Tuesday, August 6, 2013

mammon under siege

deep within the heart of the gospel of Christ is the seed of a socialist revolution.  Mammon has been under siege for 2000 years.

This is why so many followers of the Way were martyred.  Not because of their faith, but because of the socialist practices their faith demanded of them.  The practice of the Way of Christ is enough to topple governments, world orders, and the economics of consumption entirely.  The Way of Christ overthrows the empire of mammon, and mammon has survived this long only through propaganda and deceit...

The rich and powerful have been terrified of the gospel of Christ since the very beginning of his ministry.  In fact, the old Empire invented a dogmatic, state-sponsored religion called Christianity to distract the faithful from following Christ's teachings, and believe it or not, this ruse actually worked.

...but it won't work forever.  Repent of materialism, for its end is near.  Fiat currencies are falling.

So what is this socialism that Jesus was killed for preaching?  Well, its not communism.  Jesus didn't say give up your things or else.  Jesus said give up your things  and be saved.  Giving up our private property is part of the spiritual path but everyone walks down this path at a different speed, and the teaching is not a formula but a guide. We share a destination but our journeys are unique.

 As an example:  There is a genuine distinction to be made between the householder and the renunciate, and the householder is not expected to make the same journey as the renunciate.  Indeed, the householder is expected to provide the material requisites necessary for the renunciate to pursue the spiritual journey.  Both sides depend on the other.  Ancient cultures are aware of this, but America is hardly ancient.  And between these two opposites lie worlds of varying relativity, all of which recognize the ultimate impermanence of the world and its occupants.  In other words, even the 'worldly' householder knows of the impermanence of his household and does not place faith in his household's ability to provide him with eternal truth.  The eternal is the cause of materiality, not the other way around. 

We live in an interesting age, where the line between renunciation and worldliness has become a porous boundary.  Spiritual seekers have careers and relationships, and so do spiritual teachers.  The 'either/or' dichotomy so prevalent in logical, dualistic and patriarchal thinking is being replaced by a 'both/and' dichotomy which reveals paradox to be inherent within the fabric of reality itself.  This paradoxical reality is inherently nondualistic, where students teach and teachers learn, where renunciates work and householders meditate and pray.  It is critical to recognize that our individual dependence upon materiality is a deeply personal decision, unique to ourselves and uncritique-able.  Our material needs are known to us alone and no other.  We must choose for ourselves our degree of relationship with the physical world.  The state cannot take away our right to choose for ourselves what we need, nor did Jesus.  However the state can encourage us to want less and serve more, just as Jesus did.  This is bad news for mammon and good news for our hearts. 

Think of socialism as capitalism with a floor and a ceiling.  Everyone in the middle just experiences capitalism like we do now, but under socialism there is a safety net that catches anyone who falls into poverty.  Poverty is regarded as a social ill that must be remedied, and with the elimination of poverty, violence and survival stresses decrease.  By committing to provide for the global community's basic needs we eliminate the existential paranoia which leads to nationalization, war, and corporate profit (i.e.plunder).

The expense of this social net is paid for by the ceiling.  Everyone is allowed to get rich under socialism, but no one is allowed to become filthy rich until after everyone's basic needs are met.  Material wealth is understood not to satisfy people's spiritual poverty.  This way everyone feels life is worth living - the poor, and the rich.  This is the kingdom of heaven - pretty simple, actually!

the point is that within this social net lies the opportunity for spiritual seekers to renounce materialism and focus exclusively on the path of spiritual realization.  This opportunity is anathema to consumption economies, where any nonmaterialistic human purpose or agenda threatens institutions of authority. 

Despite the obstacles this movement is inevitable.  The material world is ephemeral and as such cannot provide unconditional happiness.  Those who yearn for the unconditioned must renounce the primacy of materialism.  This is the real Copernican revolution of Christ.  The world cannot provide us with inner peace.  To find inner peace, we must remove our longing gaze from the world.  And as we do, any society built on worldly consumption loses its legitimacy. Capitalism does not allow for this nonmaterialistic mode of living and as this mode of living inexorably grows so must capitalism wane.

and the key element of socialism - the key element that Jesus died preaching and practicing - is that everyone's basic needs deserve to be met, regardless of who they are or what their karma is.  Just because he's a drunk and she's a hooker doesn't mean we get to judge them and find them wanting.  The practices of forgiveness, tolerance, and compassion are very powerful and must be built into the very fabric of any sustainable culture.  Without this moral practice, society is destined to consume itself and collapse.  Those who are not worthy or deserving of our time and our energy are nonetheless worthy of a hot meal, a decent place to sleep, some hygiene, some healing, a little company, some respect and some compassion.  Not because they deserve it, but because none of us deserves it, and we are all undeservedly and equally blessed with the grace of life.  As such we have a moral responsibility to share the blessings of the world to the deserving and the undeserving alike, for none of us is truly deserving and none of us is truly undeserving.  We are all incomprehensibly miraculous.

For the last 10,000 years society's challenge has been getting the corruption out of the distribution of resources.  Governments, once established to legitimize wealth distribution, coopt the wealth distribution process and perpetuate their own genetic heirarchies rather than the societies they are meant to serve.  It is critical to realize that the health of any society is measured by the degree to which we provide for our weakest and most vulnerable members.  By this criteria capitalism is a social failure and a moral disease - the 'predatory phase' of human evolution. 

but don't take my word for it.  Please read what Albert Einstein has to say in defense of socialism here:    http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism

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