POLITICAL SPIRITUALITY: A TRIALOGUE IN THREE PARTS, PART 2

Characters


ANA (a budding spiritual teacher)


MARTIN (a spirited attendee of a public talk by Ana) 


JARED (a personal development coach, also attending Ana’s talk)


Part II (Click here to read Part I)



JARED …There is definitely a misunderstanding. 


ANA  May I clarify what I meant about perfection to you both? 


MARTIN  Please. 


JARED  Please!


ANA  Wonderful. So… Martin, right? 


MARTIN  Yes. 


ANA  Martin, I’m sorry I gave you the impression that I was discouraging political activism. That was in no way my intention. 


MARTIN  It certainly seemed like the natural conclusion to what you were saying. 


ANA  Quite the opposite. I’m a deep advocate for compassionate, non-violent political action. So much of the world is consumed by hate and greed and unnecessary suffering.


MARTIN  Yes!


ANA  And I’d love to talk more about the role I see meditation playing in all that. But first—I’m sorry sir, but what is your name? 


JARED  I’m Jared.


ANA  It’s good to meet you, Jared. I’m Ana. 


JARED  Yes, I know!


ANA So. Martin.


MARTIN Yes. 


ANA My experience has been this. I spent most of my young life consumed by resentment and rage. I believed that the system was broken, that people were broken, that I was broken. And I was desperate to fix it. All of it. 


JARED  I used to think I was broken too!


ANA  Right. This need to fix drove all of my thoughts and actions—for decades. 


MARTIN So far this doesn’t sound like a bad thing. It sounds like you were motivated to improve yourself and the world. 


ANA  I was. Except nothing important actually changed. 


MARTIN  What do you mean? 


ANA  I mean that people everywhere were still suffering, and I was too. And it didn’t matter how hard I worked. 


MARTIN Well of course some people will always be suffering… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do something about it. 


JARED  I’m not sure I agree that people will always be suffering! I think that’s a negative stance. Humanity’s going through an unprecedented wave of empowerment and evolution—people are waking up to their full creative potential! There’s no saying how much progress we’ll be able to make collectively this century. If—


MARTIN  If we survive this century. 


JARED  Now see, that’s extremely negative. 


ANA  May I continue? 


MARTIN  Please. 


ANA So—I was trying to fix everything, but everyone (including me) still seemed to be suffering basically constantly. 


MARTIN  Right. 


ANA And then something happened. 


JARED  You realized you weren’t a victim to your circumstances!


ANA  Well… I suppose you could say that. I’d put it a little differently. 


JARED  How would you put it? 


ANA  I’d say I somehow found myself asking myself the question—