An Open Letter to Our World:
DO POLITICAL PROGRESSIVES HAVE
NO SPIRITUAL MESSAGE?

Has anybody noticed that a conservative political groundswell is sweeping the Earth? It is not just the mid-term elections in the United States that have reflected this. Everywhere we are seeing a hunger among humanity to return to more conservative values.

What human begins really want is a return to the world as we once knew it. A safer world. A kinder world. A more caring world. (Or at least it seemed so.)

Rabbi Michael Lerner, of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, is now making the point in his blogs, magazine articles, newspaper interviews and other writings, that until progressive and liberal leaders start talking about values, and not simply social programs, they are talking about nothing.

I agree with Rabbi Lerner when he observes that many spiritual progressives (perhaps most) are timid in the extreme about discussing the values from which the social programs they espouse arise.

(I would add that some of them may not even be sure about those values themselves.)

I have been saying for years that a spirituality without practical application is bankrupt, and political activity without spiritual activity is impossible, because the two are intrinsically tied. Indeed, at their core they are one and the same.

All politics are spiritual, because political activity is nothing more than a process by which we seek to put into practice “on the ground” what we hold in our hearts. It is humanity’s earnest attempt to translate its most sacred beliefs into behavior.

But beliefs about what? About the economy? About foreign affairs? About national spending priorities? No. Politics are about what we believe about ourselves. About who we are, and why we are here. About the God of our understanding, and the purpose of life.

Rabbi Lerner is right. The Republicans in the U.S. have been successful because they have been able to raise the discussion above the merely functional to the manifestly spiritual. Republican (that is to say, conservative) views are expressed in religious congregations across America. Yet there is more than one spiritual view of things, and failing to advance an alternate view is where progressives and liberals have failed–exactly as Rabbi Lerner says.

They have failed to powerfully articulate a spiritual worldview that captures the attention, if not to say the imagination, of the everyday person — who, I am convinced, is yearning for an alternate spiritual truth that could turn a world of nonsense into a world that makes sense.

When I say “alternate,” I mean a second option, a second understanding, a differing expression of our natural impulse toward The Divine that dramatically alters the focus of our energies and changes the course of our experience on Earth.

Our job as spiritual progressives is to advance that new worldview, that alternative idea of God and Humans, and of the relationship between the two.

Regarding the political challenge now facing not just the people who reside in the United States, but our species around the world, many people see Conservatism vs. Liberalism as a case of fundamental spiritual values vs runaway socialism, if not rampant hedonism. Liberals have not seriously or energetically advanced any spiritually-based alternative, any spiritual counteroffer, to the fundamentalist spiritual values of many Conservatives: belief in God (and God’s Law as they understand it), hard work, personal responsibility, and sharing/caring for others as a free-will gift, not as a socially or politically mandated obligation.

It’s hard to argue against that. On its surface, that feels like a perfectly acceptable and workable solution to humanity’s problems. Only when looking deeper at the whole relationship between God and Humanity (and therefore the relationship between humans and humans, humans and the Earth, humans and everything), and only when more comprehensively exploring the entire reason and purpose for the existence of Life itself, can a New View of Reality have the space to emerge.

It is the job of liberals and progressives to urge people everywhere to undertake that deeper look and that more comprehensive exploration of these larger questions—what I have called the Four Fundamental Questions of Life: Who am I? Where am I? Why am I where I am? What do I intend to do about that?

These are part of the Seven Simple Questions that I advanced in my book, The Storm Before the Calm. The other three are:

  1. How is it possible that 7 billion members of a single species could all want the same thing—survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love—and be unable to produce it, even after thousands of years of trying?
  2. Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything?
  3. Is it possible that there is something about ourselves and about who we are, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?

I have been offering in my writing for years that the challenge facing humanity is that most human beings keep trying to solve humanity’s problems at every level except the level at which the problems exist.

First we try to solve our problems as if they were political problems, because we are used to using political pressure on this planet to get people to do what they don’t want to do.

We hold discussions, we write laws, we pass legislation and adopt resolutions in every local, national, regional, and global language and assembly we can think of to try to solve the problem with words—but it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may create evaporate very quickly, and the problems reemerge. They will not go away.

