Notes on Quotes: Nationalism and Patriotism
“Nationalism, like virtue, has its own reward.” – Mahatma Gandhi
To bring the emotion of unity to a particular group of people through division from the rest, may have a short term benefit as in Gandhi’s time, when the ideal was to break free from British colonialism. That ideal however, is antagonistic to the other ideal of Gandhi called “ahimsa” or “non-violence.”
Although “ahimsa” is a spiritual attitude of respect towards all life and all sentient beings which has been interpreted as “non-violence;” the application of that principle has been grossly misinterpreted when taken into a political context which is made of continuous, everlasting violent division among people. “Ahimsa” has been changed into a mere “concept,” where the “solution” to the “problem” of independence is to “apply” the “concept” of “non-violence” and use a “sacred word” to enhance the holiness of the “new practice.” How can you apply “ahimsa” when there is a mental division already in which we perceive another human being as an enemy? Nationalism just like patriotism serve for that purpose. India gained its independence but violence continued among Indians as religious fights took place. Gandhi was killed in that process. Was that the reward of nationalism?
“Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind.” – Albert Einstein
An accurate description. Nationalism is an infantile disease where children play at dividing their territories and creating national songs and colorful rags to differentiate from one another. That game has been taken even to the “Olympic games” where athletes become soldiers, competing with others to be the “best,” to “win the war.” How childish, indeed! What Nationalism is ‘proud of’ is at the same time, the seed for division and violence. Nationalism has invaded many times the Olympic games, causing damage to the spirit of sportsmanship and poisoned the sense of fellowship with other athletes.
Measles is common in children. Thus, someone with an “adult,” “grown up” consciousness will not be part of such a game.
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.” – Eugene Debs
Eugene Debs had a socialist insight. Although those ideals were only at the intellectual level, they were promoted in a political party and thus, considered “illegal” at that time, which caused him to experience jail time and hardship. To feel beyond the boundaries of nationalities, is a way of living. Fundamentally, a way of BEING which does not have the need to convince another to gain followers. It is through that attitude how an individual could live with others without preaching ideas, as his only presence is the inspiration for others to change.
Nationalism is a barrier for greater consciousness. Beyond nations, there is the Earth. Even further, there is the Universe, Life itself. No borders there, and that is the basis of identity for any conscious human being.
“I” am Life, because Life is who “I” am.
Evaluating our beliefs
There are monuments for “war heroes.”
It is country A fighting with country B. Each one has its heroes, those “who will be remembered for years to come.” Most heroes are famous for fighting, killing the “enemy” in war.
Life works through “cause and effect.” There is no room for human reasons as to who is “right or wrong.” A person consciously killing another will experience the consequence of that action. No matter how many pretty labels we may use to cover that action. No matter how many beliefs we may have in “protecting our freedom,” or how much we believe that “God is with us.”
Patriotism is insanity. Chauvinism is sickness. It is violence through the exclusion of others. It is a search of personal identity through the collective consciousness. It is the herd mentality in action. A truly spiritual person does not have a flag in his heart. The world is where he belongs.
Anyone killing on the name of “god,” has no respect for their own God. Executing someone on blasphemy charges, is to go back to the dark ages. The “true” meaning of a word is in the feeling behind them. Most, talk without it.
The staunch followers distort teachings, for they lack sensibility. Those are followers looking for respect by imposing fear, violence. Respect is naturally earned. It is not something that we could push into another.
The human race displays violence everywhere. It is important to be able to discern when a cultural tradition is no longer serving a higher purpose, the common good; but rather becomes a source of further violence.
Our society teaches through suppression: “Don’t do this. Don’t say this. Don’t think that.” That is a violent teaching as we impose our values onto another.
We seldom observe those beliefs. You see, this idea of trying to change another on what we consider “right” for his “own good” is more violence in action.
When a person is given the chance to observe and evaluate his own beliefs, he will find out that his own Life is defined by his cultural conditioning. When that person is ready to walk away from this conditioning, that is the time when the room of his consciousness is empty and ready to receive newness. Without this emptiness there is no way to pile newness on top of something old; for then this newness will only be accepted as a continuation of the same old thing.
Unlearning is the way to learn newness.
How do we unlearn violence?
By being frequently in touch with our inner space, our inner peace; that is when the outside artificial busy noise and the inside chattering of the mind are not. That creates sensibility. It is through this “newness,” how we are able to walk away from violence without trying, without thinking about it. It is like a magnet, attracted to that silence, to that new found sensibility. There, we are not repelling violence. Simply, there is no compatibility with something which is not in the same frequency.
While being in Nature, we may feel a connection, a link. As this link strengthens, the cultural pull of noise diminishes. Secluded in walls and cement, we become used to noise and cement. The first step of courage is needed to start the journey. Life awaits.
In society we tend to allow ourselves to be defined by others. Most have a label, a definition to describe us. Our tendency is to live in a predictable way. That belief may need to go away.
Undefined, unpredictable, dangerously unexpected… Society is afraid of that person. He doesn’t fit in.
Beliefs will keep us defined. When we live to fit a definition, we are living in the safety of being confined just like a flock of sheep; safely waiting for the shepherd to take us to new pastures, an incapable of doing that ourselves.
Beliefs serve a purpose, a particular timing in our lives. Once the time is up, those need to go away for newness to follow.
Checking on your ideals
Part of the walk of the “Life walker” is to observe those things which make up that which we call “self.”
Throughout these articles, the mind, the “I”/ego and beliefs were looked at.
Ideals, is a new “can of worms” which may need our tact to explore. Why?
The “office world” and most of humanity believe in them as a way of living.
Ahnanda is not a rebel or servile to the “Office world.” He is only interested in finding those items which define him. It is in the observation of those things, how opening of the “I” appears.
Have you observed Patriotism? Are you willing to sacrifice for “your country”? or in “pretty” terms, are you full of “love” for your country?
That could easily change into chauvinism and nationalism. Just like ego.. It tends to grow out of proportion.
Is your country something that exists or it is mind created?
It is obvious that continents do not have lines segmenting them into smaller places known as “countries.” Have you observed that?
Every country has a flag and a song (national anthem.) To represent a country means to adhere to those things and what they represent.
Observe that through those artificial divisions, we keep dividing our world of people and living beings.
The same holds true from any form of religion. Rather than the division of land, there is a division of gods and beliefs. Note that Patriotism is more concrete, that is why it is widely accepted. Land is tangible.
With “God” we could stretch the mind into many paths which are available as long as there are believers.
Nevertheless, the division among individuals is granted.
What about political parties? We believe that there are differences that could identify one party from another. In practice, those differences can change as the wind. Nevertheless, the adherence to a label becomes the important issue.
When I share that our issues are in the mind, can we step out of our minds?
Can we be “out of our minds”? 🙂
Because our unconscious immersion in that structure, is not allowing us to observe and acknowledge a different way of looking at Life. That way resides in Nature.
Nowadays many have a very scarce involvement with Nature. Taking “Fido” every day for a 5 minute walk/pee/poo combo while texting someone, may be the extent of our relationship with Nature.
There is so much that we are missing!
Once you are aware of that world, your “mindless” world may cease to exist.
The process is like traveling to another country and learn their language, traditions and so on… the longer you stay, the more you get to know. You may find out that words, ideas, ideals and beliefs are just all of the mind… not real, concise, as Fido’s gifts.
The core is in the feelings of your heart. That is where you “new” Life may reside. To open that door, is to adventure into the unknown.