By Carole Matthews
How does one hold balance and advocate for sacredness in our current (US) political environment? How can people work together and respect each other when many disagree about what this country needs and who should lead us going forward? What tools does Incarnational Spirituality offer in this tumultuous time?
Incarnational Spirituality provides a perspective which allows me to take a softer approach to politics. I think it is a more loving stance, even in the face of greatly opposing forces. For instance, part of my practice is to intentionally remove myself from the constant noise the media presents. I have two goals in doing so: I don’t want to add to the noise and hyped-up energy, and I’d like to concentrate on the issues rather than the continuous back and forth. I try to be somewhat of an observer, seeking to be more mental than emotional during this highly charged time—not an easy thing to do this year.
The chaotic process of our elections, of course, is a natural consequence: how could we all possibly agree? We are a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-language, multi-religious country—each group forming a part of who we are as a nation. As we individually and as groups become more aware of our freedoms and rights, we find our voices to demand them. This is a good thing.
In addition, we are in a period of great change. Our world today is not the same as it was even 10 years ago with the globalization of resources (including labor), technological advances, immigration issues, climate changes, and energy challenges—our future is uncertain. Everyone in the world is struggling to understand and address the current great changes. Much of our American turmoil is about these greater changes and how we as a country handle them.
In America we search for that specific national candidate that holds closest to what we, collectively as a nation, want to hear. We seek someone who can lead us through this tumultuous time. The chaotic process we go through every four years is how our many voices find our leader—and in doing so, we establish our national identity (our face) for that point in time.
There is a deeper force at work which I think of as our Incarnational Intent—at both individual and national levels. This soul-inspired impulse has urged each of us to be who we are. When we incarnated at this time and place, we came with a particular soul-intent. That, along with our lifetime experiences, gave us our unique voice. I believe that most of the voices we hear in the chaos are not here by accident: they are intentional incarnations, just as we are. Most Americans love America; we just have different visions of what it should be. Some voices we may believe are of a “higher” calling, more intelligent, more discerning. But I think that this might be a bit arrogant. Having been on various sides of the political spectrum, I feel that there is truth in almost all voices. For sure these voices speak to their own lifetime experiences, which are not to be dismissed. This belief that all voices have a right to be heard and respected and a place at the table allows me to relax and listen a bit deeper.
I’ve found that humor is one of the best tools I use to keep myself centered, especially since this is a very serious election and there are serious issues on the line. When I can remove myself from the immediate chaos and find space, I can find humor in the process. For instance, think about the flip-flopping the various candidates have done. I could be very indignant at such behavior, or I could see the humorous scrambles by the candidates to try to convince us that they, with great wisdom and insight, have changed their minds. (I’m not saying that they have not done so, just pointing out the humor in trying to convince skeptical voters.)
I am reminded that our evolutionary path is uneven. Sometimes we cannot push forward until we have seemingly gone backward. Something is released, something new emerges. Sometimes the letting go and emergence of something new cannot happen until a shift occurs or we are forced to reexamine (perhaps many times) what we may need to release. As a nation, we need to agree that something new must emerge or it will not happen as quickly. I recently read an excellent blog by Rebecca Solnit that speaks of the need for a period of gestation. You may find this here: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/03/16/rebecca-solnit-hope-in-the-dark-2/. So understanding the back and forth of our path forward allows me to accept that sometimes I don’t get all that I want. Sometimes it is necessary to breathe into the result and allow it to be what it will be. I need to remind myself that I can’t always know what will best serve the country in the longer run.
However, I don’t need to stand in fear about what may come and I don’t need to be a passive listener. At some point in the process, I will come to a decision about which candidate I will support. Even though I may not agree with all their points, I will have priorities about which issues really matter to me. Then I will try to come to a clear place, and take whichever actions support that place. This may be to contribute to that campaign, to sponsor fund-raising events, to attend rallies, maybe just talk to friends about my decision. But it will always include holding a clear vision of my choice of America and the World during my meditations and asking for help from subtle world allies to support that vision. I don’t ask for a specific result, but that the American and World vision be supported, since I admit I may not have that longer term understanding of which candidate America (and the World) needs at the moment.
I can do this because of my deep trust in the American process and in its place in the world. I believe that the incarnational intent of the nation is strong and true, and will endure. Since becoming a nation, we have always strived to live up to the challenge of our constitution, a back and forth process, but always leading us deeper into what it means to be a free and equal people. I hold within myself the fiery hope that Americans will always choose the leader, and therefore the path forward, most needed at this time.
Have more questions about how the principles of Incarnational Spirituality can help us individually and collectively cope with the turbulence and violence of our current political climate? Beginning April 18, David Spangler will be leading a week-long online Forum, “Surfing a Wave of Conflict”, which will explore some of the inner causes of our current socio-political unrest and how we can hold our hurting society in “compassion, healing and wholeness.” For more information or to sign up, please look here.