The activation of an ethically based and philosophically sound spiritual practice means the integration of those precepts into the body politic, meaning the environmental, social and political realms. We are members of various communities. Some of these communities are based on geography and others on genealogy – and both are profoundly affected when selfish viewpoints are replaced with compassionate wisdom. The larger world community is thus affected by the political activism resulting from the critique of a truly activated spiritual being – the jivanmukta. Each action, every choice we make as individuals and as members of communities, affect the world in which we live. Politic refers to the tribe, the people, the other folk we live and thus interact with on all levels. We live under the same sun, we breathe the same air, we drink the same water. Our individual actions affect the communal sun, air and water. Reflecting upon that – it becomes apparent that all actions are political.
In fact, we determine our shared future by the actions we take and choices we make in the immediate present, today, right now, wherever you are. Our karmas are intricately intertwined and it is of the utmost importance to make conscious, educated choices that will inevitably shape our communities far and near. Yoga practice is about cleaning up our actions. Karma Yoga literally translates as the perfection (Yoga) of action (Karma). The yogi acts perfectly, through their satsang, or community of truth-seekers, because what is best for the individual can only be determined by considering what is best for the whole. To be politically active, in truth means to actively look after the safety and welfare of the others with whom you live. Caring for others will bring you closer to enlightenment than any other action.
To vote means to care, to vow, to wish, to express an opinion, to choose, endorse or to authorize. Voting is a verb. We vote with every action we take. Certainly we cast our vote every time we purchase something. We may complain about the greed of “Big Business.” We may point our fingers and accuse our present government of selling out to corporate seduction. But we the people must realize that it is WE – you and me – who fill the coffers of the Corporations. In our desire for happiness we consume the products they provide and then demand more. We expect our politicians to maintain our high standard of living, with armies if necessary. It is a standard of living based on personal wealth, and not the quality of life for all beings. Through these selfish actions, we deaden our senses and widen the gap of disconnect between ourselves and this earth and all other beings that share it with us. There is no end to our insatiable appetites, however, because material objects can never satiate the desire for happiness.
It is we the people, whether rich or poor, who want more and more. More shopping malls, more gasoline, more oil, more clothes, more cars, more shoes, more entertainment, more pharmaceuticals, more theme parks, we want it all. The conditioned mind desires unceasingly and most times unconsciously.
We must look deeply into our own hearts, beyond our conditioned minds, to find what is really valuable to all. And then, to bring the value of Love into the communities to which we belong. Free yourself from the chains of complacency. Project positive thoughts and actions. Always vote for- never vote against. Be the change you wish to see.
We will see an end to war and hunger when we can find a way within ourselves to live simply, so that others may simply live. We will see peace on earth when we ourselves can dare to have the courage to create that peace within ourselves and embody it.
Don’t be silent. Dare to Care. Devote yourself to this planet enough to vote for Love with every action you take.