and impose their will upon the nation was their mantra, and they were great at it.
In fact both sides were. It’s just that Republicans never hid the fact they used freedom to justify keeping government control off the backs of big business, big money and big finance, even while using its powers to feed the military-industrial complex, restrict personal freedoms, and impose our will upon the rest of the world.
Then again, when I looked at the Democrats and what they did in office, they did the same thing. They also expanded the scope and power of the Federal government, just in different directions. Sure, it sometimes was done under the guise of “helping” the people, but in many cases it ended up enslaving them and robbing them of the ability to help themselves.
Worse, many good people on both sides gave the distinct impression they sold their souls for power, either their own election (or re-election) or to advance the interests of their own parties at the expense of the national good.
No Political Safe-Harbor for Me
So there’s no where for me to turn, no where to rest my political head. Neither of those sides hold anything for me. Yet they write and control the rules of the game, and make it impossible for any who don’t march lockstep to their tune to have a voice in how the affairs of our nation are conducted.
Lest their be any doubt, let me say what I’m about:
- Making peace, not war;
- Empowering and inspiring people to create lives that serve them, as well as each other
- An efficient, restrained, low-cost government that serves the people instead of rules them with an iron fist;
- A government that respects, protects and expands the liberty of its people, and doesn’t continually encroach on it for its own power or gain;
- A government that adheres to Constitutional protections and responsibilities, that lives within the law, that doesn’t create one set of standards for its leadership, employees or benefactors and another for us, and which abides by the same laws it expects us to follow;
- Treating people fairly, with justice for all;
- Freedom for all, not oppression, even when it doesn’t directly affect me;
- Helping those in need or who can’t help themselves;
- Moving beyond the fear complex that has us locked in its grip and motivates so many of our actions;
- Living with a consciousness of community, service, compassion, goodness and mercy, exercised voluntarily and responsibly by each of us, and not imposed by those who hold power simply because they think it’s a good idea.
and probably a bunch of other things if wanted to write more.
Notice I didn’t say which of these things should be done by government, and which shouldn’t. I’m happy to leave that open to discussion. My preference is we do them ourselves. But then, the way our affairs are conducted (both political and business) some people need a wake up call, don’t they?
I don’t have any problem with people giving up their own freedoms, or passing laws that apply to them. I do have a problem when they give up mine, or impose their will on me or others. And I particularly object when they do it in a way that continues in perpetuity and is passed along from generation to generation as if an edict from God.
Moreover, I don’t espouse sudden changes in direction, or wholesale dismantling of any of what’s been created. But what I do want is a change in consciousness sufficient to start the transition to a government built for an evolving people, undertaken gradually to avoid far-reaching effects in difficult economic times, backed by the will and ability to sustain it over time.
So, that’s where I stand. As it looks, the two parties don’t leave much room — or hope — for me ever getting what I want.
Yet, that’s the system I live under, a world of conflict between those two warring sides who are hell-bent on taking us who knows where, toward a future I don’t want. I just hope we wake up in time to step back from the precipice.
Until then, it looks like I’ve got to just sit here taking it.
Or do I? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Maybe one day my voice will be heard, and I’ll get to suggest another way through the mess we’ve created for ourselves.
God bless you indeed. And God bless America. We’re going to need it.
Circumstances are ripening for major changes in our world, but they’re bringing with them chaos and conflict over the direction for our future.
The world ahead can be a more peaceful and harmonious place, with far less struggle and sacrifice. But it will not come by resisting the energies of change bombarding our world, for resistance brings distortion and manifests greater struggle between the extremes.
To create this new reality, first ut It is therefore crucial to not put energy into the escalating battles between those who cling to an outdated status quo and others who push to change it — and that means avoiding the urge to take sides and jump into the fray.
For when we do, our participation intensifies the polarity and creates even more reasons to fight — and obstacles to overcome on our way to the new world.
This doesn’t mean rolling over and playing dead to the abuses and oppression, nor to stop adding our contributions to a better tomorrow. But it does require us to develop a sensitivity to the tug of the energies within us, and how our own inner conditions are distorting the unfoldment of the changes they bring.
The unseen currents of these conditions interrupt the process of our own inner evolution, causing them to manifest situations that will force us to confront those aspects of us that are not conducive to the next stages on our path of advancement. So instead of moving smoothly into the new levels of self-knowing and self-expression (and that of the collective consciousness), we are forced to confront old patterns of thought, emotion and activity that keep bringing us more of the same.
