To begin with this is not an article merely of diagnosis or prediction, but one of lament. I offer no grand, nor spiritually uplifting fix for changes to our nation, save one: participate by voting!
No matter what political stripe: Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, Green, Socialist, etc. every person I read or here talking about this election speaks with a resentment, bitter anger, or a resigned hopelessness, about “how the ‘other side’ is going to screw things up worse than they already are.” Interestingly enough with this polarization of who is to blame, just about everyone agrees that matters and circumstances in this world are far out of whack. (Ironically, a simple non-specific phrase like this one is often easier for people to relate to and agree with than a targeted adjective.) To bad most of us can’t focus on a solution instead of saying “you are the problem,” I know that one is too easy for me to get my anger drawn-out of me and into a fight.
Unfortunately, so much of what is really relevant to the continued success of the American experiment which is the exercise of free will and authentic self-determination (not the bastardized and limited version that is offered by the ideology of Capitalism) is not being discussed. Everyone, to one degree or another, feels lied to; or at a base level powerless against the juggernaut of big corporate money, special interests, and the super wealthy. These are two things that unite us, not divide us. Wouldn’t it be great to talk about those things and realize that almost all candidates these days are of the same economic class, are beholden to the same donors and have more privilege than most of us will ever imagine. Instead, we are TOLD in well crafted speeches and ads, what an election is about, how you should think of it; and of course the ONLY solution. Regardless of whose propaganda you digest the most easily, let alone who you are already inclined to agree with, those messages still are be pretty narrow and shallow.
We Americans are schizophrenic when it comes to information. We say on the one hand that we are to busy to read about the candidates, issues, or the solutions.(But not to busy to catch Oprah, Monday Night Football, or surf the Internet.) On the other hand, we say we want more accurate, relevant, and verifiable information presented to us. Yet, we live in a time when only minimal bits of factual information, unadorned by any spin-doctoring (from either side of the political equation), are revealed to us. Causes of this phenomenon are numerous but one seems evident: many of us feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information and still more yearn for the days where decisions seemed black and white, simple, with straightforward implications. We no longer live in such a world. And yet the machinery of political stage craft is wholly designed to appease us with messages that are easy to digest one-liners, and therefore are often factually or intentionally misleading. But we the consuming public allow those coarse and mind dulling messages to be a serving on the plate of political fare. Fact checking, we naively maintain, is supposed to be done the “impartial” press. So therefore, we don’t have to follow-up or research statements and facts for ourselves. Anything then said must be true especially if they have pictures with them. Such assumptions are asinine but for now, this one will prevail for some people. My concern is: how many?
To me the real question is NOT: “What is the solution to fix it?” Since most of us can’t agree on the real problems are anyway!. Rather what the question should be is: What are the real underlying reasons that so many American are angry and afraid? Personally, I don’t believe for a moment that the real reason lies in fear of a terrorist attack. I believe that most people are angry at there feelings of powerlessness. They wonder when their job will disappear, and then the house repossessed. They wonder if they will be able to afford food, fuel, medicine, or clothing for the kids. Some wonder if they will have Social Security for retirement or even if stocks are the answer, have they enough to invest? If the economy contracts or even collapses, who will hire older, more expensive workers?. Some, with family in the military, wonder if their loved ones will first be safe in combat. But then come home in time to make up for the shortfall in family income that a soldier’s pay leaves in the family budget. Then there are those in Unions who’ve seen both their employment rights and jobs vanish right before their eyes. When this happens, there is a lowering of the wage floor for a whole nation of people. Urban and suburban sprawl tearing down parks, putting up freeways, and abandoning old neighborhoods. Those who once hoped to buy a home participating in these real estate feeding frenzies that drive up the price of homes and the real interest actually paid when you barrow. The American dream is more actually the American myth for these folks. All these reasons and more haunt people who accept and believe them as fact, as well as those who tightly grip to the promises of the past. There is a great deal of energy that a person locks into place when they must actively deny a fact that they ardent do not want to believe. It is easy to feel anger from both perspectives. When the sheer will to hold onto those beliefs falls into exhaustion, then hopelessness and alienation take root.
In hopelessness, no one negotiates, no one respects others because they themselves feel so powerless and thereby must “cut the other person down to size.”. The only solution from that perspective is to: have a strong, authoritative person or institution “enforce what’s right.” And of course, what is never prefaced in such statement is whose version of right are we talking about?. Power imposed over something or someone else is the epitome of the Baby Soul strategy to achieve safety. That strategy is called Authoritarianism. The exact opposite of a democratic way of life All sides in this election melee are at the point of wanting to overpower the other. These conditions are what we might expect when a there is a battle of Soul Age paradigms.
Times such as these are when emotion (the real engine of evolution) runs high for everyone. For those of you who do not know the Michael Teaching, I begin this article with a reference to a concept defined as Soul Ages and the mass movements that prevails reflecting a given World View. Of the five Soul Age stages: Infant, Baby, Young, Mature, and Old; each period of population evolution has accompanying beliefs, institutions, and depth of wisdom that mark each stages journey of development. Some of you reading this will be undoubtedly aware of Michael’s description of the times we live in as “a shift of planetary consciousness from the Young Soul mentality to that of the Mature Soul perspective.” That being said, in what tangible ways do these paradigms display themselves and what effects in the overall feeling of people will we see? Before continuing to address these questions, it is useful to speak to the oscillating pendulum of Soul Age evolution.
