Politics and Process
(The previous email containing this post had technical problems. This one should work better...)
I'm in the midst of a long-term conversation with a friend about politics. She, conveniently, leans conservative, and I lean liberal. The contrast has led to many interesting awarenesses for both of us, I think. Just for fun I thought I'd put out some snippets from our latest exchange. I did not include her words, only mine. Some of this may be controversial, so hold on to your hat.
One thing to know is that the sections below are not connected. They are various independent themes pulled from the conversation. Everywhere you see a "D:" is the beginning of a new idea.
D: I'm not going to go deeper into the content of this with you, for two reasons. One is that I have no expertise in this area, and almost no knowledge. I consume almost zero media. The little bit that I do pick up comes from the publication I mentioned that does a good job, I think, of presenting both points of view. But I actually know very little about what's going on.
The other reason is that I don't care. The entire system is corrupt, and as far as I can tell it does me no good to know about what's going on--and it does nobody else good, also. I have no power to affect what's happening on a national or global scale other than my vote, and it's easy to know who to vote for. The best thing I can do to make a different in our troubled world, the way I see it, is to do my practice with as much sincerity and determination as I can, so as to clean up the conditioning I might contribute to our troubles, and to do what good I can in my local community. To be clear, I care deeply about the state of the planet, as well as the people and other critters that live on it, but I don't care what conditioned mind is doing in the form that we call "politics".
D:Yes, it's true. We have no way of knowing how to interpret things correctly. We don't even truly know what the facts are, I suppose, but I do tend to trust that the facts that are being presented--what actually happened--are more or less accurate. It seems to me that we need to draw our own conclusions based upon that. I don't know enough to say whether what Trump did is illegal or not, or impeachable or not--all that's a matter of interpretation that I don't have the expertise to untangle--but I do know enough to conclude (and I acknowledge that this is a projection) that Trump is acting out of conditioned mind with little no self-consciousness about that, which is to say from a place of self-centeredness, selfishness, prejudice, cruelty, an indifference to other people's needs and feelings, and everything else that always accompanies conditioned mind. Is that interpretation factual? No. Everything in my experience says that this is so, however.
D: Excellent! This to me is the primary point here. You/I/we need to look at things as best we can from a centered place, rather than just taking the easy way out of simply believing the propaganda. And, I would add, we need to look at things more on a process than a content level. The media is focused on the content--what did Trump do, was it illegal, etc--but that's almost beside the point, in my book. What is he doing on a process level? That's what really matters. What do we want in a leader? I would say we want honesty, integrity, the ability to do what's the best for everyone instead of the best for her/his party, and stuff like that (all process things). Anyone who is clearly not able to act from that place is not qualified. And yet our attention is not focused on that because we have no way to make decisions from a process place. We focus on the content and, it seems to me, miss the real point.
D: But who is this "they"? I'm sure some people said that. But is that everyone? I wonder if you can see how you're making blanket statements with this and other things, just like the propaganda does. The way propaganda works is it takes a mass of data and lumps it into a handful of simple ideas, which is then presented as if it applies universally. That's absurd--Life isn't like that. Life cannot be reduced to simple concepts. In this case, you are lumping millions of people with millions of different points of view into one "they". That "they" does not exists. What exists is the millions of people. Is it so that some of those millions of people have wanted to get rid of Trump by whatever means since the beginning? Undoubtedly. But to assume a "they" ignores all the subtlety involved, and the fact (I would presume) that there are also lots of people who are sincerely looking at these issues with an open mind to see what needs to be done.
D: This is another place where I'm not going to go into the content with you, just because I don't really know what's so and because I don't care. So here's the question that comes up for me, hearing all that: why do you allow yourself to get involved on this level? What is the point of giving all this attention, in other words? We've established, I think, that there's no way to know what's really going on, and we've agreed, I think, that the entire system is inherently corrupt (not that all the people involved are necessarily corrupt, though likely some of them are, but only because the system is founded in conditioned mind and so is unavoidably corrupt). So what's the point of giving it attention?
D: I am not watching main stream media. I am responding to the facts as best as I understand them. And I get my facts, as best I can, from a source that is at least attempting to be unbiased.
D: I see it the same way (that the country is divided into two, and that the two sides love to hate each other). And from a process point of view the point is to make sure there is no agreement. This is just conditioned mind doing it's thing, and a big part of that is to divide everything into two and pit one side against the other. That happens within an individual, within families, within communities, within nations, and between nations. It's the same process on every level.