PREREQUISITES TO HEALING THE LAND
By Hugh Lovel
As above so below. As without, so within. We may think to renew agriculture, but how can we change our environment without transforming our selves? How can we expect to effect agricultural renewal without bringing about social renewal? The two can only go hand-in-hand.
Help is undoubtedly the craziest of all the crazy things about human beings. How can we help ourselves? How can we help others or others help us? How can we help the earth or the earth help us? Where we are now we must have help, but we can’t have help. We know we need guidance and support on the path to being worthy, but we see ourselves in our unworthiness, and we dare not ask for help, dare not let it occur.
Here we are, locked in a Catch 22.
And yet, if the Creator is everywhere and in all things, how can we think the Creator is not in us? We manifest the infinite Creator. We are the Infinite Creator, and all the powers of nature are waiting for us to ask ourselves for help. All we need do is ask. Is there anything stopping us from inviting our magnificence?
This is a dynamic world. Yet in it we adopt fixed standards of what is perfect. We seek to find order in chaos by siezing upon some stable datum, whereupon we identify with it and make it more real than the universe around us.
What kind of sense does this make?
We struggle to attain whatever standard we imagine, holding ourselves to this, striving to make ourselves right and perfect. No matter what we do we dont attain it, of course, as it is fixed amidst the universal flux.
In developing our sense of self we have to deal with perfection and the knowledge of good and evil. Thus we fall into invalidation. And we will probably say to hell with it at some point, and fly in the face of invalidation to devote ourselves to what we know as wrong. Thus, ultimately, we also fall into suppression. But we never see ourselves as perfect as long as we measure by a fixed standard. We never view ourselves as truly worthy and magnificent.
Is there any way out?
It can be useful to review our standards of perfection and all the invalidations and suppressions we experience regarding these. Every individual has their own path, but the review is easier if we we each look at our activities as threefold. We could look at it as sevenfold or twelvefold or whatever, but let’s just try threefold. On the personal level lets look at willing, thinking and feeling, and on the social level that’s economics, philosophy and politics. We could just as well be looking at lime, silica and clay.
We do what we will, but, shucks, how we invalidate and suppress our power! We say we do one thing or another or are this way or that because of–and we have so many reasons. This person cant do math, another cant draw. Im not a priest. Im no doctor. Or, I leave that to the economists or the president. These are the common litany even though we know that all too often those people and things we give our power to mislead and exploit. But in our discomfort with our invalidations and suppressions we put responsibility out of our control and look to others for authority and expertise. We give our power away in almost every way. Then responsibility no longer is creative and enabling, but rather is the assumption of shame, blame and regret.
We dont farm in a vaccuum. We farm in the context of our personal lives and our society. Both at the personal and the social level, what is involved? Sociologists and anthropologists acknowledge we live in an agrarian society–even if economists like to pretend its all industrial. This means agriculture is the foundation of society. If we want to see a renewal of agriculture we must look to renewing ourselves and our entire society.
There are no demons to fight. They are all powerless if we withdraw our gifts of power to them. Will we see our enemy? It is us. We give up our power to money, to our political saviors, to our idealizations. It is up to us to invite our magnificence. Such is responsibility, and it has nothing to do with shame, blame and regret.
On the other hand we invalidate and suppress our thinking. Thought centers on the essences of things, the beingness, doingness, havingness, knowingness and so on. We tend to single out one essence after another and work with it as the final, only and total solution to all our problems, thinking “If I only create this essence everything will be fine. It will take care of everything.” But of course sooner or later this proves untrue as the universe is a totality of ALL essences and cannot be dealt with piecemeal. So invalidation and suppression set in. We try to create our chosen essence differently and better and we encounter further invalidation and supression. Down the garden path we go, oscillating between rejection and affirmation, wallowing in invalidation and suppression until eventually we come to deny we ever tried. Then we try to destroy that essence, alter that essence, and ultimately to create its absence altogether. As thinking beings we are out in left field and!
tied in a million knots.
This is on the side of our participation in the spiritual universe. We are impaired thinkers! Such confusion and obstruction! Virtually everyone has a rich bank account of such carryings on, spanning, it would seem, many lifetimes.
Unravelling this confusion is such a high art most psychologists dont even attempt it. For the most part people live with the gifts and handicaps they are born with, though this doesnt have to be. Just becoming aware of the disabling patterns one falls into and opting out can awaken talents of all kinds.
Willing and thinking are polar opposites. The one is unconscious, the other wide awake. These two, desire and sensation, are poles apart. We talk about the urge striking us, out of we know not where. And on the other hand just because we know something does not mean we have to do anything about it. And so, between our unconscious and conscious extremes lies our sub-conscious, a middle realm of feeling, forming a bridge between will and thought. It is the home of our ego and the center of our self-image. As such, feeling may be the most invalidated and suppressed of all three, as it catches the crippling blows from both sides.
