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The Spiritual r3VOLution Inspired by Ron Paul

[Note: This essay was originally published 2008-09-09, shortly after my return from the 2008 RNC. Thanks to friend and moderator photoshopwiz for serendipitously bringing it back to my attention today, at a time when I am searching and wondering about the purpose and mission of the Daily Paul going forward.]

Yesterday I said that my involvement in Ron Paul's campaign began as a political quest, but it has grown into a spiritual one. Spiritual questions are fundamental, eternal, and can only be answered by each individual. Who am I? Why am I here? What is this whole thing – life, the universe, everything - about? What happens to me when I die?

Not wanting to ask these difficult questions, most of us keep ourselves distracted nearly every waking hour. The media-entertainment complex takes advantage of our fear and desire to be distracted by offering up an endless loop of amusements: Cell-phones, video games, iPods, Blackberries (so you’re never out of touch, lest you have a silent moment – God forbid – to think, ponder or reflect upon your life!), movies, gossip, and of course "news." One of the biggest distractions of all is our political system, which has devolved into a system to divide and conquer Americans by appealing to our base, tribal natures and turn otherwise friendly neighbors against one another by focusing on differences rather than similarities.

The two parties may talk slightly differently and have different “platforms,” but by their actions and the fruits of their labors, they reveal themselves to be the same. They choose the most minor (but divisive) molehills to blow into the most outrageous mountains. Members of each party then claim those mountains as their own, climb atop them and fling stones and arrows at the other side. It accomplishes nothing but ego gratification for the participants and a tremendous, draining, emotional distraction for the spectators in the peanut gallery who think they have nothing better to do but propagate the same arguments they see on TV within their personal circle of friends, colleagues and family. Serious questions and debate get thrown under the bus.

*

But one thing to remember about this place – this place we all find ourselves together – is that no one gets out of here alive. We all share the exact same destiny, and that destiny is death. You’ll rarely have anyone on TV remind you of that – the whole point of the idiot box it to distract you from the ultimate destiny that you’re moving closer towards with each passing day.

To quote the Flaming Lips,

do you realize?
that everyone
you know
someday
will die?

Scary, isn’t it? So it is no wonder we distract ourselves with all manner of false concerns, blowing molehills into mountains, getting angry and emotional about all manner of trivia that at the end of your life won’t amount anything. You know the drill – just look at your life. Most people tiptoe through life on their way to death, not wanting to offend people, not wanting to get yelled at, not wanting hurt other people’s feelings, not wanting to get their own feelings hurt. It is a constant state of fear, and in order to avoid facing that fear, they “go along to get along.”

Some people might say it is depressing to talk about death. But understanding that there is no way to avoid your destiny can bring a new clarity of purpose to your life. You have only one life to live, what do you choose do with it?

*

Ron Paul sees with clarity the purpose of his life, but it was not until I experienced the cutthroat world of real politics at the RNC that I developed an entirely new level of respect for him. It takes courage to endure what Dr. Paul has endured. He is a human being, just like you. But how many of us have ever stopped to think how would it feel to stand alone in Congress, time and time again? How would it feel to face the laughter, ridicule, and mockery that he faced during the presidential debates? Would you be able to go toe-to-toe with Giuliani and patiently, kindly, and lovingly explain the roots of terrorism as a packed theatre crowd mocks you?

*

A word on love
One of the things that kept me sane on the plane ride home from Minneapolis was a book that my friend Brad, fellow MA alternate and all around good guy, gave me to read called The Servant. Among other things, it addresses a point of great confusion for most people regarding loving one's enemies.

How can you love an ax murderer, after all? It was in The Servant that I found the distinction of what this means. The Greeks had five words for love: eros, erotic love; storgé, love for family members; philos, brotherly / reciprocal love and finally, agapé – an unconditional love rooted in behavior towards others without regard to their due. In other words, do unto others as they would have them do unto you, regardless of how you feel about them personally.

What a blunt instrument the English language is, having only one word to cover so many distinct concepts!

When Jesus speaks of ‘love’ in the New Testament, he speaks of agapé, the love of behavior and choice, not of feeling. In this sense, to love your neighbor or your enemy (agapé) means to show them the same patience, kindness, humility, respect, selflessness, forgiveness, and honesty – regardless of whether you agree with them or not. Just as Dr. Paul does. He treats everyone – friends and opponents alike – with the same patience, kindness, humility, respect, forgiveness and honesty that constitute agapé love.

If I learned nothing more last week in Minneapolis, I learned this. All of this is more than just about electing presidents, and whether or not you’re going to join or leave the Republican Party. After the big vote, one of the MA delegates was telling me the story of what happened, through tears of sorrow and pain: “Before we came to Minneapolis, I never had any idea that all of this would happen – that it would all come down to this!”

