“Everything is politics.” – Thomas Mann
Therefore, “everything” is corrupted by politics. Politics is “the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.” Our society has made different ideologies to govern a country. Those ideologies make divisions between those who are governed and those who govern: Political parties are born. Thus, there is a struggle to control power by subduing or suppressing other parties or ideas.
However; the main issue is not found in the external ideologies, but in the principles and values of those who are in power, human beings. Why? Because that power to obligate others to behave or think in a certain way, that perceived control over others, will create a personality disorder in individuals without values. Whether a visible government is the ultimate authority or a group of hidden individuals, the fact remains the same: Power corrupts an unaware human being.
“Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.” –Winston Churchill
Those in power will represent a group and will defend that group’s interest, conveniently forgetting the common good. It is a profitable business for them as long as they follow that trend. A powerful country has a greater scope of influence over weaker countries in the world. That “power effect,” trickles down.
“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan
Politics then becomes a way to sell yourself for profit, simple prostitution.
“It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.” – George MacDonald
That becomes the paradox of politics: The best men do not want to be part of it. Politics as it is today is a dirty business, where even the responsibility of being part of human bloodshed could be part of that experience. No individual with higher awareness would consider being part of it.
“We live in a society that wants to label you with a color, sexuality, religion, or ethnicity. It divides us, but it also allows us to find pride in our identity.” – Logan Browning
Identity is the main concern. Most everyone is looking to identify themselves with something greater than themselves, whether that is an ideal or something tangible. Some identify with gender and among that group there is an identification with color of skin. Then, there are further divisions, further ways to label people and in turn, the most oppressed groups will fight back using their recognized “proud” identity as a shield. As our consciousness enhances, we will start peeling the skin of the “onion,” that is all those things which could be perceived with our senses, as we could identify those as external layers protecting an inner core which could give us another identity. To illustrate, if every human being was like a shoe, then divisions will be made regarding colors, shapes, heights, materials, etc. Most individuals are not programmed to look for the common identity, that is of being a shoe; but rather their minds will go into subclasses, sub-groups which will create animosity, separation among them. A “human being,” is the common identity; although there are more universal ways to identify ourselves even beyond that. We may need to “peel the layers of the onion” to find out.
“There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” – Pope John Paul II
Through pornography the human identity is objectified to only concentrate on pleasure as a repetitive, addictive sexual arousal. A porn actor/actress is then just a “merchandise” to obtain sexual pleasure from it; not truly a person to relate with. That conditioning will extend to regular human relationships.
Our society sells that “merchandise” legally for huge private profit, as there is a massive addiction to that pleasure. Not need but addiction.
Human sexuality as the outcome of the feeling of love has been distorted into a narrow door of only mental sensual pleasure. That is, the potential of what human sexuality could be when soul, mind and body are connected, has been ridiculed into an addictive mental game. Thus, the pursuit of pleasure becomes the addiction of the mind which is then exploited for profit. The end result is that this addiction will take a person into levels of neediness and dependency which deteriorates his identity as a human being. That person becomes a puppet of society believing he has the ability to choose, when is truly dependent on his regular “fix.”
“According to the prevailing view human sexual life consists essentially in an endeavor to bring one’s own genitals into contact with those of someone of the opposite sex.” ― Sigmund Freud
That is the extent and objective of human relationship by many humans at this time.
“It is the duty of every thoughtful Indian not to marry. In case he is helpless in regard to marriage, he should abstain from sexual intercourse with his wife.” – Mahatma Gandhi
So much for Gandhi’s non-violence. Repression is the messenger of violence.
“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.
While the master and the disciple were enjoying a walk in Nature on an ample sidewalk, a mother walked with her son in the same direction as them for a couple of seconds. They overheard the little kid saying: “I will clean up the front porch of the house, but if you want it done right it will cost you more than what you want to give me.”
The master decided to stop by a pond and asked: “ Would you charge me if I ask you to clean up my front porch?” The disciple was perplexed by that question but immediately said: “No, Master.”
