Home » Spiritual Politics: Oxymoron or Real Possibility?
Once again in the United States we are in the midst of election for president and members of Congress. Backed by large campaign treasure chests and ample staffs of supporters, aspirants for office are again engaged in fierce competition for votes and in the process making lavish promises to recharge the economy, enhance our status in the world and otherwise produce a peaceful and prosperous state for everyone.
Despite the antics of Donald Trump, somehow this time around it all seems so boring. Do we really need to go through this same exercise again? For those of us who are surfing excitedly on the new spiritual tide emerging on Earth, the old political games seem so anachronistic and irrelevant, so contrary to the redefinition of humanity that is increasingly coin-of-the-realm in spiritual circles.
The new understanding that our nature is basically spiritual and divine came home to me as I recently contemplated an article on clergy malpractice insurance. Yes, you read correctly, clergy malpractice insurance! The market for policies to protect ministers who counsel parishioners is apparently growing.
A case before the California Supreme Court brought the issue to the fore several years ago. Twenty-four-year-old Kenneth Nally, a former UCLA student, struggled for years with bouts of depression until he discovered Grace Community Church of the Valley, an evangelical Bible church that considers sin the root of all human problems.
Nally joined, attended all services and even began studying to be a minister. But the depression flared up again, despite frequent counseling by Grace’s pastors, and Nally finally took his own life. His parents later filed a million dollar suit against the church, accusing the counselors of negligence for telling their son that his problem was sin instead of referring him to a psychiatrist.
However, psychiatry doesn’t have the answer either, even if it may have deferred the suicide by convincing Nally that his depression was the legacy of childhood trauma or guilt. Though they may not use the nomenclature of sin, grace, etc., traditional psychiatry and all forms of counseling by the respected advice-givers of our society operate from the same basic premise: Our nature is inherently evil, inadequate, flawed, violent, maladaptive, dysfunctional…pick your term according to the level of your sophistication.
In short, there is something fundamentally wrong with human beings and life is at best a three-score-and-seven-year struggle to overcome this state of limitation, only to go down in the end. “Civilization” is the sum of these individual struggles and is essentially the laborious and futile attempt on the collective level to cope with and somehow keep in check the “evil lurking in the heart of man.”
Ken Nally was sold a “bill of goods.” He was deceived. The church is, in fact, guilty of negligence. But then, so is the home, the school, the government … every human institution has done exactly the same thing. We all deserve to be sued, for not only have we bought the same goods, we have enthusiastically participated in marketing them to others, making it possible for the myth of inadequacy and inherent evil to permeate every nook and cranny of human emotion, thought, behavior and culture. Here is the core of the conditioning that has kept the human race in bondage for thousands of years.
And this is the field on which the game of politics has been played. In consequence it has degenerated into the art and science of how societies can best control the rapacious and destructive tendencies of their members. Successful dictators are able to dominate and subdue the evil nature by overpowering it with more of their own. Successful elected leaders are able, at least in the short term, to find solutions to the problems created by the evil nature and to thereby maintain the fiction that human beings can permanently peacefully coexist with it. Whatever methods and systems of control are used, it all springs from a politics of manipulation and presents a dismal and pathetic spectacle that could indeed depress anyone who really takes it seriously.
But why take it seriously? It isn’t the truth. It is all based on a lie. Human beings are not inherently evil, helpless victims of their own defective nature, consigned to a hell-on-Earth struggle with a God-given state of limitation. “The goose is out of the bottle.” Inherent evil, original sin, universal impotence, animal ancestry … it’s all a myth. The only thing wrong has been our willingness to accept the notion that something is wrong and try to live on this basis. The problem, if there is one, is not sin but belief that there is such a thing as sin, and the time is certainly at hand to lay aside all beliefs in favor of the truth.
What truth? The truth of wholeness, completeness, oneness with whatever created the Earth and the rest of the universe. The truth of beauty, order and majesty at the core of every human being on the planet. The truth that human beings are here to exercise dominion through intelligent stewardship, not domination through manipulation. The truth, as one person wrote in a letter to me, that “man, male and female, is present on Earth to translate through daily living the central pulse of Universal Spirit into coherent meaning at this level of creation.” The truth that you and I are beings of enormous stature and creative potential whose sphere of responsibility includes not only the Earth but the solar system beyond.
This “new” understanding of human nature (actually it’s as old as human existence) obviously implies a new politics and a new role for the politician. The politics of manipulation is properly replaced by the politics of co-creation. Politics ceases to be the tedious work of balancing and keeping in check the competing interests that spring from the old sense of self and becomes the delightful art of coordinating the essentially harmonious interests of those who sense their oneness with Universal Spirit.
In essence, the politician assumes a leading role in translating the impulses of universal government into coherent meaning and operative form on earth. He or she functions in the center point where the creative cycles that embody the Earth’s mission in the cosmos cross over into human consciousness and are given initial release in thought and word. Yes, it is spiritual work, sacred work, and the politician properly sets a tone of integrity and absolute fidelity to the character of Universal Spirit in his/her living.
Here is but a faint and fleeting glimpse of what is potential in politics and government, one of many fields where transformation can occur when this new stature of man is accepted. That this vision is so far beyond anything that can presently be conceived of by mainline politicians and the population at large is indication of how totally immersed we have been in the lie of sin and limitation. But we might be surprised at how readily this vision can be actualized once we stop courting the lie and awaken to our true stature of excellence and authority. Not only awaken to it but accept the mantle of leadership it implies and actually begin to live on this basis.
I’m reminded of the age-old story of the lost child of royal ancestry who, upon being found and told he was king, refused to return and accept the throne, preferring instead his life as a street beggar. A similar choice is being offered to human beings today, and depending on their response, the Earth will remain in the gutter or assume its royal role in the universe.
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