Since I've begun blogging non-poetry at Dropping a Paradigm, and not posting anything here lately, until I do again, I'll post one post a week here from Paradigm.
Actually it's: First there is Obama, then there is Nobama, then there is (you can sing it to Donovan if you prefer).
Before understanding the true nature of my thoughts, I believed in the life and death nature of politics. When John Kerry lost in 2004, I was devastated. I had always followed politics like a sports fan his home team. But I realized then that I had to detach myself from such passionate involvement. And I don’t think it’s just coincidence that my spiritual journey started to move into overdrive the very next year.
The Heart Sutra says that all form is emptiness. I say politics is the heart of American emptiness. It involves raw belief, almost belief for belief’s sake. In this country, the divisions between the parties run deep. There is very little understanding of the other. One is completely right; the other is completely wrong. Both sides think this way of course. Talk about duality!
During the primaries, my friend and I were discussing our preference for Hilary Clinton. She went on to criticize Obama in very harsh terms, and I warned her to be careful. If he ends up winning the nomination, you’ll be voting for him, I said. And you’ll be vigorous in doing so. She said she doubted it. But she’s been pretty vigorous in her support for him the past few weeks. I’m not saying I told you so; I’m just saying. The dream is like that.
Beliefs are just thoughts we invest with our identity, which, of course, are just more thoughts (illusions which result from our once and continuing conditioning). In politics, these beliefs become more than just individual identity. They become a collective identity in support of that even greater collective identity: nationalism (and often religion as well).
It’s an exponential growth of belief. That’s why things can get so ugly in a political campaign. It’s a life and death battle of identity (and its cousins, power and empowerment). Bring whatever thoughts you need to win the war. Just make them up out of thin air if need be. After all, that’s the nature of thought anyways.
But significantly the Heart Sutra also says that all emptiness is form as well. And that’s why I’m voting for Obama tomorrow.
~posted Monday, November 3, 2008