The master said: “Why not?” The disciple said: “ I am grateful that I am your disciple and you do not charge me for that.” The master then said: “Your education is different from that kid who charged his mother to clean up the porch of the house.”
The disciple said: “ He is living in her house and obtaining many benefits but he doesn’t realize that. I wonder why?” The master responded:” He has been trained alright to know the value of coins and bills. He wants to get the maximum profit that he can. That was his education.”
The disciple said:”The word education can be understood in many ways, master. In this case, you are saying that the mother has taught that kid to act in that way…”
The master said: “ You said that. Let us talk about that word, education. What does it mean to you?”
The disciple who was versed in dictionary meanings said: “ Well, education is the process to acquire general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself intellectually for mature life.”
The master said: “Very well. What about acquiring beliefs, values, skills and habits. Is that education too?”
The disciple said: “Yes, master but that depends on the setting. Someone from a different country will have different values and beliefs.”
The master said: “Therefore education depends on a particular setting. Isn’t that called training or even indoctrination to fit into that particular country?”
The disciple said: “Yes, master. We could call that training too.”
The master said: “ Society has a way to train a person to fit into it. Society values the economy over any other thing. Therefore, that training will be geared towards that end. The development of reasoning and judgment will be centered in that value of economics. Do you see that?”
The master continued:” Even if you are well versed in languages, arts and sciences; you are only trained to fit into the boundaries of society. Thus, education in our society is just training to acquire skills to fit in, to promote the ways and beliefs of that society. However, Life or Nature does not fit into those narrow boundaries. Society has borders, Nature does not. What sort of training do you need to understand Life, to enjoy it? How does society prepare you for that?”
The disciple thought for a few seconds and said: “When I attended a University, I had a few courses in psychology, philosophy and religion. I guess that is the extent of my preparation for that Life beyond the boundaries of society along with my beliefs and values.”
The master said: “ Life does not usually use the language of reasoning. If you would like to understand Life, a vision based only on intellectual reasoning is very superficial and narrow. Thinking cannot see the whole for it is fragmentary. But why is it so important to understand Life, you may say? Well, most individuals want happiness and all they do is acquire, buy things, power and wills. They believe that happiness can be purchased. Most individuals want to feel at peace and what they do is prepare themselves to fight in case someone takes away what they have accumulated. Most individuals want fulfillment in this life experience but all they find is seclusion from their roots, from Nature, and rather live artificial lives surrounded by concrete, artificial food which they need to purchase, and dependency on a few coins which you must obtain to survive. Many in the world, have to work selling widgets 7days a week to survive. Imagine that life! No time to smell the roses. No time to feel! They will be closer to Nature only when they are depressed, or when they want to take something from it. If these individuals acquire more knowledge or training to have a better standard of living, they become slaves of their acquisitions and status, ever fearful that those could go away. In that conditioning, most speak about love, peace and happiness and even justice without knowing those through experience. Labels become their mental, reasonable reality; but there are no feelings no meaning behind those words. Those labels are empty, lifeless, but yet minds are obsessed with those words. Do you see the importance of that education and where it may lead you if you become unaware? That kid will work only because he wants profit. He does not know about the common good. On the other hand, you will work and you will do it with joy. Isn’t that another type of education? “
It was a cozy restaurant near the forest. That was the setting where the master and his disciple decided to eat lunch. The disciple asked for steak with fried onions as the main dish. The master requested for lentils and brown rice with a small salad.
The disciple said: “It is said that spirituality will lead people to become vegetarian or vegan, but I love too much the taste of meat. I don’t want to give it up yet.”
The master replied: “ Sure. I understand.”
