Though I once felt that politics and spirituality went together like oil and water, I now see that the political arena offers the spiritual seekers among us a great mirror for the way in which we use our mind against the truth of our free nature.
The mere structure of our ‘democratic’ process, organized into executive, legislative, and judicial branches, reflects the references in our minds through which we process any decision, reaction, or opinion. And the two-party system amplified by the cacophony of media, aptly displays the dualistic and often self-defeating mode in which the voices of our mind operate.
I am sure that you have held witness to the political arena, as I have, and asked yourself, “Where is the truth?” “Where is the democracy?” But I ask you to turn these questions inward. Where is the truth and democracy within your mind?
Let us first examine the roots of our American political structure and how it applies to the role of our mind:
Once upon a time we revered a King as the sole hand and voice of God. This King in essence owned the people. He could take your land, your wealth, your wife, and even your life.
During the American Revolutionary War, we declared independence from the British Empire, and our forefathers drafted the Declaration of Independence. This document restored the individual liberties of the people to the people, meaning that the rights of the people were no longer derived from the government and that the powers of the government were in fact derived from the people. This established the American government as a democracy rather than a tyranny; a servant rather than a master.
Perhaps led by their own awareness of the seduction of power, our forefathers took another great step forward in drafting our beloved Constitution and Bill of Rights. This further protected these unalienable rights of the people by expressly limiting the role of government and delineating how government was to serve these rights through a three-branch system of checks and balances.
So, for the sake of this exploration, let us say that ‘the government’ represents our mind, and that ‘the rights of the people’ represent the freedom of our nature. Have you, like our ancestors, instigated a true revolution; have you dethroned the tyranny of your mind and returned the power to its true source?
Of course many of us would like to say that we have undergone such a revolution – that we are indeed free and true to our nature. I would argue that the evolution of this revolution is in fact incomplete.
Though we may have instigated a few rebellions and even dethroned the King, we have simply elected a modified tyrant in its place. If you have taken the time to observe the relationship between your mind and your nature, you have most likely noticed the tyranny that reigns. For the most part, your mind speaks and your nature reacts accordingly. This effect is achieved through the vehicle of belief.
Just as a nation of people must believe in the powers of their government in order to give it control, we too must believe in the voices of our mind in order to give them such influence over our nature. Much like in the times of Kings, we have given absolute authority to our minds and as a result, the freedom of our nature is shackled by our mind’s judgments. Rather than asking our mind to serve our nature, we expect our nature to serve our mind as King.
The true uprising that our freedom begs is an internal one. It is the revolt against the mechanism of tyranny; against the belief in a power separate from oneself and disconnected from one's nature.
However, the rebellions throughout our life - from adolescent anarchy to middle-aged mutiny, are usually built upon an aversion reaction. We revolt against what we don't want and as a result, we land in the polarity of our chosen nemesis. So although the polarity may be closer to the truth we seek to live, it is still tethered to its original master and thus reigns with secret worship to the tyranny it once served. We also react in aversion to feeling our now emotionally wounded nature, often seeking denial over healing.
Yet our nature endures and urges us on in our revolution. It alerts us to the odor of fallacy and of the emotional wounds yet to be healed. It bravely holds up its battle-worn heart as evidence of its independence and, when the cake offered is no longer enough, it cries out for freedom. The people have spoken. The crown has fallen... or has it?
Like our forefathers and with equally honorable intent, we have separated our power and compartmentalized ourself into a system of checks and balances. Yet as long as our mind thirsts for tyranny and our wounded heart remains unhealed, we stagnate into stalemate and each branch stands checked but unbalanced.
(read on in Part 2)