Monday, November 3, 2008

Please don't vote

The overwhelming negativity of politics is something that I have a hard time dealing with and I usually choose to tune it out completely.

The very nature of the democratic system conditions the mind to pursue conflict and inflict pain and suffering on others. It teaches us to search for and find the worst qualities in our fellow human beings and to focus on these to the exclusion of their many good qualities.

Have you ever noticed that this negative mental attitude is the exact opposite of what you tend to find in really successful people? The real leaders in society - the ones whom we like, respect, admire and look to for guidance - are those who look for, find and bring out the best in others.

I view the democratic system from an historical perspective.

I believe that the human race is on the verge of a great awakening.

For the entire history of life on this planet the brain physiology of the of the higher animals has limited sentient beings to emotion-based behavior.

That is now changing.

The most ancient part of the brain is the amygdala. It is your emotional center.

The more recently evolved part of the brain is the cerebral cortex. It is your logical center.

The circuitry and neuro-plasticity of the brain has evolved to the point that you are now physiologically capable of gaining total control over your destructive emotional impulses.

Scientists have known this for some time now but most have failed to grasp the incredible implications this has for the future of humanity.

Imagine for a moment what the world will be like when we have developed the self-discipline to temper our destructive emotions.

Imagine how your life will change. Imagine how much better the lives of your children will be.

The opportunities for the advancement of human civilization are nearly boundless.

It is difficult to predict the future. However, one thing at least is certain: The ability of human beings to gain control over their destructive emotions will absolutely result in a dramatic decrease in conflict and the resultant suffering that it causes. In its stead will be increased compassion, love, peace and prosperity.

It is within this evolutionary context that I view the democratic system.

Our emotion-driven cave-dwelling ancestors were likely unable to restrain their emotional impulses.

When one caveman was hungry and saw that another had obtained food he most likely would not have been able to refrain from clubbing the other caveman over the head to take what he wanted.

It is hard to blame him for this since he probably lacked the neural circuitry to enable him to exercise restraint.

We humans of today, however, have no such excuse.

We are capable of both extra-ordinarily civilized behavior as well as the extra-ordinary barbarism of our ancestors.

The political systems of the age of barbarism consist mostly of various forms of authoritarianism wherein a small group of individuals imposed their will on the majority in a fashion similar to that of our cave dwelling alpha-male ancestors.

The past few hundred years, however, has seen the flourishing of democracy.

This great step forward for humanity has yielded significant increases in freedom and happiness and decrease s in suffering.

However, democracy is not IMHO the final evolutionary form of human civilization.

Rather it is merely a stepping stone to something much more beautiful.

We cave dwellers have taken the first step towards the future by ganging up on and killing the alpha male.

However, we then sought to emulate his methods and turned on each other.

Democracy does, after all, merely replace the tyranny of the minority with that of the majority.

And thus we arrive at our present day system where we take turns imposing our will on each other every few years.

If you have the courage to open your mind and look deep into your heart you will come to realize the truth of the following two statements.

The root cause of all conflict in the world is the CHOICE of individuals to impose their will on others.

And the reason for this choice is almost always FEAR.

We all desire freedom for ourselves and those that we care about but we all (to varying degrees) fear granting that same freedom to our fellow human beings. This is what I like to call the “freedom for me but not for thee” phenomenon.

But life doesn’t work that way.

Have you ever noticed that we tend to get back what we dish out?

If we seek to impose our will on others they will tend to want to return the favor.

We almost always have good intentions when doing so, but the decision to do so is almost always a misguided one and results from unclear thinking which is usually facilitated by fear.

The law of reciprocity is real.

The universe gives back to us in proportion to what we give to it.

Some believe that they can cheat the system but have you noticed this never seems to work?

The truth is that you will never have the freedom that you desire for yourself unless and until you are prepared to grant that freedom to others - especially those whom engage in practices which you find objectionable but do not actually case harm.

That is the price that must be paid if we truly desire freedom to pursue happiness. Sooner or later people will come to the realization that imposing their will on each other will not bring them the happiness that they desire. However, following the golden rule will.

The democratic system is a relic from the age of barbarism that we should be seeking to elevate ourselves out of.

We can and will do that at a time of our choosing.

All the pieces are now in place for the greatest leap forward that humanity has ever taken.

All that is required now is a decision.

That decision is yours to make.

What kind of a world do you want to live in?

What kind of a world do you want to create and leave for your children and their children?

Are you ready to put an end to the violence, conflict and suffering of the age of barbarism and to embrace the peace and love of the post barbarism era?

If so, I respectfully ask you to make pledges to yourself similar to these ones:

From this day forward I will do my best to refrain from imposing my will on my fellow human beings. Instead, when I feel strongly about something I will seek to persuade them while also keeping my mind open to the persuasive arguments of others. To this end I commit to doing the hard work necessary to develop my own emotional intelligence to the point where I have achieved complete mastery of my emotions. If ever I should fail to live up to this high standard I will not beat myself up. Instead I will have the courage to admit it and to seek to correct the situation.

I will lead by example and be a force for positive change in the world by working to reduce conflict, alleviate suffering and increasing the joy of my fellow human beings.

In the great tradition of passive resistance pioneered by the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King I resolve to peacefully withdraw my support for the democratic system. I will not vote and I will not cooperate with any government except when forced to do so by the armed force of the state.

I recognize that those in power and those who support them are good people who are doing what they believe to be right and are motivated by the desire to alleviate suffering and increase joy just like I am. I harbor no ill will towards them. In a spirit of friendship I seek merely to persuade them of the error of their ways.

I will continuously seek out opportunities to induce the state to use force against me for the purpose of illustrating to others the true nature of the system and to thus bring about its more rapid demise.

I will pay my taxes only when forced to do so but I will absolutely refuse to accept government hand outs of any sort because it is fundamentally immoral to benefit from the looting of my fellow human beings.

I will continuously seek out innovative ways to create and participate in alternative institutions to government.

The only moral type of exchange is that between two free parties on the basis of mutual consent. I pledge to maintain a high level of personal integrity and to never participate in any other sort of exchange in any fashion.

As our numbers grow the power of the state will diminish and eventually evaporate into thin air. I pledge to bring an end to the age of barbarism in my life time. This is my life purpose and if need be I will sacrifice everything in order to achieve this noble goal.