Thursday, January 11, 2018

We Need a Moral and Spiritual Revolution

As time has gone on and the future of this country, and the world, have seemed increasingly bleak, I have dealt with an overwhelming sense of a complete lack of morality from the people on the right. These are, of course, the same people who claim moral authority because they've claimed Christianity as their own, despite the fact that they advocate for everything that is the opposite of Jesus' teachings. 

These people who claim moral and spiritual authority are, in fact, utterly devoid of morals. Devoid of compassion. They seem to entirely lack souls. All they care about is themselves. Their leaders are willing to let countless people suffer and die just to fill their pockets a little bit more. They're heartless. They're monsters. And so many people, despite being among those suffering and being taken from, will bend over backwards to defend not only their right to take, but the supposed morality of doing so. Mostly by parroting lies about the poor, saying anything possible, no matter how blatantly false, to try and convince themselves and others that the poor deserve to suffer and die.

I still can't wrap my head around it. But I do know that it doesn't have to be this way. Christianity, in the past, has been a driving force for good. It's defended and supported people no one else would. It was a Christian movement that was responsible for rights for prisoners and an end to the horrific conditions they had been subject to, which have been slowly creeping back into existence. Real Christians have championed feeding and sheltering the poor. 

Somehow, the entirety of the teachings of the Christ have been forgotten or are being ignored by millions of so-called Christians in this country. It's been replaced by a cold, heartless philosophy that says you must deserve whatever you have, whether it's obscene wealth or nothing but pain.

It doesn't have to be this way. Throughout history, spiritual revivals have popped up periodically. Sometimes they're shit, like the Evangelical Christian revival. But when they're actually based in morality and not hating others, they're great. And this doesn't have to be just about Christianity. That's just the religion I'm most familiar with. We need a general moral and spiritual revival.

The U.S. is so spiritually dead right now. Many of those who claim to be spiritual leaders here are doing it purely for the money. Which is the opposite of spiritual. They're dead inside. So many people are dead inside and miserable. Those who have money are trying to make themselves happy with more, going deeper into a downward spiral of greed. The rest of us don't have time for spirituality because we're spending all of our time trying to survive.

I feel like this is a big part of our problem. All this suffering, all this spiritual deadness, it created a situation where young people are growing up miserable and empty. And so they try to fill themselves with something, but what is there that's actually positive and fulfilling? Things don't work. Community does, but what community is available in a country that has been build on isolationism and a fetish for "individual responsibility"? We've separated ourselves in our box houses. We don't know our neighbors' names. For so many, the only community available are these awful Christian churches that are utterly and completely devoid of real spirituality. I know. I've been to them. It's all performative and based on the same weird fatalistic ideas. If you're unhappy, it's because you're a bad Christian, and you therefore deserve it. It's all fake, it's all judgemental, it's all dead.

Many young people turn to online communities. And what better community than the one that tells you you're better than others? There's nothing like the false comfort of believing that you're special and superior to others. That you have some kind of special understanding of the world. That you're somehow more "logical" than others. Sound familiar? It should.

We desperately need communities based on understanding, kindness, compassion, and humility. We need a new moral/spiritual movement. I personally believe that spiritual health is a thing, and it does not need to be centered on or involve a religion. I believe music is spiritual. Nature is spiritual. Self-discovery is spiritual. Reading a good book on a park bench is spiritual. Long personal talks with friends is spiritual. Anything that makes you feel more connected to others, to nature, and/or gives you a deeper understanding of yourself is spiritual. It's the opposite of these nazi "communities" that are about judging others and shunning others and attacking and killing others. It's the opposite of this perversion of Christianity that is all about pretending you're better than others and taking more for yourself at the expense of others. 

It's the opposite of convincing yourself that the homeless deserve to die in the streets because they must have brought it on themselves, and making bad financial decisions should apparently carry the death penalty. Fleeing from your home country to survive even though you're technically breaking the law by coming into another country without a permit that can take decades to obtain should be punished by exile that will likely end in your death.

How dead inside do you have to be to put your energy into convincing yourself that all these people must deserve their suffering? But there are literally millions of people in this country who think that way.

I have no idea how to start such a thing, but maybe if we can have a moral/spiritual revolution, we can save so many young people growing up into this dead world. Maybe they can find joy and meaning through compassion and understanding, through helping people rather than convincing themselves that they don't need to help because the poor and desperate deserve to suffer and die.

The latter will not fill you up. It only deepens the emptiness. I myself have at least tried feeling superior to others. In the long run, it doesn't feel good. What does feel good is humility. And compassion, and doing good. Caring for myself in ways that matter - with self-examination and therapy and treating my body with love. 

We can be alive again, America.

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