Our previous post talked about the root problem facing people all over the world. The melting ice caps, political dis-empowerment, the oppression of women and many minorities, the mass extinction of plants and animals, each of these are linked to a single, dominant process.
The process that links them all is the human identification with lack.
Today’s post takes us on the next step of this long journey; how can we heal the terrible damage that has happened to our collective spirit and to this planet … for that too is a single process.
First we must recognize the fundamental truth of this root cause. This means that we need to see how lack effects how we think on the level of the individual, as well as the group. We need to see this directly and not conceptually many thousands of times.
This is not as difficult as it might sound, for the process of lack identification is everywhere. It’s in our ceaseless sense of insufficient self-worth and our grasping at anything that will give us a momentary charge of excitement. We see this on the individual and the group level. What people do individually, nations, groups, religions, and classes do as groups.
This is the first step. But it is the next step that heralds the start of the global revolution.
The term revolution is likely to create images in our minds that have the qualities of rage and violence. Perhaps we think of taking to the streets en masse, shouting our demands in a vast unison and bring the whole edifice of exploitative capitalism to its knees. These are habitual images of large-scale revolution.
But if history has shown us anything, it is that these mass, organized, and often violent episodes have never created a fundamental change in the way people exploit themselves and the planet. Mass movements have created positive changes in the past and they have also created terrifying descents into political madness (Nazism was also a mass movement). They are, in the end, also expressions of lack. They are born from an identification with insufficiency and inadequacy.
Traditional mass movements have, like Buddhism, been inspired by a recognition of lack and inadequacy, but their response has been one that uses the one energy and method that lack knows best. It goes like this.
Because my identification with inadequacy induces rage and frustration (remember on the individual and group levels), then I will respond to the problem with the very same energy. I will use methods that are forceful and direct against it. I will, in effect, counter the anger induced by inadequacy with the same anger.
This is just our close friend, Lack, in its role as savior. Since everything in the universe has two sides (see the Rule of Two in my new book Trust in Liberation or reproduced at the book’s site here). The violent and forceful mass movement revolutions are expressions of despair. The likelihood that these movements can produce consequences that elevate human freedom are roughly equal to their ability to reduce human freedom. No matter what their outcome, the root process of the inadequacy identification remains essentially unchanged. Children continue to be invalidated in their earliest days, the normative demand for obedience and compliance continue as they have for many centuries and the war against spirit continues unabated by whatever social changes have occurred.
We can also see that recognition of lack, as in “me or my group” lacks the same advantages and remedies of the dominant group, is a wholly positive event. Attempt to bring balance and harmony to society, such as the Civil Rights, Gay Rights, the Feminist Revolution, Animal Rights, are all proud movements organized to redress systemic wrongs. They are expressions of truth and they are courageous acts of liberation. They are close relatives to the process that I will advance in the third and final post in this series. I admire these movements and I am very grateful that they have actually happened and have attained many of their goals. But none of these movements address the root problem, as outlined yesterday.
In my view, the bifurcation of human society into the two classes of ruler and ruled, that began 10,000 years ago in the aptly named Fertile Crescent is either a stage in the human play on this planet or it is the concluding episode after about 3 million years of species evolution. The great revolutions of the past have not changed this fundamental truth. The explosion of individualism that occurred beginning in the Age of Enlightenment and now sputtering out in our current era of economic and environmental collapse, was an exception to this over-arching rule.
Mass movements are responses to despair, which is what makes them appear so filled with hope They are something we can easily relate to. They are a part of our shared experience. But they are not the Way.
The questions that now need to be addressed are these.
How do we reverse the effects of invalidation? How do we bring healing to the near-universal condition of inadequacy and invalidation?
We will see that this is also a process. It is a process of reversal and return.
And what is it we return to? The field of return is described in the Tao Te Ching (translated by William Scott Wilson) Verse 15.
The men who practiced the Way effectively in the past
Were unfathomable and beyond description;
You could not get a sense of their depth
And although you could not get a sense of their depth,
I will persist and try to create a picture of them.
Hesitating, like crossing a stream in winter;
Wavering, like fearing demons with clubs on all sides;
Respectful, like being a guest;
Unpretentious, like rough lumber;
In plain view, like a valley;
Mixing and mingling, like muddy water.
The meaning of all of this will be described in the third part of this three part series on what is being called The Healing Revolution at this site. So, please stay tuned.
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The The Global Revolution (Part 2 of 3): The Failure of the Traditional Revolution by , unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.