Dear US American Citizen,
If you could pick one major accomplishment for your life, what would be the best choice?
How about saving democracy in the United States?
Not only are you helping yourself, you are helping all your fellow citizens.
And you are helping the world, because the US has enough nuclear weapons to undo the world.
You might choose something like “raise my children so they are strong and independent” etc.
Is that a selfish wish?
It’s a mixture of selfishness and altruism.
People think they are good, but all they do is prop up a few other people while letting everyone else get sucked down the tubes.
But that’s an oversimplification.
Let’s grant that we all have people that are close to us, and that it is neither a great virtue or a terrible sin to want things to go well for them and us and our happy little home.
Let’s grant that’s that’s normal and trying to pretend that it’s a great virtue creates a mafia mindset and trying to pretend it is a terrible sin creates dangerous fanaticism; and in the end, both mindsets divorce us from what we really know to be the case: we most of us probably can’t help but love our family and close friends more than other people, and we do indeed have special obligations vis-a-vis those closest to us, but in the end we have to do our best to be open, loving, and helpful to everyone — because we are all in this together, or else life is too cruel for any of us to bear.
Anyway, forgive the aside. All I meant to point out is that your children will do better in a democracy than in a failed state. Not just the obvious stuff like being able to speak your mind without fear of imprisonment, or being able to keep wealth and power without lying, cheating, stealing, and outright hurting other people. But also: tyranny is inefficient: it’s rulers aren’t trying to do a good job in an open society and get rewarded by the electorate; they are trying to keep power at all costs — it is a thug mindset, and that is not compatible with finding win-wins for everyone to share in and grow with. Tyrannies are bad for business, and also for education and interesting lives and even having the space and energy to help other people.
In short, anything you might want to accomplish with your life has a better chance of sustainable success in a healthy democracy. Even purely spiritual goals like “become wise” or “grow spiritually” or etc: All those goals require that you put Goodness first, and that means looking out for others, and that means pushing for wiser, kinder, more open, competent and principled government.
A nice thing about saving democracy: You can still be you. Because it will take all of us together, so we will all have to bring our unique gifts, perspectives, and styles into the mix.
But what is confusing to me is that even more Republicans than Democrats think our democracy is in jeopardy. And yet is the Republican politicians that are jeopardizing our democracy. Then you see the problem. Then you enter the Twilight Zone. Half the country has lost its mind. Or at least, they’ve decided to miss the obvious. Any crazy notion rather than admit that they are destroying the world for no good reason. The situation is awkward, to say the least. The Republican party used to stick up for democracy. So maybe it is difficult to believe that’s changed; and then if to believe that’s changed would require siding with the Dems, well, that’s just too much to ask.
What is to be done?
We should all be praying, “What can I do to help US American democracy?”
But if people can pray that and vote for Trump, then what coherent thoughts are available to human beings?
We can’t be 100% logical. We need to start from somewhere, and if our thought is not based on a sense of “this actually should be preferred”*, then who can believe in, care about, or follow their own thoughts? Without an experienced spiritual insight at the core of one’s thinking and acting, one cannot think coherently because we humans cannot understand, believe in, or care about thought-paths that are not self-knowingly headed towards the “actually preferable”. We all have our systems and within these our faiths, but faith without insight is meaningless (and at some level we all know that). And insight comes of inhabiting one’s thoughts from the inside: moving one’s conscious space as a whole towards the more aware, clear, honest, competent, kind, joyfully-sharing: towards wiser: towards a sense of “actually preferable” that gets deeper and wiser as one better and better organizes one’s feeling/thinking/acting around it.
So what do we do when people pray for wisdom and they get garbage? What do we say to them? And what implications do their obvious spiritual failures have to say to us and our own self-supposed spiritual insights?
What is to be done?
If you pray for guidance and God tells you that you need to support Trump and the Republicans as they save US American democracy, what is happening? The Republicans are actively obviously dismantling US American democracy. So what is God really saying to you?
It feels suddenly like the middle ages, where a Frenchman believes God is on France’s side and an Englishman believes God is on England’s side. It feels again patently absurd. And yet, the Republicans really are undoing democracy. And that really is the problem here. So I am right.
And yet I must be missing some critical detail, since I have no more patience for Republicans. This proves a lack of spiritual insight on my own part.
