When I look at the history of America, like any big country, it is varied and mixed. But, there are a few moments in its history that whisper of evolution to me. The first is when George Washington gave up his seat of power. That demonstrated freshness and freedom from insecurity.
Then, the Existentialists – Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. And Lincoln by virtue of his values and his strategy and his grit. They heralded inspired values, Whitman with his epic poems and Emerson with his self-reliance essay and his depth of introspection. Thoreau with his conviction and love of nature, and not being a spent nature.
Also, Martín Luther King and the inspiration he drew from Gandhi.
All were great.
Foreign policy can be challenging. For any country. But America found itself together with the European powers as the counterbalance to Russia and China and a fight over ideology. India was somewhere in the middle. Communism could never succeed there (except by genetic assistance in the trading families of Calcutta) as it is a country, beyond all its issues, of profound devotion to the divine. It has a depth that not a thousand armies could up root.
The fourth great moment in American history for me, it was right after the Second World War.
It was a set of foreign policy drafted by President Truman and President Eisenhower’s administration.
It is the spirit of that moment that one must look carefully into to really understand the wisdom of it.
We cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
The British took over much of the globe because of their navy and their strategy.
I saw a meme of a boy standing outside a naval academy this morning. He had his t-shirt pulled up and he was staring at his naval.
America may be a new country, but plenty of old ones have their long winded enmity. After the countries of the world with the most economic might dragged all the others in to a major war, like none before in history, Truman dropped two bombs over the course of a few days. Between 110 000 and 210 000 died because of them; most were burned to death, many of the rest killed by falling debris. Thousands were injured too.
It ended the war.
The horror of it.
What do you do after dropping bombs like that?
Truman’s administration set up the 4 point plan.
It was based on a simple idea:
That America had knowhow in its universities and graduates and professionals that could “teach a man to fish,” in a number of ways – from irrigation engineers to foresters. And if we could share that knowledge with the world’s poorer countries, rather than speeding down the freeway of more suspicion and distrust, with a friend like that in America, then, by its example, a different symmetry would come up. Enough of pointless war already.
Carl Jung, to a great extent dedicated his life to the shadow self. It is the dark alchemical and very creative aspect of our nature. But it must be healed. When it is overlooked we have divorces and enmity.
In the ancient cultures that gave the world martial arts if you were taught to break a leg you were instantly taught how to heal it.
As imperialists and colonialists, man is very good at the former and not so good at the latter.
But, as humanists, we can reverse the tide: we can see into blindness that is lost in naval gazing. Boys with their toys. Boys with their deceived guns.
You pause and reflect and measure the life of Nikola Tesla. Just to read his writings you can see into how he straddled a shift in our capacity as humans, through his immense devotion to unraveling the mystery of electric power. In that sense, I feel Tesla was perhaps the 5th great moment of evolution – in the motor of what he aspired to we can find the future of our economies lifted – should we get our ecology right. The Ancient Greeks knew that husbandry of ourselves and the land and of natural science was absolutely critical to the good life and the evolution of man and life on earth. We still know that, when we pause and we pay attention.
You start at the end and you walk back. You see the farmland flourishing following Allan Savory’s ecological parameters, you look into how the evolution of man always comes down to a deeper refinement, you see into the value of the enneagram in that sense, you see the value of permaculture and aspects of Rudolph Steiner’s work.
He had things to say that can catapult us into new territories when we fully absorb the clarion of its wisdom.
What inspires me is that Mongolia birthed Ancient Greece and all that is good in the English speaking cultures and the French and the Spanish and the Germanic stems from that angled wisdom of the Greeks.
Yoga means Union. The United States is a Union. A union of all countries. And an evolution of the democratic experiment.
To mature we must recognize that naval gazing doesn’t extend our humanity, yet wise management of our emotional and real resources, inspired by real vision, that does. For affluence without wisdom is self-destructive and wisdom is the fruit of a deeper love; one, that by our activity and devotion, we can prioritize.