SHAKING PILLARS

Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience.

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, on the book you are reading, your clock. Every time you see one of the stickers, stop what you are doing, breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. (Catherine Price, Mindfulness, a Journal, New York, NY: Clarkson Potter)

As one prepares for each new day, we recognize there is a great deal to get done in the battle for the soul of the Nation and to evolve our individual and collective consciousness and culture. As one reflects on our human interdependence, shared humanity, and aspiration to have happiness—financial viability, health, and companionship—and avoid suffering, a VISION of our “mighty task” might look something like this:

  • We evolve with core values and guiding principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of human nature recognized as conducive to our own wellbeing and that of others.
  • We help others and the intention to improve is central to our evolutionary impulse.
  • We have leaders who have a track record of positive, ethical leadership successes, are well-qualified, are trusted, are team players, and recognize leadership is an influence relationship that energizes earned power and inspires willingness to achieve mutually defined ends.
  • We have limited government by the people and for the people; and promote democracy.
  • We are fiscally responsible, have free trade and economic stability and equity. Real annual per capita economic growth during presidential terms equals or exceeds mean growth during two previous terms. The economy is thriving for working, middle-class families: teeming with jobs, union solidarity, small businesses, agriculture programs and processes, essential childcare, corporate sanity, sound trade relationships, social security system, tax equity and sanity, and long-term care and financial security programs for seniors.
  • We ensure public safety and respect for law and order. No one is above the law. Communities are safe and inspire peaceful activities, including protests. Citizens and police are mutually respected; and violence on streets is not tolerated and is dealt with sanely.
  • We are visibly committed to health, wellness, and well-being for all citizens. There is affordable healthcare and viable public health outreach that enables integral physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, wellness, and well-being, coupled with honored per-existing conditions, decreasing drug prices, and necessary integral psychological health processes, including resolution of the opioid addiction.
  • We manifest a globally envied education system—facilities, teachers, curriculum, and schools of choice—that manifests evolving skills and talents for future generations.
  • We are prepared for pandemics. Leadership, management, and control of pandemics is through the Centers for Disease Control, coupled with state public health entities and active support and interface with the World Health Organization.
  • We foster strength in diversity, absence of systemic racism, and sane immigration. Racial, social justice, diversity, anti-racism, and women’s policies and programs model the way and evolve dismantling the conscious and unconscious pillars of racism.
  • We have media processes and sources who tell the truth, are objective, not self-serving and offer coverage that is in the best interests of the Nation. Lying, spinning, shallow, and offensive media offerings are not tolerated.
  • We nurture controlled business ethical and moral issues; and science is respected.
  • We have strong military, underwater, and space forces coupled with intelligence, technology leadership and sane gun laws. Veteran and veteran spouse-family-children benefits, outreach, integral psychological health, and combat veteran re-entry-transition programs are active.
  • We build and maintain international alliances and reasoned foreign policy; and we stand up to dictators. National security and foreign policy are supported with an inspired State Department and reputable allies for strategic underwater, space, and military security. Coalition building is facilitated by trust, respect, and mutual goals.
  • We have legal processes that are professional, objective, satisfy evolving cultural needs, and uphold the Constitution.
  • We foster marriage and children policies that satisfy the level and stage of the culture’s evolution and right to choose.
  • We honor freedom of religion and spiritual path.
  • We actively lead climate change awareness, control, and leadership.
  • We have a properly functioning democracy that demands fair and accurate voting systems and candid, wide-ranging exploration of crucial issues and ideas by candidates and parties. State-of-the-art voting processes manifest integrity and foster respect for democracy, the Constitution, and a decentralized culture with empowered citizens. Shallow and offensive campaigns are not tolerated; and the pragmatic electorate chooses a president according to performance of the party holding the White House as measured by consequential events and episodes of the term: economic boom and bust, foreign policy successes and failures, social unrest, scandal, and policy innovation.
  • We maintain, re-build, and evolve infrastructure to meet current and future needs.

Partisanship is shaking the mighty pillars of our democracy! Destroying the other party is not a viable objective! We are all Americans, and we can each choose to transcend and include others. Climb on-board to get the healing job done and evolve the consciousness and culture of this great country forward. Rachel Kleinfield and Aaron Sobel (USA Today, Friday, July 24, 2020, page 7A) offer, “7 ways to reduce political polarization: Destroying the other side cannot be our goal.”

