As Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, a firestorm of political debate was launched on Facebook. Today’s blog explores the spiritual approach and compassionate attitudes we are invited to embrace if we are to make it through the coming elections intact and unharmed!
A Disturbance in the Force
As I was reading through the Facebook posts this morning relating to the upcoming elections, I sensed a disturbance in the Force. I felt the point-counterpoint postings and arguments stirring up a sense of unease, maybe even fear in and among my little Facebook community. I also felt a fair amount of sadness as I watched people I know to normally be peaceful, calm, accepting, picking their side and standing in defense of their chosen position. I suddenly realized the negative impact all of this political arguing and grandstanding has on our ability to maintain a peaceful, loving, harmonious state of being. No matter what “side” you have chosen – Democrat, Republican or Other, the greatest temptation in this time of political mischief-making, is allowing the external chaos to disturb our inner contentment. I now understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)
Render Unto Caesar what is Caesar’s
In this passage from the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus is reminding us to keep politics in their proper perspective. While the outcome of the upcoming elections may have an impact on public policy, education, access to healthcare or certain forms of birth control, the economy, military engagement, etc. it has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on our ability to be the LOVE and the PEACE that God made us to be. While we are tempted to believe that we are “right” and the other is “wrong” and while in our humanness we want to believe that we know better than anyone else; from a spiritual perspective, all our current political process does is reinforce our ego-driven choice of duality rooted in the false perception of separation. When we choose Oneness the false perception of separation falls away and in this state, there is no right or wrong; left or right, anti-abortion or pro-life, conservative or liberal; we are only human beings struggling in our humanness to find happiness. The truth that we do not want to admit is that we will NEVER find happiness in anything that is outside of us because happiness is NEVER NOT who we are. When we surrender our attachment to separation, we are happy, content, loving, peaceful and fulfilled regardless of what is going on outside of us. Jesus knew this. The Dalai Lama knows this. The Buddha knew this. And we do too if we really listen and pay attention.
Cultivating Inner Peace
If we want to remain in a state of peace through this political season, there are certain attitudes that might be worthy of embracing.
1) Recognition that our political decisions are deeply personal and for many people, private.
2) Acknowledge that we all do the best job we can to choose the candidates that we believe most closely align with our own personal beliefs, values, hopes and desires for our world.
3) Trust that regardless of the outcome, only WE decide our happiness.
4) Trust that regardless of the outcome, it serves a higher good that perhaps we cannot yet see in our limited human perception.
5) To acknowledge that whether Barak Obama, Mitt Romney or some other unnamed politician becomes the next President of the United States, this has no bearing on our ability to know peace, love, joy, fulfillment or contentment in our lives.
In this election season, we are invited to “Render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s” by exercising our right to vote; and rendering unto God what is God’s by exercising the spiritual practices that reconnect us with our original state of peace, love and joy. The choice is ours. And in that choice, May the Force Be with Us!
Authentic Freedom Ministries