The Religiosity and Spirituality of Politics

Oh yes I did…bring up the two most controversial topics in one blog post.

The way we perform politics is much like the expression of religious dogma. We rigidly control and divide based on what we claim to be the ‘truth.’ Wouldn’t it be cool if we let go of our beliefs, all of us, and performed politics with a sense of awe, wonder, openness, and mystery in search of universal wisdom?

The Theatre of Me

One of my cats, Sugar, loudly cries while pacing through the house with a large stuffed monkey in his mouth whenever I am not immediately accessible to him. He does this when I am asleep at night, am on the phone, have company, or leave the house.

His sad expression is a performance, one that is communicating a deep sense of despair. But is he doing so for himself or for me?

I tend to think that he is doing it strictly for himself. He performs this act both when I am at home and when I am not at home. It is a means to soothe his spirit, not to provoke me.

When we communicate in any situation, so often it is for ourselves and not for the other person. We may be thinking about our interpretation of who that person is, or what we would like that person to do, but both of these are rooted within ourselves.

I think it is helpful to remember this in our interactions with others. When others say and do things that we find offensive or hurtful, it is an expression of themselves; it is not a reflection of us.

 

More Field Theory Fun

When change happens in our lives, organizations, or communities, it often happens either because we are pushed away from something and/or because we are pulled toward something different. In my personal life, I felt pushed away from my job as an executive director but it wasn’t until I re-envisioned the Fruition Coalition that I was able to make a change. I am currently feeling pushed from my current home and pulled toward something different. Once we start to feel pulled, the possibility for detachment emerges. We then become free to reattach to a new and better reality. Push is external and repellant. Pull is internally driven and is a magnetic attraction. Push creates disorder while pull seeks to create a new harmonious state.

From Self-Sacrifice to Self-Transcendence

I have committed the soft suicide of self-denial for much of my life. I have been intentionally moving along the path from self-sacrifice to self-transcendence. Self-sacrifice is a dichotomous zero-sum game; according to this belief, what I lose or forfeit the world gains. Self-transcendence includes the self as part of a greater whole. I am choosing to live my life in a way that is spiritually and materially sustainable and life affirming in every way. I am acting with integrity out of love rather than with disunion out of guilt. If we all cooperatively are what we truly desire based on differentiation rather than competition, the whole will benefit overall. What would it take to live in complete, consistent self- and other-affirming integrity?

The Tao of Political Leadership

“The female overcomes the male with
stillness,
Lying low in stillness.
Therefore if a great country gives way
to a smaller country,
It will conquer the smaller country.
And if a small country submits to a
great country,
It can conquer the great country.”
— Tao te Ching
How would a Taoist view influence politics and activism? Why are we so afraid to submit? Why do we allow fear to govern our private and public lives? Why do we grasp and cling to our ideas? What would happen if we let go?