  1. Call out your own party: speak truth to power and challenge your own tribe.
  2. Avoid bad jokes: words matter, and they can perpetuate existing violence and cultivate preexisting grievances.
  3. Make social media kinder: remove hateful messages, reduce the spread of hateful memes, and avoid prejudiced or polarizing speech.
  4. Downplay the fringes and highlight the median: provide information that overturns party sorted beliefs and that reduces polarization. There may be less disagreement on policy issues than thought.
  5. Emphasize disagreement within parties: most policy issues have a range of opinions within a party.
  6. Help others imagine empathy: stories that encourage others to take the perspective of the other party can reduce prejudice.
  7. Avoid repeating misinformation, even to debunk it: repetition leads the brain to think things are true; and there is a tendency to seek information that agrees with how one believes.

 Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. Together, let us move forward and get this job done! Quite simply, positive action that moves current reality closer to the VISION!!

REALLY!

As the country moves toward the mid-term elections in 2022 and the Presidential election in 2024, the divide in the GOP is becoming wider, deeper, nastier, and darker. GOP leadership decisions demand selection of proven, trusted, strategic, and dynamic leaders with incredible passion for and understanding of evolving America.

How a person chooses to “show-up” in the world can be critiqued by researching, examining, and witnessing talents, skills, and experiences; making observations; and scrutinizing character, personality, mentality, and interests. Let us take-a-look at Donald J. Trump.

  • The Trump brand is internationally recognized; and Commander in Cheat offers that Trump cheats at golf on his golf courses, revealing the true person: he is not able to hide on the golf course.
  • Life’s goal has been to gain and maintain position power, at any cost. The track record includes personal business endeavors with several bankruptcies, a multitude of government failures, and two impeachment hearings with factual evidence and party sorted acquittal.
  • A partial list of shortcomings while President is as follows: incited insurrection of United States Capital; puppet of Vladimir Putin; foreign policy bullying, badgering, and destroying; abandoned allies; withdrew from Paris Climate Accord, World Health Organization and Iran Nuclear Agreement; North Korean nuclear weapons stockpile has doubled; pandemic management and leadership was non-existent and passed the buck to governors who became blame targets; enlisted Russian and Chinese interference in elections; several obstruction of justice charges were noted in the Mueller Report; numerous lawsuits have been filed against him and unfolding lawsuits will be filed against him; accepted payoffs for positions; not able to lead projects large in scope; immigration policy was inhumane; tax cuts were a corporate “boondoggle;” and undermined integrity of voting system.
  • Is a master at using neuroses—the dark side of the psyche: denied, repressed, disowned and projected subconscious aspects of the Self— to create stories— “fake news”—that strategically move the “lightning rod” from his Trump Party to others to trigger the psyche of perceived “enemies” and his base. Others simply become the personification of wrongs: Russian cyberwarfare, Ukraine quid pro quo, racism, nativism, Supreme Court justices, Democrats, et al. As Bernie Sanders has eloquently noted, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs.”
  • Staff selection of addicted surrogates has been a disaster and revolving door.
  • Poor interpersonal relations skills.
  • Surrounded by fixers and “yes men;” and encourages rivalries and thrives on personal attacks.
  • Accepting 100% responsibility, apologizing, admitting a mistake, and helping others are not his cup of tea. Just take him Diet Coke and wash his dirty laundry.
  • No vision for the country. Intent is more of the same and fixing what he has undermined, agitated, deconstructed, or destroyed. Examples: intelligence, FBI, CIA, U.S. Postal Service, voting integrity, and Centers for Disease Control.
  • Repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members: Americans who die in war are “losers” and “suckers.”
  • Legacy may be selection of judges, environmental deregulations, and deconstruction of institutions.
  • Track record of complicating the story narrative, throwing sand in the eyes of the onlooker, claiming that transparently implausible stories were true unless proven otherwise, and denying the obvious truth.
  • Does not understand duty, honor, and country.
  • A cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a predator, a con man; and a stale, nasty breath of death, hate, narcissism, chaos, fear, conspiracy, norm erosion, “dark,” institutional deconstruction, and neo fascism.
  • Incendiary, toxic, casts hate, disruptive, name caller, and divisive, and unfit for political office.
  • Deny, deny, deny; blame, blame, blame; accuse, accuse, and accuse; denies, blames, and spins; egotistical and self-serving.
  • Stokes fear, celebrity, and brand building; and publicity, show, and photo opportunity nurture his ego.
  • Demands loyalty even if unethical: yes sir, no sir, no excuse sir; or you are fired.
  • Conspiracist—example QAnon—and guilty of political cowardice, blaming, passing the buck, and dereliction of duty.
  • Shirks constitutionally mandated duty and rewards misconduct.
  • Sexist and multiple lawsuits and misconduct behaviors.
  • Racist, i.e., shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
  • In his eyes the members of the LGBTQ community are inferior.
  • Dishonest, arrogant, and narcissist; uses position and financial power for personal gain.
  • Creates martyr complex, irrelevance, and distractions; misleads, boasts, promotes blamelessness of self, never wrong, and anxious to criticize.
  • Low-functioning: includes persons who “… do not exhibit polished and polite behaviors as a mask for their manipulations…may lack the education or interpersonal skills to control and deceive. Instead, they might use threats, coercion, or intimidation to achieve their desired outcome.” (Source: Dr. Timothy J. Legg, “What Is a High-Functioning Sociopath?”, 5-28-2019, https://www.healthline.com, 1-3.)
  • Narcissistic sociopath: one form of antisocial personality disorder and is the result of environmental factors such as a child or teen’s upbringing in a negative household that resulted in physical abuse, emotional abuse, or childhood trauma. (Sources: Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough, 2020, Simon & Schuster; https://psychcentral.com, Dr. John M. Grohol, “Differences Between a Psychopath vs Sociopath,” 5-20-2020, 1-5; Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford, “Psychopath vs Sociopath: 16 Key Differences,” 9-7-2018, 1-3; https://www.health.com, Rosie McCall, “9 Ways to Spot a Sociopath,” 10-4-2019, 1-7.)
  • Donald J. Trump is a genius at attacking, spinning, deflecting, networking, and using the media to recruit, retain, and fire, at will, addicted surrogates, circles of friends, admirers, celebrity hangers-on, and wannabes who savor and long for safety and security sought by bonding together and identifying with a tribe to persevere and protect against outsiders. Allegiance and admiration are given to the chief and clan. Mystical signs, conspiracy, and desires of powerful spirit beings must be followed for the continued safety and well-being of the tribe.

