Spiritual Politicsabracad, · Categories: spiritual politics
Spirituality is the recognition that humankind is fundamentally eternal Spirit that is temporarily undergoing physical incarnation primarily for the purpose of gaining experience.
Politics (as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary) is "the art or science of government".
Over time human evolution favored collaborative rather than individual endeavor, eventually realizing the concepts of society and the "state".
Reviewing human achievement there can be little doubt of the success of such rigidly organized groupings in fostering material progress.
The question considered here is whether, how, and to what extent a Spiritual lifestyle should engage with the political process.
An individual's position (attainment) at any time is a combination of:
- starting conditions, ie our family and environment – both materially and otherwise; a given - dependant purely on chance
- aptitudes and level of ability; also a given
- application, ie the degree and direction to which we choose to apply our time and energy
Politics is concerned with intervention regarding the givens, ie: what is the role of the state, that all-powerful elite-run top-level organization to whose powers we are all involuntarily subject? Is it:
- to equalize, or mitigate, life's givens (both starting conditions and/or innate strengths); and if so, to what extent?
- to encourage enterprise (application) by protecting its rewards through the protection and enforcement of law?
- to protect and maintain the status quo, eg the privilege of the ruling elite and the vagaries of chance as manifested in life's givens?
More on the 3rd option may be found on sites such as http://www.richplanet.net/ - visit with an open mind!
Evolution has manifested various forms of state, two dimensions on which regimes are commonly evaluated are:
- from capitalist (ie laissez-faire, with minimal intervention in market forces) to socialist/communist (with significant state economic intervention, supposedly towards greater fairness).
- from libertarianism (giving supremacy to freedom of the individual) to totalitarian/fascist (in which individual rights are subservient to the state).
In reality governments are considerably more complex than what is measurable on just two dimensions.
Empirically capitalism has tended to yield the greatest material wealth but also resulted in the greatest inequality with those able to establish a slight advantage, either by chance or achievement, amassing far greater rewards than those slightly further down the scale. Does a major company’s CEO really contribute so much more than a worker as suggested by their respective salaries?
The failings of unmitigated capitalism were demonstrated all too clearly and painfully by the 2008 credit crunch.
The libertarian - totalitarian spectrum creates something of a Spiritual paradox as we are all ultimately part of the one source / Spirit. However, our Spiritual source is definitely no synonymous with nation/state.
The most fortuitous form of state (to its inhabitants) is (some form of) democracy, which confers at least some degree of power, in the form of electing its leaders, to those governed.
When given the right to vote, how is it exercised? Voting often produces a conflict between what is believed to be right and what is in self-interest. At this stage of evolution self-interest often wins out serving to preserve the status quo.
If the state has any justification for its existence at all it must be to improve the quality of life for the majority compared to that which would be in its absence.
Ideally - in order to hasten the experience gained from incarnation, and thus evolution - the state should: i) guarantee a minimum standard of living to all, and ii) encourage and protect additional reward in proportion to value added / contribution made.
Individuals have the ability to influence the system in various ways, eg:
- the democratic voting process – if available this right should be valued, where the right to vote is offered consideration should be given to the options – even if the decision is abstention or a spoiled ballot paper
- activism – in varying degrees as considered appropriate – the Internet offers unparalleled opportunity to make one's views known and to connect with the like-minded
- running for office – likely appropriate for only a few, but a worthwhile option should it be in accord with one's purpose
Some may also choose complete non-engagement with political matters, and this too is a legitimate pathway. The most important thing is that we each give consideration to our political position and allow our will to act accordingly.
Filed in: spiritual politics