Politicians - as always - cause a lot of eyebrows to be raised, especially at times of political contention, including election time.
Assuming for a moment that 'Aliens' exist, and they were visiting the UK for the first time, they would surely be astonished at the way our politicians conduct their business. They vie against one another as though their party is 100% right about everything it was proposing when even 50% might be a debatable figure. And, of course, they make accusations against their opponents as though they are the only pure people to be considered.
But what is worse is that many of us take them seriously, for as we get older we tend to be less principled - cynical, even - and vote for what we think makes the best sense for the moment. Oh dear, can't we see what that leads to?! How can Brexit be the major issue when major climate issues are staring at us in the face, with the floods in the north and east midlands as a major case in point. Those floods are not a one-off.
Furthermore, we have a situation where not only the NHS is short of 43,000 medical staff and where school classroom sizes have ballooned from what they were nearly 10 years ago - when the Tories took office. And teachers have left their profession in droves because of bureaucracy.
The matter of Brexit seems to deflect us from those issues. Will voting Tory to get Brexit done solve those NHS and education issues? And not only that but the need for a return to proper funding of local councils so they can properly dispense the services that they are there to perform.
Now - as I've made it clear before - I am not intending to vote Labour, who promise to deal with those major issues and others, including (sensibly) the cancellation of the nuclear submarine programme. I choose not to vote for them because I frankly do not trust their leadership. But that doesn't mean I should vote for the current government, as I simply do not trust their leadership either.
I never did have 100% faith in our political leadership, but once upon a time I thought there were some worthies that deserved being listened to. Now I cannot respect any of the main parties, mainly because their representatives invariably speak with forked tongues or wear very tinted spectacles. The situation concerning our political leadership is very dire indeed in my view.
Speech - what people say, how they say it and what do they mean by it - is in my view a key matter that we need to address: it is fundamental, in fact, and in importance precedes the question of political policies, and particularly Brexit. We seem to have lost grip of our integrity and unity as a nation, as well as individuals. We (generally) do not make any real effort to determine what is the right approach to determining our future and are all too willing to settle for what is - at best - a 3rd rate result. And condemn the young generation to the fruits of our cynical point of view.
In my view, we need to get back to basics with the intention of restoring our national integrity, and that means we, individually, need to be the main focus of change. Especially with regard to speech and how it is uttered. In fact, a few days ago I read a simple but appropriate story that demonstrates the effect of speech:
Once it so happened that a teacher was giving a lesson to some children in the classroom. The teacher was telling the students about love for God, fear of sin and also the importance of speaking the truth. At that moment, a visiting school inspector overheard the teacher make that statement. Not liking what the teacher was telling the students he came inside the classroom.
The inspector told the teacher, “You are stating such lofty words to the children. Will there be any change or transformation in the children because of these words?” The inspector went on, saying: “By speaking these words, there is no effect on the children. You are merely speaking these words”.
The teacher, however, was very clever. He told a student, “Hold this inspector by his shirt collar and throw him out of the classroom!” The inspector then got very angry, telling the teacher, “You are putting me to shame. I am going to punish you”. The teacher responded, “I simply spoke those words. I did not really throw you out of the classroom. Right now you said ‘using a word does not make any impact then why are you doing it’, but because I used a harsh word, and despite what you said, there was so much reaction from within you”.
Therefore, the teacher proved that every word does have a deep and significant meaning. When a word is spoken, there is a feeling behind that word that leaves its mark on the one being spoken to.For me, this story - though it does not specifically say so - also relates to what is said in terms of whether an issue is true or not. We should not be allowed to be swayed by a political argument if it does not meet certain imperative truth tests, such as 'is it likely that such a policy will have a positive effect on climate change?' or 'will that policy help to bring about world peace?'
Why do I have such a strong view on this? Because we are intended to live according to certain universal laws. There follows another quotation from Hindu tradition (note that Aum - or Om - is recited before and after all Hindu prayers):
The fundamental element [in the universe] is space. Space is nothing but a kind of vibration. What is that vibration in the space? That is nothing but the sound of Aum. The space is the fundamental component of every other element like wind, water, fire and earth. Therefore, every element has this vibration of Aum contained in it.
From the earth emerged the plant world. From plants comes the food. From food emerges man! Therefore, the vibration of Aum, which is there in the earth, manifests itself first in the plants, then in the food, then finally in man himself. Therefore, the Aum vibration is perpetually at work in every human being, twenty-four hours per day.The conclusion from this is that what we say should be in tune with the universal vibration, Aum, in the way we conduct ourselves. Jesus, and all the great masters, understood this, as did philosophers and scientists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, and Aldous Huxley in his The Perennial Philosophy.
I happen to have the view that Hindu science and philosophy teaches far more than the modern versions of religion, whether Christian, Islamic or any other, though I do not question the validity of those religions in their own context. The above quotations mirror some basic and essential views of Hindu science and philosophy which, in my view, transcends normal religion.
If you can agree that those quotations seem to reflect some truth of existence, then we should be able to agree that we currently have some fundamental flaws in the way we speak and inter-relate as we all too often act without being conscious of those truths. Especially, but certainly not only, in the world of politics.
Perhaps we might be able to gain a proper sense of direction and be able to live in unity and peace if we could grasp and apply some of these truths. We can do it if we are willing and have love in our hearts. In fact, it is imperative we do this otherwise the future, the future of our children, looks bleak.
There are many people that strive in their own way to make this a better world, but it is now surely time that we collectively need to become more like real human beings rather than being influenced by the voices of fear. What else makes sense?
Thank you for reading this.