Partisan politics is a dangerous duel of limited and partial truths; and binds party sorted folks to fixed, literal or otherwise limiting beliefs and frames of minds. Political party sorted, addicted surrogates make obvious excuses for candidates and excuse the inexcusable with respect to morality, judgment, intent, behavior, actions, ethics, and laws. W. Edwards Deming remarked, “If a person is not performing as expected, it is probably because they are miscast for the job.” Michael Cohen offers, “No one ever tells Trump the truth about his behavior and beliefs, or the consequences of his conduct and ignorance and arrogance, in business or in his personal life and now in politics. Trump is the boy in the bubble, impervious to the thoughts and feelings or others, entirely and utterly focused on his own desires and ambitions.”

Really! Donald J. Trump is an impetuous billionaire who stalks women, boasts of grabbing women by the genitals, mocks the disabled, encourages violence against the press and those who disagree with him, a reality television star prone to insulting anyone unlike himself, including LGBTQ Americans, and a power-hungry gangster who is unfit and transparently unqualified to lead the GOP. Examine and deeply reflect on his profile. As a country, the GOP needs a leader who will lead the country, improve the country, and set the stage for future generations, not one who will continue to divide the country, to sow more division in the country, and to deconstruct the many institutions that are the foundation and pillars of the America Americans desire.

The complete list of sources is available with email request to JohnDeVore@aol.com.

 

NEW BEGINNING

The United States Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump is an ending, transition, and a new beginning.

As “new investigations” unfold for the former Commander-in-Chief, incumbent Senators and Representatives who were accomplices, and other accomplices to the insurrection, investigators and prosecutors will thrive on the massive amounts of incriminating evidence that has surfaced during the trial and will surface as days, months, and years unfold. Investigators, lawyers, courts, judges, juries, and jails will be kept quite busy! Moreover, with decisions not to impeach by some Representatives and to acquit by some Senators, domestic terrorism and terrorists will be energized and inspired and will respond; and the country will become less safe for all Americans. In addition, for generations to follow, many youth of the country will receive the message that domestic terrorism, breaking the law, egotistical pride, catalyzing hate and fear, racism, ignoring facts and reality, cowardice, lying, political party sorting, narcissism, and violating an oath of office are acceptable behaviors.

Stop what you are doing. Breathe deep. Simply be. We have a great deal of repair work to do to keep our democracy moving in a positive direction; and together we can get this job done!! A step in the right direction will be to select political leaders who are masters of the authentic self and model the way as persons, in relationships, institutionally, socially, and by helping others. Happiness is certainly a reasonable goal: simply peace-of-mind, coupled with connections and purpose built on a solid foundation of compassion.

 

WRONG MESSAGE

The former Commander-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump, has been impeached and is being tried in the United States Senate for orchestrating an insurrection of the United States Capital on January 6, 2021 because of the false, glorified claim that the 2020 Presidential election, that he lost by 7 million votes, was unfair.

