The cycle continues...

Anybody can justify policies to themselves if their priorities are allocated in a certain manner. One of the problems with politics - as practiced by the people, not the elite - is that we're so sidetracked by the latest controversy or legal parsing or grand dichotomy that we never question why we think what we think. And because we never get to realize our deepest inner truths, we can't communicate them in terms that others can understand in any profound manner. At some level, we must understand that even if we were to get our political way, the world would not be fixed.

I've reached that moment in the cycle where I realize that all my harping on politics is futile. I can't change anything because I can't make people be more thoughtful - at least not by talking about law, current events, or even philosophy. All my positions on these things presuppose a deeper understanding, an agreement I've reached with myself in order to make sense of the world. Moreover, this understanding is constantly changing, so that even if I had the ability to adequately communicate what I perceive as truth, that understanding would become obsolete. And even if I articulate this weltanschauung, I don't recognize the truths that others articulate. Something is always lost, and eventually all of us lose.

We're all desperately trying to get others to buy into our beliefs, hoping that it will make them come true for us. But that's not truth - that's competition. Competition has it's place, but what is more powerful is when people bring what they really believe to the table, and not their best argument for what they believe. You have to put your cards on the table, face up, and let the chips fall where they may. And that's the opposite of politics.

It's a cycle. We get caught up in the game and the opposing positions, burn ourselves out, smolder, and look for the spark again. Over and over we play this out in our lives, without ever understanding from where the spark originates, how it happens, and why. It's easier to try to burn brighter - there's more recognition in that. But the true advances in knowledge, including politics, are the ones where the spark has been cultivated to burn steadier, and light more fires.

It's not about being right, it's about finding out where everybody else is right, and meeting them there. It's about consensus. But who wants to give up being right?

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Written on Wednesday, December 28, 2005