What is to be done?
Because ha ha ha, the jokes on all of us.
And time is running out.
Something Deeperism is right: Humans fail to make sense to themselves to the degree they do not feel/think/act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, compassionate, joyfully kind. And groups fail to make sense to themselves to the degree they do not prioritize these values without which none of our worldviews make any sense to any of us; and the way for groups to prioritize those values os by demanding open, honest, accurate, competent, and everybody-wins thinking/deciding proceses of their ruling bodies, and things like free press and democracy can help the people demand these goods of their leaders.
But how to actually implement this in individual and group lives? Trump says he is the honest and good one and a third of the nation scream along.
What is the trick? How to wake ourselves out of this nightmare?
If Something Deeperism were to explode everywhere. Would that do it?
Underneath every human lies the need for “actually preferable”. When used properly, this need drives us towards more aware … joyfully kind feeling/thinking/acting because inhabiting our own feeling/thinking/acting is a prerequisite of going with it towards “actually preferable” directions, and we cannot inhabit our own feeling/thinking/acting except to the degree we follow our own inborn indelible rules for feeling/thinking/acting. Also: those inborn values are not ends in themselves — they require insight into “actually preferable” to make sense to themselves and the rest of one’s conscious space.
Is gullibleness the source of all evil? We trick ourselves into believing in our own nonsense and that allows us to be more easily snookered by the nonsense of other self-deceivers? The most fundamental lie is the one about “actually preferable”. We paste this or that hope or fear into our inner unstated notions about “actually preferable”.
We’ll not save humans from good principles outward. We didn’t have a democracy because we were wise. We had it because the system worked with the pulp of us towards an adequate amount of honesty and openness in government. So what do we do? Or could wisdom yet explode? After all, isn’t liberal democracy both good ideas and intentions AND the structures? How does wisdom and democracy explode everywhere and pull us all together towards better outcomes?
If we all spend all our time praying for a way forward together, will that help? We can share Something Deeperism without arguing about the details, since Something Deeperism sticks to the universal values: feel/think/act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent, kind, joyfully-aware-of-our-interconnectedness — all of which implies and requires an ever-improving inner organization of our feeling/thinking/acting around a Something Deeper at the core of all our beings: a Something Deeper that Knows that and in what sense it is True to say, “We are all in this together. We should feel/think/act aware … joyfully-aware-of-our-interconnectedness”. A Something Deeper that Knows what is actually preferable.
Something Deeperism is not a universal religion. It is a declaration of a universal shared Purpose: We are all in this together — that’s not just something we would like to believe, or we say because it feels good: it is True. We know it more fundamentally than we know the feelings and ideas that would either confirm or deny it. And by organizing our individual and shared feeling/thinking/acting around this shared fundamental vista, we grow in wisdom: we grow in whole-being insight (ideas, feelings, ect. organized around the spiritual sense within) into what it means to say, “We are all in this together”.
But whenever talk starts going like that, it is highjacked within individuals and in groups by individuals deceiving themselves and others.
That’s why Something Deeperism needs structures. It needs rules. It needs some way to check up on how clear and honest one is thinking, and how compassionate one is behaving. It needs checks on power. It needs free speech. Wisdom knows that it needs help. It needs structures that reward goodness and punish evil. That’s the beauty of democracy: we citizens serve as a final check on madness and corruption in government, and the less mad and/or corrupt a state, the more it pays to treat others well and do work that actually benefits everyone, and the less it pays to lie, cheat, steal, murder, and etc-stuff that you have to do to keep power in an autocracy. In a democracy, you can be a successful businessman without being evil! You can write the truth without going to jail! You can lose power without having to fear for your life! See how fun that is! It is so neat!
So what should we do?
What is actually preferable? GodLight/PureLove. The peace that passes understanding. (Why does Reality love everyone? Why is God also Good?)
But what can humans together share and operate? That was always the great part about democracy: It is humanly feasible.
What should we do?
*(as opposed to founding one’s thought on stories like “I want this” or “God is like this story and this story goes …” or “science is true or should be taken as true-enough, and science says” [we are speaking here of the foundations of one’s thoughts, not about whether the sky is blue because of little particles in the air or because of fairy dust] — all that stuff has no foundation — it has only dogmatic belief desperately clung to)