Republican Senators who vote to acquit the former President and Inciter-in-Chief will send a multitude of crystal-clear, implied messages across the country, stimulating cultural disruption and domestic terrorism for years. Some of these messages are as follows:

  • It is OK to rally the troops to storm the Capital, tell them you are going to march with them, and then, choose to watch the incited insurrection on television.
  • Homegrown, domestic terrorism is acceptable.
  • Breaking the law is OK and accomplices to crimes are above the law.
  • Racism is necessary to preserve the country for white folks.
  • Police and combat soldiers who willingly give their lives to protect our country are losers and suckers.
  • PTSD, suicides, and loss of life are no big deal.
  • Ignoring facts and reality are acceptable.
  • It is OK to be self-serving, not objective, and make decisions that are not in the best interests of the country.
  • Gangsters who are corrupt and behave as if above the law are OK.
  • A stale, nasty breath of death, hate, narcissism, chaos, fear, conspiracy, norm erosion, “dark,” institutional deconstruction, and neo fascism is OK.

Voting to acquit the former President certainly sends a negative message to constituents and others across the country; and it is clearly a dereliction of Constitutional, sworn duty. As the former leader of this country, Donald J. Trump’s behavior was unacceptable and was cowardly, immoral, evil, not factual, and illegal. The former Commander-in-Chief is disgusting and the audio, video, pictures, words, and tweets paint a clear picture of a narcissistic sociopath who deserves to be impeached.

SELF-RESTRAINT

In 1999 the self-awareness journey took the author to downtown Denver and the Tattered Cover bookstore, near Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. The search was to uncover a connection between the body and the mind. Having recently read Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and The Warrior Within by Bruce Lee, the mystery of the Tattered Cover bookshelves seemed to have awaited literature that would gallantly reveal the secrets of the mind-body connection.

Wandering to the Buddhist literature offered The Art Happiness by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. This book was to unfold a fruitful journey to Naropa University, three years of Tibetan Buddhist meditation training, study of the five Wisdom Traditions, Study Abroad in Sikkim India and, thanks to son Doug and wife Cindy, a renewed connection to the game of golf with a necessary learned skill of self-restraint. As this perfectionist golfer came to realize, two shanks into a lake on the right of a fairway can quickly mess with the golfer’s monkey mind and put it on the verge of insanity.

In Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole New World (2011, NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 130-34), the Dalai Lama offers,

…it is helpful to consider the onset of destructive emotion as a kind of causal chain, which starts with an external stimulus and ends with our behavioral response. The aim of emotional awareness is to bring our attention or mindfulness into this split-second process, and thereby to gain control over it.

This split-second process—a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end—is like a speeding train with five cars:

1) A trigger-stimulus: a shanked golf ball goes into the lake on the right of the fairway.

2) Perception of the stimulus: we see the golf ball flying toward the lake; and we see and hear the ball plopping into the water leaving a nice circular ripple.

3) Interpretation: less than a millisecond later, arising in the mind is the exaggerated judgment that the golfer stupidly shanked the shot into the lake.

4) Emotional response: quickly followed by anger, annoyance, or irritation, the inner cauldron is beginning to bubble.

5) Behavioral response: very quickly, we say something, or do something in retaliation…nasty words, a club slammed into the ground, a thrown club.

Once the golfer understands this causal chain, the challenge is to interrupt its flow, catch the self, and bring awareness to the process evolving the skill of self-restraint. The Dalai Lama offers,

…it is easiest to start near the end-between the emotional reaction and its behavioral expression. Then, as we become more familiar with the process and our emotional awareness develops over time, we can work our way back along the causal chain, with the ultimate goal of quelling or eliminating the afflictive emotion altogether. (132)

Give it a try! It is such a thrill to catch oneself before the irritation ruins the hole, a relationship or the round. Self-restraint can be like a 15th club in the golf bag. Stop what you are doing. Breathe. Be. Acknowledge the reflection-trigger-stimulus; and respond instead of reacting. It just feels better! And the next shot is much easier and more fun. Self-restraint is a wonderful, learned skill.

GOLFUN ETIQUETTE

Heartfelt intention and pure, inner motivation are the golf etiquette pillars that respect the legendary core values and guiding principles of the game and that display how a golfer chooses to “show up” in the world. Playing golf with a golfer who shows respect for the game and walks the talk of course etiquette, while engaging compassionate concern for others, inspires fun, happy golf and awesome learning experiences during a game that is easy and yet hard to play. As His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama offers, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; and if you want yourself to be happy, practice compassion.”

