Friday, August 31, 2012

Progressive or Conservative?

     I see the terms progressive and conservative as neutral, each having a light and shadow element. I see conservatives as those holding to the Hellenistic Apollonian wisdom tradition, embracing really smart archetypal ideas and ideals that work over time. In the Helios/Apollo myth, the Greeks realized there is a wise conservative path for the sun to travel each day--to change it is to invite disaster, as seen in Phaeton's mistake. The Founders of America enshrined many of these Apollonian truths in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The conservative weakness is in getting stuck in areas that require development. That is why I had to leave the dogmatic wing of the evangelical residence years ago.

     I see progressives as being delightfully Dionysian, not afraid to look at new ideas and new ideals, to make changes where they are clearly better. They see the developmental nature of the psyche and society, and are bold enough to oppose old worn out views and laws. However, their weakness is in mistaking "change" to be a virtue--not all new ideas and ideals are clearly better just because they are novel. As C.S. Lewis has written, "We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."

     That is why I am an independent, attempting to choose the best of both parties and avoid the worst of each. I do think that both are far too black and white in their thinking--the republicans in morality issues like homosexuality and and sex in general, and the democrats with their tendency to divide the country by class, gender, race, and religion. I understand that much of this either/or thinking by both parties is due to the need of their respective politicians to acquire votes, and for the media news networks to attain commercial ratings and make money. Conflict has always been effective for power brokering and economic success. However, psychologically it is also important to see that such divisions serve a useful purpose. The natural and necessary condition of the human psyche is innately binary and oppositional, which is a requirement for individuation or soul-making. Humans must have choices and conflicts to evolve psycho-spiritually. This began in Eden with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Humans need conflict to develop into the image and likeness of God, or if you prefer a secular view, Freud wrote: "Psychoanalysis early became aware that all mental occurrences must be regarded as built on the basis of an interplay of the forces of the elementary instincts." Read more:

     These days I can see both the buffoonery and wisdom of both parties. Neither is sacrosanct and both are, in my opinion, necessarily in bed with corruption. The choice for me is of the lesser of two evils, choosing to align with the ideas and candidates which best support the freedom for personal soul-making--recognizing that this world will never become heaven or hell, but the playing field for each soul to be formed into unique selves.

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