Friday, August 7, 2015

A Political Paradigm Shift?

Are we on the verge of a political paradigm shift. Got to wonder. This is the first time in all the years since I've been old enough to vote that I absolutely dread the upcoming political season. Absolutely dread it. Many people with whom I've spoken feel similarly. Do I care about my country? Most definitely. Am I passionate about what I believe. Yep. But I absolutely dread the haranguing back and forth, the misleading political ads....on all sides of the political landscape, and most of all, I dread the positioning and posturing done by most candidates to make us believe they actually care about us.

What would make me happier would be if I felt that the candidates cared more about the United States than about their particular party or their particular brand of politics. But I don't really think they do. If they did, we'd see people able to work together when they are elected to office. But, as we've seen in recent years, that is not going to happen.

So I wonder if the political process will undergo a paradigm shift. I'm really tired of the hundreds...or thousands of emails and the gazillion phone messages, most of them robocalls....most people are equally tired of this....it doesn't make an impact. So much money is wasted. So I wonder if campaigning will shift or if people will force a paradigm shift of some sort. Something has to give. And, of course, as has been said by a wise old man (Machiavelli)..."power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"....

Monday, August 3, 2015

On Trapping Ourselves

It is useful to think sometimes about the traps we create for ourselves. Some boundaries are useful and necessary and very helpful, but many times the boundaries, rules, labels we create become our prison cells. The dominant sense I had upon coming to from having literally died twice (according to the doctors) was that of a fresh start in a reality that is so much more expansive than I could ever have imagined before. I could hardly get my head around it. And now, four years later, I see that I will probably never get my head around it completely, but that my awareness has changed and I do see everything through more expansive lenses.

Many people seem to think that they are authorities on God. We have all seen people who are so sure of their own beliefs about God that they routinely argue and debate with others. And tell people that they are going to hell because they did a, b, or c. Major religious groups as well as small, splinter groups expend untold time and energy arguing small points about God. Truly, I don't think that we as human beings can get the complete picture about God, so I wonder why we fight so much about it. It seems to me that we'll learn quite a bit more after we die. We aren't God so why do we think we are so certain about God and what God will or won't do? If we are thinking people, it would make more sense to ponder ideas but remain open to different ideas and different ways of looking at God, ourselves, our countries, etc.

People create all kinds of traps for themselves, out of fear, habit, ignorance, various social conventions. There is a man of whom I am aware who has created for himself the cruelest of traps. Somehow he got into his head that he had a variety of maladies. He believed in this so strongly that he is now woefully crippled, barely able to function - eat or drink. Doctors unsuccessfully tried to convince him that there was nothing physically wrong with him. He, however, did not believe them and became worse and worse over the years. It is a very tragic story.

I suspect that none of us are fully aware of the cells into which we have placed ourselves. It is useful though to question why we are doing what we are doing. Or to change things up from time to time. Routines can make life go smoother and are absolutely necessary for some individuals. But it is very useful to question them at times. And to ask ourselves about the labels we use and the boundaries we place. Many of us are afraid of freedom....and so we build traps.

What kinds of traps have you built?