‘Conscience works less well collectively. Compared to individuals, a group is less free to self-correct its morality. It follows from this idea that the self-interested righteousness and imperialism of a nation, driven by cabals of power, are even more pronounced than the same tendencies in individuals.’
REINHOLD NIEBUHR REINHOLD NIEBUHR ON POLITICS, RELIGION, AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
This is the same guy who wrote the serenity prayer
The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). The best-known form is:
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.’
So political consciousnesses in Australia. Do we have a group, monkey see, monkey do mentally or are we just blind sheep? For example many people from religions, backgrounds disagree with the new laws in Victoria concerning assisted dying, this is their own personal view really?
My sentiments on the apparent high moral ground of religions institutions are not favourable. Groups of religious politicians are less favourable in my experiences.
Can we trust corporations, or non for profit organisations. The reality of any group even educational, can fall short of our anticipations.
As people we can vote, voting is a way of having a small say. Many don’t because of the hypocrisy of politics. I personally believe it’s important because it’s like saving a dollar, all adds up eventually and we might feel like a drop in the ocean but we can’t.
What do we do in times of feeling completely fucked over by systematic issues?
Becoming angry and complaining because you went through nine menus on the phone to Medicare and then after one hour getting cut off won’t help. Likewise, losing your temper about petrol prices or the stupid bank ATM swallows your card makes no difference. Taxes and government always win!
So the serenity prayer helps at Alcoholic anonymous meetings, and it may offer us some solace as well.
Next time you see yourself getting angry over the state of the government or school systems, taxation or economics, remember organisations don’t have a heart-beat like you and me and systemic issue have been broken for many years and take many years to improve, if ever.
The mental health system, only really, radically improved since 2014. In the 50s a husband could put his wife in a mental hospital 🤨
‘Through science, technology, and social organization Western man has built a civilization of unprecedented wealth and grandeur. Yet despite this mastery of his environment, he has given little thought to mastery of himself. In fact, his newly-acquired wealth and leisure have heightened his sensuality and weakened his self-discipline. It becomes increasingly apparent, however, that a stable and prosperous democracy can endure only so long as we have intelligent, self-disciplined, and properly motivated citizens; legislation and education alone will not ensure this. Buddhism presents a technique by which this can be obtained, but the responsibility rests with each individual. No one can cure our neuroses and strengthen our character except ourselves. In the Sumbha country in the town of Sedaka the Buddha once said: “I shall protect myself,” in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. “I shall protect others,” in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others one protects oneself. And how does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By the repeated and frequent practice of meditation. And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By patience and forbearance, by a non-violent and harmless life, by loving-kindness and compassion. “I shall protect myself,” in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. “I shall protect others,” in that way the foundations of mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.,
Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology by Douglas M. Burns