Without vision, we perish, or at least we get stuck with plans and agreements that negatively impact many but benefit only a few. That’s never been more true than it is in today’s political climate.
Rather than focus on all the things that are wrong and who’s to blame, let’s consider how we as an electorate inhibit our clarity about what matters and our visions of how to build a world that works for all of us. Today, it’s ever more critical that our vision of a great American is grounded in a vision of being one great nation among other great nations, equally called to heal our hurting planet and all who dwell upon it.
Pride, Self-will and Fear Prevent Us From Having a Great Government
Long before the 2016 election which was filled with deliberately false media and tweaks, Americans have tended to favor political choices based on fear and emotional/spiritual distortions caused by pride, self-will and fear.
According to the Pathwork™ almost all human failings come from the innumerable manifestations of these three faults. Each is a distortion of something wonderful about being human. Each can readily be seen in politics, though it’s usually easier to see it in the “other side” than in our own.
A summary of these faults and how they interact can be found from the Pathwork™ of Texas in “Facing the Lower Self,” based on Chapter 6 of The Undefended Self by Susan Thesenga. This summary says that pride distorts our true self-esteem and self-respect into idealized self-images or beliefs “that we are better than others so we have a right to our self-importance and specialness. … The antidotes to pride are honest self-confrontation and humble self-acceptance out of which real self-esteem comes.”
“Self-will says we must get what we want when we want it … Self-will is distinct from free will, which is simply the capacity of the entity to choose, to direct, to activate. Self-will occurs when free will is used in the service of the little self, the limited ego consciousness, in an attempt to control others and life.”
Fear Distorts the Brilliant Instincts and Information Systems that Warn Us of True Danger.
Fear comes from attitudes that say, “‘I will not trust’ and often also ‘if I am not special, or do not get my way, then something terrible will happen.’ Fear both supports and results from the attitudes of pride and self-will. Fear keeps us restricted within the narrow boundaries of the little ego-self. The attitude of fear often makes us justify negative thoughts and acts which we never face directly because we are lost in the disorientation caused by fear.”
Yes, I know it’s fun to assess all the fear, pride and self-will into various “them” categories. A more productive path is to look at our own stuff, so we can see how it’s blocking our clear sight of what is, our possibilities to imagine something better, and our ability to discern the difference between truth and illusion. The better we do this, the easier it is to work with others who also get stuck in their own pride, self-will and fear.
Without Vision, The U.S. Wouldn’t Be Here.
So much U.S. history is truly visionary. The dreams of freedom arising from a motley crew of scattered ordinary people led first to the vision of freedom from colonialism, then the creation of a constitution and bill of rights that can still work today. Over the decades, various individuals and groups have faced down various manifestations of pride, self-will and fear — like slavery, sustained racism, a hurting environment, sexism and massive impoverishment — and created visionary approaches to big problems.
We very much need visionary leadership now. We need it especially now, when we are so divided, so overwhelmed by information and so starved for due diligence or the quiet time we need to discern what’s true and how we can best meet our challenges.
It’s not easy to create a vision, but we can do it.
The first step I’d like all elected officials to take is to kneel by the Washington National Cathedral’s statuette of Abraham Lincoln kneeling in prayer. Like all of you, he needed guidance to deal with a country at odds with itself. And like I know many of you have found, as Lincoln did, “I have often been driven to my knees by the knowledge that I had no place else to go.” You can see the photo of Lincoln kneeling here.
The sculptor of this statuette, Herbert S. Houck, was the grandson of a man who saw Lincoln kneeling in the woods just before delivering the Gettysburg Address. Notice how this 38” high statuette manages to portray strength, courage and a lot of humility. We need that from our leaders.
Please, Congress, President and the Whole Electorate, Transcend Your Ego and Belief Systems.
Seek what Meister Eckhart calls “the god beyond God,” to the truth that is bigger than any pride, self-will or fear, so we imperfect people can work better together.
Do your part to us break free of the crippling idealized self-images like America First or “Greatest Country in the World, Always!” Help us see our true gifts so that we cannot just deal with all our challenges but also find our rightful, truly self-respecting country among other great countries.
Please. Fellow electorate, use your vote wisely. To those we elect, please be the best self we elected you to be so you can help call out the best in us. Thank you for being willing to be out there in the public eye, daring to take on the challenges, and let us know how we can help you.
Comments are welcome. Many blessings as always, Pat McHenry Sullivan