Four or eight years from now, no matter who wins the presidency, we’ll still have the same problems in this country because, as usual, we’re not having the right conversation. Which makes me an angry voter, too. Not at immigrants or whatever other issue so many blame on ineffective government, but because I can’t vote for a scientist, preferably a fellow biologist, or at least someone who understands how life functions on this planet instead of the usual human-centric focus oblivious to our environs.
Nothing a businessman or CEO, with their minds lusting over money and power, could comprehend. Nor, apparently, can all the people who support the idea of a CEO running the country.
Our lives on earth are not a business. When run as one, they too often fail because they don’t take into account our intimate relationship with nature and the limitations it applies to us.
We tackle environmental issues, as well as all societal issues, in the same way a conventional doctor uses toxic drugs to suppress symptoms. We’d rather take a pill than change our diet, and we hope technology will solve climate change so we can continue down our gluttonous path, all the while ignoring the guidelines and regulations being offered by the planet. We could be surfing along the waves of balance, that system nature uses to prevent outliers from running away (which happens to be every species on the planet). Think mice populations being reduced by owls and hawks, and owl and hawk populations being limited by the numbers of mice. Predation and food supply balance population growth, just as cold balances heat, light balances dark, acid balances alkaline, play balances work, love balances hate, rain balances drought, and on and on and on.
Life is about balance, not money and power. When we focus on the latter, we’re constantly climbing an increasingly unstable ladder the higher we go.
How we ignore the obvious is some impressive narcissism, stuffing planetary resources down our insatiable gullets despite nature’s constant pull.
We’re supposed to possess evolved and uniquely conscious minds, but keep marching towards our demise with blinders on just like all other species, oblivious to how nature uses various forces to crush our instinctive appetites for more. Everything we do that is out of balance with nature must be counterbalanced. There must be an opposing force. There has to be for life on this planet to continue. That is the science of balance, that is how the planet operates. It can just take time before we see or experience the correction, and since we’re mostly focused on instant gratification we usually fail to make the connection when the pain comes so far down the road.
Which means we have to learn to counteract our own drive, our own nature, for more. We have to satisfy this desire through a balanced approach (such as constructing a luxurious building that is still in harmony with nature). It’s a tall order to adjust this yearning impulse, and it’s why we’re failing and will probably continue to.
This is something today’s republican would never accept. Their heads are so far up in the heavenly clouds they have no business making decisions affecting our earthly lives. The democrats at least accept science – they live on the planet and agree something needs to be done, but they’re also too addicted to the money and power mindset to accept the idea of humbler lifestyles.
Being mired in the delusion of greatness and superiority, the bigger picture gets lost. We’re looking through a self-centered microscope and losing sight of the whole. When we don’t focus on balance we tend to migrate toward the extreme. Hate or withdrawal consume us, we join ISIS or a monastery, we become anorexic or obese, we vote for one side or the other hoping for change, and when we don’t see improvements many of us will apparently accept an angry spoiled child (Trump) or an inflexible rabid dog (Cruz) as our leader to overcome some perceived decline of our nation’s machismo. Trump claims he’s a unifier, but we’re already seeing the look of his presidency, one of chaos, anger, division, and finally violence. He incites this with reckless, incendiary rhetoric and then lacks the presidential temperament to de-escalate the resulting emotional eruptions. This morning, several pundits are talking about the responsibility he has to become a calming presence, but that would require emotional maturity he doesn’t have, which is why he does the opposite instead, encouraging conflict, raging like a fire-breathing demagogic dragon feeding lustfully on the constant attention. He’s hungry for love, and fumes when he doesn’t get it.
His supporters gorge on his anger and he, in turn, sops up their love. I suspect they don’t know what they want, so they live vicariously off the macho reputation of their country ignoring the imbalance in their lives, looking to blame others (primarily immigrants) instead of questioning the hierarchical system they’re stuck in. So they worship someone at the top of their beloved hierarchy who obviously knows the system well and can rig it to their advantage. They never analyze the system itself.
Watch the news and it’s all about the election horse race: who’s winning and losing, who has a path to victory and how, why isn’t so and so dropping out, did you hear Trump’s or Rubio’s outrageous comments, and let’s get some pointless commentary from the usual political pundits or spinning surrogates to see if they can contribute some worthless analysis. Forget in-depth investigations. Forget panels of experts debating the pros and cons of the candidate’s policies (or lack thereof in Trump’s case). The hell with the impact on the grounds we inhabit or the air we breathe. Forget exploring ideas about how to develop a healthy balanced society.
Lets talk money and power and domination instead (all fear-based desires), and let’s do so in a mindlessly entertaining way so we don’t change the channel. Otherwise the biggest loser is on. We can watch that and feel better about ourselves.
