Winter is here. It’s cold outside. Time to sit close to the fire and take a moment to reflect.
This blog is a record of my reflections on a momentous year.
It is not meant to persuade you, to win you over to my point of view.
It is a tool that I will use to work out where to place my Trust. To work out what are my Core Values. So that I might live an authentic life in line with those values.
I hope that it will also be a conversation. Please take the time to comment.
Almost a week into this process. Time to just take stock. Where have I found that I stand? Where can I place my Trust?
Well, it is pretty clear to me where I do not feel I can place my Trust. I cannot place it with Politicians. Or, rather more specifically, I cannot place it with Power. At least not the kind of Power that Politicians crave. And they do crave. It’s built into our peculiar system of democracy. First past the post gets the Power. Gets to make the Laws. Gets to pass the Bills. Gets Control. You have to go into politics to win. It encourages and rewards the sort of people that have to win at all costs. People that want to have Power over Others. People that want to be In Control. So winning Power becomes more important than standing up for what you believe. We have become used to politicians who will say anything in order to get your vote. In order to gain Power. They will promise you everything – it doesn’t have to be true. Whatever it takes in order to get your vote. Their words become meaningless. A series of un-examined soundbites. “A Red, White & Blue Brexit!!” What does that mean exactly? It means nothing. Hollow words from hollow people. Not to be Trusted.
Which is a pretty sad state to get to, because it means that I no longer trust party Politics to provide any sort of solution to our problems as a species. I think that a lot of people have reached that position. And that is a dangerous place to be: a place where reasoned debate has disappeared, where reflection has vanished, where weighing up the arguments and using your judgement has gone. To be replaced by hollow soundbites that offer no detailed analysis of the situation but, instead, offer apparent certainties. Keep repeating simple platitudes often enough and people start to believe them: “we are going to make Britain/America/(insert country of your choice) Great again!!” What exactly does that mean? It has so many possible meanings that, without detailed analysis, it is meaningless. Too many assumptions about what being “Great” really means. Too many assumptions about when exactly Britain was ever Great in the past. Are we talking Empire here? Or Victorian Values? Or the gritty stoicism of 1940s war-torn Tommies battling the Nazi advance. Or some peculiar dream time mix of all these qualities – a time that never actually existed other than to be called upon to justify actions which may seem in direct opposition to those qualities. Call upon the spirit of Second World War Greatness – the very time when the cooperation of nations in Europe and around the World halted the Rise of Fascism – to justify the dissolution of the European Union and the promotion of some pretty Fascist views about immigration. The irony is painful. And the lack of clarity is dangerous. A Politics of Soundbites empty of Substance is dangerous. It is a breeding ground for Fascism. For what is Fascism? Is it not the removal of Doubt. The absence of Debate. The replacement of Discussion with Certainty. The Certainty that This Is The Way Things Are. My Way. The Only Way. So when our politicians begin to talk about not needing experts. When they talk about things just being Common Sense. Then, my alarm bells ring.
Do not Trust them. Do not Trust what they say or what they offer. Do not believe them. Do not think that you have to obey them. They seek only to control you. They have no right to do so. Listen to them. Look at them carefully. Are they speaking for you? Or for themselves? Whose best interests lie at their Heart? Would they stand in front of a water cannon for you? Would they endure a beating in order to protect you? Have they stood in front of danger for you? Do you have the least bit of evidence that they have endured the least hardship for the sake of anyone other then themselves?
Because there is another kind of Power. A Power that does not seek to Control others. A Power that does not impose itself. A Power than does not require external enforcement. This sort of Power arises from within. It arises from the Heart. From a Conviction that certain ways of behaving are better for everyone, better for the Planet. And it puts itself in the firing line. Just by its very existence.
I am thinking of the Protectors at Standing Rock.
I am thinking of Chief Seattle. Gandhi. Martin Luther King. the women of Greenham Common. Jesus. The Suffragettes.
I am thinking of people that do not speak to gain Power but, rather, recognise the Power that resides within themselves and act accordingly. People that act in accordance with that Power within. People who put their own lives at risk rather then act in contradiction to their internal Power. These people often find themselves in conflict with the structures that stand for the other, external kind of Power. This puts them in danger. Sometimes it makes them outlaws. Sometimes they get killed. Because external Power is always threatened by internal Power. External Power knows that internal is stronger. So it seeks to destroy it. Chain it. Discredit it. Crucify it.
I put my Trust in internal Power. When I see it demonstrated, like at Standing Rock, I will support it. And I will seek to nurture it within myself. Because we all have the Power within. If we have the courage to access it and stand true to it. To do so we have to look into our Hearts. Learn to trust our Guts. Be prepared to go with our Instinct. Deep down, we all know what is wrong and what is right. All we have to do is learn to access it. Get a feel for it. Feel the Power within. It is what connects you to the rest of humanity and to the rest of the world beings. Stay true to that feeling. Learn to Trust the feeling. Without your Head getting in the way.
This is not the same as Not Thinking Things Through. Not the same as Doing Whatever I Feel Like. It is just a recognition that it is the job of the Heart, not the Head, to make decisions. Think about buying a house. Your decision is made within seconds of walking through the door. You just know whether it is the right place for you. Then, having made the decision, you have to weigh up the practical considerations: can I afford it? What are the pros and cons? Is there enough space? and so on. That weighing up of evidence is the job of the Head. And it is vitally important if you wish to survive for long. But that is all the Head does. The Head does not make decisions.
True Power resides within the heart. I must learn to Trust my Heart.