So where should we first look for this political, this ideological, this social, and this spiritual utopia?
We look to our world, because it’s all we have. We look at societies and nations who are beginning to live and learn through the lens of idealism, not just pragmatism.
And if truth alone be our master, then we should look first to the foundations, the building blocks, the first principles of our society.
Should our utopia be founded on belief in God, or non-belief in God, or freedom to practice either?
Should our utopia be one where as many religions as possible prosper, or one where the society is united by a common spiritual pursuit?
The answers to these questions are not simple, and I think they’re only meant to be answered in practice, and not hypotheticals. If the UK government turned around tomorrow and said that their society was going to be founded from now on on belief in God, how would that make the non-believers feel, act or think? It certainly wouldn’t be inclusive, and it would be a regression of our basic freedoms.
Similarly, we cannot purposively pull everyone in the same “spiritual direction”, even if this somehow does work with the variety of beliefs of the populace.
We are unable to make the world in our own image. If you could click your fingers and make everyone in the world believe in the same first principles and foundational beliefs as you, would you do it?
In one of his songs, the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne sings “we cannot know ourselves or what we’d really do, with all your power…what would you do?”
He may be talking about the President of the United States, or the Almighty, but his question is a truly interesting one.
One of my most treasured thoughts is the idea that in creating the world, God empties Self of all power. All power is handed over to the universe created, the conscious and unconscious life that has been given freely. God says “it’s yours”. In theology, it’s called kenosis (Greek for “emptying”), and it’s wrapped up with thoughts about Jesus’ earthly existence, and his death. It appears, however, in at least some form in most of the world’s religions and belief systems.
Perhaps, then, our utopian society would give up power as its first principle. But from whom and to whom?
If government is seen as analogous to God in this structure, I think that’s an error. Governments are no more and no less perfect than the totality of the people that they serve, and to say that power rests with government as a core principle is not right.
Power, let’s face it, should be with the people. But not one set of people, and definitely not the most “prestigious” people who are in positions of influence or power.
This is guiding us to one obvious conclusion: democracy.
Every voice counts, every voice is heard, and every decision is made based on what the people say and think, NOT on what the government decides without the people’s consent.
So where’s the archetypal democratic society in our world?