Political action comes from motivation, which comes from the heart, which is a whole-systems tuning/sensing organ. It has the capacity to rule the intellect and all the symbols that it manipulates in words, if we would but listen to it. Our thoughts and words are the result of what we choose to feel, and we have forgotten that we have a choice. We feel as though we are victims of the external disasters now taking place, and our language reinforces that belief, over and over. The emphasis on talking about what’s wrong with the government and corporations is a losing proposition, because the damage to the planet and her peoples is accumulating at an accelerating rate of speed. Talk is OK, it’s nice, and it’s too slow. Working out the semantics of what everybody means by what they say is a tedious process.
If instead of attempting to create social coherence and solidarity through words and symbols we would inspire, inform, mobilize and support actions that are heart-based, we would find an amazing acceleration of human evolution, which is what we are required to do. Think of it as a leap of faith into non-rational, non-analytic thought processes in which our heart’s desire, our heart’s passion — what we want to go towards instead of what we want to avoid — is the prime mover and shaker of our world. The resistance to doing this is entirely intellectual and culturally conditioned because there is a false sense of security in clinging to our hatreds.
Recently, police behavior has inflamed hatreds from many communities. If you have no patience and no compassion, how can you possibly expect the police to have it? To point the finger of blame at them is to have three fingers pointed at yourself. This is a systemic issue. We live in a culture of war and violence, and we are conditioned to think of other human beings as objects and ourselves as victims. The more you think of how awful it is, the more awful it will become. The only way the police will change their behavior is by being led out of darkness by people who are carrying the light, not by people who are flinging their middle fingers. A culture of peace exists now within small groups of people who are outside the mainstream culture, and indigenous peoples in third-world countries. War is not a part of human nature.
The path to social change is individual change, and the path to individual change is to attempt social change. Both are needed parts of the process, and we ignore one at the peril of the other. Both create feedback to each other. We cannot transform the external world without simultaneously being transformed ourselves internally. At least, that has been true for me as I attempt to overcome obstacles more effectively and admit my mistakes.
I think our greatest barrier to self-confidence is the pain of realization that we are loved and always were and always will be, because in accepting that we will have to give up our self-hatred, which is like taking off a pair of boots that are way too small and squeezed all the blood out of our feet. As the numbness fades away, we suddenly realize how much we hurt, and there is much to grieve. As Marianne Williamson said, it is not our darkness that we fear, it is our light that terrifies us the most. Healthy self-confidence is allowing the light that is given to us to shine through us onto the world, to surrender to the will and power of that light. Quieting the mind is just the first step toward accepting our unique role within an infinitely large context beyond our control or understanding.
So let’s get out of our heads and into our hearts, as Sheryl Crow so sweetly has sung.