New Adventures in Politics & Irony
As the Buddha once reported from the front lines “ with our thoughts we make the world”. As a practicing buddhist for the past 35 years, I’ve formed an elementary relationship (I won’t yet use the word understanding) with what he was experiencing. For me learning such concepts seemed more like derailment than enabling. Nothing like practice…and patience.
You never know when a puzzle piece will appear and fit somewhere. One day not very long ago, a savant-like friend of mine, Eric told me: “None of this is what you think”. That is the most profound message I’ve gotten in a long while. It works on several levels, from my day-to-day reality to the meaning of life. They never have been what I think. I’ve adopted this as my motto to live by and I preach it to my children. Thoughts always seem to lead one astray.
This is an amazing time to be alive on this planet. How would I know? Well, I believe simply being alive with open eyes makes this amazing. But the wildcard in our times is technology. These are days of Future Shock!
In my lifetime I’ve witnessed a technological transformation that has brought more change to the human experience than happened in the prior 5,000 years. We once hobbled along a path of progress and by the 1950s when I was born, if I might use the analogy, we got a tricycle. Since then we’ve advanced through the two-wheeler with training wheels. Now those training wheels are off and there are no brakes, so just clear the road ahead!
This same analogy applies to our current political situation in the US. Madison Ave has been beating on the American psyche for quite awhile, so we’ve pretty much seen it all. We’ve been sold a promised land in every way, shape and form possible. Enough so we’ve given up on the idea entirely. Now it seems the only way to get people excited is to create an object of disgust. The more hate-worthy the better. We don’t know what we stand for but we do know what and who we hate!
Donald Trump! Our best thinkers could not have created a better lightening rod for hatred. So if you’re a progressive that prefers the standard brainwashing inherent in our two-party system, you hate Trump. You hate him so much that nothing else matters to you as long as he goes away. The standard brainwashing package by the way, calls for just a touch of compassion. No visuals of kids in cages. War is ok as long as its far away. Civilian casualties? Just help us out and label them “insurgents” and we’ll work with you.
If you’re a staunch conservative, you have an extensive menu of items to hate. Whether it’s simply the progressive PC culture and all it stands for or big government — standard fare for the remaining that still live their values. For the rest, there’s a buffet that includes immigrants, muslims, rainbows and unicorns. Plenty of hate to go around.
So to circle back to the Buddha, if this is the best we can do with our thought-creation, we must be cerebrally impovershed at this point in time. No one can really say where we want to go, but we sure do know what we don’t want. And if you break it down, it turns out what we don’t want is each other!
Time for a silent retreat. Who’s with me?