28 Comfort On Election Day & Week

Do you feel the charge in the air?

 Oregon conducts elections entirely by mail. It consistently produces some of the highest voter participation rates in the country. And you can’t hack paper. We got our digital “I Voted” stickers, which look like this.

Oregon conducts elections entirely by mail. It consistently produces some of the highest voter participation rates in the country. And you can’t hack paper. We got our digital “I Voted” stickers, which look like this.

On the day we’re releasing this (11/6/18), it’s Election Day, and The United States is in the midst of the most consequential election of our lifetime.

Over the past 2 years, at the highest level of federal government, there have been undisguised violations of our laws, willful abandonment of ethics and duty, and egregious affronts to human decency and the intelligence of our citizenry, and to the very concept of fact and truth itself.

If you’ve kept up with current events, you can cite examples of each.

Which means you should be – correctly and justly – upset about it.

We hope you’re doing what feels right to you, to #resist.

The reality of our times is discomforting and disorienting, to say the least.

But being here now, at this time in history, is our spiritual assignment.

How do we know?

Because we’re here.

God knows what s/he’s doing, and God put us here, now.

(For more perspective on the history of America, see the post The Amazing Power of Telling Your Story (inspired by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford).)

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A confession:

There are times we can feel like: we just don’t want to be bothered to show up for this assignment, though.

We’re tired.

We feel the temptation to ignore the reality, to just try and make a comfortable life for ourselves, hoping the grown-ups will fix it, so we can live our (childish) lives.

It’s a cowardly inclination, but there it is.

Thankfully, this weakness in character is not the truest thing about any of us.

The DEEPER truth, the TRUER self within us, wants something else.

What the true Self in us really wants, is to be part of a Great Story, and a Great Love.

Something epic, deeply meaningful, and profound.

How do we know?

Because even the entertainment made for the “comfortable life” on the couch uses that Soul hunger in us, to hook us in.

 Photo by Architects of the Capitol

Photo by Architects of the Capitol

Think of game shows, sports, and even announcements from big companies trying to make a splash and a sale.

They dress themselves up with a veneer that’s supposed to feel “epic.” Dramatic sound effects for a chair turning, fireworks and jet planes for football games.

And it works; the drama pulls us in.

But it’s like fast food.

Our souls aren’t stupid, just like our bodies aren’t stupid.

Fast food can’t actually nourish us.

And forged “epic” significance draped over mere entertainment can’t actually nourish our souls, either.

What we need is the real thing.

The Real Thing

The real thing is almost un-imaginable:

We are already part of a Great Story, the only story of its kind that we’re aware of in the entire universe.

This is our story:

 Frieze of American history in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Architects of the Capitol.

Frieze of American history in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Architects of the Capitol.

The evolution of space-time itself, of matter, earth, life, homo sapiens, spoken and written language, tribes, then civilizations, and finally the evolution of human consciousness that conceived a government of self-rule of, by, and for, the people.

The work of our spiritual life is to apprehend this to the degree that we might engage in it, with a consciousness equal to the task.

The work of our spiritual life is to accept the mantle of our role in this Great Story, and the duty and responsibility that come with it.

This requires not just our minds, but our hearts.

It requires our souls, and a reverence for what can only be called the sacred.

 This idealized depiction shows the principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, reading the document to colonists in 1776. From the frieze of American history in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Architect of the Capitol.

This idealized depiction shows the principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, reading the document to colonists in 1776. From the frieze of American history in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Architect of the Capitol.

Our nation’s founding document deemed The Sacred to be a guiding source.

The final sentence of The Declaration of Independence reads:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
— The Declaration of Independence

It appeals to the “Supreme Judge.”

From the final paragraph: …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…

Rectitude means moral uprightness, an earnest seeking for what is right, for righteousness.

Not self-righteousness, not ego-stroking smugness, not doctrinal or theological correctness.

Actual morality, actual integrity, and actual character.

Rightness and strength at the deep level of Soul.

Simple and shining morality is sacred.

Which is why our Soul – the deepest and truest part in us – responds to it.

 The Declaration of Independence Dunlap print. Photo by  The National Archives UK

The Declaration of Independence Dunlap print. Photo by The National Archives UK

The power of America is the power of the Ideals of America.

The same divine energy that flowed through our country’s founding fathers (as imperfect as they were), as they formed this country, is flowing through us, now…if we would have it.

There’s a story of a short conversation that took place between Benjamin Franklin and an American citizen, just after a meeting of America’s first Constitutional Convention.

A lady asked Dr. Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic,” replied the Doctor,  “If you can keep it.”

It’s in our hands now.

The Great Story has been passed to us.

 The U.S. National Archives Building, which houses the original Declaration of Independence. Photo by  U.S. National Archives

The U.S. National Archives Building, which houses the original Declaration of Independence. Photo by U.S. National Archives

No matter what happens in this election, our role and responsibility are the same.

The work of our spiritual life is to realize that our purpose has already been given to us, by virtue of our place in history.

Our purpose is to bring our best, deepest, and most sacred self to our times.

It’s an honor, privilege, and a rewarding pleasure, to do this work.

We all want to be part of a Great Story.

Part of the spiritual life is to realize that, you already are.

 Photo by  Will H McMahan

(For more perspective on the history of America, see the post The Amazing Power of Telling Your Story (inspired by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford).)

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