The longer we remain within the conflict without addressing its causes within us, the more intense become the circumstances that demand our response. And similarly, the more intense the opposition when we do.
Such situations offer us a choice — either we continue on within the same patterns, or evolve beyond them to higher expressions of our being.
If we allow the conflict responses to be triggered in us (or in our society), they are almost immediately opposed by equal and opposite responses from others. When we get carried away by the dramas, inevitably the conflict grows. And regardless who wins and loses, another situation will be created again down the road, each more intense than the last, to give us another chance. And if we are able, perhaps then to break the response pattern and try another way.
Ironically, both sides on almost every issue sense the need for change. But these inner conditions cause them to seize upon positions and courses of action that move them farther toward their respective extremes and play into self-interests and agendas that are generally not conducive to serving the needs of all.
If the new world is to manifest as we hope it will, we first must begin to see the abuses at both ends of the spectrum are simply reflections of the polarity that exists within us and keeps us in conflict.
This recognition is a key step in integrating these extremes within us and within our society, for it will empower us to let go of aspects of our personalities that are not compatible with our newly awakening selves or the unfolding new world and the new foundations, systems and infrastructure needed to support them.
At its core, this means disentangling ourselves from duality and beginning to see ourselves and our world more as contributing expressions of a whole rather than competing entities that stand or fall on their own.
But this cannot happen simply by remaining the way we are. We must seek a new balance between individual and group consciousness that fosters the expansion of all while honoring the individual variations and emphasis needed by each soul on its evolutionary path.
Such consciousness comes at a price, however. For with it comes greater responsibility, not only for how we conduct our lives, but also for how we construct our relationships with others and take our place in the world.
The opportunity for this is increasingly being thrust into our awareness.
Witness international affairs. The world is shrinking, and the poorer areas of the world are awakening to ask, “What about us?” It’s giving rise to an increasing struggle between industrialized and developing nations on a whole host of issues — not to mention those who would use this conflict for their own ends or exacerbate it to make their case.
Whether manifesting through genocide in Darfur, crackdowns on dissidents in Iran, or fights over control and transfer of wealth based on claims of global warming, the challenge is clear — these energies of change are demanding our attention, and our attention they will get.
But grabbing our attention is only one form of their impact upon us. Because those same changes are happening in us as well.
No longer are we comfortable ignoring the struggles of others, or pursuing our own desires to others’ detriment or that of our world, forcing us to consider whether to continue on paths that serve only us, or find ways they can serve others as well.
Those same energies are affecting our internal politics as well, manifesting through highly-charged situations that encourage us to question whether more of the same will take us where we want to go. Governmental responses to the recent financial crisis, economic downturn, and health care debate shine a harsh light on our willingness to allow money, influence and power to set the course of our common affairs — providing us incentive to reach for something more if we dare.
But it isn’t enough to stand in opposition to these perceived abuses simply to seize the reigns of power for our own ends, for that risks setting in motion a new set of circumstances over which to fight. And we must resist the urge to succumb to appeals playing to our pent-up frustration lest others do it for us. For even those who profess to help us by opposing the powers that be can fall prey to the allure of the extremes, too often asserting altruistic stances that mask a desire for power, furtherance of agendas, or manipulation by others behind the scenes.
As always, these situations bring the opportunity to choose the direction of our evolvement. When we take sides in their fights over money or who benefits from controlling the reigns of power, we show we’re still caught up in the same beliefs and practices that allowed them to take hold in the first place — and reality responds by bringing us even more such situations to experience.
But when we instead refuse to play their games and apply our energies in new directions, our commitment to evolve beyond duality sets in motion a new reality to serve our shifting intentions.
However, when it comes down to it even such a choice is illusory, for we really don’t have the option to remain behind in our comfort zone of conflict. This is the Ascension, the time of changes, and we will be forced to evolve whether we like it or not. Such chances will continue to arise at every turn until we take the next step in our evolution — at least, for those who remain here on earth. The question is, how will we take it?
Will we use these evolutionary undercurrents to move beyond polarity, or will we wait for our differences to lead us to the brink of our own destruction when we will have no choice but to do so or perish?
These are the challenges facing us all. How we meet them will determine the ease with which the new world unfolds.
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(c) 2009-10 John Dennison