The disciple felt awkward as he thought his master was disappointed. The master sensed that and while waiting for food to be served, he said: “ In the world of duality, pleasure without awareness will inevitably lead to addiction and the experience of pain without awareness will lead to fear. Eating meat has been traditionally a symbol of wealth and power. This strong conditioning has been installed on future generations. More people conditioned with similar traditions will cause unrestricted destruction of the natural balance of our ecosystem, for their view of life will take them to pursue pleasure at the expense of other less developed beings and Nature. However, this trend at this time is backfiring humanity, for we are part of that ecosystem as well. We are all one. That was only a nice spiritual theory a few decades back. Now, it is a reality because we experience the consequences. While people used to debate whether eating meat was good or bad for health or moral purposes, at this time it is a social responsibility to refrain from it, as the consequences are affecting humanity.”
The disciple was shocked, but he asked: “Could eating meat affect us?”
The master replied: “The inhumane treatment of sentient beings, is hardening our hearts. Humans have lost their sense of equilibrium with Nature. Eating flesh to live is part of Life for some species even for some humans, but the exploitation and indiscriminate killing beyond our human physical needs, for the sake of profit or to just satisfy our addiction for taste, is an offense against our planet. The Earth, gains nothing. Other sentient beings suffer while some gain plenty of paper with human pictures in it, which will give them power to control other men. It is a mental game of disconnection with Mother Earth.”
The master took a sip of water and continued: “The addiction of meat is so strong that even though most humans are well informed about this situation, they are powerless to do anything about it. Their wills have been broken. There was a time when families had land with animals to provide for their food. Now, it is another reality where action with social responsibility is the rational direction, that is; to avoid consuming animal products, as much as possible.”
The disciple understood the words of his master and felt a bit guilty. He wanted for his master to tell him clearly to stop eating meat. So, he pushed the issue one more time.
The disciple said: “Master, aren’t you going to ask me not to eat meat?”
The master smiled and said: “Spiritual teachings don’t use the word “No;” as in “you should not do this or that,” for Life has its own intelligence and there is a lesson at every corner of it. If we fail to see something, that is because we lack awareness; but the consequences will be felt sooner or later to shake us up and then wake up. It is in that experience how we truly understand. Mental understanding of ideas and philosophies leads to no real personal change, but only help us to follow beliefs. If you just follow what I say without being ready, great repression will be built inside you and that will be my responsibility.”
The disciple felt a big release, smiled and asked: ” Master, how do I know when I have eaten enough or when my addiction for tasty things kicks in?
The master smiled, took another sip of water and said: ” That is truly a meaningful question. Eating is an art. You need a tranquil space where you can place your attention in what you are ingesting. Eat with gratefulness. Chew your food well, taste it, salivate it, let it go to your stomach and then take a couple of breaths; talk if you need to and then go at it again. Be aware of the signals that your body sends. As you are reaching 75% of your stomach capacity, that is a good place to stop. Your body will tell you exactly if you are aware. Your mind on the other hand, will enjoy the taste and say: Get more! How delicious! repeat! Let the mind enjoy, but remember that it is what you feel and not what you think what drives the art of eating. Leave with a sense that you could have eaten more. There are some days, where you could eat a bit more or less. Life is about feeling balance and not following formulas. To learn to feel is the key. Conscious, aware eating is a fine spiritual practice. Nevertheless, there is an indicator which could tell you most of the time, if you are eating sensibly or not…. “
The master stopped talking. After a few seconds, the disciple asked: ” What is that indicator, master?”
“your belly size.” said the master while smiling.
The disciple asked the master about the significance of control in society.
The master replied: “ In society there is a need to impose a will over another. For example the belief in widgets as the way to improve society, will encounter many who will not believe in that. Therefore, a will needs to impose for a belief to rule. Manipulation means to influence another to accommodate their will to our own personal ideas, beliefs. Manipulation and control come together.
In society, a belief will encounter many obstacles, such as rejection from others which will have a reactive consequence. Every disagreement, every fight is an opportunity to display violence over another to subdue that one, to win. In this context, winning is to impose over another.
Life does not work that way. Life shows the path, the direction and we align or oppose. Every opposition is a bitter lesson to learn, but nonetheless; useful for our conscious development.