So we say, “Okay, these are not political problems and they cannot be solved with political means. They are economic problems.” And because we are used to using economic power on this planet to get people to do what they don’t want to do, we then try to solve the problems as if they were economic problems.

We throw money at them, or withhold money from them (as in the form of sanctions), seeking to solve the problems with cash. But it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may create evaporate very quickly, the problems reemerge. They will not go away.

And so we say, “Okay, these are not economic problems, and they cannot be solved by economic means. They must be military problems.” And because we are used to using military might on this planet to get people to do what they don’t want to do, we then try to solve the problems as if they were military problems.

We throw bullets at them and drop bombs on them, seeking to solve the problems with weapons. But it does not work. Whatever short-term solutions we may create evaporate very quickly, and the problems reemerge. They will not go away. And so, having run out of solutions, we declare: “These are not easy problems. No one expected that they could be fixed overnight. This is going to be a long, hard slog. Many lives will be lost in trying to solve these problems. But we are not going to give up. We are going to solve these problems if it kills us.” And we don’t even see the irony in our own statements.

After a while, however, even primitive beings of very little consciousness become tired of the killing and the dying of their own sons and daughters in battle and their own women and children and elderly in the line of fire. And so, after enough killing has been done with no solution in sight, they say it is time to call a truce and hold peace talks. And the cycle begins again…

We are back to the bargaining table, and back to politicking as a solution. And peace talks often include discussion of reparations and economic recovery. And so, we are back to money as a solution. And when these solutions fail to work in the long run, we are back to bombs again.

And on and on and on it goes, and on and on and on it has gone throughout human history. Only the names of the players have changed, but the game has not.

Only primitive cultures and primitive beings do this. We have all heard the definition of insanity. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting to get a different result.

We can’t seem to change our ways, however, because we are very used to trying to force solutions in our world. Yet solutions that are forced are never solutions at all. They are simply postponements.

The great tragedy and the great sadness of humanity is that we are forever willing to settle for postponements in place of solutions.

Only primitive cultures and primitive beings do that. Highly evolved beings would never, ever settle for a ten-thousand-year postponement in solving their biggest problems. Here on this planet we’ve never really faced the largest problem of humanity head on. We refuse to. We pretend we don’t even know what it is. And so we do our endless dance all around it. And we continue, century after century, to try to solve the world’s problem at every level except the level at which the problem exists.

So now let’s just say it plainly. The problem facing humanity today is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is certainly not a military problem. The problem facing humanity today is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.

The problem is rooted in our most fundamental beliefs about life, about each other, and about the Essence or Energy that some of us call God.

Put simply, the problem is that we believe in Separation. We believe that all things are separate from other things, that all people are separate from other people, and that all humans are separate from God.

This is, and has been for millennia, our Cultural Story. It is a Story of Separation.

Our opportunity on the Earth today is to jointly author a brand new story about who we are and how it is with us. And most important, how it’s going to be.

We are invited to declare, at long last, as a single voice, the truth of our being: We are all One. And with that declaration as the foundation of our New Cultural Story, we can bring an end at last to Separation Theology.

Separation Theology is a theology that insists that we are “over here” and God is “over there.” Its doctrine tells us that God separated us from God as punishment for our sins, and that our job now is to get back to God, which is possible only if God will allow it, which God will do only if we obey God’s commands, follow God’s laws, and submit to God’s will. In short, we must do what God wants.

This Separation Theology has produced a Separation Cosmology (that is, a way of looking at all of life on this planet that includes separation as its basic principle), which, in turn, has produced a Separation Psychology (that is, a psychological way of looking at things, of holding life, that rests on a foundation of separation), which, in turn, has produced a Separation Sociology (that is, a way of socializing with each other that encourages us to act as separate beings serving our own separate interests), which, in the end, has produced a Separation Pathology (that is, pathological behaviors of self-destruction, producing suffering, conflict, violence, and death by our own hands).

Only when our Separation Theology is replaced by a Unity Theology will our pathology be healed. We must come to understand that all of life is One.

