Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Elections 2008

Last night I watched the Democratic National Convention. Watching the conventions for both parties is something that have always done and always enjoyed, but this year it lacked its luster, so far. Politics in general has been less important to me over the last couple of years, since I had experiences that have transformed my inner vision to a place of seeing and feeling truth, or what is important. Perhaps that is because there is little truth in politics. I'm not being cynical here, because I don't believe that candidates, at heart, set out to lie or manipulate, but I believe that government and power pull leaders from their inner soul and make them machines. We criticize politicians for this behavior, for their slick marketing ploys, but we buy them - hook, line, and sinker. We fall into the lull of their canned rhetoric and repeat the carefully crafted buzzwords designed to put down opponents...designed to make us unthinking, dependent sheep.

For this election, I do not yet know who I am voting for. And I actually think that both candidates, if they don't loose themselves too much in the process (which may already be too late), could bring something valuable to the table. Each has a story that can be inspiring, if we let go of our need to have "our guy" from "our party" as the winner, if we let go of attacking the winner if he happens not to be our particular choice. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with the one in charge, and in fact, it is an important part of our process; but if we are honest, most of us will admit that sometimes we disagree simply because the person isn't our candidate. I have decided for this election that I will try to be fair and open minded, sending peace and light to both candidates, and certainly to the winner, whomever that might be. In our need to attack the opposition and our eagerness to see them fail, we are essentially hoping for the failure of our own country. And since our country has the capacity to contribute such great change to the world, and has done that in so many ways, in hoping for our failure we are hoping for the failure of the world.

What strikes me as more important to my new apolitical tone, however, is how we have become a society that expects an outside fix for our every problem or need. We think our health issues can be solved by free healthcare for all - yet we don't take the steps to keep our own bodies healthy - we don't take responsibility to prevent our own need for care, we just expect that it should be provided to us at will. Medical needs are not the only area in which we expect too much to be done for us, while overlooking our own capabilities to do for ourselves. We give up our independence and our independent thought for the safety net of a massive government machine, for the security of belonging to a group, for the comfort of fitting into norms. My biggest complaint about politicians and government is that so few really try to empower individuals. Rather, they try to own us through their programs and policies - buying our votes - sacrificing our real individual freedom for a payoff of some form, be it a healthcare package, a tax cut for ourselves, a tax hike on someone else, or many other forms of "me-ism."

If we learn to step outside of ourselves, outside of society's prescribed ways, we can generate such a collective energy that our problems will begin to disappear. Our leaders like the problems, because the problems keep us beholden to them, and give them something to attack their opponents about. But if we, as individuals, begin to see our strengths and abilities rather than our vulnerabilities, it can change the collective consciousness and the power of the whole. Changing the world is not about who is elected to high office...it is about what each of us as individuals do to bring about change, and real change requires that we behave differently, that we think differently than we have before. It requires that we dare to step up and be great, that we be different and better than before, that we embrace new ideas instead of clinging to the old.

Be conscious of your reactions during this election season. Don't give away your independent thought. Step back and try to see things not for Democrat or Republican (as they both are machines of control) but through your own eyes, through your own heart. If you ask to be shown truth and see with more clarity, and if you are willing to let go of your pre-conceived or pre-programmed thoughts, you will begin to get more clarity. And you will see that the answers to our problems, individually and collectively, lie within us and our willingness to change.

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