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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/20/16

AMERICA NOW (Part 2): Do We Really Want A Good Society?

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Do We Really Want A Good Society?

For this society to genuinely improve would require a deepening of consciousness and responsibility in the 'ordinary' citizens. It can't just be a matter of more conscious and responsible politicians. (Where would such unusual politicians come from and what would they do about citizens who don't want to grow?) In fact, it would require an expansion of the roles of citizens to the degree that the roles of politicians would actually be diminished because citizens would be addressing more things directly. This would follow immediately upon the deepening of consciousness and responsibility needed to improve the society.

But the deepening of consciousness would not just be a deepening of awareness about political issues. It would necessarily be a deepening awareness of reality itself, beyond any political dimension. And this would create a serious challenge for people for this reason: Humans tend to do whatever is possible to keep awareness of reality from rising above a certain level. We are mortal and heading for the grave every moment of our existence, but we rarely allow ourselves to actually be aware of this. It is not something we consciously live with; it is something we are occasionally forced to visit. For the most part, it is abstracted into numbness. We 'know' it, but we don't really 'feel' it most of the time.

We justify this attitude by telling ourselves that it would be impractical and self-defeating to do otherwise. But let's look at this more closely.

We know that society cannot improve without more consciousness, but we cannot play a game of being selective about which aspects of reality we want to be conscious of and still achieve real improvement. We cannot bounce around from consciousness to non-consciousness whenever we feel like it. Real consciousness is simply not that easily generated. It takes real work to generate it. It is not a push-button operation. Once consciousness emerges, it cannot then be suddenly just temporarily set aside. And once a new depth of consciousness emerges it spontaneously begins extending its antennae into the environment. And if it encounters something it doesn't want to acknowledge, it can't go into denial and draw a sharp line right there and simply stay where it is. It begins to regress to get farther away from the undesired reality. Consciousness must continue to grow or it begins to regress and stagnate. And then hidden guilt replaces it with an ersatz (fake) consciousness that covers itself with ritualized words and gestures. We see this automatic behavior frequently in politicians and any other people in positions of authority.

But this is what I am moving toward in reference to creating a good society: We need increased consciousness to improve society, but the better the society becomes, the more inviting life becomes. And the more inviting life becomes, the more threatening death becomes. We know this in our bones and so we pre-consciously tend to avoid the growth of consciousness. The improvement of society requires growth of consciousness, but growth of consciousness makes us more intimately aware of everything about reality that we don't want to engage. So it is literally true that to genuinely improve society on a deep level is necessarily to change the way we relate to our own mortality.

But we don't want to do this and so we go on playing political (and other) games and complain about politicians who don't fix everything by being what our puerile fantasies want them to be. What we really want from politicians is to save us from reality-consciousness. And we will play this game regardless of how corrupt the political world becomes. We don't really want a good society. We want a safe society. We want to be saved from reality.

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