This is our first step. It is the jumping off point. It is the beginning of the end of how things now are. It is the start of a new creation, of a new tomorrow. It is our only viable New Cultural Story.

We must announce and declare that Oneness is not a characteristic of Life, Life is a characteristic of Oneness.

Life is the expression of Oneness Itself. God is the expressionof Life Itself. God and Life are One. And we are all a part of Life. We do not and cannot stand outside of it. Therefore we are a part of God. It is a circle. It cannot be broken.

What does all of this have to do with liberals and progressives?Well, if we believe that humanity can and must change its Cultural story, from one of Separation to one of Oneness, we will do what we can to place this new Cultural Story on the ground.

First, we can make a firm commitment this day to demonstrate Oneness in every moment, by the way we move through Life.

We can choose to show that we are One with everyone and everything, just by the way we think and speak and act . . . this very day.

If we are consciously aware of what we are thinking, saying, and doing, we will relate to other people…the other person in our life, the other people in our family, the others everywhere on this planet…in a different way today, seeing them, experiencing them, as part of ourselves.

Now one might say, “That’s all very nice, but what difference will it make? It’s not going to change anything in Ukraine today.” And that could be right. In the immediate sense, that could be correct. But imagine what would happen in the long run if everyone reading these words today chose to act in every moment as if We Are All One.

Each of us is going to touch other people before this week is out. And they, in turn, will touch other people. And those people will touch others.

Do we think this means nothing? This is how the world works. This is how politics work. This is how societies work. This is how religions work.

We have more power than we know. If we begin moving through the world a certain way today, the world could begin to change tomorrow.

The readership of this online newspaper could start a snowball rolling downhill. Yes it could. Believe it or not.

And then there is prayer. This, too, as we know . . . is very powerful. And so we can pray every day that the world will at last come to its senses, stop all this nonsense, and see . . . and live . . . the truth of our being.

And we can bring other people to this awareness. We can write Letters to the Editor, send messages to our society’s leaders, and, on a more personal level, we can read the book The Storm Before the Calm, published in full right here on this website.

It lays out a powerful course of action that we can take right now to assist us all in re-writing our Cultural Story.

Then we can join the Evolution Revolution and begin, in our own living room, a grass roots movement designed to change the world.

To learn more about this, return to this newspaper’s Front Page and click on the Blue Box in the right hand column.

So there is something we can do — about our life, and about our world. Things do not have to be the way they seem inevitably to be.

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  • Erin

    Funny…The first thing I read into this morning brought me a quote from Mother Theresa:
    “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” And then I came here to This. Love when That happens! 😀

    Funny, too, is that recently I have decided to not support ‘Repeat’, with ‘Three’s a Charm’…If members of the realms I play in wish to repeat a behavior or project, and are going into the third ‘try’, the same way, again, I do not make myself available in the game. I also have no problem explaining why when asked (Love that quote from Einstein!).
    This is not saying “No”, which Life would never do, but rather expressing My Choice to not participate in the continuance of an obvious dysfunction.

    Needless, to say, since I Am very involved in the grounds I play in, there are a few thinking outside of their sandboxes. Eeeha for the Ripple Effect! 😀

    Namaste’ <3

  • mewabe

    The desire to return to conservative values has been fueled by global insecurities and fear. When intense fear arises, people seek immediate control, and often turn to stern authorities, “strong” leadership and very rigid social systems and rigid religious beliefs that make them feel safe. Fear is at the root of all police states and oppressive religions.

    Religious fundamentalism, coupled with exploitative economic elements (such as laisser faire capitalism on steroid) have exploited these trends to manipulate people into accepting and even demanding policies that actually hurt them while profiting the elite beyond all measures. The elite does not espouse fundamentalism, it is simply clever and opportunistic.

    So-called liberals do not have the clarity required to see through this manipulation, and aren’t much different than conservatives in their religious beliefs, their thoughts about “national security” and war, and their cultural beliefs about “progress”, endless economic growth and the endless exploitation of resources (see for example how many “liberals” approve of the Patriot Act and Total Surveillance programs, as well as war and a “strong” military, and the need for the endless creation of new jobs).

