Caucus Night. It is fun, I love it and have gone for several years now. I like seeing my neighbors. Most of those I meet I never see any other time of year. That is because I have only lived here for 20 years and neighbors out in my township know each other for all of their lives. I am still a newby.
This is a difficult time in our country. People are so deeply divided it is frightening. I don’t hear disagreement. I hear hatred. I don’t hear compromise. I hear fear.
There are members of my family on both sides of the political divide but, thankfully, we have as yet not allowed our differences to divide us. We love one another too much. Rather than condemn one another for our individual allegiances, we shake our heads at the inability of the other to see what we see. I know this goes both ways.
Allow me to go deep for a moment, deeper than our differences, deeper than black and white or even right and wrong. This is about my own spirituality which I have have written about in past blogs. I believe that we each have “that of God” in us. I call this our True Selves, the person God created us to be and nudges us to become more fully in this particular lifetime. This True Self, while unique, is also divine because it is God’s Spirit breathed into the body at creation (see Genesis) but at the creation of ourselves today as well.
This True Self is different than the other earthly self that we take on at birth. This is the Ego, a self that is useful to us in order to survive in this earthly world. I know it as the little self or false self, not really me, yet I can’t really do without it. The problem with the false/ego self is that its message is different from the True Self. This is where politics comes in.
My True Self, because it is one with God, is also one with you, my family members, friends, and neighbors, one with everyone in the world, for everyone has this Spirit of God in them. My ego self is always in self-preservation mode, is divisive. It looks to ways we as humans are different from one another, better than or worse than others. It notices behaviors in others and assumes the worst in them. It has character traits like anger, judgment, irritability, paranoia, and fear. The Spirit within has character traits, too. These are patience, kindness, and selflessness. It is forgiving, does not enjoy evil or harm done to others, happy with the truth, faithful, and hopeful. It does not judge or assume the worst in others. Some of these may sound familiar to those who read the Scriptures.
I cringe as I watch the debates in preparation for the election. I don’t hear oneness. You can argue the necessity of this in order to distinguish the candidates, but I would find it much more hopeful to listen to their plans and decide which one’s I think would be better for the country. This will only get worse when the debates are between the incumbent and his opponent. It will be ugly because we will be witnessing two egos going at each other, not two Spiritual beings.
I suspect when I go to the caucuses tonight I will hear a bit of ego’s judgment, fear, hatred, etc. I will do my best to keep my Spirit in tact. Spirit is needed everywhere. I suspect that when my friends and relatives go to Trump rallies they hear a lot of ego stuff, too. I hope that when they go, they don’t get sucked into believing in the judgment, fear and hatred.
We need to hang onto love. We need to reject the voices of hate no matter where we hear them. Perhaps dropping out of political involvement might make one feel better, but I am not sure what would happen if all places of darkness were bereft of any light at all. Jesus told us to not hide the Light. So I will go wherever I go. As one of my heroes, St. Francis, said, where there is hatred, I will try to sow love.