I used to be deep into politics- from being a liberal to a conspiracy enthusiast to a sort of anarchist to a republican to back to being a liberal to an, ‘I -don’t- even- know- anymore-ist’. The best part of being so passionate about politics was that I knew for certain I could probably annihilate someone in a debate. I was always prowling online for the ignorant fools so that I could obliterate them with my intellectual excellence. How dare they challenge me? Those mindless robots will be slaves to their political and economic overlords as long as they refuse to open their minds and think! Okay so it wasn’t that dramatic, but you get the picture.
I didn’t realize then, that my drive to be right, to feel powerful was taking over my pure-intentioned drive to change the world for the better, and many of us do this. Why? Because ego: because we are so scared of being wrong or being shamed in a debate, because in real life we feel so powerless to make any real changes that we think if we can intellectually smash and shame one another, at least we have some power there, right?
The truth is that righteous feeling you get when you beat down an online friends argument or quote word for word from Karl Marx’s’ ‘Communist Manifesto’, is not going to make the world a better place. It’s just going to fuel your ego. As if because you won an argument on facebook you now live in the moral high ground and should join the many martyrs of history. That’s right, take a seat right next to [insert some overly romanticized revolutionary figure]. You deserve it.
What’s sad about this is that ego is the enemy of progress, change and just making the world a better place in general because it turns our good intentions into a competition for the moral high ground. You believe abortion is okay? Murderer! You’re a republican? Racist!
What we need to remember is that most of us just want the same thing- for the world to be a better place. As cliche as that sounds, it’s true.
..and the fact of the matter is shaming anyone (no matter how right you are) is not going to help.
What really needs to happen is a transcendence of the collective ego-because until this happens we can fart purple rainbows, try a political system called ‘democroanarchocommuno’ and create as many NGO’s and charity organizations as we want- but nothing will truly change. The ego is what drives us to be selfish, hurt others and to just generally be a terrible person. Right now we are just creating systems that we think will slow down the bleeding whilst not actually getting to the core reason of why we keep scratching ourselves open in the first place.
So how do we go about doing this? It starts with you as the individual. Read some books on this topic (eg: Eckhart Tolles ‘Power of Now’; Adyashantis’ ‘Way of Liberation’), meditate, overcome the constant urge to be right and the greatest moral human to walk on planet earth. Tap into that infinite source of love and wisdom which can lead us naturally and collectively to a place of love and harmony.
This may sound a bit too flowers-in-your-hair and idealistic for many and that’s okay. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. In fact, I am not really talking to you at all. What I am trying to do is strike a remembrance in you of who you really are.
Now before everyone gets up in hands about how ignorant I am being-I am not implying that we should not be thinking about or discussing these issues or that we shouldn’t be taking part in activities which create a positive impact. No, what I am saying is if we can do this whilst simultaneously tapping into this universal wisdom, our impact across the world will probably be more positive and we could probably find ways to work with others who we don’t see eye to eye with more easily.
The transformation of human consciousness…is no longer a luxury. It’s a necessity for the survival of humanity. Most of the problems we are facing as a species are actually generated by our own minds. -Eckhart Tolle
Further than this, terrible atrocities could not occur in a world where we literally see each other as one in the same collective organism because, beyond ego, that’s what we all are: one big fat ball of love having a bit of a game that we all take way too seriously.
So how do you change the world? You don’t change yourself. You just remember who you are and follow that stream of unconditional love. As Rumi said, ‘..it will not lead you astray’.