We all share the exact same destiny. Most of the events that occur in your life are out of your control. The actions of other people are out of your control. Life’s best laid plans can all be shot to hell by some random, completely unpredictable event that blindsides you a Tuesday afternoon. Through all of this, the only thing that we have full control over is who we are going to be through all of it. They may laugh, jeer and ridicule you, but they cannot take away what you believe in and what you stand for. Only you can give that away.

Above everything, this is what Ron Paul has taught me. Not with words, but by demonstrating it with his own actions and his own life.

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It's been spiritual for me, too

The article that got me to decide to really listen to Ron Paul started out saying something like, "if you see a Congressional vote that is 432-1, that one vote was Ron Paul" (a Foxnews.com article, ironically). That statement spoke to my own Dark Night of the Soul, a time when standing up for my convictions had me standing alone, unbelieved, and conspicuous.

The camaraderie I felt allowed me to dare address something that had been tugging on my conscience - comparing my political beliefs to the Sermon on the Mount. I became a Ron Paul supporter with my Bible opened to Matthew chs. 5, 6, and 7.

Defend Liberty!

A wise man will bear in mind

On death:

A wise man will bear in mind that there is a time of doom... Indeed, he does not know what is to happen; even when it is ont he point of happening, who can tell him? No man has authority over the lifebreath -- to hold back the lifebreath; there is no authority over the day of death. There is no mustering out from that war; wickedness is powerless to save its owner... All this I observed while men still had authority over men to treat them unjustly.

Go, eat your bread in gladness; and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by God. Let your clothes always be freshly washed, and your head never lack ointment. Enjoy happiness with a woman you love all the fleeting days of life that have been granted to you under the sun -- all your fleeting days...

I have further observed under the sun that the race is not won by the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor is bread won by the wise, nor wealth by the intelligent, nor favor by the learned -- for death come to all.

Koheleth 8:5-8; 9:7-9; 9:11

on Ron Paul

There was a little city, with few men in it; and to it came a great king, who invested in it and built mighty siege works in it. Present in the city was a poor wise man who might have saved it with his wisdom, but nobody thought of that poor man. So I observed: Wisdom is better than valor, but...

A poor man's wisdom is scorned
And his words are not heeded.

Words spoken softly by wise men are [to be] heeded sooner than those shouted by a lord in folly. Wisdom is more valuable than weapons of war, but a single error destroys much of value.

Koh. 9:14-16,18

And on political philosophy:

The day will come when you cry out because of the king whom you yourselves have chosen; and the Lord will not answer you on that day.

Sh'muel (1) 8:18

"Life’s best laid plans can all be shot to hell"

"... by some random, completely unpredictable event that blindsides you a Tuesday afternoon."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPLWBhNW3FM

Ron Paul for Peace!

Great post..

it was nice meeting you at the RNC! I think all of us are on some sort of spriritual journey and being at the RNC was a real test. Personally, I was unsure whether i should have even gone, and I look back sometimes wondering what the significance was. It was part of our journey, and crossing paths with you Michael, and the other RP delegates, was such an amazing experience. We were all like brothers and sisters there standing up for what we believe in.. and like you said, most of it was dealing w/ sprirituality vs. political philosophy.
I know the fealings you were talking about. At the Rally for the Republic we all felt so energized and inspired. When we went back to the RNC, it was almost depressing and the energy just felt so negative.
In the end we were there to inspire others. I think we planted many seeds in people's minds and inspired many of them. Most of them may not even be aware of it yet. I was very inspired by my fellow RP delegates. The seeds we planted will grow!

Yes

Oh my God!

All I can say is....

Amen to this..

Micheal

Remember when we talked briefly at the Rally for the Republic. What I told you about the entirety of collective human consciousness and how it creates the physical reality.

We all found ourselves here because we realize that this life is more than the car we drive, what we own, who we think we control, or what political stance we may have at a given time.

Principle.. We are learning principle. Those of us who choose to understand this will go on when this life is over to another place of learning. Others will have to keep living reality until they get it. That is why so many of us here are drawn to Ron Paul's message, because he is living that life of principle we all want to embrace in this lifetime.

But this journey of principle isn't over yet.

You are right, it's truly a spiritual journey. I'm glad you understand, and am thankful you are helping others understand.

What you and many others took from the GOP convention has moved along your understanding and learning and moved you closer to the knowledge, the truth, the light that is what many refer to as god.

What we make of this existence is what we take with us, not the physical material of this reality we amass.

Glad to have experienced part of the journey with you sir as well as all the Patriots who comprise the Freedom Movement. For man was meant to be free and independent.

-Stephen

Find out if you have a local militia - http://www.uaff.us/

Real Patriots for 9/11 truth -- http://patriotsquestion911.com/

This is very good stuf...

FOR ME TO POOP ON!

Don't take yourself too serious,

Spirituality is a frame of mind just as religion and neo-con politics are a state of mind, and socialism and liberal politics are as wel...

