Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bernie Sanders and Buddha--by Ed Conley

I watched the debate last night, and today I digest what I saw and today's reverberations. I'm reminded of the Buddha Dharma and the Four Noble Truths that summarize Buddhas whole teaching. First, you recognize there is suffering in the system, that America is suffering and all our attempts to avoid suffering has been futile. The system we have itself is suffering.

Second Truth is that there is a cause. This is Bernie's Dharma: the cause is the imbalance in wealth and the corruption of money. Chasing other problems without addressing this fundamental cause of suffering will be to no avail. If we remove this cause, the effects of this cause will be removed.

The Third Truth is that there is balance, and Sanders points to what all other developed nations have done to achieve social justice.

The Fourth Noble Truth is the path to create a revolution, a intention, a movement in the people that will move towards activating the first three truths: recognize the true cause, and by addressing the true cause remove the effect of that cause, which is the third truth of social balance.

The whole thrust of Sander's message is to keep focused on the true cause of America's social suffering. The forces that have invested in this imbalance of wealth and power, consciously or unconsciously, want us to chase false causes.

The tactic of conservatism is a fragmentation of causes, which divides the power of the people into value tribes each chasing one of the fragments. Divided, the people have no power. But united and focusing on the true cause of their suffering, the people can evoke great change suddenly.

This is the Dharma of the Buddha. See the true cause of your suffering and the cause is removed. The cause of our suffering is the misperception of the cause of our suffering. Seeing is liberating action. Seeing is not incremental. Seeing sees the whole at once. Seeing is awareness of the totality. Seeing does not see fragments; Seeing itself is whole.

The message of Sanders is not to incrementally manage change but to See the cause of our inability to change. Life is change. Life is progressive. Life, human life, is Seeing. America has lost touch with its life—which is the people. Sanders is the voice crying in the wilderness of false causes: See the true cause and we will be free.

Sanders is not a person or a candidate, a fix to our problems. Sanders is an Idea that is going viral. When conditions are right for a truth, all the institutional defense mechanisms begin to shake and tremble. For a nation that has been deceived for decades, seeing the truth, finally, is like getting cured of cancer.

This election is helping us the people see our American patterns, our American Karma. Our Ground Hog Day. All the candidates except Sanders are awakening in the morning and hearing "I've got you Babe." Each one is going to escape the cycle. 

Sanders is not even in the cycle. He sees the karmic pattern that entraps us into prolonged value trench war. Sanders just says we can bypass the dysfunction.I'm beginning to catch a glimmer of the mythic power behind Sanders; it's the people vs the savior mythology. The ancient Hebrews were a people. God acted through the people. Christianity came along and changed the paradigm so that the people need a savior, a mediator between God and the people. 

The GOP picks up this myth and makes the GOP president the savior. Sanders is flipping the pyramid and removing the mediator. This is a Reformation, to be sure. The Savior has become corrupted in our system. He has been bought. Religion/God is held hostage by our politics.

The idea of a Political Reformation, just like the Protestant Reformation when the catholic church was removed as mediator between the people and  God, or the source of life and power of grace. The question is when Grace stop flowing, how do you get it started again? This is a spiritual question,not a political one. All politics are spiritual. 

Of course, this has been the driving question of the Religious Right, but the God they want grace from is not the people's God, which is inclusive, but the Christian God that is exclusive. Grace cannot flow when the river of the people is damned.

Ed Conley

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