Our community sems to be notoriously bad about getting involved in politics. I know, "politics" is a dirty word. Keep reading; I promise this won't be a boring column. Since some major elections are taking place this year, I want to share some observations and thoughts with you.
Although I remember my parents voting, I was not raised to have any sort of political consciousness. Our family didn't seem to be aligned with either party and we didn't discuss "the issues." That probably accounts for the fact that I did not exercise my right to vote until seven or eight years ago. Now I never miss an election; I love having the opportunity to formally register my opinion through the election process.
I know that dropping out of many of the social processes is big in our community. Many people don't read mainstream newspapers or magazines or follow the news on television or radio. Many people have given up, saying that the system is so corrupt that participating in the process is a joke they don't want to waste their time on.
Taking a media fast is something I am very familiar with. There were a number of years where I cut myself off from just about any information via newspapers, television, or radio. It wasn't a conscious thing on my part; I was just involved in so many other processes that following world events wasn't important to me. A media fast can be a very positive thing.
In the spiritual process, however, the time comes when there is an urge to become more involved in the bigger world, one's global family. Eventually, we experience our interconnectedness with other people, animals, the environment, the planet herself, in such a way that non-involvement is not an option anymore. Remaining focused on only ourselves and our own personal processes becomes selfish. We realize that our involvement in the bigger picture is required for further growth to occur. Most of us weave in and out of this, finding times of withdrawal just as important as times of involvement.
The radical religious right has organized itself into a very politically effective machine. They vote. They canvas. They manipulate. They threaten. They cajole. They use money, power, prestige, and God to get what they want. What's interesting is that the radical religious right does not stand for what the majority of people in this country want. The right has just become so vocal and visible that politicians are giving in to their wishes.
People in the alternative spiritual community tend to stay away from the political process. Our views are not presented in such a way as to be taken seriously. We say we want to heal the planet, to see balance restored, yet we refuse to hop on board the vehicle through which much of the work must be done.
We may not like the political process. It may be very corrupt and in need of major overhauling. But it remains the primary system we have at this time for making changes in the third-dimensional world. Yes, it is important to meditate, to pray, to work with energetic processes. But just as when we make changes in our personal life it is important to do something in the outer world to help make our dreams materialize, so in the larger picture we must become involved at a practical level if we are to accomplish anything of worth.
In Religious Science, they say "Treat and move your feet." My first metaphysical teacher used to use the example of looking for a job. He said it was important to sit down and work with visualization, spiritual mind treatments, and so on, but he said it was very unlikely that an employer was going to walk up to our front door, ring the doorbell, and offer us our ideal job. No, we have to send out resumes, answer advertisements for jobs, and go out on interviews.
It is the same with the world situation. It is good to pray about it, to send light, to visualize peace and harmony, but we must also do our part to elect the kind of people who hold the vision with us. We must do our part to put into office the kind of people who will have the power to enact legislation that will guarantee human rights, protect the environment, and promote the ethical evolution of our society. If we don't do this, we can only expect those with selfish agendas to continue to gain in worldy power.
I hear a lot of talk about space brothers and sisters and about earth joining the "Galactic Federation." There are people living on this planet who are more interested in what is going on in "space" than they are in what is going on here. There is a name for this. It is called denial.
The space beings involved, who claim to want us to join forces with folks from other planets, are either lying or stupid. Here's why. Why would they invite a people who can't even clean up their own planet, who can't even treat everyone equally, who can't hold a single group visionwhy would they invite such an incompetent group of people to join a galactic federation? Would you promote an employee to a higher position who wasn't competent in his or her current one? Of course not!
A collegue and I were talking about this the other day and she said the only reason we would be wanted is if their planets are in worse shape than ours or if we're wanted as some form of slave labor! Think about it.
Some of my friends tell me they don't watch the news because they find it upsetting to their personal peace. I understand this. It's difficult to watch people being killed or beaten. It's painful to see starvation and disease eat away an entire nation, especially if our hearts are open and we are able to feel compassion and empathy for people in such situations. But ignorance is not bliss in the long run. We need to find a way to stay in touch with what is going on in our world so that we can act in informed ways and have an impact on changing it.
I still rarely watch the news. I have found that I am able to stay very informed by reading my local newspaper so I can stay in touch with local political events, listening to the radio news, watching programs such as Dateline, 20/20, and Prime Time, and reading a weekly news magazine such as Newsweek. In this way I am able to follow the overview of events, keep a handle on what is going on politically in the country, and have an idea of people's main concerns without buying into the "Ain't it awful" whining and "We're going to hell in a handbasket" fears that can be so draining to one's energy.
Because we're all interconnected, I believe that mass events can tell us a lot about what is going on in our group consciousnessof which we are a part, like it or not. It is spiritual pride that allows us to separate from the rest of the world, thinking we're immune from taking part in the issues of the day. Our job is to bring the spiritual processes to the world of politics, business, and relationships, not to stay aloof so we can be untainted by such third-dimensional affairs!
Just think what would happen if everyone who was spiritually aware and loving began to speak up, began to vote, began to write letters to the editors of the daily newspapers, began to show the world that there are other ways to deal with our problems? This is already beginning to happen slowly. Our participation could quicken the process.
If you're not a registered voter, register this week. You don't have to sign up with one of the major parties; register as an independent if you can't align yourself with the Democrats or Republicans. Find out what elections are coming up and when you need to vote. Educate yourself on the issues and the candidates. If you can get involved at the volunteer level, do so. Vote. Share your thoughts with others. Write letters or articles for your local newspapers talking about the issues and your beliefs. If you're qualified and have the material resources, run for office.
We are on this planet at this time for a reason. It is not an accident of birth that we share air and water with people who want to see individual rights reduced and one religious view to rule the world. We're here to participate in the evolution of this planet as well as to evolve our own souls. Personal work must precede effective involvement in the world, not preclude it. If you want to evolve, get involved!