The Young-Mature Paradigm shift has been occurring since the beginnings of the 20th Century, the Mature Soul ideas have begun to permeate the consciousness of human institutions and practices. With each advance, there were corresponding backlashes attempting to keep in-check, or counteract those ideas. Over the last century there have been forward and backward movements in cultural attitudes which reveal the slow transition between the Young and Mature perspectives. The Mature Soul era is almost fully upon us, but it is not here yet. Like so many times in the past, it appears that the US, as one of the current great example of Young Soul values in play, will undergo a humbling. Not by terrorist, or even by the eventual failure of undermined institutions that protect American citizens from the corruption that is consuming their civil and economic rights. No, it will be the shock that occurs when the inevitable changes to global ecology or seen en-masse.
No matter what the cause, the stated reasons, the ideologies stirring them, peoples of the world over today experience at the depths of their Instinctive Centers the growing conditions that challenge their ability for survival as organisms. When GAIA, the Earth spirit is under pressure, all of her offspring, including the human animal feel those conditions change and respond according to their biological dictates embedded in their genes: But humankind, having a mind that seeks to separate us from our base organisms, has lost much of its ability, not to detect or be affected by such environmental changes; but to accurately identify what they are and what they originate from. And therefore, they have lost ability to focus on real causes of instinctive dread (our dying Earth). Instead, humans of every Soul Age ilk, usually ascribe pressures to political, economic, sociological, or familial imbalances as the cause of such pressures. We are doing so again. As a result, we seek to cure a symptom and not the cause. It is the Earth that is sending the signals at this time of transition. Specifically, that the ecological conditions necessary for human habitation of the planet are on the brink of collapse! This due primarily to changes in climate that will make transform places once wet and fertile for growing, into dry and barren. This is the stage that has been set for the Soul Age transitions.
What Happens Next?
The 2004 U.S. election is a significant battle between George Bush (7th Baby Server-Moving Center, Greed) representing the status quo of the Young Soul perspective of this country. And John Kerry (4th Mature King, Intellectual Center, Submission, Arrogance) as a representative of the Mature Soul ethos. Instead of a job interview which an election should be, the mentality of many Americans is to see it as a contest where the focus is on the single event of “victory” instead of which is most important: the continual process of governing. This attitude is an electrified expression of Young Soul ideals, to be sure. But whether John Kerry or George Bush is elected the current slide downward into anger and hopelessness will continue as the conditions of the Earth worsen. A set of conditions that are well underway already, and have far too much monumental to be slowed, let alone stopped., anytime soon. Reversing the declines that create the ecological imbalances that are toxic to sustaining human habitation of Earth will take decades, if not centuries.
The real issue, for this and the next 5 presidential elections will be these:
- When does the discussion turn from whose to blame to how do we work together?
- When will the focus of the action turn from ideology to programs?
- Who will be responsible and brave enough to do NEW things and say no to the powerful interest?
- Who will address the real fallacy of Young Soul though that growth and development somehow equate with sustainability and preservation?
- Who will challenge all religions and simple say: that are far too many human animals and collectively we are consuming the Earth to death. Hence, dooming ourselves in the long-run.
The only difference ultimately, is one of timing. Whether Americans, whose government and corporations hold the greatest amount of change power, will wait 4, 8, or 12 more years to implement, the drastic changes required or do so with this election, is what is at issue. If the weight of the American consciousness continues to hangs balanced in the direction of calloused or self-deluded thinking; you can expect more of the same since Mr. Bush. will win election. The fires of economic and environmental demise that now burn will be fueled and the pot of hopelessness and anger merely simmer to a greater explosion point. With Mr. Kerry, his major contribution can be merely to introduce more truth-telling and education about the real problems that Americans and human beings of all countries face collectively. Those of the water and food shortage caused climate change, over consumption, overpopulation, and mass extinction . This will not make him a popular man in the eyes of those holding onto the old paradigm. Then, in addition, he can outline, but will doubtfully be able to make much headway, within even two terms in office, on plans to cope with the problems and there effects.
I will participate and VOTE!
I will vote on November 2 nd, knowing that while my vote counts, the candidate that has been winnowed down for me to vote for will probably lose this election. Why? Not because of any flaws of his own per’se, but because people of my political stripe (Liberal) tend to translate there anger and hopelessness into NOT voting. While folks on the other side, (Conservatives and Reactionaries) fight the fires of there fear going by to the ballot box and voting. According to Michael, Americans appear still clinging to the Young Soul paradigm, and hence George Bush will win by a minor margin. The reason, hopelessness and non-participation by those “good people” who believe their vote doesn’t count anyway.
In the end, my own fear about this election is simply that Bush and the Capitalist power elite that he represents, who lead the decent but highly propagandized mob of religious devotee’s that keep the Republican party alive, will finally be successful in organizing a Constitution Convention. Then, the most truly Holy document that I have every read, and the one that by its principles (not necessarily its implementation) embodies Old Soul Consciousness; will be decimated and converted into nothing more than a new radically repressive version of 10 Commandments. This scenario IS not only possible, it grows more probable as the disease of hatred grows between factions of Americans. In conclusion, I remember with a bittersweet sense of irony, the famous adage of Voltaire “People get the government they deserve.” I modify this statement one step further, ‘we will get the government we allow!’