The Spirituality of Politics

Is there a hidden, sacred and transcendent aspect of politics?

Politics is secular and spirituality is transcendent- but both are significant parts of the human condition. Is there a link?

Part of our human condition is breaking free from illusion, and one of those illusions we need to break free from is the illusion of different aspects of our existence being independent of any other. In the scheme of things, everything effects everything else.

Spirituality and politics seem like completely different subjects at first. The former is the pursuit of connection of one’s inner being with a greater sense of meaning- a metaphysical pursuit of purpose and enlightenment. The latter is the art of organizing people in the real world, the art of law and managing resources; practical, with tangible effects on our daily lives.

To the average enlightened thinker, the Venn diagram between spirituality and politics barely intersects, and if anything should be strictly separated. Many self-proclaimed spiritual people are apolitical, but they’re tuned to a sense of the divine, while many politically active people are uninterested in metaphysical purpose.

Theocracy might come to mind when contemplating a “spiritual politics.” This isn’t what I’m talking about. Any ideology that claims to already have the exact answer based on revelation is no sound basis for a practical political system.

But what if “spiritual” instead took on a more subtle, modern meaning? What if instead, it meant taking into account evolution, science, sociology and psychology? What if our evolution and optimization was itself the object of spiritual reverence?

We can capture a rational sacredness in politics; a perspective that reveals a powerful purpose: leveling up our collective consciousness.

Remember the big picture.

We’re beings that evolved from single-celled organisms, on a billions-year-old planet, spinning in outer-space. The laws of the universe allowed for the creation and the evolution of life, of complexity, of thought, and of consciousness.

As our collective consciousness expanded, so did our ability to organize ourselves. That’s what politics is.

But the way evolution works is that optimization isn’t just handed to us. We have to grope our way through history, learning and growing from our mistakes.

It’s not a neat process, but the net outcome is progress. That’s why after millennia of human history, the countless struggles of genuine freedom fighters and visionaries have delivered us higher standards of freedom, and we anticipate that those standards will continue to rise further. We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go. In this process, humanity strives for ultimate freedom.

As individuals, we are not “in” the universe, we are a part of the universe. Our civilizations and cultures are an expression of our collective consciousness- so they too are not “in” the universe but are a part of the universe. The more conscious and rational we and our society become, the more conscious and rational a part of the universe itself has become.

Evolution is a process of simplicity to complexity, ignorance to wisdom, weakness to power, unconsciousness to consciousness, subjugation to freedom.

From our humble beginnings, what is it ultimately that we’re striving towards? In other words, what is it, ultimately, that the universe is striving towards through us?

What’s the logical conclusion of ever-increasing knowledge, power and freedom? It is ultimate knowledge, power, and freedom. This is the Light upon which humanity is converging.

When we view our evolution and optimization as sacred, we have higher standards for what we demand of our institutions and ourselves. When we have higher standards, we become more vigilant, proactive and solution-oriented. With clarity and purpose comes the willpower and fortitude to become transformative.

Evolution was an unconscious process until recently. The Darwinian struggle is a brutal competition, and those evolutionary pressures built us into beings capable of self reflection, planning, and complex cooperation.

We’ve now crossed the miraculous threshold: we can conceive deeper meanings and make conscious choices in designing our world accordingly. To be conscious is to be responsible. This responsibility is the universe’s “test” to determine our worthiness of advancing to the next phase.

Every expression of culture, religion, economics, ideology and politics is a program in the collective consciousness. Some programs increase consciousness, freedom and empowerment and some decrease them.

To optimize politics is to optimize our world, to optimize our world is to optimize our collective consciousness, and to optimize our collective consciousness is to “level up” life and the universe.

No one is coming to save us.

We are the ones we’ve been looking for.

Do we have the guts to take responsibility?

For this reason, politics is spiritual. Not in any theocratic way, or even an uber-abstract theoretical way. On a practical level, how we organize ourselves determines how we think and what we do. Our politics is our organizing mechanism that determines our values, living conditions, lifestyle and culture, and by extension, how capable we generally are to increase in consciousness.

Some politics enslave, oppress, distract, dumb down or are purposeless. Some politics are liberating, enlightening and full of purpose. We, as conscious beings, have the responsibility to choose enlightened politics, and in so doing, lay the foundation for our descendants to ascend in consciousness.

One of the great tragedies of predatory capitalism is its purposelessness. It commodifies human beings and fetishizes status symbols and material accumulation as the ultimate ideal. With no sense of the genuinely sacred, the religion of consumerism has pervaded our culture, so ingrained that we can hardly notice its absurdity just like a fish doesn’t notice water.

In this modern consumerist ‘religion,’ shopping malls are ‘temples’, celebrities are ‘gods,’ and getting rich is ‘enlightenment.’ We may not consciously realize this, yet it’s the underlying matrix that we’re subconsciously ensnared in.

It’s a simulation of culture and fulfillment, but a gilded one.

There is no way that consumerism, poverty, atomization and exploitation in any way could be features of optimized human organization. What we have now is not “it.”

So where do we go from here? How high should our standards be for ourselves? If our evolution and optimization are viewed as sacred, we will realize we need to keep moving. We didn’t climb out of the primordial pools to call it a day here. Evolution won’t just hand it to us. A messiah won’t come down to grant it to us. We are conscious now, so we are responsible now. We can’t get complacent.

A Promethean society waits not for the fire of the gods, it goes and gets it.

Here’s a thought experiment worth considering. If you were about to be born, and could become any newborn, how would you honestly feel about your chances? There is a chance you could get spectacularly lucky, but there is a much greater chance you will not be afforded ample opportunities to maximize your happiness, consciousness and self-fulfillment. You would probably be nervous going in. To be born is to roll the dice.

The only way you could be totally comfortable in this situation is if you had the certainty that no matter which child you were born as, you’d have legitimate opportunities for happiness, consciousness and self-fulfillment. This is the ultimate freedom humanity has been striving towards since its inception- the end game that the freedom fighters of every generation have played a part in bringing forth and intuitively tapped in to.

Sacred politics views people not as consumers, but as conscious individuals with massive potential; not as means, but as ends. The goal of a truly enlightened system is simple. It’s none other than to optimize the happiness, consciousness and self-actualization of its people.

In short, this means an economics with no exploitation or privilege, yet with the means to allow the flourishing of ambition and creativity. It means a cohesive culture of an inspired and harmonious People led by a visionary and intelligent state committed to its people’s well-being. It means an education system tailored to maximize each child’s strengths and ability to discover and pursue their passions. It means a society centered around mental health, harmony, self-improvement, merit, altruism and our constant evolution.

Optimized politics is the politics of positive psychology and human capital.

When the idea of our optimization becomes sacred, we will optimize our politics. When politics is optimized, people will in turn become optimized, and this synergy will bring about the conditions for an explosive paradigm shift- because what couldn’t a happy, healthy, harmonious, talented and self-actualized population accomplish?

When we treat the actualization of our potential as sacred, we will succeed in that actualization. Like Prometheus, we will have brought down the fire of the sacred from the abstract to the real in order to illuminate humanity.

Then: Graduation, and on to the stars…

Idealist. Optimist. Rethink everything. www.phoenixgoodman.com