Friday, August 1, 2014

Spirituality and Voting

I have often been asked – and often ask myself – why get  involved in the struggles/arguments/public policy debates over the economy or human rights/power struggles of this 3-dimensional world we perceive. Sometimes the overwhelming onslaught of fear, greed, lack, hate, possessiveness, ownership, power struggle issues just gets me down. “Why even start?” I say to myself.  “What real good will it do?” “Who really cares?” After all I’m an already-loved eternal spirit only currently having a human experience. I am not just a human body who somewhere houses a spirit or soul. If all I really “see” in the world “out there” is a reflection of my perception, then why should I bother getting involved in the affairs of this 3-D world?
This issue arose – again – in me yesterday. It’s early voting in my county for Republican and Democrat primaries as well as for countywide offices. We went out to vote as our civic duty and this issue came up again inside my head.
I have an egoic mind that perceives everything from the vantage point of fear. According to A Course in Miracles (ACIM), it doesn’t really exist but it sure feels like it. My perceptions are simply my own and they, too, are not reality. But they sure feel like it. I also have a higher mind. It is the small (but growing!) part of me that is (or can be) attuned to hear and listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. All the fear, greed, lack, hate, possessiveness, ownership, and power struggle issues are figments of my own egoic perception. This perception is firmly grounded in my belief in fear and lack and separation. I am me. You are not. I must get mine while preventing you from taking anything from me. This egoic frame of reference is perfectly summarized in a bumper sticker I saw in Florida several years ago: “If you are not frightened or angry, you are not paying attention.”
My higher mind has become somewhat attuned to a kind of Oneness. This has happened in my quarter century involvement with AA. This is based on a couple of very beloved principles in The Program: “There, but for the Grace of God, go I;” and understanding the reality of “The Yets.”
Folks will share how they got 3-4 DUI’s and it ruined their credit rating and has destroyed their chance to get certain jobs. I want to say to myself – I haven’t gotten a DUI – then I stop and realize I drove quite often under the influence – but simply never got caught. Just by the Grace of God or some fortunate good luck, I didn’t have to face what the sharer faced. Someone will share in a meeting and afterward I might say to someone else, “That’s awful. I haven’t done anything like that.” The person whom I’m talking to will almost automatically add: “Yet!”
This reality of “The Yets” has taught me I’m not that much different from anyone else. If I can forgive myself or overlook my alcoholic mistakes, then I can forgive or overlook yours. As I listen to other alcoholics share I always see a little piece of me in each of their stories. After a quarter of a century of experiencing this in AA, I am seeing little bits of me in virtually everyone I meet.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not (Repeat; NOT) suggesting that my experiences in AA are the same as ACIM’s Holy Instant or Holy Encounter – where, with the orchestration of the Holy Spirit, the Christ-Self in me connects with the Christ-Self in you and all egoic perceptions simply vanish, along with a sense of time and fear. But these AA experiences do leave me with a little more openness and willingness to see myself in you, therefore leaving me in a better position to be willing to see with the Holy Spirit’s “vision” rather than with my egoic fearful “sight.”
While on this physical, egoic, 3-dimensional plane, I have come to believe there are things I can do to encourage the implementation of public policies that will create a better atmosphere for allowing people to be more willing to see a little of themselves in all others. On the other hand there are public policies that are stridently based in fear, lack, and separateness, which encourage the continuation of believing in our fearful egoic “reality.”
So, I vote, work for and support those “higher” policies rather than those reflecting my non-existent and non-real egoic perceptions of fear and separateness.
Perhaps not being frightened, angry, or stressed means that I really am paying attention – to me and my thoughts, which is exactly where I should be looking.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#1 August 2014

Copyright, 2014

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