Awareness

  • Live the spirit of the game with integrity, be courteous and considerate of others, count all strokes and play by the Rules. Unless stated in local rules or agreed to before teeing off on the first tee, players are not allowed to improve the lie of the ball on fairways or in roughs. Each golfer is on his-her honor to include penalties for grounding the club in sand traps and out-of-bounds, accidently moving the ball and hitting another player’s ball on the putting green.
  • Observe golf car movement signs near greens and around the course.

Have Fun

  • Prior to teeing off on the first tee: 1) discuss and agree on any special rules for this game—mulligans, strokes given or received and changing to a clean ball on the putting green; and 2) flip a coin or tee for honors on the first tee. Honors on subsequent tees go to the player with the lowest score on the hole just finished. In the event of a tie, honors revert to the winner of the preceding hole.

Heartfelt Compassion

  • Avoid standing close to or directly behind the ball when a player is about to play; and do not disturb play by fidgeting, moving, talking, or making unnecessary noise. Noisy electronic devices need to be shut off in the parking lot at the golf course.
  • When a player drives a tee shot out-of-bounds, a nice gesture is to invite the player to take a short break, get composed and not play another ball until other players have played. Play safe: warn greens keeping staff who may be in danger and shout “fore” when there is danger of hitting someone. When other golfers are ahead of you wait until they are one full shot ahead before shooting.
  • Do not stand on another player’s line-of-putt or directly behind the hole when he-she is making a stroke. When someone else is putting, other players should stand well out of his-her line-of-putt and field of vision; and these golfers should be aware of where shadows are falling: shadows should not be allowed to cross the putter’s line-of-sight and, if possible, should be kept out of his-her peripheral view.
  • Always enter and leave sand traps on the low side. Rake footprints and sand divots in bunkers. Replace the rake in the bunker on the side away from the pin with the handle to tee.

Show Gratitude

  • Repair divots on tees and in the fairway: a good practice is to use sand-seed mixture to repair divots on tees and fairways.
  • Prevent unnecessary green damage. Do not drag, twist, or scuff your golf shoes; place golf bags on the green; pull golf carts on the green; drive golf cars on the green; stand too close to the hole; use club heads to remove the ball from the hole; or lean on clubs on the green or when removing the ball from the cup. Repair green damage caused by golf shoes or ball marks with either a tee or divot tool. When removing the flag stick, carefully lay the pin on the fringe of the green.

Mindfulness

  • The player closest to the pin offers to tend the flagstick for other players as they desire. The player whose ball is furthest from the hole putts or shoots first.
  • On the green, when closer than other golfers, properly mark your ball with a golf ball marker. Players are on their honor to replace marked balls as precisely as possible. Loose impediments can be removed from your putting line; and fixing ball marks and green damage on the line-of-putt are permissible.

Courtesy

  • Wait on the green or green fringe until all players hole out; move away from the green as a group; and record scores on the way to the next hole.

Anger, attachment, envy, pride, and doubt kill good golf shots, create stress for the Self and others, and undermine heartfelt compassion for the Self and others. As we each target for fun and happiness, the mutual challenge is to reduce the impact of destructive potentials and to manifest natural, positive qualities. Hit ‘em high and straight, don’t miss three-foot putts, and count all those strokes. Let us have fun and kindle happiness! Stop what you are doing. Breathe deep. Be. As Sir P. G. Wodehouse offers, “To find a man’s character, play golf with him.”

 

LET US MOVE ON!

When was the last time you heard a politician say, “I am the one responsible for this screw-up.”? Clinging to false narratives with blaming, excuses, no desired results, CYA mentality, justifying, lying, denying, spinning, and defending simply produces more of the same. And when the choice is to do more of the same, the country will stay where it is—divided and teetering on the brink of collapse.

Many folks act as if this formula were true: Desired Results = Not Desired Results + Excuses. If the shoe fits, request that you wear it! Stop spinning those wheels and make a conscious choice not to give away power and influence by passing the buck, blaming, and justifying. It is a waste of time! There is a unifying option and better strategy: commitment to the concept of 100% responsibility, life happens because of me not to me. [Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford & Roy Trueblood, Managing from the Heart, 1990, Atlanta, GA: Heart Enterprises; and training handout, “100% RESPONSIBILITY,” The Atlantic Consulting Group, 1986]

The concept of 100% responsibility is simple: I am 100% responsible for what happens; and other people are not responsible; not 50-50; not 100-100. It is 100-0! There is no one else to blame. Whatever happens, I did it. Whatever the result, I created it. Accepting what happens if you are 100% responsible, and others are 0% responsible, empowers one as opposed to making one dependent on other people and events. Imagine the power of the country if everyone were assuming 100% responsibility for its success. Imagine how refreshing it would be for every American to be examining what they did and what they could do rather than wasting energy getting off the hook. Perhaps the greatest value in 100% responsibility is that the focus moves to producing desired results and not wasting time finding ways to avoid responsibility. [Hyler Bracey, Jack Rosenblum, Aubrey Sanford & Roy Trueblood, Managing from the Heart, 1990, Atlanta, GA: Heart Enterprises; and training handout, “100% RESPONSIBILITY,” The Atlantic Consulting Group, 1986.]

