A Wisdom Meme for Liberal Representative Democracies

A Wisdom Meme for Liberal Representative Democracies

The universal values are something along the lines of:

Aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, and joyfully-sharing.

None of our worldviews make sense to any of us except to the degree we understand and abide by the universal values.

But these values are asking for Absolute, not relative direction. We are seeking not “what I feel like is the case”, but “what is actually the case”. And (since feeling and ideas are essential aspects of our conscious experience & the Absolute is wider and deeper than our feelings and ideas about It) we can hope only for imperfect insight into the Absolute — the kind of poetic (imperfectly pointing towards rather than perfectly capturing/defining) insight that requires constant whole-being effort, and constant self-observation, -critique, and -adjustment.

And requiring our fellows to maintain doctrinal purity tempts people to lie to themselves about the most sacred things.

And combining metaphysical authority with political authority tends to corrupt leaders, followers, and the state.

(Relating the spiritual to the practical requires constant effort in each individual — it is task enough for each individual person to tend their own relationship to the Good, to themselves, to others, and to this shared dreaming-space. We are not equipped to either see into others’ conscious moments or weigh the ins and outs of how others are relating the spiritual to the practical.)

The best way to together prioritize the universal values (and the universal spiritual sense that we must each develop to more fully motivate, justify, and explicate the universal values) is therefore not with a theocracy; but with a liberal, representative democracy.

We share a liberal representative democracy:

Guarantees of individual rights like free speech and freedom from uncontestable imprisonment. Open debate and government. Separations of and limits on powers. Regular and fair elections to choose representatives beholden to, but not day-to-day by, the citizens.

With this tool, we can together gently evolve both our shared culture and our shared government. We can together safeguard the universal values while peacefully sharing thought and power. (To most meaningfully share either thought or power, it is best to meaningfully share both together.)

The good of individuals is the good of liberal representative democracies.Aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, joyfully-sharing discourse; decision-making; organization; and action is the way forward both for a self-governing individual and a self-governing people. But we don’t have time for the minutiae of policy-making, nor the energy to clearly and carefully steer the details of government. What we must make time and energy for is to select for candidates who protect the integrity of our democracy and speak and work honestly, carefully, and competently to find what is best for all by abiding by civic and democratic norms, listening to others, finding win-wins and compromises, and otherwise performing their jobs responsibly and competently.

Our elected officials have a job to do!
It isn’t to make us feel proud of ourselves; but to help us gently steer our shared ship towards the better, the wiser, the kinder, the more secure, sustainable, healthy, inhabitable, and life-overflowing for everyone.

To sustainably evolve a shared culture and government, all within the bounds of that shared culture and government must hear, understand, care for, and grow with each other — protected by and protecting the universal values and the right to the free spiritual searching and expression required to grow a meaningful relationship with the Love that alone Knows how to truly feel/think/act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, loving-kind, and joyfully-sharing.

We are all in this together. An individual human conscious moment must remember that fundamental Truth to meaningfully organize its own feeling/thinking/acting. And a group of individuals must remain aware of the fundamental bond between all sentient beings if it is to organize itself in a way that is meaningful to its members and to what they share. The sense that “we are all in this together” is more fundamental to our experience than are any doubts, certainties, explanations, or extollations of it. We are all in this together and can only make sense to ourselves to the degree we acknowledge, accept, live, and treasure this key atom of human experience.

Author: BW/AW
Editor: AW/BW
Copyright: AM Watson

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