Tuesday’s votes are already counted

"Vote" buttonA spiritual teacher I highly respect recently confided to me, “Contrary to the view I usually hold of human beings as inherently holy, I have trouble holding that view of one of the political candidates. I would have less trouble holding Hitler as holy; at least Hitler had some passion. This guy, no matter how hard I try to see him otherwise, seems empty, soulless, and zombie-like to me. And I wonder why I can’t seem to get past this with him. He makes me shudder.”

I could relate to her concern; but I couldn’t concur with her angst. That’s because while I fervently believe all souls are inherently holy, I don’t hold the same view of human beings. For me, “human” is the costume we’re wearing; it is not at all who we are.

The Body and Soul Disconnection

Distinguishing the mortal body from the immortal soul provides a different and deeper context for the drama on Earth’s stage. It enables me to watch the action from Life’s balcony more objectively, and opens me to the possibility that there is a script outline guiding the acts.

Paper ballots in boxesWhen you watch Life long enough from the balcony, you can glimpse evidence that “the script is already written.” This U.S. presidential election drama is no different: The votes were cast and counted eons ago, just as the evolution and devolution of this planet were obvious in the Big Picture.

A Body with a Soul or Vice Versa?

Let me explain: Imagine that you were made in the image of your Creator: immortal, invisible, and invincible. There is no beginning or end to you. You are soul, and as soul you have the free will to do whatever you want.

One day, you learn that something dramatically transformative was going to occur on teeny tiny planet Earth during the 21st century. Grand theater! You don’t have to watch it from afar; you can actually be part of it.

You survey the planet’s locales, and decide the perfect place and circumstances. You spot old friends over there who could be your parents and siblings. While their bodies sleep, you huddle with them and plan your entrance onto Earth’s stage. It’s all quite exciting, and what a break from the monotone life of soul: *Om*

But here’s the thing: You quickly discover that millions of other souls had the same idea. Bummer.

Entering Earth’s Stage

There you are, in the wings of Earth’s theater, surrounded by a swarm of souls patiently awaiting their stage cues. There’s no pushing or shoving. There’s no anxiety—with the exception of those who are returning to the stage because they bombed miserably in their previous performances.

Golden Rule on bronze bears statueThese bad actors have reason to dread the return. They violated a rule so simple and so basic that some call it golden: They treated others in ways they wouldn’t want to be treated. Now, they will be treated the way they treated others. Ergo, the queasy feeling in their celestial bellies. Diagnosis: Bad karma.

But enough of those unfortunate karma creators. You’d rather focus your attention on your temporary home, an intriguing location called the United States of America.

Intriguing is an understatement. This particular spot on Earth, considered the leader of the free world and a Christian country, paradoxically was founded and has been sustained for more than 200 years through acts of oppression, suppression, bigotry, injustice and violence—often under the guise of religion.

The Karmic Ricochet

America is in a “what-goes-around-comes-around” world. It is governed not by the laws of men, but by the Law of Karma. Some call it the Law of Attraction or the Law of Reciprocity. It all means the same.

Most of us don’t believe that because we’ve seen too many people fail to receive what they have given. But karma isn’t attached to people. People are merely human body costumes that souls wear during that bat-of-an-eyelash experience called a human lifetime.

We step out of our bodies, leaving them like a heap of gym clothes on a locker room floor. And the karma we created while wearing those bodies follows us, just as the glory or embarrassment of athletes’ performances follows them, not their uniforms. Karma is also attached to the soul of a nation.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The karmic energy of this country, a mere molecule of this dust speck of a planet hanging in the massive universe, is seductive to those who revel in pain and discord. But it is just as attractive to souls who want to heal pain. That’s why you and I were so determined to be here now.

We knew about the karmic history of this place; some of us even helped create it. We knew that 2012 would signal a major turning point, a shift. We knew that the schisms and “isms” that have historically mired this nation had to be coaxed from the underbelly into the sunlight so that they and the nation could be healed. We also knew that one incredibly courageous actor would volunteer to be the target of the venom and the catalyst for the healing.

We’ve read the script. We know the outcome. The votes were cast and counted before most of us stepped onto the planet. Tuesday our body costumes will discover what we already know: whether or not this nation, through blatant disregard and disrespect for all of creation, will eat itself alive.

Declaring Freedom, Choosing Oppression

At this time every year, Americans celebrate our freedom from tyranny and oppression. What irony. We decry others’ extremist behaviors; but we can’t see how, in our individual interactions, we are also tyrants and oppressors.

We wonder how those whom we’ve labeled “terrorists” can claim that their actions honor God. But aren’t we doing the same? At every opportunity—at least once weekly, sometimes daily on Facebook or Twitter—we oppress and terrorize others, typically in forceful, angry and condescending tones. We are “saved” from God’s wrath, and they are not. They must do, say and believe what we want them to believe. Or else.

Terrorism, tyranny and religion thrive on threats of extreme punishment (satanic torture that lasts for an eternity) and extreme reward (eternal bliss with vestal virgins). Both rely on the premise that God solves problems through punishments that exceed any human crime: He sadistically hurts or destroys all or part of His creation through genocidal floods, filicide (feel free to consult an online dictionary), torture, natural disasters, plagues and curses. Fascinating stuff. It gives new definition to the word “divine.”

We kid ourselves when we claim to love a God who not only lacks compassion, but is extremely brutal to others in our human family. How do we react to such a sadistic God? Actually, our options are limited. We can:

  1. Emulate this brutal behavior and call it “holy;”
  2. Spread panic by warning everyone within earshot that God is going to heinously brutalize them forever unless they believe that He has heinously brutalized others;

In the case of those who call themselves Christians, there are other options: We can realize that God is not bi-polar. Love is not vengeful or inhumane. If God is Love, God does not do things that Love does not do.

We also can carefully read the accounts of ancient scribes. Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says that anyone who believes that everything in the Bible is true, simply hasn’t read it. Most quote the text that proves their point and discard text that contradicts it:

  • God could be in only one place at a time—in or out of the Garden of Eden—meaning that God is not omnipresent;
  • God didn’t know where Adam and Eve were when He returned to the Garden—meaning that God is not omniscient;
  • God gave some of His power to Satan—meaning that God is not omnipotent;
  • The number of animals who entered the ark, the number of days it rained, and the length of the stay on the ark constantly changed, sometimes in the same verse;
  • Jesus was born in a barn and in his parents’ home;
  • God is everywhere, but there’s only one path to get there—and other inconsistencies.

Let’s declare our independence from oppression and oppressing. Let’s unshackle ourselves from beliefs that denigrate God as an angry, vengeful and sadistic tyrant. Let’s celebrate our freedom to relax in the embrace of a God who loves us unconditionally—no matter what we believe.