(Some of the statements in this article might seem strange to you if you do not know anything about Buddhism. Terms like “illusion” and “suffering” are examples of Buddhist lingo.)
Five years ago, during a deep meditation, I had a series of realizations that led me on a five-year hiatus from a brief period of piety in Zen. One of the things that I had realized during the meditation was that piety was for practice and it was time for me to walk the middle path. I never stopped studying nor did I cease meditating. Simply, I abandoned an illusion.
Since that day, five years ago, without pious practice, I have held steadfast to Zen principles while limiting my involvement with the illusions of this world. That is, until a few months ago when I started to pay attention to U.S. politics more intently.
Before I knew it, I was roped into the political confusion. I was angered, appalled, and as ‘mad as hell’ over the ignorance, lies, and greed. I would throw my hands up in the air out of rage as I listened to this congressperson or that senator make their statements on CSPAN. I would get angry when I heard of how ‘this policy’ might be changed on this date, which in return would affect ‘these people.’ I couldn’t take it anymore—I went to work fighting, publishing articles, and championing for the middle and lower classes.
A few articles, arguments, and months later, I was preparing for my next battle. For inspiration, I sat down on the couch and turned on the television to MSNBC. It was the same old aggravations and, of course, I was following the same old routine—I got mad, threw my hands up out of disgust, and became red in the face.
Upon observing the pattern that I had found myself in, I saw that my participation in the battle against ignorance would never end. I knew that no matter how often I screamed “truth and justice,” only half of my fellow citizens would understand the message. “There must be a better way,” I thought.
It was after the realization of my futile actions when I remembered something that I had learned many years ago: We are not capable of understanding anything beyond the extent of our knowledge. Part of this is because our knowledge is based on what we choose to believe and what we choose to believe is based on our knowledge. Additionally, our knowledge is sculpted by our environment and this leads to another topic about the evolution of humanity and its illusions.
As Confucius said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.” I realized that the fight would never end as long as those of whom I was trying to convince were unaware of their own obliviousness. Let’s face it, most people think they are right and will do anything to justify and validate their egos—even after being presented with insurmountable evidence that they are wrong. Upon facing the sea of unawareness … I saw the error in my approach.
Back to the observations of my anger and frustrations—I questioned the sanity of my approach until I realized that I am more upset with the lack of wisdom in our government than I am with the policies and plans that they’re arguing about. It seems that the basic principles of wisdom are absent in America and I blame most of this on the corporate greed that has spilled over into our government. Regardless of where I place the blame, I know better than to let the ignorance bring me down and to participate in the madness. I know that I need to be more accepting of humanity’s ignorance. Yes, I am angry about the crimes against humanity, the rape of the world, and the injustices being done to the poor, the elderly, and the sick. Nevertheless, acting in anger towards our ignorance is not the way. Peace is the way.
I guess that what I am trying to say to the millions of readers who are not reading my blog: I am done writing political articles under the mode of which I have been writing them. Though I will still be involved with politics, it is time that I return my focus to the quintessential elements of our being and the root of our needs. It is time I change my approach to a more Zen or Christian like approach—that is to say, an approach from a more truthful view of the world and our existence.
Although I am very good at making a case, conducting research, and proving that America would be better off if it were ran by Democrats, I can no longer tolerate the ignorance that I must battle in order to free those souls who are fooled by the Republican Party and their corporate masters. What’s more, the preceding statement proves to me that I am being consumed by the same illusions of which I am ‘battling’—this makes me a fool and an imprisoned soul.
Through all of my recent arguments, pleas, and audacious statements, I have never forgotten what religious icons have taught me, nor have I lost the wisdom that Zen has shown me. Perhaps, this is why I have realized that my participation is not a reflection of truth and wisdom. Also, I have learned that it serves no great purpose to participate in the illusions of this world—especially of the political world.
It’s easy to be suckered into participating—especially when you are witness to the slavery that has taken our society. I become nauseated watching people follow the illusions of greed in politics. I get downright angry when I witness people suffering by their own hand, due to the choices they have made, based on the illusions of which they whole-heartedly believe—all of which has been created for them by the hands of evil and selfishness. You know?! My instinct is to react and counter their illusions.
Politics is full of foolishness, no matter the Party. The most tiresome thing about politics is that it encompasses all of our illusions and foolishness—that is, all 313 million citizens of the United States. Maybe a solution to the foolishness would be to remind people of why we have government and what purpose government serves. Perhaps Americans need to be reminded that government is the managing department of our community that manages how we are to live our lives … together. There is an official name for this: Civilization.
Yes, I vote democrat. There is a reason for this. If I have to choose, I will choose the Party that aligns the most with the ideas of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Gautama Siddhartha, and all other great teachers who understood that all of life is important, that everyone should have a chance, that the care for one is the care for all, and vice versa. If I have to choose, I choose spiritual wisdom.
This might be the last time I write about politics from a staunch-Democrat perspective. If I never write about politics again then my last plea to voters is this: Use your inherent wisdom, pay no mind to the details (as the details are there to distract you), and always follow your heart.
Meanwhile, I think I’m going to revisit the illusion that I abandoned five years ago. It sure in the hell beats the recent illusions of which I have given my time.
~ John Debar ~
* Check out John McCain’s stand on money and politics. He has my support.
* Bernie Sanders is probably the wisest man in the U.S. government.
* It’s ok to be pro-life and a Democrat
* It’s ok to own many guns and vote for Obama.
* Democrats do not like to pay taxes either.
* Stop listening to the BS that’s designed to dilute our minds.