    It takes a person who is OUTSIDE of the mainstream cultural paradigm to see through this muck. Such people are usually not called liberals but RADICALS, while many others are just INDIGENOUS (Native Americans, etc). And they are and will remain a rather distrusted minority…unfortunately.

    • Erin

      Wonderfully astute, as always. <3
      Been keeping an eye on Earth moves? Perhaps We will experience an epitome of interesting…to say the least. :)

      • mewabe

        Thank you Erin…I haven’t watched or heard any world news for a month now, and it has been wonderfully therapeutic. It is always the same madness anyway, taking different forms. But I know the earth will increasingly make itself heard and felt. I live next to an active volcano and in an earthquake zone, can’t wait! :)

        • Erin

          Saw a documentary recently that science is noticing that “storms seem to be communicating with each other”…An epiphany, indeed!?!
          I have hardly touched upon Sky stuff, though quite active, but ground & Water seem to be setting up for a Domino run. Adds a new groove to ‘body language’. 😀

          • Michael L

            Water is so unique, it is a miracle actually.
            Water could be how we can use telepathy as we are a major water “bag” Star trac!!!
            Follow the water and I heard the Bees!!!!!

      • Debra O’Bryant Haworth

        Nibiru?

  • Patrick Gannon

    I think the focus should be on trying to scientifically prove that we are all One. The symbol “God” stands for an idea, not a real thing. The idea it stands for, is that force, energy – or most probably in my opinion – consciousness that is or is not the basic building block for all that is. If there is any truth in the statement, “we are all one,” it seems at this point in time, the best place to find it is in consciousness. If it’s not there, it probably doesn’t exist.

    That doesn’t mean that consciousness has nothing to do with spirituality. Consciousness may evolve just as matter does, from simple single cells to multiple cells, to complex. Basic units of information (maybe strings?) may join, organize, cooperate (sound like love?) in order to decrease entropy and provide useful energy for production. Developing and producing individuated units of consciousness may be a way for the larger whole to evolve itself through smaller individuations.

    Or consciousness may be an emergent property of matter (the brain) and when the brain goes, consciousness goes, and the lights are out. 50/50 chance either way right now. Only science can tell us for sure.

    • Nickson Sylvestre

      I think you’re right on your thoughts. In fact, there is such a scientific approach to Reality. This has been the purpose of the CTMU from the very start–and it has done a damn good job, if you ask me.
      The CTMU is a Reality Theory that describes the relation of Mind and Reality in a Logico-Mathematical way. In doing so, it also proves the existence of God (or that which we call God) and also that we’re all basically “ONE”.
      In my opinion, it responds perfectly to what you’re saying. It gives the same spiritual message that we long for, and also does so through a Logico-Mathematical method. Perhaps you could do a little research on it. (I wish I could attach the CTMU paper to this reply).

      • Patrick Gannon

        Thank you Nickson. That made for some interesting reading. I’m still uncomfortable with his use of the word “god,” but the I surely prefer that type of approach to researching the questions of reality, the mind, consciousness, etc.

        I liked the discussion of space/time and how it applied to the idea of ‘creation’ and ‘what came before.’ I will have to do some more reading for a more complete understanding. What I’ve read so far are the questions on Langan’s web page. I’m interested in more detail regarding his ideas of oneness.

        You may be interested in checking out Thomas Campbell’s “My Big TOE” which has some similarities. He looks at consciousness as the basic unit of information – sort of where Langan’s discussion of planck scale was going; which I follow as best I can, given that my math/physics knowledge is limited at best!

  • Leon Jackson

    I think we need to let go of the Separation mentality and realize that we are all on this planet together and it takes all of us to make this world go around. Instead of being quick to point the finger at others, we need to point the finger at ourselves and ask ourselves what am I doing to make this world a better place. If each one of us stop and look at ourselves and ask ourselves that question, I believe it will change the world.

    • Maxim Filippov

      The separation is the greatest ignorance of our world, indeed. We’ll have to deal with it if we want to change something in this world.

