Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Category: Politics

Creature of Her Own Mythology

She was
a creature
of her own
mythology.

Exquisitely
alive in
her own
narrative.

She wore
an unseen
drama amidst
mundane moments.

Making art
with the
drawing
of breath.

Her life
her canvass
people
her muse.

Each
vying for a bigger role
in the unfolding
life.

Each
more alive
while living
in the unseen story.

Artist and muse
both seeking immortality
in the mythology
of their temporal lives.

I Believe in Progress

I believe in progress. Not necessarily at the social level, but at the level of the hearts and minds of each sentient being. As a pantheist the only difference I see between the creation and god is the illusion of separateness. The former being a fragment of the whole experiencing separateness to learn, grow, and enrich the creation/creator. This perspective assumes a certain evolution of consciousness/soul from the elements, to animals, then humans, and ultimately beyond. Each stage with its own lessons learned over many incarnations, as god becomes individuated consciousness on its long path back to source.

This perspective views the human incarnative experience as the stage of self-awareness working on the lessons of love. Love being the means by which we pierce the illusion of separateness and remember that all is one. What comes next is indeed the Kingdom of God, but this perspective requires each individual to build it in their own heart and mind. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is already among us.

This perspective believes each individual is responsible for their own salvation; that salvation is the work of many lifetimes, and that all beings ultimately find their way back home. We live on a planet of incarnative humans at all different stages of their journey, and the free will of each must be respected to learn their lessons at their own pace. Unfortunately, the instrument of instruction is suffering, and when the values of souls who haven’t learned the lessons of love takes over a society suffering ensues.

While I can work towards building a more loving society through politics and other mundane means, when the majority of people in my society insist on learning the lessons of love in a different way, then that is as it must be. The question for me and my journey is do I stay and witness the suffering and alleviate it where I can, or do I find a society more in alignment with my values?

Basic Assumptions

I have gone through several stages of ideological and political evolution throughout my life. My first instincts were those of a progressive/liberal orientation, but they had little philosophical underpinning. When I turned 18 I registered as a Democrat because George W. Bush was President, and I was horrified by the wars and seemingly complete absence of reason in his administration’s policy decisions. I was a knee jerk liberal on social issues, because of an innate sense of fairness, but had few opinions on economic issues.

At college I majored in philosophy, but had a thorough liberal arts education, so I studied everything from the hard sciences, to economics and political science. Philosophy taught me to always identify and evaluate my most basic assumptions and go from there. At the time I was agnostic, which meshed well with the reductionist materialism that is a latent assumption of western academia. I spent four years as an undergraduate building a cohesive worldview based on dead matter in a mechanical universe. I was still socially progressive because that is what reason dictated, but I had the growing conviction that life was a Darwinian struggle of the survival of the fittest. Throw in a dash Ayn Rand, low empathy, and intellectual arrogance, and I was primed to be a libertarian leaning Republican. Selfishness was an inherent and immutable characteristic of humanity, whether that was a good thing was irrelevant.

That worldview served me well through law school, and may have persisted to this day but for a spiritual intervention. My metaphysical assumptions changed abruptly when I dared to consider the possibility that matter is not dead, but is awareness at the most basic quantum level. For the first time I seriously entertained the idea that the universe is a single unified field of awareness and that we only experience the illusion of separation and individuality. Seriously contemplating that idea led me to a spiritual awakening and mystical experience that utterly shattered my previous paradigm. I spent several years after the fact rebuilding my worldview around this understanding, which to the amazement of many friends led me to avidly support a socialist from Vermont for President. I now occupy the far left of the liberal/progressive spectrum, and have very strong and detailed opinions on resource distribution and social issues. All because I shifted my metaphysical assumptions, and ceased to view the pain of others as separable from myself. Love and empathy went from inconveniences, to a north star reminding me of my inherent interconnection to my fellow beings. Selfishness was no longer an inherent and immutable characteristic of humanity, but a choice every being makes.

Examine your most basic assumptions about yourself, reality, and your relationship with your fellow beings. Then live the conclusions as fearlessly and consistently as possible. If I have any advice worth giving, that is it.

Restlessness Moves Me

Restlessness
moves within me
with kinetic force.

Possessed
of its own
intentions.

Desirous
of change.

Craving
of action.

Impervious
to pleas
of satisfaction.

Moving me
in ways
I cannot
comprehend.

