Without vision, we perish, or at least we get stuck with plans and agreements that impact everyone but serve no one.
Prime example: the whole US Congress and our often spineless president, who have managed to lock us into a totally non-visionary plan aimed at avoiding default that in truth seems to make no-one but cable news pundits happy. And for these pundits the only happiness lies in the fodder it gives them for more ongoing commentary.
Now I know the Congress isn’t totally to blame for this mess. We’re all part of the culture that demands quick fixes and is addicted to fear, unfounded reporting, and blame. We’re all at least partially the creators of an economy that puts our undiscerning trust into things like forever increasing housing prices and the big gambling casino masquerading as the stock market instead of finding a better way to discern what’s truly valuable.
Pride, Self-will and Fear Prevent Us From Having a Great Government
And we’re all part of an electorate who are anything but the visionaries we were born to be when it comes to electing our officials. Instead of carefully assessing who gets our vote, we tend to make unstudied decisions based on our biases and a whole lot of 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.
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, thereby justifying our egotism: ‘I want what I want when I 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 potential danger. Fear instead 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 in 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 tremendous 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 US Wouldn’t Even Be Here
So much US history is truly visionary. The dreams of freedom 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 racism, a hurting environment or massive impoverishment — and created visionary approaches to big problems by bringing out the best that is in us.
We very much need such visionary leadership now. Especially now, in the wake of the debt agreement that sets us up for so much ongoing disagreement. 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 either what we truly need as a country or how to get it.
I know it’s not easy to create a vision, but we can do it. The first step I’d like all Congresspeople 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.
In fact 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 only 38” high statuette manages to portray strength, courage and a lot of humility. We need that from our leaders.
Please, dear Congress, President and other leaders, go past your own belief systems, to 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.
Please, help us break free of the crippling idealized self images like America First of “Greatest Country in the World, Always!” Help us see our true gifts so that we can not just deal with the challenges of economy, but find our rightful, humble, truly self-respecting country among other great countries.
Please. Please be the best self we elected you to be so you can help call out the best in us.
And thank you for being willing to be out there in the public eye, daring to take on the challenges. Let us know how we can help you.
Comments are welcome. Many blessings as always, Pat McHenry Sullivan