How do I get myself involved in politics?
Why should I involve myself in politics? What is politics? The search for power, isn’t it? Now an idealist may say that one can bring change through politics. How does one bring change through politics? Again through power. And what change can politics bring about? Only by making changes in the system. Can politics address the psychology of a human being?
The communists wanted to bring a more equitable world; they criticized the capitalists and feudalist governments. What happened after communism overthrew feudalism? They became the new dictators, the new group of people exploiting the masses. Why? Because one can keep changing systems but eventually human greed is always going to overthrow all systems and enthrone itself. The system is a product of human thought. One cannot separate human thought from system, and whenever one does, it results in power and it’s abuses.
Can power and authority resolve the conflict of humans? The very mechanics of power creates conflict. Power is based on the fact that “my idea” is right and “my idea” must be followed. Others who don’t follow my idea are wrong. One may talk about democracy, which again is an idea. In democracy as a system, everyone is equal on paper, but in real life there is raging inequality. The only equality one has is the right to vote; the whole idea of democracy is reduced to a right to vote.
The main problem is human greed, which cannot be addressed by any systemic solutions like politics, economics or science. Even religions have failed to address the problems of human conflict. And the reason why all these have failed to address the human problem of conflict is that they are all based on thought. One has to deeply understand the nature of thought because it is thought which is inventing systems and religions. Thought is creating the problem and thought is trying to solve the problem. The problem cannot be solved in the same level it was created.
Now, what is the problem with thought. Here, I am talking of psychological thought, not technical thought which is about learning science, language etc. The technical thought is what we use to solve technical, everyday problems like building our houses etc. It’s the psychological thought which creates havoc in relationships. Psychological thought is based on measurement. It is the thought which thinks good and bad, right and wrong, high and low, true and false. This psychological thought which makes value based judgments, is at the root of human conflict. The Communists think that they are right, the Capitalists think they are right, the Socialists think they are right and then each fights with the other. This divisive quality of psychological thought is there in every field of human relationship.
Psychological thought builds a centre in each one of us which we try to nourish and grow at all cost. The centre creates a process of psychological becoming. If I am poor, I want to be rich. If I am rich, I want to be famous. If I am famous, I want to be powerful. Till this process of creation of a centre by psychological thought is not understood there is bound to be conflict. I may talk about equality but I teach competition in schools. I may talk about environmental degradation but I want to maintain a lifestyle that suits my class and status. I may talk about inequality and poverty but work in multinational, capatitalist companies which are responsible for creating poverty in the first place.
Our whole society and world is divided into castes, classes, nations and races. Psychological thought based on measurement cannot work without identifying itself with one idea or the other. And when we identify with one idea, we come in conflict with it’s opposite. One cannot escape this duality of psychological thought. Even religions who promise liberation of man have not been able to resolve the conflict. Each religion has it’s own way of liberation which is very different from the other.
Can psychological thought solve the conflict? No. It is because psychological thought cannot exist without division. It is a process based on duality. The problems of humanity can be resolved only when there is an ending of psychological thought, and the awakening of a new intelligence in man, which is beyond thought and beyond duality. Such an intelligence would not work through fragmentary ideas of thought but the wholeness of compassion.
Can psychological thought come to an end? Have we ever gone into our thinking to even ask such a question? No, because we have all the time been busy using the instrument of thought to solve the problem of conflict. We never look at the instrument itself to see whether it can solve the conflict, or even more radically, whether the instrument itself is the cause of the conflict it is trying to solve.