I was blessed to receive a high-school education taught by the Jesuits. They taught us how to effectively read, write, speak, and critically think..along with drinking, swearing, and smoking. It was a great education.
Big Ideas vs Small Ideas – the men and women who founded America were discussing big ideas and were up against the clock on getting things done. They did their job and created a Republic unlike any that ever existed in human history. Today’s politicians, and those dating back about 100 years (in my estimation), deal in small, petty ideas. They attempt to dress them up as Big Ideas..but if they truly were, there would be power imbued in them and some growth would occur…but outside of some isolated instances, this just is not the case.
For a couple of years I make LOTS of political posts on social media, and was caught up in the back-and-forth of defending one side of the aisle that was right in all ways (my side) and in denouncing the “others” (see Lost). Then, not sure how it happened, I began using the critical-thinking skills I learned in high school and dropped it almost all together. When I really got in touch with my two personal pivotal needs (autonomy and liberty) it became quite clear to me that getting caught up in political discussion is a complete waste of time.
When stepping back and examining the two major parties in America, and politics in general world-wide…it is so clear that they do not work. The politicians do not work…the arguing does not work…the defending does not work…it is a waste of valuable time and effort.
We live in the greatest period of humankind: the democratization of technology and the instant sharing of information; the ability to create and amass extreme wealth in an absurdly short amount of time; every bit of knowledge since the dawning of mankind available on a smart-phone..and yet our political parties are unable to balance a budget, end a war, ensure that supplies and aid reach the intended recipients.
In Chapter 21, Hannel cuts right to the chase in showing how we each have the same power, that of the Infinite, within us…no one has more or less, unless willfully ceding it to another. To me it is a very hopeful chapter because he lays out the natural law of power as well as spells out the two types of people in the world with regards to power, and how the tides are turning. A few outtakes:
20. The real battle of life is one of ideas; it is being fought out by the few against the many; one the one side is the constructive and creative thought, on the other side the destructive and negative thought….on both sides are men of science, men of letters, and men of affairs.
22. In the last analysis there are but these two classes; all men will have to take their place on one side or the other; they will have to go forward, or go back; there is no standing still in a world where all is motion; it is this attempt to stand still that gives sanction and force to arbitrary and unequal codes of the law.
23. That we are in a period of transition is evidenced by the unrest which is everywhere apparent. The complaint of humanity is as a roll of heaven’s artillery, commencing with low and threatening notes and increasing until the sound is sent from cloud to cloud, and the lightening splits the air and earth.
25. The issue between the old regime and the new, the crux of the social problem, is entirely a question of conviction in the minds of the people as to the nature of the Universe. When they realize that the transcendent force of spirit or mind of the Cosmos is within each individual, it will be possible to frame laws that shall consider the liberties and rights of the many instead of the privileges of the few.
Challenge for you: take a good, hard look at the political landscape: Has anything really changed in the past 50-100 years? Take a good, hard look at your personal political views: are they really yours or are you borrowing or perhaps learned them from someone else? Do you views serve you and if so, how?
I would suggest to you that for the past 100-150 years or so there have been two classes in America and most nations worldwide: the political class and the non-political class. The first is charged with serving the second, but that just does not seem to be the reality.
I wrote this post as Russia began occupying the Ukraine, and the outcry and rhetoric of the political community has begun. Do we have any critical thinkers left in D.C.? We are about to find out. Let’s all put on our critical-thinking caps and adopt what truly serves us and drop what does not.