Thursday, November 09, 2006

Prayers and Politicians

Well the cold & flu medicine is finally flushed out of my system, the regularly recurring gloomies have come and gone again, and its probably as good a time as any to address such timely topics as prayer and politicians.

Yesterday's election has brought out all of those who declare the sky's falling, who make urgent calls for prayer to fix the country, and even doomsayers declaring the coming of a new dark age falling upon us as we speak.

Not to minimize the current situation, but people - get a grip!

As to prayers being needed to right the course of the gov’t, IMHO those who indulge in prayer in order to change the world, to cure their friends boils, cure cancer, turn away hurricanes - or to reprove God for failing to handle things in a proper manner... you're all seriously missing the point of life, free will, the Universe and everything in it. Do yourself a favor and buy some nice magic wands and herbs. At the very least, you'll then at least have a certain pride of ownership & much more flashier and entertaining prayers to harangue the big guy with.

Now I do not intend to denigrate anyone’s belief in God or Prayer, I think that beyond the glib assertions of either the religious or the atheists, there is far deeper value to both God and Prayer than most imagine. But IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion), the purpose of prayer is to contemplate the state of your own soul, to seek after God's influence within your own soul, not to nudge him awake to the fact that you disapprove of the shoddy work he's currently doing in the universe.

I think that if there is a God, it's highly likely that God is pretty well pleased with the universe in all of its dimensions - those we can see, and those we can't see. If he was clever enough to, and went to all that bother, to design quarks, neutrons, atoms and solar systems to operate over the course of trillions of years; then causing all of those carefully crafted creations to suddenly shift in their properties and courses in order to satisfy the momentary whims of some shortsighted creation who haven't even figured out how to master their own free will over the course of a few decades of life - such fervent wish lists are probably not going to be a really big factor in the cosmic game plan.

In short, Metaphysicians, heal thyselves!

As for the likelihood that we are witnessing the onset of a dark age whose end will not be seen in our or our great-grandchildren’s lifetimes - Ladies and Gent's, that's been the constant case for at least 50,000 years! As possessors of Freewill, we are always faced with the consequences of our actions, and if we act foolishly on a consistent basis, disaster will follow. But to think that the immediate results of one dissatisfying election are going to have THAT catastrophic an effect is more than a bit hubristic its own right.

First off, we are living in the most prosperous time that has ever existed in all of the history of humankind, and we in the United States of America are blessed with the ability to affect the course of our nation through our choices and actions.

Remember to keep things in perspective, if the Dem's do get their way, it'll take a year or two to really louse up the economy again, and as for the rest of the culture, it will slide only so far before the electorate swings back the other way again. As far as the glass being half full or half empty, about the only thing you can really say about it, is that it is a Glass, the rest relies on people’s ability to perceive the glass, to understand that it can be filled or emptied or grasped according to how they exert their own free will in their own lives.

Folks, this is the way the country works, BY DESIGN, when the people lose confidence (wisely or unwisely) in those governing them, they vote them out. This is (still) a free country - that means that good and bad decisions will be made by, to and through the gov't. I have posted this poem here elsewhere before, so I won't post it again, but Rudyard Kiplings "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" sums it up - fools only learn by burning their fingers, and lessons forgotten have to be relearned.

I do realize that we face dangerous times, and much hinges on the choices we make, but keep in mind it was just a short time ago that hundreds of thousands of people were wiped out in an instant by a tidal wave. That kind of thing happens, and will happen again; at least the dangerous times we face politically are open to being affected by our choices, as opposed to sudden death dealt out by the shifting of tectonic plates or the trajectories of asteroids.

We are most assuredly going to have hard times coming, and we are going to have good times coming too - there will be scandals and there will be good times, and there will be disasters as well - in short, life will happen and we will respond or react to it as best as we are able, and no politician or prayer is going to change that.

Politicians are NOT ever going to fix things! At best they can make the ride a little steadier, but they can't fix anything, because when you come down to it, it is US that makes it work, or not work. Nobody can FIX anybody other than themselves. The closest you can come to affecting others is through education - and I don't mean accumulation of diplomas. Until the people again get wind of the existence of Education, and educate themselves again as to the pursuit of Sweetness and Light, there will be no political solutions to anything, only larger and smaller swings of the pendulum in one direction and then the other.

I believe that Prayer is also NOT ever going to FIX things out there in the world. If it does anything, it is a way to deepen your consideration of your own deeply held principles and convictions in relation to a wider perspective, the God view of life - and so it enables you to strengthen your own inner understanding of your place in the world, and with that, the strength of your convictions and wisdom will follow.

As I've also noted before:

In our sleep,
pain which cannot
falls drop by
drop upon the heart until,
in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
And in the end, as creatures of Free Will, that is all that can and should be asked and hoped for.

Jon Cary's’ assertions to the contrary, Genghis Khan is not here amongst us, and even if Genghis and his buddies are somewhere out there in the world - so are we! If you want to change the world, deal in Ideas, put in the hard work of understanding them, discuss them with others - Educate each other. The one thing the world has NEVER had before, is the ability of nearly anyone to do just that, and on the unimaginable scale we have today, with the ability to do so with anyone anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night via the blogosphere, and anyone else can see and participate in the same discussion.

Even here on my own tiny little corner of the blogosphere, I've had people in the last few days looking in from around the USA, and Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, India, Australia - folks, never before has such a thing been possible, for ideas to be exchanged, contributed to and improved upon simultaneously around the world. Beneath the hype of the Internet, I think that that single development is absolutely world shakingly huge, and surprisingly little understood.

Do you want to save the world?

Then slow down, stop trying to FIX someone else, and Think. Discuss ideas with others, seek to understand what is Good and True, and live accordingly. If the world can be improved, THAT is how it is going to happen, and once sound Ideas are understood, the rest will follow, and without such understanding, nothing else of lasting Value can or will be accomplished.

Think about it.

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