U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union message, in our opinion, fell short in at least one area. The elected leader of one of the most powerful nations on Earth failed to give even passing mention to the cause of all of the difficulties and problems that he said he was committed to solving with or without Congress.
With an audience estimated at 30 million, the chief executive of the United States said not a word about what’s true in America — and, for that matter, around the world.
Even a casual observer can see that not a single one of the systems, institutions and devices that humanity has put into place to create a better life for all is functioning in a way that has generated this outcome.
It’s worse than that. They’ve actually generated exactly the opposite.
Our political systems — created to produce safety and security for the world’s people — have generated widespread disagreement and disarray.
Our economic systems — created to produce opportunity and sufficiency for all — have generated increasing poverty and massive economic inequality, with 85 of the world’s richest people holding more wealth than 3.5 billion…that’s half the planet’s population combined.
Our ecological systems — created to help us produce a sustainable lifestyle — have been abused to the point where they have generated environmental disasters right and left.
Our educational systems — created to lift higher and higher the knowledge base of the planet’s population — have generated such a drop in global awareness and sensitivity that each year our intellectual common denominator seems to sink lower and lower. We can’t even remember our own telephone numbers anymore, or how to spell equanimity, much less produce it.
Our health care systems — created in hopes of producing a good and long life for an increasingly higher percentage of people worldwide — have done little to eliminate global inequality of access to modern medicines and health care services, thus providing the highest level medical services each year to an insufficient and unsatisfactory percentage of the global population.
Our social systems — created to produce the joy of community and harmony among a divergent population –have generated (and in some cases even encouraged) discordance, disparity, prejudice, and despair.
And, most sadly dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems — created to produce a greater closeness to God, and so, to each other — have generated bitter righteousness, shocking intolerance, widespread anger, deep-seated hatred, and self-justified violence.
What gives here? What’s going on with the human race that it cannot see itself even as it looks at itself? Where is humanity’s blind spot?
Might it have to do with our understanding about God, and our relationship to God?
Yes, I’ve mentioned God here because, in my opinion, unless we change our minds about God — about who God is and what God wants and who we are in relationship to God and to each other — none of the problems that Mr. Obama mentioned in his January speech are going to be solved. They may perhaps — perhaps — be given a band-aid, but they will continue to plague humankind as they have for lo, these many years.
For a country that declares itself to be “one nation, under God,” the leaders in Washington, and local political leaders across the land are doing a remarkable job of ignoring the topic of God when considering how to meet our collective challenges. They appear to be trying to solve our problems at every level except the level at which those problems exist.
The problems facing us are not political problems, and they are not economic problems, and they are surely not military problems. The problems facing us are spiritual problems. They have to do with what we believe about ourselves, about our world, and about God.
Specifically, the vast majority of humans adhere to the belief that we are separate from God, and separate from each other. It is this idea of separation that is killing us.
We looked at this in our last entry here, and I am going to repeat right now every word I said then, because they bear repeating — and I hope you will forward them on to every person whose life you touch. In my last post I asked:
Might this be a fine stretch of eternity during which to declare that there is clearly something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything?
To put it more dramatically, is it possible that unless we enlarge and expand our primitive ideas about God and about Life in the decades just ahead, we may find that we have backed ourselves into a corner, from which there is no escape?
Conversations with God told us that humanity nearly rendered itself extinct once before. Barely enough of us survived to regenerate the species and start over. Are we at this same turning point again? Have we arrived once more at the intersection where theology meets cosmology meets sociology meets pathology?
Right now we are still embracing a Separation Theology. That is, a way of looking at God that insists that we are “over here” and God is “over there.”
The problem with a Separation Theology is that it produces a Separation Cosmology. That is, a way of looking at all of life that says that everything is separate from everything else.
And a Separation Cosmology produces a Separation Psychology. That is, a psychological viewpoint that says that I am over here and you are over there.
And a Separation Psychology produces a Separation Sociology. That is, a way of socializing with each other that encourages the entire human society to act as separate entities serving their own separate interests.
And a Separation Sociology produces a Separation Pathology. That is, pathological behaviors of self-destruction, engaged in individually and collectively, and producing suﬀering, conﬂict, violence, and death by our own hands—as evidenced everywhere on our planet throughout human history.
Only when our Separation Theology is replaced by a Oneness Theology will our pathology be healed. We have been differentiated from God, but not separated from God, even as your ﬁngers are differentiated but not separated from your hand.
We must come to understand that all of life is One. This is the ﬁrst step. It is the jumping-off point. It is the beginning of the end of how things now are. It is the start of a new creation, of a new tomorrow. It is the New Cultural Story of Humanity.
Oneness is not a characteristic of life. Life is a characteristic of Oneness. This is what we have not understood about our existence on the Earth, the understanding of which would change everything.
Life is the expression of Oneness Itself. God is the expression of Life Itself. God and Life are One. You are a part of Life. You do not and cannot stand outside of it. Therefore you are a part of God. It is a circle.
It cannot be broken.