For example is we observe the climate changing from hot to cold, we dress accordingly. If we believe that things should be the same, there will be a consequence for us. On another level, Life will show death to every person at a particular time. Acceptance is to go with the way. Rejection, fight, implies that there is a personal will with ideas and beliefs, opposing Life. What could be some of the consequences of that? Society has many problems to solve from dysthanasia, euthanasia, orthothanasia, combined with several religious beliefs, moral values involved and such. Society wants to come up with a solution that will be applicable to all; and that belief will be imposed to others to follow in the name of righteousness. Society has its way. Life has another. Observe that Life is completely impersonal and its movement tends to balance different forces. Society usually relies on personal opinion which comes from conditioning, tradition, personal interests and deep rooted beliefs.
Every time we are unwilling to observe the signals that Life is giving us and we stubbornly hold on to a belief for we believe that to be right, we are opposing to what is. To discern “what is now” is one of the greatest awareness we could have.
Life will teach us to respect, to acknowledge and to move on. Thus, become flexible like a palm tree who does not have a rooted belief as to where the wind needs to come from, and to which direction the tree should move to be right. If you observe this carefully, you will discover that every belief a person has is deep rooted in something ideal which Life uses sooner or later, to teach us to open up, to accept and to move on.
Confrontations, control, manipulation are human ways to obtain what a group wants. In that scenario, look for a common ground and take that. Sooner or later the common ground is bound to appear for at the end, we are all breathing the same air to survive. That is the common good.”
Will resume writing on April 22. Until then! 🙂
The disciple had a typical walk of about 3 miles before meeting his master. In his walk, the disciple witnessed how a person stole a cellphone from another, who was walking on the opposite side walk; then he observed that the amount of indigent people begging for money in the company of their small kids, had increased.
The disciple met his master and almost immediately asked him: “Master, are any of these things that you teach me useful to help solve the problems in the world? I see people stealing, I see people hungry begging for money and I hear that people kill one another for personal interest, and yet laws do not seem to help. There is a general idleness to do something real about it.”
The master said to his disciple: “Let me sit down to talk about it.” The master sat and observed the sense of emotional helplessness that his disciple experienced.
The master said: “ What you are learning is called spirituality by many. However, that is a very imprecise label. What you are truly learning is to live life in balance. Therefore, before knowing balance you must experience lack of it, disharmony. Once you are feed up, you will experience inner struggle; then you will be open to look somewhere else, to listen to something different. That is the process.”
“But master,” interrupted the disciple “that can take a long time for others and we need action now.”
The master observed the eagerness of his disciple to change things immediately, and said calmly: “Life has its own processes. There is a process of maturity for a a fruit to be ripe and ready to be eaten. Similarly is with human beings. When we do not understand that, we react and act violently to repress. In human history a reactionary movement has been used to suffocate something perceived as unfair. That is usually the task of politicians who experience that level of consciousness. Out of that struggle, something else happens one way or another, creating further friction which is met with further reaction. At this time, there are many individuals believing that laws and politics can change the world on a positive direction, however; they fail to observe that further struggle comes up, no matter what. That is what human beings label as problems.”
After a brief pause, the master saw the reaction of his disciple as if he was waiting for something else, a cure, a formula that will help everyone.
The master said: “ You are ready to look inside therefore your experiences will be different. Most humans are not ready. Many are always looking outside and trying to change things from an idealistic position. For example, many politicians believe in political systems as the necessary value to change the world; but they do not look at their own greed, their own violence, nor the ones following the ideal, the people. If they knew that, they could understand that any idealistic system that they choose will fail, for what they ARE is different from the ideal that they want to implement. Laws can force someone to DO something, but they cannot change that person to BE something else.”
The disciple was a bit disappointed with that reply and said: “Master, the systems implemented in the world have brought technological improvement and greater life expectancy. Something must be right.”
The master smiled and said: “The psychological and emotional profile of man has been the same or even degraded as time has gone by. Greater life expectancy is not the same as quality of life. Stress, anxiety, fear, anguish, restlessness, worry, neurosis.. with greater life expectancy, those will last longer as well. There is no balance there, and that is what human beings will learn to sense. Trust the process.”