If you are all-so spiritual you will forgive those who POOPED on the constitution! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LEa4A3UqvU

Ron Paul for Peace!

Yes, once you reach that heightened state of reality,

you will forgive those who pooped on the constitution, since evil is nothing but mere appearance. Those who poop on principles (the constitution, eg.) know not what they do. Instead of mocking at them, why not make it a reality for them, as Michael and BigT did at the RNC.

and he Smiles.

you'll understand one day.

Find out if you have a local militia - http://www.uaff.us/

Real Patriots for 9/11 truth -- http://patriotsquestion911.com/

Truth of God & Peace

We are all trying our best

Ron Paul for Peace!

Michael Nystrom's picture

Stephen

Thank you. I am in complete agreement.

I'm glad

I am glad you shared your experience with us, you effect more people with your honesty than you can imagine.

Find out if you have a local militia - http://www.uaff.us/

Real Patriots for 9/11 truth -- http://patriotsquestion911.com/

I think Michael is a smart guy!!

Wow!! I am so encouraged by your blog entry!!

As Chesterton says:

O God of Earth and altar bow down and hear our cry!"

Here's a link of possible interest to people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0JCJ4pIFEw

Non-Rhetorical

Those questions are truly important. Thank you for finally bringing them up!

Who am I? Why am I here? What is this whole thing – life, the universe, everything - about? What happens to me when I die?

We need answers. We need to seek the truth. We need to conquer death!

Who am I?
We are the offspring of God, (Acts 17:29)

Why am I here?
To seek the Lord, if haply we might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us. (Acts 17:27)

What is this whole thing – life, the universe, everything - about?
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph 1:10-12)

What happens after I die?
God has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, Jesus, whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Heb 9:27-28)

We need resurrection! We need eternal life!
We need to trust Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Rom 3:25-26)

Saying thank-you seems so inadequate!

Most of us on this journey, I believe, have found a new foundation and strength of character. Your post, so eloquently worded, strikes a chord with the many of us who have a hard time expressing these new-found feelings. Thank-you.

And I thank God for the introduction to Dr. Paul, this movement and all who believe in rebuilding not only a free nation but a healthier, moral one as well.

PyraBang for Liberty

PyraBang for Liberty

Debbie's picture

Thank you Michael,

you express yourself and what you learned from Dr. Paul so beautifully. I feel honored to be a part of this freedom movement along with all these other spiritual people. Throughout the Presidential campaign, I and others involved in it felt humbled, blessed and honored to be part of the campaign. We still do.

Long live the Campaign for Liberty!!!

Debbie

IF...

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry

Thank you

This has been one of my favorite poems since 4th grade, but it has never meant so much to me as it has while reading it tonight. Having just returned from The Rally in MSP, and a Campaign for Liberty meeting tonight, I found that on the drive home tonight my head was spinning. I really hate "politics", but reading this poem again lifted me into a higher place in seeing once again the "big picture". The Earth is ours, and I will risk all to seeing it returned to the good people on this planet. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places."

"Nothing is as it appears; everything is smoke and mirrors"

"Nothing is as it appears; everything is smoke and mirrors"

It's been my favorite too!

Thank you! You are right....there IS great wickedness in high places, but God will not be mocked....there will be justice one day...His justice!

Although this poem is not particularly spiritual, it has been my favorite for many, many years and is a good shot in the arm for maintaining courage through ethics when all around are bankrupt of it.

"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry

Well then, Michael. agapé.

___________

Lisa C.

If you love freedom, please consider joining: www.campaignforliberty.com

www.women4ronpaul.com -- provider of a new backup chat room for Daily Paulers in a "plan B" situation.

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

Why??????

John 3;17 Fore He came not to condem the world (jew and gentile) but through Him to reconcile the world (jew and gentile) to Himself. That is good news and why I can handle the years of rolled eyes and sighs about my love of the Bible and my country. I have been a member of the john birch society since 15 and a youth speaker etc. etc. Now at 54 I have more challanges as a doctor for integrative medicine, wife, mother of two adult sons and,and and and fill in the blank. It is good news!!!! I am OK and my patients are OK even if my Ron Paul MD button stays on my chest next to my cross. MY Ron Paul sign stays in my yard and my rear window ron Paul for President 2008 will only have to change the number to 2009 (get it)! I am keeping it all. My beliefs, my signs, my hope my love and compassion for all mankind. I am having fun. I repeat I am having fun!!!!!!! And I will continue to have fun another 45 years doing the same thing. SOOoooooo. Be cool smile and have joy unspeakable with peace towards all mankind. It's fun. Dr Rita

Hello Rita

Welcome. Have you been here awhile or is this the first time you are checking in?

Healthnut4freedom

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6

Healthnut4freedom

The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

You found out...

