The Introduction to the final lesson says, “Let us together follow in the way that truth points out to us. … And to this purpose let us dedicate our minds, directing all our thoughts to serve the function of salvation. Unto us the aim is given to forgive the world.”
Yesterday I addressed the spiritual persona. Today, I would like to address the political persona. It is a tricky ego persona that gets in the way of “directing all our thoughts to serve the function of salvation” and keeps us from forgiving the world.
Spiritual students sometimes lose all clarity when it comes to politics or pet political issues like the environment, women’s rights, minorities’ rights, etcetera. They may argue that their emotional involvement is coming from compassion, but there is a distinct difference between compassion and the political ego.
Compassion comes from the right-mind. Compassion can move us to become involved in world-issues in some helpful way, but it is humble in feeling and non-judgmental in thought. It accepts the world as it is, does not pick one side over another and acts with right-action too. This is a balance the ego cannot maintain.
In contrast, the political ego is typically aggressive in some way. Its thought system is filled with judgment and attack.
For example, compassion for displaced refugees might give money to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or volunteer in refugee camps, but it is able to do these things without attacking the President for his refugee policy.
On the other hand, the political ego is very judgmental. It feels right in its point of view and sees others as wrong. In fact, the tricky political ego often does nothing at all to help; it only attacks. It might attack the President in Facebook for his refugee policy without taking any positive action or giving any money to help people who are currently having the refugee experience. The political ego is not as concerned with helping the world as it pretends. Its primary interest is taking a stand. In its own way, it wages war from its point of view.
To be moved by compassion without taking a stand is an aspect of humility. A stand, regardless of what the stand is, is ego’s way, not salvation’s way.