It’s a volatile and divided country we live in these days. One outcome of my deepening spirituality has manifested in becoming actively engaged in politics, trying to do my part to bring love and truth to the chaos and evil that has come out of hiding the past couple of years.
I had always separated the two, but now I feel called to do my best to bring them together in a lived way. It is very challenging, and reveals all the dark corners of negativity inside me that have managed to remain hidden until now. I am learning, but it is extraordinarily humbling.
And yet, I still hardly mention politics in my Pathwork blog. If you happen to be friends with me on Facebook, you know my feed is full of political posts and yet I less frequently mention my spiritual process that is evolving as a result of actively engaging in the crisis this country is experiencing. I feel pretty certain it is obvious where I stand on most issues, but I am curious about this apparent split.
What is this separation of the spiritual and political all about?
If we look at the Pathwork teachings, or at the core teachings of any religion or spiritual path, we learn that the spiritual and the earthly are not separate. They are one inseparable whole, and our task here on earth is the journey to integrate and express the union of these two apparent opposites. It is our insistence on dividing them and keeping them separate that allows evil to seep into both religion and politics.
Now, just to be clear, I am a strong advocate of separation of church and state. This is imperative in creating the freedom and space for each individual to forge their own path to God. I don’t believe any one religion is better than another, but rather that all paths lead to the same destination. But separation of church and state is different than the separation of spirituality and politics. Our spiritual side should inform our politics. Our politics should reflect Love. And that won’t happen unless we each individually bring them together.
Religion has been infected with an abuse of power to the point that religion too often teach rules of conduct that are more about maintaining and abusing power than finding God or reaching heaven.
We become devotees of following the rules and having blind faith in what dogma and the religious authority tell us are true, instead of listening to the Divine wisdom and love that resides within. As a result of rejecting our self-responsibility, we not only distrust religion, we distrust our inner knowing that can truly anchor us and lead us to a more fulfilling and harmonious society.
Politics has become so devoid of spiritual principles and has become solely about maintaining and abusing power. Winning at all costs is more important than the consequences of that winning to fellow Americans – or fellow human beings. We are afraid to live and vote from our spiritual nature because we don’t trust in the true power of Love. We inherently know that if we were to REALLY live according to truth and love, we would have to change.
We would have to give up some of our comforts and privileges. We would have to admit and confront where we and our “team” have been wrong. And scariest of all, we would have to see that who we have thought ourselves to be all along is not the truth. Our idealized image of who we think we are would have to crumble.
And that is not a comfortable place. And we don’t want to do uncomfortable.
But here is the thing…. we have a choice. We can experience the temporary discomfort of telling the truth and allowing our illusions to crumble. We can surrender to the anxiety of unknowing, as the ground falls out from under us so that we may find a more solid, stable ground. We can claim the courage to face and feel the fear of standing in a truth that many don’t yet see.
Or, we can experience the continuing discomfort and crisis that results from insisting on separation. Separation from the undesirable parts within, separation from others, and separation in our spiritual and political lives.
When we choose the temporary discomfort of truth and make the effort to attempt to reconcile opposites, we begin the process of healing and transformation, a process that results in peace and harmony for ourselves and the world. When we choose the discomfort of separation, we project blame onto others and we not only suffer ourselves, we contribute to the suffering in this world.
Comfort, worldly power, privilege, and denial of our interconnectedness will never bring us what we are longing for.
Its time to embrace the spiritual truths that are beyond any one religion. Embrace them, trust them, imperfectly live them, speak them, vote them. And to compassionately acknowledge and address whatever stands in the way.
It is time to embrace our obligation to serve one another by bringing our spiritual truths to participation in local and national and world politics in a way that will create a more beautiful, loving, sustainable, and sane world.
For me, that means a serious look at how I still separate the two, while at the same time telling myself I am integrating them.
What does it mean for you to integrate politics and spirituality?
How do you still separate the spiritual from the earthly?
If you are local, I invite you to continue this conversation with me in person, at my monthly Lecture Study. If you are long distance, consider the upcoming group I am forming in January 2019 with Cindy Haney, which will be a combination of online meetings and two weekend retreats at Sevenoaks Retreat Center in Madison, Va.