I want to talk today about a sticky but vital theme: nationality versus planetalia - fighting each other on opposing sides, versus aiming toward planetary harmony and wholeness. With the world so interconnected on the internet, linked in global business, and threatened with global devastation at military and ecological levels, we are rapidly being pushed into a new phase of human experience on this planet. Survival-wise we desperately need a diminishing allegiance to any specific tribe, region, nation or country, and a heightened allegiance, faith, dedication and commitment to this planet as a living whole.
Don't misunderstand me - I love my sense of belonging to my country. I also fervently support my favorite football team, and feel proud of my local community, not to mention loyal to my family circle. We will always have tribal instincts - and there's definitely value in this instinct ... but ... we must also admit to the vast violence that has been caused by tribalism and regionalism and nationalism.
Donald Trump's 'separate and conquer' tribalist antics are rapidly denigrating the outmoded stance of blind national allegiance. But this was happening way back during the Vietnam War era, where a lot of us simply couldn't support and go fight for a government that was making military-complex profits while busy murdering countless women and children in Vietnam and Cambodia ... we were forced while still in college to openly question our allegiance to America, or at least to stand up and shout out for change. As Christian kids we'd been taught to make love, not war - and that wasn't just a flaky hippie idea, it was the foundation of our faith. We'd been brought up first and foremost to sustain our allegiance to our own inner spiritual compass.
A Good Day To Expand ...
Territorial instincts run very deep. And this is where the question of evolving consciousness becomes vital. Can we actively learn to advance our attitudes so that we see the larger whole? Can we learn to reflect and respond for the higher good, rather than instinctively reacting and fighting against each other? Can we learn to let go of 'kill the other guys' nationalism in order to become active participants in an emerging world community? And really, is there in fact any choice - otherwise, we're probably going to use our magnificent tech inventions to blow each other up and that's that.
I no longer feel that I'm a Democrat or Republican - that's a mental construct that just isn't working anymore. And I don't find becoming an Independent a satisfying alternative. In the sixties we shouted out for revolution against a government that had run amok and was trying to force us to go kill people halfway around the world in the name of Christ and America. I feel a similar uprising right now - it's now time to shout out again - hey, there must be a better way! The challenge is huge - but so is our need to survive as a species in at least relative peace and harmony and sustainability.
When Will We Ever Learn?
Evolutionary-wise, perhaps we should be like snakes and remember to periodically shed our superficial skins. Labels and parties and ideologies and religions and countries are all past-fixated facades of the psyche. If we can dare to consciously shed them, we just might emerge into a place where we finally (or once again) allow the wisdom of loving hearts to boldly lead us into better times, as all spiritual leaders of the world in all ages have recommended.
A quote comes to mind: "We are random electrons spinning weightless through the vacuum of our minds, haplessly straddling this infinitely small celestial ball - and yet here we sit, taking it all so very seriously." Why do we allow so many old fear-based prejudices and antagonisms to dominate our minds and pollute actions? Economically there is in fact plenty for all of us on this planet, if we listen to our hearts and choose to share the earth's resources fairly. We need to learn how to enjoy the moment without fighting to be number one. Also - wisdom seems to imply the ability to bow down regularly to the Great Guffaw, to see ourselves in a broader light and laugh outright when we see that we're behaving like chickens running around with our heads cut off (as Grandad would say).
When I'm feeling clear and trustful and compassionate, I do tend to spontaneously open my heart - and not just to American citizens. but to everyone on the globe who's breathing this same air as I'm breathing. The power of allegiance is great. I don't mean to discard it, but to expand it. Let's consider offering our allegiance to the whole planet. The people in power don't want this - they know they must divide us in order to continue to dominate us. But in the other direction, all we need to do is let go of nationality and embrace planetalia (by whatever term) and we might finally complete the deeper human revolution that Jesus and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Chief Joseph and all the rest of our spiritual teachers have been calling for.
This vision, of all of humanity living fairly in harmony and love, is not a cliche - it remains the driving vision of the human heart. And as always, it's all happening inside us, not out there. That's shy I've spent my life developing mindfulness programs where we can actively learn to be more human, and yes, more humane ... What about choosing to live in this expanded state of planetalia? Hmm. Not too shabby. And room for all. Thank you for listening - I just had to say this out-loud today ...