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A Path to Wholeness

Image by Chad Woodward

Image by Chad Woodward

We’re inching closer to election day (I’m sure you’ve heard about it). Politics isn’t a big interest of mine. I take part in the democratic process, but with this cycle, in particular, I’ve chosen to keep some distance from what’s happening. That doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of or engaged with what’s going on (I stay up to date with email newsfeeds). It means that I don’t allow what’s happening to affect me personally. I don’t identify with a party, candidate, or even a race, class, or national identity. 

Who I am is a deeply intimate and spiritual thing. No one can speak for me and my unique perception of the world, certainly not some talking head with a potential personality disorder. Something that I find a bit unsettling is how much the political process can affect us psychologically and emotionally. The media inundates us with this constant message that I feel is entirely untrue, “the world is broken”. And if you identify with the world, then by extension, you’re broken too. When we’re talking about the “world”, what are we actually referring to?

There’s the literal, natural world, which has been here a really long time, doing it’s thing and seems to be doing alright for itself. Then there’s the “human world” or society, which also seems to be doing pretty well for itself (our population is rapidly increasing along with improved quality of life). Are there problems in the world? Yes, of course. I could count quite a lot of them. Is the environment being harmed by humanity’s hubris? Yes, in many places and countless ways it certainly is. I’m not one to bury my head in the sand. I’m not advocating denial here. But, is there a place in this universe without problems or harm? I don’t know of one, at least not in this density. My point here is that the media creates (yes, even the alternative media) an idea which they attempt to market to you daily. 

Marketing is how they spread their message which keeps you hooked on what they’re selling you. And what are they trying to sell you? They’re trying to sell you an idea, image or perception of reality that fits their agenda. For the most part, the message is something along the lines of this: the world is broken and you’re broken too. The agenda is to offer you a prepackaged solution which will fix the world and by extension fix you. But what if there’s nothing broken at all? What if the world, where it is now in its evolutionary process, is a perfect reflection of what it needs to be at this moment? What if you, in this very moment, are also a perfect reflection of what you need to be?

Then, there’s nothing to fix and certainly no candidate to redeem us from our defectiveness. It seems to me that when people get worked up over politics, it's a reflection of repression within themselves (I am largely drawing from some of Wilhelm Reich’s ideas here). Whatever we’re upset about isn’t what we’re actually fighting over, in other words. The candidate that becomes the target of our anger is merely a symbol of something within ourselves that we’re really angry about. Maybe it's repressed sexuality, trauma or childhood abuse. It could be a whole mess or combination of things. But the reason I think that the candidate ultimately fails us (as the redeemer or as the enemy) is because they always fail to resolve the root problem. 

The root problem is an inner problem (often encapsulated in existential angst or spiritual longing). Our vulnerability, as human beings to get caught up in collective movements which offer us an identity, is because we crave connection and inclusion. It’s how we’re wired, and when that is denied to us, or we unconsciously avoid it because of past experiences which somehow taught us that human connection leads to pain or abuse, we seek it out in other external forms. There is also a natural longing within the human being that seeks something larger than itself to find meaning for its pain--a concept of God, Goddess or the Universe.

We each have an unconscious longing for experiences that provide a sense of self-transcendence. What better way to transcend yourself than to dissolve into a collective movement. The movement provides a surrogate feeling of connectivity while also offering a sense of purpose, direction or meaning. But ultimately, in the end, when it’s all said and done, I think we always come back to the inner problem unresolved. There’s always another election (another redeemer, devil and its denizens) around the corner, or another external crisis to focus on. But maybe it’s possible that we’re engaging in something which doesn’t ever fix anything, but rather serves as an eventful distraction which ultimately keeps us from what we’re really in pursuit of (we could argue this process reflects a kind of insanity).

And what is that? On the emotional and physiological level, that’s merely the desire to be what we are, human. I think the modern world has complicated that for ourselves in a lot of ways. On a metaphysical level, we’re seeking wholeness. I think that’s what everything in the universe really wants. You might fight against it at times, or do seemingly everything you can to deny it for yourself because you feel undeserving (the culture certainly sends a lot of messages about you not being good enough). But wholeness is the bottom line. The only way toward wholeness is to allow it to happen. You can’t fight for it and you certainly can’t fix things until they’re whole. 

Wholeness happens because it’s actually all that is happening. That’s a big concept, but it’s also quite simple. You are whole. It’s all a matter of allowing wholeness to happen, to allow yourself the freedom to be what you are. So, what about what’s happening on the world stage? Maybe it’s a part of a larger process of becoming whole. I’m choosing to trust that, no matter what the media or my Facebook feed is telling me. I am whole. I am good enough and the world isn’t broken; it’s seeking wholeness. So, maybe, instead of getting swept up in the political storm (which takes up a lot of energy), get swept up in your own inner drama and do something with it. You see, the inner problem isn’t actually a problem at all. It’s just that part of your wholeness you’re not ready to accept, and there is a gift there. That gift is what the world really wants and needs. 

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