...that it takes a lot of guts to be Ron Paul. Thanks for fighting in the trenches at the RNC.
I learned a lot too in Minneapolis. In fact it was a life changing event for me.
I met so many intelligent people with who I instantly had something in common. What a great 3 days.

Dr. Paul truly lives his values many of which are I think influenced by Ayn Rand type of thinking. It's a very deep and wonderful philosophy which her books portray so well and we all would be well served to understand.

Pawnstorm

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

That's the main reason, why I'am still around here.

It would be worhtless without being spiritual.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

from T.S.Eliot, Little Giddings

Dr. Paul cured my apathy

Ron Paul was right

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience

http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/eliot01.html

another great post

In the words of Bill Hicks there's two ways to look at the world-through the eyes of love or the eyes of fear and its your choice.
This has been one rapid and much needed education for me. You've made a great community of learning and I appreciate it.

Amen to that

And thank you Michael for sharing your personal journey with everyone here. You are truly a blessing.

LivingTheDream

Excellent, touching post, Michael. Love & Freedom!

Thanks for the post, Michael.

Love and freedom are the two interlinked qualities in human life required for a healthy, sane, and prosperous world. There is no substitute; we either create more love and freedom or the power of twenty-first century technologies, combined with widespread emotional damage and tyranny, will put an end to us.

One more thing -- an added focus, really -- is needed: compassionate, loving care of the young, because early experience is the foundation for later character and action. "Sensitive dependence on early conditions" is a huge factor in human life, and to ignore this truth is to fail.

The freedom movement NEEDS to understand that love and freedom go together and require each other.

I have a book and website that cover this in some detail; the website is http://www.paradise-paradigm.net and the book's Table of Contents and Preface may be viewed in a PDF linked on the home page. My columns at Strike-the-Root all have love and freedom as a focus in one way or another. http://www.strike-the-root.com/archive/allport.html

Here's an excerpt from a page specifically on the topic of love and freedom:
http://www.paradise-paradigm.net/lovefreedom.html

- - - - -

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.
-- Karen Sunde

I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Love includes freedom. Indeed, denying someone their freedom is the opposite of loving them; murder, slavery, and kidnapping are extreme examples, but any use of coercion harms love.

Love and freedom may also be seen as two sides of a human duality, much like yin and yang. Emphasizing one over the other is a mistake, because any imbalance means at least one side is below the healthy, optimal level. High levels of both love and freedom are required for a healthy society.

We require love because we are all one. We are all connected. We are all brothers and sisters, and love is what we were born for. Yet we also require freedom because each of us is a separate and unique individual. We each have our own thoughts and talents, our own preferences and desires. This natural diversity among individuals brings strength to the group.

As an individual, your uniqueness makes you who you are. When that uniqueness is denied, you feel disrespected; being part of the whole is not the same as being a cog in a machine. Love includes both a sense of oneness with others and respect for each person as a unique, free, and self-controlling individual.

---------------------

When levels of love and freedom are low, disaster is certain. It often happens that a nation or society emphasizes one quality over the other. Love and freedom must be in reasonable balance, and at high levels, for a healthy society. This page will discuss that truth in more detail, which means that you may find it uncomfortable. I encourage you to read through the material despite that, because while defenses are necessary in life, they can also prevent us from understanding the importance of real change. For my part, I promise to keep things brief -- at least, relative to what the topic deserves.

In his famous essay on Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau asserted: "That government is best which governs not at all."

Why would Thoreau say such a thing? Simple: Government is nothing but systematic, widespread coercion, and reducing coercion (force, violence, and threats of force and violence) to the minimum is the only approach compatible with a healthy society. It is the only approach compatible with love, compassion, freedom, and prosperity. Herbert Spencer understood this as well, and pointed out that government coercion is "violence in a latent state."

How could using violence, in a latent state or otherwise, be a good way to bring more love and compassion into the world?

Indeed, government's society-wide use of initiated coercion destroys love; in particular, coercive government enables the worst symptoms of emotional damage. For example, at the extreme, hatred and bullying become genocide or war, thanks to an army and secret police force populated by emotionally damaged soldiers and agents. In turn, a surprising amount of this emotional damage is caused by government action: war, pogroms, gulags, genocides, famine from either mismanagement or on purpose (e.g., the famine in the Ukraine inflicted by Stalin, which killed more than six million people), harmful social policies, needless poverty, and other government crime or interference. Yes: emotionally damaged parents cause emotional damage in their children, but coercive government causes far more damage than most people care to believe.

For detail on how emotional damage in childhood (and in infancy or even in the womb) causes later neurosis, misery, and harmful behavior, see elsewhere on this site, including Scientific and General References.

Less coercion and early pain =
Less neurosis and violence =
A more loving, healthy, and compassionate world.

This is what it was always about

We have arrived.

"Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Mark Twain