SPIRITUALITY AND POLITICS – THE INTERFACE
"The interface between spirituality and politics exists at the point of love – love for Creation, love for one’s neighbor, love for the planetary environment, love for future generations, love for the plant and animal kingdoms, love for the unity of man. This love is the basis for the new spirituality that will underlie the politics of the future..."
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We live in a world in which spirituality can no longer be separated from politics - not in the sense of diminishing protection of the right to one’s own form of worship, guarded by the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and by similar laws operating within all democracies. And not in the sense of advocating a particular form of religious belief, for spirituality is not religion. Rather, spirituality's presence creates an understanding that the interface between what is spiritual and what is political involves the moral sensibility that underlies the conduct of government. This moral sensibility must include service to the people and not to the ideal of power. It must include a concern for the wellbeing of the planet, rather than a concern for parochial interests. And it must address as a central focus the issue of human suffering, rather than place this issue on the side so that those who are without are left to take care of themselves.
The interface between spirituality and politics exists at the point of love – love for Creation, love for one’s neighbor, love for the planetary environment, love for future generations, love for the plant and animal kingdoms, love for the unity of man. This love is the basis for the new spirituality that will underlie the politics of the future at a time in which the word ‘politics’ will come to have a new meaning. This meaning will be different than the meaning it has acquired in recent generations, a meaning often associated with elements of scandal, corruption, self-seeking, and guileful behavior. The politics of the future will return to the purity of its true origins. It will represent the people as in the definition of ‘polity’ by Aristotle – described as:
rule by the many, who are neither wealthy nor poor, in the interests of the whole community… the polity or form of government in which all citizens rule and are ruled in turn… in which everyone has a share of political power.
From: Aristotle - The Politics
There can be no aspiration to this kind of sharing of political power until individuals and society as a whole become transformed in the direction of recognizing their unity with each other, and therefore their love for each other. Only at that time will love become something natural and intuitively felt, rather than something that must be legislated or built into the programmatic content of what individuals espouse in order to win votes. Such love will be based on an understanding of human society as an interwoven whole, one that cannot leave any part of itself out without damaging the wellbeing of the whole. This is a truth that is far from being realized on the stage of political life today. Indeed, the climate of today’s political life in countries around the world is based on the idea of national self-interest, in which ‘my’ interest is different from ‘yours’ and must be protected by laws, treaties, and arrangements which guarantee my safety on all planes - physically, economically, emotionally, and socially.
The element of protection and the need for protection will only disappear when there is a realization of the oneness of man. Only then will the aspiration toward power and toward military might seem completely out of place in relation to the things that are of deepest value. We cannot, with ease, imagine such a time right now, because in so many ways the world is polarized between warring factions. The predominant mood in many places is one of fear. The predominant mode of protection is to attempt to increase one’s military strength. There is lip service given to an understanding of reconciling differences, but, in fact, the forum for such reconciliation, the United Nations, has been of little help in carrying out this task because those who compose this well-intentioned and, in principle, noble body, are imbued with the same limited focus regarding how to deal with threat and fear as everyone else. True negotiation can only take place when there is a true ‘united nations’ – a representative body that can speak for the sentiments of the people they represent, not just of the governments they represent, and that can listen to its members in a way that promotes cooperation, instead of just listening to the members who wield the greatest economic leverage or who speak with the loudest voice.
When the consciousness of man arrives at this awareness of unity, there will be a point at which it will become inevitable to form a social and organizational structure that will be a ‘World Council of Nations’. It will be the body and the forum in which those who represent the peoples of the world will come to the table to promote the wellbeing of the planet, not just the wellbeing of each individual nation. This body will have the mandate of the peoples of the world to speak on behalf of each nation, because it will be understood at that time that national self-interest is not really different from what can be attained when one looks out for the welfare of the whole. This is not to say that nations will not differ from each other in outlook, character, history, or geography (which has always, and will always continue to contribute to the outlook of individuals within a particular country). It is to say that within each nation there will no longer be the physical, emotional, and mental blinders that separate each from the other, and that create a need to remain insulated and isolated from what concerns the rest of the world. This will no longer be possible, and this will no longer be the case.
Before the time of this consciousness shift, and while we are still looking for ways to create peace, to establish unity, and to uphold the brotherhood of man, it is necessary that we recognize the forces that are trying to prevent this from happening through creating strong pulls in the opposite direction. There are two primary ways in which these pulls exert an effect on collective consciousness. The first is through fear, for fear more than anything else creates division, separation, and the need for self-protection. Therefore, anything that induces or amplifies fear also prevents unity from occurring. Secondly, there is a pull in the direction of misinformation and deception which both fosters and results from the partial eclipse of social conscience within the awareness of many. As a result of this eclipse, many who would not otherwise do so become inured to the suffering of others, and immunized against feeling deeply about this suffering and about the harm that is taking place to others. This attitude appears to be, in those who hold it, unconscious, not deliberate, based on a lack of awareness. It is as if both the suffering we hear of and the harm we see were inevitable facts of life that one could not do anything about. This is certainly not the case and will never be the case. Individuals as well as governments are constantly making choices about what degree of suffering they will take responsibility for. The eclipse of conscience has allowed many to not notice the effects of violence on people as if they were ‘real’ effects, or as if the people were real, or as if it mattered. Part of this is related to the forces which are intent on fostering increased separation within consciousness as well as diminishing the power of love. Part of it is related to the numbing effect of mass media on consciousness which, to an ever greater degree, has influenced the ways in which people view reality.
The difference between reality and un-reality has become increasingly blurred in recent times - witness the so-called ‘reality shows’ on television which are very popular but which are anything but ‘real’. This blurring of reality and unreality affects consciousness in both subtle and not so subtle ways when it comes to viewing the emotional events of actual life as they happen to people. It makes it more possible for us to distance ourselves emotionally from these events. And whatever creates greater emotional distance, also reduces the capacity and possibility for greater love. This, too, interferes with the growth of the perception of unity that needs to take place worldwide.
The movement into a new consciousness is already happening and so is the movement of those forces that would seek to prevent this new consciousness from arriving. They are the forces of separation that induce fear. They are also the forces of deception that amplify the existing confusion about what is real and what is unreal. They increase the likelihood of many people not being able to relate to the suffering of others or to respond in a humane way when they themselves are the cause of that suffering.
On a cosmic level, the die has been cast and there is no turning back. The die that has been cast is the increased presence of light on earth which moves all beings further into the expanding vibration of love and into the greater perception of unity. This same movement activates those elements that would prefer to restrain this event from happening, and so the conflict between darkness and light becomes played out on the world stage, much as it does within individual consciousness.
We are here to witness a most sacred event. We are here to participate in a most sacred event. It is the event of the transformation of consciousness on the earth in the direction of love and unity. We do this most effectively by aligning our consciousness with the force and intentionality of light and by recognizing the effect of numbing on our awareness which allows us to not care. It is a time of awakening and a time of great beauty for each soul who is beginning to see what could not be seen before and to know what could not be known before. This expansion of light will grow and will continue until each soul is touched by the light that is boundless – the light that aims to transform both the individual and the planet into a sacred and holy world.
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