In Beyond Religion (2011, NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 83), the Dalai Lama offers wisdom,

…if we are really interested in tackling our problems at their roots—whether we are talking about human conflict, poverty, or environmental destruction—we must recognize that they are ultimately related to issues of ethics. Our shared problems do not fall from the sky, nor are they created by some higher force. For the most part, they are products of human action and human error. If human action can create these problems in the first place, then surely, we humans must have the capacity as well as the responsibility to find their solutions. The only way we can put them right is by changing our outlook and our ways, and by taking action.

With a commitment to the mantra, “I am 100% responsible,” important steps will have been made to empower each of us, to heal our great country, and to move forward today for generations to come. It is certainly not catastrophic to accept responsibility, determine what the issue is, determine what needs to be done to fix it, fix it, and move on.

“We the people…”

After completing a quick and dirty review of the Republican Party and Democratic Party platforms, partisan differences highlight the reality of limited and partial truths and the downsides of political party sorting as integral to individual and collective identity. Moreover, there are glaring inadequacies of both parties because of a lack of view big enough to address the complex issues facing America and global partners today. This certainly helps one understand partisan political division, discord, and complexity in today’s evolving, awakening, and growing world; and it reinforces why folks, including neighbors, are unable to agree on what America needs to unfold for generations to come. We are evolving and there are simply different levels of consciousness in our respective cultures and communities.

Just a few of the Republican (R) and Democratic (D) platform differences are as follows:

  • Republicans have strands of egocentric and tend to be conservative, traditional, ethnocentric, and religious. Republicans point to an individual’s moral failings, poor decisions, and lack of motivation as the central reasons behind many social problems. A typical Republican-Conservative response to homelessness: cut free governmental handouts which will require homeless people to take responsibility for their own lives and get back to work. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 114-15.)
  • Democrats have strands of egocentric and tend to have progressive, worldcentric, and pluralistic worldviews. Democrats often blame many social ills on an unfair A Democratic-Liberal response to homeless: raise the budget for social welfare programs to create opportunities for those marginalized by an unjust economic system. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 114-15.)

From www.nj.com, 1-14-21, “10 huge differences between Democratic and Republican platforms.”

  • Abortion. R-abortion illegal; D-abortion legal.
  • Same-sex Marriage. R-condemned Supreme Court decision; D-applauded Supreme Court decision.
  • Immigration. R-wall along U.S.-Mexican border; D-path to citizenship, fix immigration system.
  • Climate Change. R-doubts about climate change and intolerance of science; D-climate change is threat to economy, national security, and health for generations to come.
  • Medicare. R-end health care program for elderly as we know it; enroll in private insurance or face limits on how much government will pay; D-allow Americans older than 55 to enroll.
  • Wall Street. R-banking regulations are an excuse to establish government control over financial markets; D-implement, enforce, and build on banking regulations.
  • Iran. R-gravely threatens security, interests, and survival of friends; D-relax sanctions, curb nuclear program.
  • Israel. R-silent on two state solution; D-Palestinians govern themselves in own state.
  • Money in Politics. R-repeal or raise contribution limits, hide donors; D-restrictions on corporate and union campaign spending.
  • Voting Rights. R-impose voter identification rights; D-preserve fundamental right to vote.

Is there an option to political party sorting? Integral politics holds promise and offers a process perspective; a map of consciousness and human development; a way of comprehending life and reality in broad yet precise terms; a meta-theory that incorporates the core truths of hundreds of theories; and organizes the profound insights of the spiritual traditions, philosophy, modern science, developmental psychology, and many other disciplines, into a coherent whole. It simply integrates the perspectives that great thinkers, teachers, and researchers have brought to our understanding of self and world, the individual inner-mind and emotions-and outer-physical body-and the collective inner-family and culture- and outer-institutions. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 9-10, 114-15.)

