We live in a time of “superheroes.” People will idolize fictional characters because we don’t trust our fellow humans enough to idolize them. Fair enough. We’ve been wronged. We’ve been taught incorrectly. We didn’t have the right support system to nurture our ability to care for the people we cross on the street.
Today, I would like to discuss the topic of justice, as per some readings I’m studying by Denise Breton, Christopher Largent, and Stephen Lehman:
The western world’s justice system is unfair because it is based on incomplete knowledge (at this point, I would like to make the note that I will likely speak solely from a westerner`s point of view, because that is what I am. If that changes, I will let you know). If we do not get to know our fellow humans or respect the laws that they govern themselves by, how can we be expected to have accountability to one another?
We need full-disclosure. We must share in the name of justice.
At the moment, we are all competing for rewards and we are all avoiding punishments (pleasure obtained from punishment is not punishment, for the record). We have created an individualists paradise, also known as a collectivist`s hell. Every hungry dog will fend for itself.
Our connection to one another goes ignored, again.
When each of our actions elicits a reward or punishment reaction, we grow to feel as though we are always being judged. Those who teach us: our parents, school-teachers, mentors – their voices live on in our minds for the rest of our lives. This list of voices also includes our abusers and those who told us that we wouldn’t amount to anything.
The reward-punishment dialectic creates only fear in the end. No reward can be completely satisfying when we know that punishment is in our future. We become obsessed with winning, although praise only reminds us that we are being judged at all times.
But our souls speak to each of us, whispering the truth of our feelings, intuitions, longings and joys. Plato and Socrates wrote in The Republic that justice must be found within. It is only when we embrace who we are that we affirm what matters; or, our purpose in life.
Justice requires a type of subjective understanding, which Sufi poet Rumi tries to explain to us in the following quote (I’m sure it sounds 1000x better in Persian, too):
When you do things from your soul,
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from another section,
the feeling disappears.
What calls you in life? – Let your love guide you. It’s no mystery why we tell each other to do what we love. We have so much intuitive knowledge that I wonder if many people stop to question why they choose to give beautiful, heart-felt advice like this and do not follow it themselves? I think that more of us recognize the powerful psychic moments that we have; where we feel love radiating to us over a great distance, or we are overwhelmed by a thought, or a memory. And when we practice restorative justice (attempting to understand our offenders and make peace with them), we heal the rifts created by our individual greed. Let us free ourselves of our disconnection, because that is what is causing us to hurt. It is a mysterious connection that unites us all and it is time that we look at the roots of crime, not the results.
Starting with ourselves, our relationships, and how we deal with hurts, we can invite a new and truer justice to be born among us.
If you are sufficiently satisfied with belittling the choices of others, you are welcome to. However, do not be surprised if the world around you does not change for the better; and rather, your feelings of isolation only grow.
My suggestion is having genuine conversations out in the open. Tell your friends how you really feel in a public space and do not worry about who is listening. If you are ashamed, or if you get angry or upset about people listening in, you are likely not being honest with your true purpose. Leave your rational mind out of this – it has interfered with your heart’s thought processes enough already.
Connecting with one another primarily through digital screens, displaying our highly-stylized lives, creates a scenario where your accountability is only to those who we have chosen as our overlords: the world’s Telecom companies and everyone their boards of directors’ answer to. Do we know who telecom BoDs answer to? What happens when the heads of these huge conglomerates meet in secret with heads of other industries, investment firms, governments, etc?
Below is a list of annual meetings for which proceedings and attendance are closely guarded secrets. Lucky for us, we have whistle-blowers. And if you don’t want to trust them, at least google the below names to see that at the very least, these groups do exist:
- Bilderberg Group
- Trilateral Commission
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Club of Rome
- Committee of 300
- Bohemian Grove retreat
*This is not an exhaustive list. These are just the most prestigious known meetings.
Before I push you away, I want to acknowledge how important it is to share information, and so it’s wonderful that the leaders of major telecom companies are meeting with the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, as well as editors-in-chief of leading international media publications. The issue here is secrecy – their secrecy from us, their consumers. We have become accountable to whom we are indebted. And let me put your life into the abstract context that we have created: we have invested our selves into our technology. Our secrets are being held in the cloud and we no longer control them – they do.
Who is they? Who cares. The point is that it’s not you or I right now. But let’s change that together. Tomorrow I share with you one of my secrets, and why nurturing our collective can give us the power back that we lost long ago. Some of us have lost it for good; lost to technology and individualist justice. Let them go; they are a part of us, so if we change, their potential will as well.
Fear isn’t a bad thing; it’s a matter of learning what to do with it, and how to take action in the midst of it.
Today’s meditation: Zazen continued…
My intention for today’s meditation is to live honestly, with integrity.