[A continuation of the discussionposted yesterday, broken into two because of the length of each part.]
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
All right. Are we still on the topic of the interaction between politics and psychic exploration?
The entire topic could be summed up thus: Given that person-groups reflect and interact with social-groups, there is nothing more effective than healing one’s own person-group, and nothing more seductive and distracting than putting off working on one’s person-group in order to pretend to correct one’s social-group, or, even worse, other people’s social-groups. This is not work but a pretense of working. It may be and often is an evasion of working.
“But,” I can hear people crying, “are we to do nothing about the world situation until we ourselves are perfect? That’s a formula for doing nothing.”
And indeed it would be. No, that isn’t quite what we mean. After all, you don’t hear us objecting when you interrupt this to pour another cup of coffee, or empty the dehumidifier, or do anything of life’s many little things to be done. Should we say, “no more coffee until you have resolved all your problems?” But on the other hand, neither would we say, “pouring a cup of coffee is good work; emptying the dehumidifier will help solve the oil blowout, or will resolve the political deadlock.” You see? Not everything one does in the world is an evasion — but don’t confuse it with real work, either.
Working to resolve social issues can be very good work. How do you do it, rather than pretend to do it? We are saying, perhaps your most effective actual, practical action is internal, healing the splits that resonate up and down the scales.
If, doing that, you also work in government trying to avoid problems through regulation, or if, doing it, you also work at the oil business, trying to avoid problems by better practices, or if, doing it, you also work at the business of harnessing public awareness, trying to avoid problems through effective pressure on those more directly involved, well and good. But if you do any of those things while not working for your internal harmony, your person-group [internal] action may be contributing more toward making the problem worse than its external actions contribute toward making it better. You have heard “as above, so below”; it may equally be said, “as within, so without.” And — a footnote, practically, because to us it seems so obvious that we need to remind ourselves to remember to mention it — the worst, most harmful attitude of all would be to harbor and nourish and aggravate internal civil war by looking on at social problems and becoming fixed in condemnation.
I remember, maybe half a dozen years ago (I can’t remember just how long) realizing that I needed to stop where I was going, for I was moving ever closer to hatred of George Bush and all he stood for and all he was doing. At the time I thought it was purely personal. I didn’t want to (couldn’t afford to) live in hatred. Now I begin to see that our inner selves — even if unexpressed — do manifest in the outer world, just as religion has always said. And I remember Abraham Lincoln saying he could not judge Bush as harshly as I was doing, because he had been in that position and I had not.
That is so for you, and it is so for everyone looking on at anything they have not personally experienced. It is safe and fair and scarcely to be avoided, that you judge (discern) consequences. It is neither safe nor fair — and can be avoided — to judge motivations and attitudes. That is, love the sinner, condemn the sin. Light the candle, don’t curse the darkness.
And “lighting the candle” is working to heal ourselves, first and foremost.
That work is always there at hand for you to do. Done humbly and willingly, it is always good and effective work — and, in a sense, you don’t care what the result is, or whether resolution ever seems any nearer. It is the working toward wholeness that is the work, ultimately.
Of course, there is no need — no, nor any possibility — of waiting, to do good work among your fellows, until your internal (or seemingly internal) problems have been resolved. For one thing, it is in interacting with others that you work on yourself. For another, given that the distinction between individuals is only fictional, in a sense, and certainly is not real in the way it is commonly supposed to be, working with others is working on yourself, if done from the right motives of love, charity, concern, sincere desire to aid your fellows in your common journey.
What would be not good work — would be worse than an evasion of your true task — would be to try to fix somebody. Help if you can, and as you see opportunity, but do not presume to know another’s situation as well as they do, however much you from outside may see that they from inside do not. Remember that they from inside live what you can not, and cannot perceive, much less judge, much less condemn. What else do you suppose that Jesus was saying when he said, before you try to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye, first remove the huge obstruction to vision from your own eye? You can’t do real work by pretending to work, and you can’t help by avoiding your real work.
A lot here, this morning, all starting from a dream! Thank you.
Some time you might look at that “starting from.” Causation isn’t as simple as it appears to you.
Nothing is, I notice. Well, see you Thursday. Thanks again.