Despite all the characteristics that differentiate us—race, language, religion, gender, wealth, and many others—we are all equal in terms of our basic humanity…The problem is that when we see ourselves only in terms of this or that group, we tend to forget about our wider identity as human beings…A key element in biased feelings is what we call “attachment”…What I am calling for is that we move beyond our limited or biased sense of closeness to this or that group or identity, and instead cultivate a sense of closeness to the entire human family. The attitude of “us” and “them” can and often does lead to conflict, even war. Much better, and more realistic, is the attitude of “we.” (Dalai Lama, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, 2011. NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, pages 29, 51, 52.)

The evolutionary impulse intends to transcend and include, to improve the political processes, and to resolve the political party sorting issues. We are interdependent, share humanity, and target for happiness and avoidance of suffering. Life is short! Let us nurture universal compassion and a sense of “We the people.”

 

INTEGRAL POLITICS

After completing a quick and dirty review of the Republican Party and Democratic Party platforms, partisan differences highlight the reality of limited and partial truths and the downsides of political party sorting as integral to individual and collective identity. Moreover, there are glaring inadequacies of both parties because of a lack of view big enough to address the complex issues facing America and global partners today. This certainly helps one understand partisan political division, discord, and complexity in today’s evolving, awakening, and growing world; and it reinforces why folks, including neighbors, are unable to agree on what America needs to unfold for generations to come. We are evolving and there are simply different levels of consciousness in our respective cultures and communities.

Just a few of the Republican (R) and Democratic (D) platform differences are as follows:

  • Republicans have strands of egocentric and tend to be conservative, traditional, ethnocentric, and religious. Republicans point to an individual’s moral failings, poor decisions, and lack of motivation as the central reasons behind many social problems. A typical Republican-Conservative response to homelessness: cut free governmental handouts which will require homeless people to take responsibility for their own lives and get back to work. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 114-15.)
  • Democrats have strands of egocentric and tend to have progressive, worldcentric, and pluralistic worldviews. Democrats often blame many social ills on an unfair A Democratic-Liberal response to homeless: raise the budget for social welfare programs to create opportunities for those marginalized by an unjust economic system. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 114-15.)

From www.nj.com, 1-14-21, “10 huge differences between Democratic and Republican platforms.”

  • R-abortion illegal; D-abortion legal.
  • Same-sex Marriage. R-condemned Supreme Court decision; D-applauded Supreme Court decision.
  • R-wall along U.S.-Mexican border; D-path to citizenship, fix immigration system.
  • Climate Change. R-doubts about climate change and intolerance of science; D-climate change is threat to economy, national security, and health for generations to come.
  • R-end health care program for elderly as we know it; enroll in private insurance or face limits on how much government will pay; D-allow Americans older than 55 to enroll.
  • Wall Street. R-banking regulations are an excuse to establish government control over financial markets; D-implement, enforce, and build on banking regulations.
  • R-gravely threatens security, interests, and survival of friends; D-relax sanctions, curb nuclear program.
  • R-silent on two state solution; D-Palestinians govern themselves in own state.
  • Money in Politics. R-repeal or raise contribution limits, hide donors; D-restrictions on corporate and union campaign spending.
  • Voting Rights. R-impose voter identification rights; D-preserve fundamental right to vote.

Is there an option to political party sorting? Integral politics holds promise and offers a process perspective; a map of consciousness and human development; a way of comprehending life and reality in broad yet precise terms; a meta-theory that incorporates the core truths of hundreds of theories; and organizes the profound insights of the spiritual traditions, philosophy, modern science, developmental psychology, and many other disciplines, into a coherent whole. It simply integrates the perspectives that great thinkers, teachers, and researchers have brought to our understanding of self and world, the individual inner and outer and the collective inner and outer. (Wilber, Patton, Leonard, Morelli, 2008. Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. Boston, MA: Integral Books, pages 9-10, 114-15.)

Despite all the characteristics that differentiate us—race, language, religion, gender, wealth, and many others—we are all equal in terms of our basic humanity…The problem is that when we see ourselves only in terms of this or that group, we tend to forget about our wider identity as human beings…A key element in biased feelings is what we call “attachment.” (Dalai Lama, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, 2011. NY, NY: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, pages 29, 51.)

The evolutionary impulse intends to transcend and include, to improve the political processes, and to resolve the political party sorting issues. We are interdependent, share humanity, and target for happiness and avoidance of suffering. Life is short!

 

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Americans!! Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience.