Propelling me
towards a life
I cannot yet
dream.

My will is free
but denied
inaction.

Restlessness
moves me.

To where
I do not
know.

The Light Must Gather

When darkness
comes
the light
must gather.

This
is my
mantra.

As a
darkness
familiar
to every
age

Bestrides
the world
and claims
victory over
the land
of the
free.

Home
of the
brave.

Driven
mad
by fear.

When darkness
comes
the light
must gather.

This
is my
prayer.

As a
familiar
darkness
wearing
new faces.

Conquers
the world
and claims
victory
one final
time.

Home
of the
shinning
city upon
the hill.

Set
aflame
by hate.

When darkness
comes
the light
must gather.

Reason Will Not Teach You Virtue

Reason
will not
teach you
virtue.

Nor
make
you wise.

Logic
is but
a tool
of your
intentions.

Concerned
only with
the consistency
of your
truths
and lies.

Agnostic
as to
the
value
of each.

Reason
will make
you certain
but not
right.

Cunning
but not
wise.

Justified
but not
just.

Open
heartedness
must inform
intentions
and serve
as reason’s
guide.

Cultivate
love and
kindness
to be
just
virtuous
and wise.

Only then
may reason
serve truth
instead
of lies.

Open
heartedness
points
to the
ultimate
goal.

We are
one
it sings
from the
bottom
of our
soul.

Be
reasonable
but let
an open
heart be
your guide.

Growing Our Hearts

My heart has been hurting over the last few days, but maybe this will provide an opportunity for it to grow. This was a complicated election, with lots of ideological, economic, and sociological components. But at the meta level it was a choice between love versus hate. Inclusion versus exclusion. Empathy versus resentment. Love, inclusion, and empathy lost at the ballot box, but must never lose in our hearts and daily lives. It is tempting to hate, resent, and exclude those who brought this about, but then we become the thing we revile. Hate cannot defeat hate, only love can do that. Darkness cannot defeat darkness, only light can do that. We win by living our values more fiercely and unconditionally than ever before. We win by loving, including, and empathizing even with those we find offensive.

Morning Meditation

My first thoughts after my morning meditation and prayer for peace, was that I hope every group of people that has ever been oppressed in this country votes today. I am a white male in a heterosexual relationship, and if only my cohorts voted a neo-fascist who speaks brazenly about nuclear war, thinks climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, and has earned the endorsement of the KKK and Neo-Nazis would become President. If only white straight men voted, our country and potentially the planet would commit suicide by politics, based on ideas and hatreds that belong in the 20th century. So in addition to peace, I pray that every group that has ever felt the sting and bears the memory of oppression, hatred, and marginalization votes today. I pray that portion of our collective consciousness that knows the consequences of fear, hatred, and ignorance rejects the ideas that so many of my cohorts wish to carry forward into the future.

A Quick Death

In a reasonable world Hillary and Trump would never have occupied the same stage. In a reasonable world, someone as grossly unqualified as Donald J. Trump would never have won a major party’s nomination to be President. But we don’t live in a reasonable world. We live in a world on the brink of self-destruction, either by climate change or nuclear war. We live in a world committing suicide, and we are all on a slow moving train driving us off a cliff. Trump cannot be understood with conventional wisdom or the analytical mind. He is our collective id, he is a death impulse encouraging us to jump off the train and dance madly over the cliff.

The status quo is killing us, but Trump gives us the prospect of a quick death. That is the only way I know how to describe the state of this race.

Kind Hearts and Sweet Dispositions

My visits to Buddhist and Unitarian spiritual communities over the past month have served as a much needed boost to my faith in humanity. Trump and his followers are on everyone’s mind, even as we reach for that which is most sacred. The reactions are uniformly quite horror and confusion. “I don’t understand, they seem to live in a different world,” is a frequent refrain.

Trump is an avatar of a mindset and spiritual disposition that is diametrically opposed to these sweet seekers. He embodies fear, hate, and ignorance; whereas they cultivate love, grace, and empathy. He seeks to build walls, where they seek to build bridges between themselves and their fellow beings. We all awaken this life or the next, and must sometimes wonder in darkness to know and love the light.

While I strive to love and understand by brothers and sisters lost in fear, hate, and ignorance; I am eternally grateful for the kind hearts and sweet dispositions of those fellow seekers for whom darkness is an unfathomable affliction.