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  1. And…I have one other comment I’d like to add, because this seems the right forum to do so. And it’s been on my mind a lot lately, as I observe others in their reference points of spirituality. I am sometimes taken aback and find it quite notable to see how many people who self-identify as “spiritual” seem to feel that it’s the high road to shun politics, or following politics. I can’t count the number of people from all streams of spirituality I’ve run into who think that following politics is just “toxic”, or playing into a worldly drama that’s nasty and unbefitting the pureness of intent for a peaceful and harmonious planet. Or, it’s just raucous and personally ruinous to peaceful states of mind. I rather depart from these mindsets, and sharply. I think that to be unified with the world, to truly understand how we are connected, it’s almost a spiritual mark to stay close to the issues at hand and who we are evolving into, collectively. How can we take action, remain engaged, otherwise? How can we talk about being unified while splitting off from the dark and the dirty that’s going on, as if superior or beyond it? I don’t think that spirituality is about remaining isolated and buffered in a gated bubble of peaceful contemplation and one’s own immediate circle. I rather think that being fully attuned to the thick of all the mayhem and being able to work through that emotionally and spiritually, to stay connected, in the world but not of it, is the path of a spiritual warrior. I don’t think self-protection from suffering, inner or outer, is necessarily enlightened. At least that’s my own bias.

  2. I love the comment that The Donald is a distorted image of oneself. I, in fact, have had the disturbing, yet liberating, feeling over being overcome by a sense of empathy for the yelling orange billionaire. How badly must he want to be loved? To want to win over the hearts and minds of the whole world, to gobble it up (almost as a child in a pretense, like Max and the Wild Things) to be willing to say and do absolutely anything to acquire that, and then maybe still not even be satiated? It seems perhaps the need for (and power of) love is in proportion to the antics. So I have this odd split feeling about this phenomenon of a person. It’s naked craving and pain and need to be loved. Have I not felt that on psychic levels that might come close, even if I never acted it out that way? If I can’t have any compassion for that, how could I ever have compassion for myself? I also feel though that anger and outrage have a place that must be honored. So the flip side is that we need to respect the arising of those energies. To me, the word “justice” implies a sacred balance between compassion and the productive channeling of appropriate anger, grief and even rage. For me, the spiritual path involves this delicate search for the “middle way” between outrage and forgiveness, embodied in the concept of justice — not the vengeful stream of “justice must be served”, but the unswerving respect that intrepidly stands up for the dignity of self and others, serving in that capacity.

  3. This election cycle reminds me of being inside a carnival fun house where everywhere you turn are distorted images of YOU. If we buy into the Oneness philosophy that we are all connected, then even The Donald is somehow a distorted image of myself. On a national level we’re seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly of our inner selves. So, I guess it’s time for healthy introspection and making some decisions of who we really want to be as we go into the future. Taking some time out for meditation appears entirely in order.

  4. Great reflection. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not a light switch you can facilely turn on an off. Rather it is a process you have to live into, again and again, hopefully with ever-deepening success. We do not forget the wrongs that we initiate or experience, but learn to redirect our energy into areas of compassion for ourselves and others.

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