American author and satirist, Mark Twain wrote, “I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkeys.” I suspect, Twain’s quip spawned the cliché “Never discuss politics and religion in polite company” since such conversations are seldom constructive.
At the risk that my reasoning power does not rise above that of Twain’s monkey, I will defy conventional thought for a moment and address both of those third-rail topics. However, I’m going to look at them from a non-traditional perspective. Instead of viewing politics through the lens of policy, I’ll examine it from the perspective of values. Rather than approach religion based on doctrine and dogma, I will come from the angle of universal spiritual laws.
This came to me when I saw snippets of the Democratic Party debates. As I watched the candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring to vie for the chair in the oval office as the President of the United States. I was particularly interested in hearing from the author and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson who I had the opportunity to speak with on a couple of occasions. Marianne brings an entirely different perspective from the other candidates to the political conversation. She states, without equivocation, what we need in today’s political discourse is the infusion of the energy of love. Some of the political pundits have ridiculed her beliefs as pure naiveté. Yet, the greatest spiritual avatars in history and those with some degree of spiritual insight know that love is the most potent force in the universe.
According to The Revealing Word, a metaphysical dictionary stating the definition of terms from Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore, “love is the pure essence of the Universe that harmoniously binds together the whole human family”. If we are to rise above the divisive “us vs. them” consciousness that pervades today’s American body politic, the spiritual value of love must underpin all we do in politics.
Often politicians will focus on the particulars of the policies surrounding programs like Medicare and Social Security. Or they will talk about how to address taxes, crime or whatever the topic is. However, their solutions do not address the underlying issue; they are merely reactions to the external conditions we face. There is something deeper and more consequential at work that needs to be addressed if we are to create “a more perfect union” that is referred to in the Preamble of the Constitution. That deeper and more consequential something is the shadow side of humanity. The shadow seeks to pit groups of people against one another and creates emotional turbulence within the consciousness of the body politic. Consequently, wonky policies, no matter how well designed, in and of themselves cannot adequately address-underlying challenges to what binds us all together as one human family. That is the spiritual principle and the deepest value we have – love.
Marianne notes in her book, A Politics of Love, that such an approach “confronts the cancerous politics of fear and divisiveness.” She further urges all those who are spiritually aware to “return to and act out of” that deepest value. By being involved in the political process, Marianne Williamson brings to the conversation spiritual values, particularly love, and why it is as important as policy proposals to the challenges that we face in America and the world.
That message seemed to resonate with a significant amount of people, based on recorded internet searches of Marianne. Some may have searched Marianne on the web out of curiosity, or to find out information to mock her for her belief in the power of love. Her name was searched on the internet by more than any of the other candidates on the debate stage. That is likely due to the fact our spirit resonates with the truth even when we do not consciously know why.
Such is the power of love.
Peace and Blessings,