A dear friend e-mailed me after reading last Friday’s pair of posts to say that she always looks forward to receiving WINN but this time she was sad and disappointed that I had published these “purely political articles.” For me these posts are not purely political. This is my response – not a full post – to my disappointed friend and perhaps to others who might have wondered why WINN published them. (www.WINNpost.org on September 18th)
In my view neither politics nor spirituality are pure.They both contain something of the other’s territory. And they share something of great importance – values. Politics are grounded in worldly events and actions while spiritual belief systems – whether or not they are tied to organized religions – deal with what is above or beyond everyday life. Each of them in their own way address the most basic human questions ,
“Who am I?” and “How can I live a good life?”.
WINN is published because I think that it is crucial for us as individuals and as a collective human community to know that there is more to existence than the material world. To know the true nature of reality we must include what cannot be measured as well as all that can. What is immeasurable isn’t woo-woo. The people who experience the non-usual realms of our existence should not be dismissed as crazy. We can learn from them, and what they know is often the subject of WINN posts, posts that often inform us through stories.
There are two core beliefs or spiritual values about what a human is and how we can live our lives well that have developed over thousands of years in many cultures around the world. It’s ancient wisdom drawn from what has been considered real and meaningful,
We are all connected. (We are all God’s children.)
We should treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. (The Golden Rule.)
Politics devoid of deeply wise values can be very destructive. Spiritual beliefs not connected to action in the world can be empty and self-centered. Both of last Friday’s posts teach lessons about how to live as we care for ourselves and for others – recognizing unconscious bias when we are given that uncomfortable opportunity (Gilah’s post) and how to organize and live in supportive communities that share the rewards and responsibilities of belonging (Pablo’s post).
The choices we make about what to learn and how to live are vitally important both in material reality and in the world of love, soul, and spirit.
4 Comments Add yours
Thank you so much for your comments today. Your words are so simple and wise: we are all connected and we must treat each other with kindness and compassion.
These are challenging times and your comments are both a salve and a map to how we should think and act in our daily lives.
I am so glad that you are breathing and still spreading kindness in this big, old goofy world.
I spent a number of days in silence with a wise human: Bhante Gunarantana. He taught me this kindness Sutta:
Will you be well happy and peaceful. May no harm come to you. May you always meet with spiritual success. May you also have patience, courage, understanding and determination to meet and overcome the inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life. May you also have morality, integrity, forgiveness, compassion, Mindfulness and wisdom.
Celia, such very wise words in your beautifully written response to your friend’s comment. I had somehow missed WINN last week so I feel fortunate that I could go back and read Pablo’s essay on hope and Gilah’s sudden recognition of white privilege. I always learn something profound on WINN, thank you for providing this to us.
I loved Gilah’s painting of mask images…somehow it is a reminder we all strive for our individuality despite the absence of seeing the totality of facial recognition.
Her article about being a victim struck me as a reality effect ( and potential experience) for all of us… our “wake up calls” come from visceral and vulnerable places we’ve yet ever to feel.
Thank you Gilah for your article as a beautiful ( yet sobering)) portrayal of how we all should not just see but how we can deepen the impact of our awareness of feelings about the injustices of life whether by people, systems or institutions…
Our attitudes towards those not like us should not be a political issue, but it is and has been for a long time. Perhaps now more than ever and not just in the US. However, after looking up the definition of “politics” it would seem that everything is political! No man (or woman) is an island.