In our feelings invalidation and suppression translate creativity into shame, blame and regret. It is in our feelings where help resides, if we are to mend our craze and find it. Feeling is the well-spring. When we look at nature, it doesnt have a will of its own. Nor is it intellectual. It pulses and breathes, giving and taking, reaching and withdrawing, an enormous, objective ocean of feeling with us immersed, little islands of order in its vast, chaotic tide. It is here that we invite our magnificence, from all sides. From feeling flows all the compassion, healing and creativity that christians–and I hope we dont have to go into religions and their doctrines here–associate with Christ Consciousness.
Socially this means we cannot expect renewal either from our agricultural foundations or from our philosophical strivings without mainstream political renewal.
Government by law goes back to having fixed standards of perfection. This is a dynamic world. We seek to bring order into society by making laws, which we imagine govern the people around us.
What kind of sense does this make?
We may endeavor to obey the laws, whatever they may be, in order to make ourselves out as law-abiding and deserving. But if we are truly honest about it we dont achieve this, as the laws are fixed while life is ever changing. The fact that laws are continually made and abolished, interpreted and re-interpreted, shows us this.
We say we must obey the law, but we cannot, so we live with invalidation. Can we doubt this? Just go to traffic court. Virtually everyone at some time or other is a violator, but all bow to the law.
Of course, folks routinely say to hell with it, and, flying in the face of invalidation, they violate the law. One need only drive the freeway in the US to see this, but it happens to virtually all laws virtually all the time. They routinely are violated. People dont pay taxes, they double park, they drink and drive, abuse their family members, violate the rights of others. Judges and public officials are amongst the worst. Did you know that the majority of the public officials in California including the Governor and the Attorney General have ignored the requirements of taking their oaths of office? And we are expected to respect them along with the laws they violate?
So we end up with suppression heaped on top of invalidation. With a government of laws we cannot fail to have a government of suppression and invalidation.
We talk of rights and governments talk of bills of rights. Yet might makes right, and history shows that people dont have rights when they dont exercise them. Ability is a self-product. What about those who meddle in others businesses instead of minding their own? We wouldn’t have laws if people didn’t break them. Enterprises incorporate in order to limit liability, as thats the chief reason for corporations. Think what it means to guarantee rights while limiting responsibility? The result is responsibility no longer is taken as creative and enabling, but rather as the assumption of shame, blame and regret.
Ghandi, when asked to support a bill of rights before the United Nations, demured saying what we needed was a bill of responsibilities.
There were laws back in Moses time and there have been ever since. Kings and tyrants have all made laws. We pride ourselves on having come into an age of democracy where some sort of majority rules. But, excuse me, I grew up during Vietnam, and all the laws, including the draft, that I supposedly had to abide by I never had any voice in. I never voted for the income tax or the speed limits, and I never knew anyone who did. Im told it was Gerald Ford, the JFK coverup guy, who gave us the double nickel on the freeways. Where was the democracy? The people on the freeway voted with their right foot every day, and the vast majority did not vote for 55 mph.
Politicians are gentlemen who know how to spread the balm and sugar coat the pill. No dirty work for them. They hire armed thugs in uniform to enforce the agendas of their campaign donors. And a democratic majority boils down to being a great way to silence dissent. Democracy is no more than tyranny of the majority.
The US, supposedly a leader in democracy and civil rights, is noted for its executions. Recently evidence surfaced indicating the police departments in Los Angeles and Chicago commonly framed people and sent them to death row–not just one or two people but dozens. And this is just what came to light the past year or so in the second and third largest US cities.
I voted in the last presidential election in the US because there was a guy running I figured had real integrity and couldnt be bought no matter the price. But of course, the money didnt go to him. The two candidates it went to were bought by big business, with just a little difference in the corporate mix here and there. The self-proclaimed winner immediately had to go to court over it, and the courts didn’t want responsibility either–meaning shame, blame and regret.
Sound familiar? First we have the pretense of government by a fixed standard. But thats not whats really happening so we end up mired in invalidation and suppression and responsibility degenerates into shame, blame and regret. Well never see perfect government as long as we pretend were doing it by law while really doing it out of economic motives.
Where to and How?
We live in a dynamic world. Perfection is in every moment. We may invite our magnificence from every quarter and every individual. Good leadership is known by its fruits. Responsive government listens to both economics and philosophy but is run by neither. It is long suffering and kind–never proud, venal, self-seeking, wrathful or scheming. Instead of skullduggery it fosters revelation. It is dynamic, bearing all, believing all, hoping all and enduring all–without fail. It is responsible without shame, blame or regret.
How will we get there? If people would be honest, who really respects their laws or leadership? Do Americans really respect the two presidential candidates? Hardly. They talk about the lesser of two evils, and quip about the evil of two lessers. Quite a few hope for a good payday, but anyone who waits for government to do the right thing is naive. And there lies the key. What are waiting for? We can start with governing ourselves responsibly and give responsible government to each other.
What did I say about responsibility? There are no demons to fight. They are all powerless if we withdraw the power we give them. Do we see that our enemy is us? We give up our power to the money god, to our political saviors, to our idealizations and there is no help in us. Will we invite our magnificence? Such is responsibility, and it has nothing to do with shame, blame and regret.