As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
Politics today is like something straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut novel. The outlandish story lines and absurd behavior of the characters often bear a striking resemblance to the present political narrative. Some days the news reads like an intentional satire. It even gets to the point where lampooning can be mistaken for reality. What's disturbing is how the frequency of these genuinely absurd vignettes seems to be increasing at a steady rate.
I have to be honest -- while feeling compelled to observe these bits of political dysfunction, I'm not sure why. Is it the novelty? Entertainment? Is it the same dynamic that causes one to gawk at the scene of an accident? Is it just being at a loss to explain the phenomenon but wanting badly to understand? Is it the discomfort felt as the result of a changing world, and the hope that understanding will somehow assuage the feeling?
Maybe it's all of the above. Or maybe it's something else altogether. Could it be that when we look at our politics and our politicians what we see is a reflection of ourselves, and we just can't look away? Do we see aspects of our own psyches that we refuse to accept but on a deep level know are there?
If that's the case, we have two choices. We can either hide what we perceive to be shameful flaws and live in denial, or we can face the fact that we're responsible for every part of our reality, and decide accept it -- just as it is.
Spiritual teachers tell us that acceptance must come before change. It seems backwards, but that's the paradox. The reality is the more we struggle and fight against a rejected part of ourselves, the more it will resist. And the more we reject and fight against the darkness in our collective political psyche, the deeper it will become entrenched.
That being said, accepting what we'd prefer to hide -- and hide from -- is not easy. But it is the only way to change the narrative.
(Article changed on March 1, 2015 at 13:35)
Retired, reformed capitalist, recovering consumer, quasi-luddite, artist, self-published poet, spiritual growth activist, animal rights advocate and Reiki master - originally from New Jersey, now living near the great urban experiment called (more...)