James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Peace and Harmony

Claire Wolfe is retiring.

I'm not sure if Las Vegas has an over-under for the date of her comeback. But I say that the longer she goes without feeling compelled to write out political freedom issues, the less likely she ever will.

I certainly understand where Claire is coming from:
But I've changed. After a whole lifetime of being "political," I'm just not anymore -- as I think has been apparent for quite a while. I've always stressed that freedom begins with mindset. Now I see a deeper aspect of mindset: freedom is spiritual. I may write about that.
Personally, I've felt the same thing lots of times: one person can be in chains externally yet still be free internally, while another can bribe anyone or buy anything externally but be in chains internally. Sometimes this enlightened feeling goes on for days, but usually it goes on for a few hours in the evening, and in the morning it's gone; I read about some outrageous incident of injustice, and the old emotions swell back. And then there's my political bi-polar disorder: half the time I hate the State, the other half I imagine ways the State can be run well: what is the best form of government, what is the best foreign policy, what is the best form of taxation, etc.

But the problem of hating the State is the same as hating marriage/family, or hating organized religion. The real problem isn't the injustice or unworkability of the institution you rail against, it is your own personal hatred. Hatred is the antithesis of peace and harmony.

It seems to me that what just about everyone wants is peace and harmony. Values such as prosperity, justice, and freedom are derivative. "Peace" in the way I conceive it, means tolerance, and "harmony" means "working together for good." Peace is the precondition of life, of growth, so for the sake of peace one must tolerate even that which is disharmonious. If conditions are peaceful, error and disharmony will extinguish themselves eventually. Those who would use coercion to extinguish error and disharmony undermine peace, which extinguishes life itself. If we don't make peace the priority, we will enjoy neither peace nor harmony. The threat to peace among nations, and within nations, is that harmony is held in higher regard than peace. Going to war against allegedly dis-harmonious elements is valued more highly than life itself.

The ideal of Peace & Harmony has an internal element, in which mind/thought, body/heart/soul, and spirit/intuition are in alignment and have the same intentions. That is, a life free of guilt about the past, and free of doubt about the future. It also has an external element, in which the world outside oneself is aligned with one's values. If your internal system isn't creating the life you want, it certainly isn't creating the external conditions for the life you'd want. The one must precede the other.

Just as government doesn't make people virtuous, so it is that the external reality doesn't transform the inner life. Rather, the inner life transforms the external reality. If values are in conflict internally, they will create discord externally.

What this means is that if you're unhappy with your own inner life, you'll never be satisfied with external conditions; you will always find reasonable grounds to find fault with them. So the real revolution for freedom is internal: finding the means to make yourself a happier person is the best way to make the world a better place.

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