The Unity of the Political with the Spiritual

I suspect that there are people who have rejected this blog as unspiritual because it enters territory that spiritual people tend to think of as unspiritual – such as politics. And I believe there are people who define themselves as political who have rejected this blog (and perhaps my book) because it’s overly spiritual.

I want to make it clear that if you cannot see the connection between the political and the spiritual then you are neither politically sensitive or spiritual!

There is only one spiritual understanding and that is that everything in the universe is connected by a single energetic quality. Everything that happens effects everything else. Therefore, in the largest sense, everything is everything and everything is integral to itself. This is a simple paradox that many fail to see. Thus when you hurt someone’s feelings, that person’s experience both colors all of his larger field of relations, as well as manifesting as his own, distinct hurt. This is the way everything happens in the universe; happenings are both universal and singular.

Thus, the universe is simultaneously non-dual and dual. All arguments about duality and non-duality are thus made pointless and absurd.

For the purposes of this post, I don’t want to get involved in the Advaita understanding that that which sees all happenings is unchanging and utterly non-dual and thus unites everything that happens in the universe as the one. Over-emphasis on this point of a point of view that is culturally Indian and therefore reflects that culture’s distinct perspective, has the effect of negating individual experience by minimizing the vital reality of personal experience whether it happens on the level of a rock or a human being.

Spiritual and political evolution is marked by an increasing realization of that which connects us all. When we directly and experientially live that truth, the world of division, conflict, and hierarchy comes to a screeching stop. Our frame of reference changes from me/us to all. How we approach conflict moves beyond winning and losing to that provisional resolution that benefits the diversity of competing interests.

This is not a matter of boring and uninspired compromise, but one of constant creativity. We are now open to question those killing and deathly principles of our time; such as we need to exploit the planet’s environment ceaselessly to maintain this culture where personal value and merit is so closely aligned to how much stuff we own and control. This is the riveting cancer most socialist and capitalist economies.

This is precisely where the worlds of the political and spiritual come together as one. When I use the term “spiritual”, I am not referring to the divisive world of organized religion where one god must play one-upmanship with every other god, where merit comes to she who is most apparently ‘religious’ in nature. I am really talking about something much more simple and fundamental to our immediate experience.

To be spiritual is simply to live life in recognition of our humble connections with everything else. This is a heart and head centric life where emotion and intellect come together as one in understanding, appreciation, and love of the world just as it is.

Can you imagine a political discourse infused with this spirit? I can, but it’s quite hard to imagine in this world so polluted by the material – the pursuit of endless consumption – this world that depends on the utter and total exploitation of nature to keep it going. Our way of life is profoundly unspiritual. It is exactly the world which denies that which is so fundamentally true.

This is the life of the Lie. Thus our collective liberation lies in disabusing ourselves of what is false and cancerous in our mental and emotional lives. That which is a lie is that which negates and invalidates that which it living and true. It is that which undermines the cosmically authentic and valid in favor to that which is mandated by the Lie that dominates our personal and communitarian lives.

Thus we are called to find the light that leads us back to our Authentic Selves. There are as many paths to this authenticity as there are people. Books like my own Liberation from the Lie map out a path that anyone can take, but there are others. In the end, we use these teachings to find our own truth. As long as we are chasing after a Buddha or a Ramana, we are continuing our endless journey away from our selves.

Nature doesn’t make duplicates! You are the only you that has ever been. Until you find that living space and live your own life as the Authentic Self you truly are, you will miss the wondrous connection that brings the political and spiritual together as one. I invite you to take this path – this path of reversal – of going back to the root.

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