  • Lloyd Bradsher

    I learned decades ago that I can not control anything, except myself, my emotions, my actions, my thoughts. I know we are all made of the same material, same atoms, same flow of Energy that holds the Universe together, so how could we not all know that we are ONE? When I allow separation to enter my concept of reality, I have denied my own existence and this is where our fear based concept of reality is born. God, Creator, is within ALL existence and is the Energy that creates the atoms, the gravity that holds planets in orbit, the energy that holds galaxies together, the energy that moves Universes and the energy that creates our thoughts, ideas, imaginations, etc. and gives us the power to co-create our view of Self, the world, and our own reality.
    When we were born we knew our existence depended upon our connection to others outside our physical body, and we learned to respond to their influence to survive. As we grew we noticed we no longer needed others to feed us, or protect us and we experienced our separation reality which we have carried around within us since. But the truth we have always known is we still depend upon our connection to others, our planet, and the flow of Creator Energy within and without our physical being to exist. So what makes the concept of Unity of Existence difficult for humans to grasp? We have not found a way to “show” everyone, or the majority that we “see” them as we “see” Ourselves, just a part of the total of Creators Energy.
    So for me, when I look upon another I see Creator within, and it is the same Creator I see within Self. The Energy that flows within me that expresses this connection is Unconditional Love. Others are attracted toward this Energy, and wish to understand this they see within my eyes, feel within my being, and do not fear any need to separate because they soon see I do not need or want anything from them. The joy I get is in the sharing of this Energy within my world, and it has grown to fill my heart and mind and expression of Self. I do not fear others taking away my joy, I give it away freely. So the more we each can take the responsibility of expressing our knowledge of Creators Energy, Unconditional Love, within ourselves with our human community, our environment, our existence will become so much more joyful and our light will shine the way which others will desire to follow. Namaste’
    Butch

  • mewabe

    Look at it this way:

    The natural world, and natural, non domesticated animals spontaneously follow the laws of nature, which are in harmony with universal or cosmic laws that some might say are in harmony with divine laws or principles, or with the divine essence.
    This sontaneous way is called following the Tao. Practically it means being in harmony with Life (with a capital L).
    Humans are the only creatures that have chosen the Faustian attitude of pitting themselves against nature and the universe, attempting to conquer and master life in every possible manner.
    Humans are consequently opposing the divine essence and/or principles, or “the way”, or the Tao.

    It does not get simpler than this. If you want to return to Life, follow nature, do not oppose it. When you follow nature, you will be completely at odd with a human civilization that opposes and attempts to conquer and overcome nature (as were and still are some Native Americans). But that won’t matter, because you will realize that this civilization cannot endure, as nothing that is in a state of disharmony with natural laws can last very long.

    Every other consideration is superfluous…nature (the Tao) is the law.

    • Erin

      That last line is so very perfect! :)

      • mewabe

        Thank you Erin :)

  • Christopher Toft

    Politics is a mess. A really useful book that clarifies the contradictions and absurdities is A Lawrence Chickering’s “Beyond left and right”. It goes some way to addressing Neale’s question too.

  • Blake

    Revenge! Revenge! Revenge! When taking revenge dig two
    graves. Love! Love! Love! Love is the answer in all things, I am conscious of
    this. We all are Divine. Our Divinity sometimes looks like evil by the casual
    observer and yet all actions come from the first sponsoring thought of love. We
    touch each other in ways that the observer judges wrong when in fact those that
    are being touched experience a deeper healing connection. As we are the
    observers we get swept into painful thoughts and want to take destructive
    actions to be even with the perpetrators when in reality the perpetrator and
    the victim are one in the same each person is blessing one another. Religion says
    no to this, and so far religion has not solved the problems. The perpetrator
    and the victim are Angels onto one another. Do you see the blessing of it all?

  • Maxim Filippov

    I think to be a better person in our day to day living is a good thing to start from. After that you will begin to feel the connection with all things and beings of our world and beyond. I really feel that now is the right time to change the way of life on our planet from inefficient to efficient. I think we need to discuss and create a global plan of how to manage this, and then accomplish it together.