The establishment republicans sing about lifting everyone up through the free market system, reducing the size of government to ease the tax burden, thus creating more spending power and freedom for individuals while demanding personal responsibility. They’re always doing so in a climactically spiritual tone. Sounds wonderful. I hate taxes. We all do. If only we had more money to spend. But what happens when such strict, free market capitalism, sans regulations, is fully implemented? More extremes.
Survival of the fittest has always led to a few winners and a whole lot of losers, and many of the losers end up losing control of their personal responsibility. Some of the winners do, too, unable to handle extreme success. Why? Because survival of the fittest is a natural phenomenon. It’s an instinctive striving for more, away from balance, and it always leads to a natural correction (the economical bubble bursts). In nature, it means populational death. And since we are nature, we can either follow that path to its inevitably painful end or recognize the minefield up ahead and use our supposedly evolved brains to adjust our destructive behavior. We can start balancing individualism with communal good, with nature in mind. Everything we do – how we eat, produce our food, what we build or manufacture – should be harmonious with our natural world. Otherwise, it isn’t. Think about that. If it isn’t, we are out of alignment with the planet we depend on, the planet that sustains us, the planet that we have taken for granted.
Unfortunately we keep dreaming of a better nation that is lost in an individualistic American Dream (a nightmare to the planet). When individual freedom dominates (instead of a balance between individual freedom and communal good), some know how to play the capitalist system well and thrive. Most don’t. Some of us want to be poets or ballerinas or musicians or doctors or philosophers or scientists or electricians or teachers or mechanics or firemen, or are content being baristas or burger flippers or general laborers, and though we might hope to do well financially, we can’t succeed at an elite level at these worthwhile pursuits if we’re focused on building wealth. It doesn’t work that way. You have to concentrate on being good at your chosen profession and hope wealth, or at least a comfortable living, is the reward. Only a few make it into the financially elite, and they’re often not the best at what they do (a successful pop musician, e.g., can make millions singing to the masses, while the more talented jazz or classical musician lives in or near poverty). The businessmen and bankers and entrepreneurs and Wall Street traders who dwell strictly on building wealth, are more richly rewarded (though again, a few thrive while many fail). And except for their charitable donations, they often contribute least to society on a daily basis compared to the above. So we put them on pedestals as examples of the American Dream, then wonder why most of us can never get there, creating instead an unbalanced, hierarchical society that is always praying, and literally standing in long lines for, the winning lottery (accepting the trickled-down scraps instead). That is what the American Dream has been reduced to, and a beautiful earth suffers because of it, wishing we would make life better for all through a healthy, balanced society.
I must admit I’m torn between who to vote for. I lean towards Bernie Sanders. I believe his approach is more aligned with nature (bringing more balance between individualism and community). But Hillary might make a great president, and might be better at defeating the republican nominee since so many misunderstand Bernie’s vision. She’s tenacious, and an actual adult who can work with others (I just wish she’d stop lying about Bernie’s record and focus on a positive message). When republican voters have stooped so low they’re leaning towards a child who openly admires the size of his lower brain, that’s a sure sign a woman should take over, especially one with tremendous experience. I just suspect she’d tackle the symptoms and not the disease, oblivious to our disconnection from nature.
Bernie offers an interesting choice. I believe in modified capitalism, allowing for individuals to freely pursue their natural desire for more through the usual capitalistic methods while implementing necessary social programs to create balance – using taxation and regulations to keep the wealthy in check. If I understand Bernie’s democratic socialism, he feels the same. Unfortunately too many hear the word socialism and their minds shrink like gonads on ice, refusing to consider the other half of the Bernie equation. I’d like him more if he expressed an understanding for the need to live in harmony with nature as ultimately the only way to create a healthy balanced society, but if he did the majority of Americans, blind to their heads floating in the clouds, detached from the bodily planet, would probably think he was even nuttier than they already do. They’re not ready for what he’s selling.
Unfortunately Bernie is burdened with the task of not only running for the office but trying to educate the populace at the same time, a difficult challenge given that the majority of American’s are too addicted to the capitalistic/dominatrix dream (too bad the founding father’s didn’t specify the right to bear whips). Bernie can’t win or achieve his goals without democrats falling in line and regaining control of congress, unlikely to happen unless a majority become similarly focused, realizing the only hope for eliminating all of these extremes is through that healthy balanced society. Do that and, in time, many of these issues would melt away. Even if Bernie won and was able to implement some of his goals through a democrat-friendly congress, the transition would be slow and painful, causing doubt in the minds of the impatient, most likely resulting in losing mid-term elections and halting any progress.
None of it can happen without the masses fully understanding the need for these changes, and they won’t understand it if we’re not having the right conversation. How and why do we need to create a healthy balanced society?
Understanding the why – because the planet uses balance as an operating system, which we’re intimately connected to – might be easier. The how will always be up for debate.