Tuesday, November 13, 2012


OK, at last, I am going to come down from my pedestal in the clouds and bestow my inspired ideas on how to solve our problems and get us out of the unholy mess we're in...

...mmm, not so much.

In an earlier post, I said:
"So the point of this blog is ultimately to be an exploration of how to respond to all this. I can't avoid observing and commenting on the political aspect of all this, but my intention is to probe deeper. I think that activism on a personal,family, community or government level is great, each to his own talents and passion. But beyond that, I think the ugly mess we're in now requires a renewed embrace of basic ethical, philosophical even dare I say spiritual principles, starting on a deeply personal level. If this seems like a cop-out to you, I hope to develop and express my ideas well enough to change your mind, but the floor is always open for conversation." 
What this means is I'm not going to try and spew forth on things I am not knowledgeable enough to speak of.  I'm not an economist, I can't advise on how to change our economic system. I'm not a political scientist, so I can't advise about a better form of government (although I will say I'm not an anarchist, not a collectivist, and I'm not in favor of benevolent dictatorships, fascism, satanism or the sale of Star Wars to Disney.). So what good am I?

Well, don't forget, that this blog is my personal thoughts and opinions, nothing more, and I'm entitled to them. You are entitled to agree or disagree and if you want you can tell me so. Nicely. But I do have some thoughts and perspectives I am passionate about, and in my experience, it is always a good idea to follow your passion. So here I am.

Here are some ideas I'm going to be exploring:

I believe in starting with your level of consciousness, and admitting that it can be improved. Beyond that, a conscious mind doesn't exist in isolation, so relationships with others is the next logical step in learning. To me, personal relationships are a microcosm for everything else in life.

I think we must have an underlying foundation of core values, if we expect to have any success in our activities in the outer world. I believe that spiritual traditions teach these values for practical reasons, not just because they make you feel good about yourself.

I have an enduring trust in the indomitable spiritual power of human beings, not in institutions.

So while I will continue to point out what I think are warning signs of serious deterioration and danger in our society, my ultimate point is that these problems can only be truly solved by the evolution of our consciousness, our relationships, and spiritual awareness. I think we can all help each other along the way with that, simply by living by the values we all know are universally beneficial, and making that the basis for our actions in the world.

You can have the most intellectually sturdy argument or position on an issue, but without a clear commitment to your core values, I believe you are missing something critically important. I have my ideas on how to express those values; I hope that will be a part of the conversation. I hope to flesh out and develop these ideas, and I expect to see them evolve as I go along. There are so many aspects to consider; I think the brief essay format of the blog is a good vehicle for taking the time to explore them, a little bit at a time. Hope you'll stay with me...

Your thoughts and questions are are always welcome. Please leave a comment below. You can comment anonymously as a guest, but if you take a moment to register, you'll be able to exchange comments with TruthDots or others, and be notified when people respond to your comment.

Feel free to share this post using any of the buttons below.


  1. Wow. Heady stuff. If only everyone would realize these basic tenets, we could evolve much more quickly! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  2. Agreed.

    Politics is a tool, nothing else. To think that political solutions can fix everything is just as foolish as thinking that money can solve everything in one's personal life.

    While spiritual decay has political effects, politics cannot solve spiritual decay. One of the chief spiritual diseases we have as a society is that we no longer see vanity as something to be managed and controlled. Everyone, including myself, is guilty of the sin of pride. The problem is that we often no longer see pride as a sin or vice. We confuse it with self-esteem and confidence.

    We have completely lost our moral language for how to control pride. While no country has been free of pride, our failure to even consider it as sinful corrupts both our elite and ourselves.

    As Jim Collins observed, successful companies are usually not led by celebrity C.E.O.'s. They are lead by "Level 5" leaders, who, like the stereotypical martial arts master, combine a subtle and quiet appearance with intense determination. Failed companies, on the other hand, are often ruled by charismatic leaders who, instead of mapping out their companies' path through experimentation and feedback, rely on Silver Bullets, Rebranding Initiatives, Bold Declarations, and other snake oil.

    Politically, our leaders' pride causes them to make what Peter Drucker identified as a key mistake: trying to contribute what they dreamed of contributing instead of what the situation called for. Both President Bush and Obama made this mistake to different degrees. Obama pushed for health care reform when the country demanded action on unemployment and the recession. Likewise, Bush focused on Iraq when the situation called him to focus on terrorism instead.

    Our elites are not the only ones corrupted by vanity. Propaganda does not thrive on ignorance; propaganda thrives on pride. It is true there are a lot of half-truths and cherry-picked statistics thrown around by powerful interests. But we are often lead astray by politicians because we want to be lead astray. Some Republicans truly want to believe that we are hard-working patriots and that our opponents are lazy parasites. Some Democrats truly want to believe that they are enlightened heirs to the Civil Rights Movement and that their opponents are all racists, sexists, and homophobes. For this reason, Republicans eat up their media, Democrats gobble up theirs, and neither side ever changes the channel or visits the opponent's Web Site. Why should we? We are constantly being told how superior we are to other side.

    We can defeat pride, but it requires us to regain the mindset that we need to manage it. Religious revival--which, in our country, involves the revival of multiple religions--is necessary for us to defeat pride. It is easy to try to be humble when you are alone, but it is far more difficult to retain humility when someone else is pretending to be superior to you. Pride is an animal that is most dangerous when wounded. The emotional power of spiritual force is necessary to tame pride.

    There is no way for government to implement this solution. There is no way for government to read minds and punish people for being prideful or reward people for being humble. Politics truly can influence culture and personal behavior in a lot of ways. But while government truly can restrict gluttony or lust, it cannot regulate gluttony of the ego or lust for the self-image.

    Nevertheless, we can recover, and the reward is no less than being in tune with reality itself. Most people long for a sense of connection with the world outside of them--humility provides the individual with the endurance necessary to survive the rocky start that any marriage to reality has. The hope that this need for connection can be fulfilled is one of our best weapons against the Great Sin.

  3. You are one of the most thoughtful people I have ever encountered, so I will stay with you on this journey.

  4. Human beings seem to be a glutton for punishment. If you study the past you will see the same parallels in all the great societies that have declined and fallen over the centuries. They are all killed off by decadence, greed, and corruption. History is the great teacher but it seems no one wants to learn the lessons of it. Modern man seems to think he is better and more intelligent than his ancestors. His arrogance and ignorance will be his undoing. All great societies decline and fall and this one (the almighty USA) will be no exception.
    George Santayana quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

    We are the modern day version of the old Roman Empire.

  5. Ben--thoughtful and timely post.
    But what now is the era of "celebrity"??? It seems people want to be "Famous" for doing nothing at all. The proliferation of stupid reality TV shows just adds to this.
    It really is the Kardashianization of our culture. and we are so much poorer for it.