Buy a pack of small stickers—any kind will do—and place a dozen or so around your home and office in noticeable places, such as your bathroom mirror, your computer, the back of your phone, on the book you are reading, your clock. Every time you see one of the stickers, stop what you are doing, breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. (Catherine Price, Mindfulness, a Journal, New York, NY: Clarkson Potter)

As one prepares for each new day, we recognize there is a great deal to get done in the battle for the soul of the Nation and to evolve our individual and collective consciousness and culture. As one reflects on our interdependence, shared humanity, and aspiration to have happiness—financial viability, health, and companionship—and avoid suffering, a VISION of our “mighty task” might look something like this:

  • We evolve with core values and guiding principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of human nature we recognize as conducive to our own well being and that of others.
  • We help others and the intention to improve is central to our evolutionary impulse.
  • We have leaders who have a track record of positive leadership successes, are well-qualified, are trusted, are team players, and recognize leadership is an influence relationship that energizes earned power and inspires willingness to achieve mutually defined ends.
  • We have limited government by the people and for the people.
  • We are fiscally responsible and have economic stability and equity. The economy is thriving for working, middle-class families: teeming with jobs, union solidarity, small businesses, agriculture programs and processes, essential childcare, corporate sanity, sound trade relationships, social security system, tax equity and sanity, and long-term care and financial security programs for seniors.
  • We ensure public safety and respect for law and order. No one is above the law. Communities are safe and inspire peaceful activities, including protests. Citizens and police are mutually respected; and violence on streets is not tolerated and is dealt with sanely.
  • We are visibly committed to health, wellness, and well-being for all citizens. There is affordable healthcare and viable public health outreach that enables integral physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, wellness, and well-being, coupled with honored per-existing conditions, decreasing drug prices, and necessary integral psychological health processes, including resolution of the opioid addiction.
  • We manifest a globally envied education system—facilities, teachers, curriculum, and schools of choice—that creates evolving skills and talents for future generations.
  • We are prepared for pandemics. Leadership, management, and control of pandemics is through the Centers for Disease Control, coupled with state public health entities and active support and interface with the World Health Organization.
  • We foster strength in diversity, absence of systemic racism, and sane immigration. Racial, social justice, diversity, anti-racism, and women’s policies and programs model the way and evolve dismantling the conscious and unconscious pillars of racism.
  • We have media sources who tell the truth, are objective, not self-serving and offer coverage that is in the best interests of the Nation. Lying and spinning media offerings are banned.
  • We nurture controlled business ethical and moral issues; and science is respected.
  • We have strong military, underwater, and space forces coupled with intelligence, technology leadership and sane gun laws. Veteran and veteran spouse-family-children benefits, outreach, integral psychological health, and combat veteran re-entry-transition programs are active.
  • We build and maintain global alliances and reasoned foreign policy. National security and foreign policy are supported with an inspired State Department and reputable allies for strategic underwater, space, and military security. Coalition building is facilitated by trust, respect, and mutual goals.
  • We have legal processes that are professional, objective, satisfy evolving cultural needs, and uphold the Constitution.
  • We foster marriage and children policies that satisfy the level and stage of the culture’s evolution and right to choose.
  • We honor freedom of religion and spiritual path.
  • We actively lead climate change awareness, control, and leadership.
  • We maintain state-of-the-art voting processes that manifest integrity and foster respect for democracy, the Constitution, and decentralized culture with empowered citizens.
  • We maintain, re-build, and evolve infrastructure to meet current and future needs.

Partisanship is shaking the mighty pillars of our democracy! Destroying the other party is not a viable objective! We are all Americans, and we can each choose to transcend and include others. Climb on-board to get the healing job done and evolve the consciousness and culture of this great country forward. Rachel Kleinfield and Aaron Sobel (USA Today, Friday, July 24, 2020, page 7A) offer, “7 ways to reduce political polarization: Destroying the other side cannot be our goal.”

  1. Call out your own party: speak truth to power and challenge your own tribe.
  2. Avoid bad jokes: words matter, and they can perpetuate existing violence and cultivate preexisting grievances.
  3. Make social media kinder: remove hateful messages, reduce the spread of hateful memes, and avoid prejudiced or polarizing speech.
  4. Downplay the fringes and highlight the median: provide information that overturns party sorted beliefs and that reduces polarization. There may be less disagreement on policy issues than thought.
  5. Emphasize disagreement within parties: most policy issues have a range of opinions within a party.
  6. Help others imagine empathy: stories that encourage others to take the perspective of the other party can reduce prejudice.
  7. Avoid repeating misinformation, even to debunk it: repetition leads the brain to think things are true; and there is a tendency to seek information that agrees with how one believes.

 Americans!! Stop what you are doing! Breathe deep; and be. Take a few moments to feel the experience. Together, let us move forward and get this job done! Quite simply, positive action that moves current reality closer to the VISION!!

 

%d bloggers like this: