What is wrong with the Country

United States Capitol

US Capitol (Photo credit: Jack in DC)

By country I do not mean any particular country, but rather, country in general. It could apply to Brazil, my native land, or to the United States of America, my country of citizenship and residence. And what I write, I do so as an inspirational spiritualist writer and speaker, rather than as a political scientist or a partisan advocate. I write because I am a patriot; I care about the nation; and I contribute what I can for the betterment of my country.

My educational background is in philosophy. I am always looking for causes behind phenomena. That is a good thing when confronted with huge problems. Yes, we need to deal with the immediate results of the problems–and at the same time it is good to see how and why we arrived at that point in the first place. I am convinced that this will help us avoid these problems going forward.

Dysfunctional Governments

Such is the case of dysfunctional governments: how did we get here, and how can we improve and prevent this from happening? Can we find simple, universal principles that anyone can understand? Do we need a PhD in political science before we even begin to understand what is going on?

Actually, I believe the answers to these problems are accessible to anyone. Why? Because I believe the answers are within each one of us. All great spiritual teachers tell us that the truth is inside each human being. The truth is simpler than it might at first appear.

In the Image of Humans

Nations are created in the image of humans–just as humans are created in the image of the Divine. if we understand the truth about ourselves, we can understand nations. If nations are dysfunctional, we will find the solutions right inside each one of us. We do not have to look far. Each individual has the key to the solution of national problems.

And what are we, humans? We are a stomach, with all the vital forces of the body; a brain, with all the communication interconnectivity of the mental processes of the body; and a heart, with all the emotional impulses of the body. The smooth functioning of these three parts (stomach, brain, and heart) constitute a healthy and vibrant human being. If we achieve balance among this sacred triad, then we have healthy and happy lives.

If, however, we are living a dysfunctional, imbalanced life, then everything we create will reflect this imbalance. This is so because we create things in our own image. If we create a country that is dysfunctional, this is so because we are living a kind of life style that is dysfunctional.

Can we find solutions for all this? In my opinion, yes. I believe we humans have been placing too much priority to the brain and not enough to the stomach and the heart. We are enamored with anything having to do with brain–anything intellectual, cognitive, or mental. Our heroes are people with great mental accomplishments. The best rewards go to people engaged in mental activities. We crave for teachers and leaders with great mental expertise.

What about the stomach and the heart? They are second-class citizens at best. They take very little of our attention. There is a tendency to take the stomach and the heart for granted, while expecting them to function with little care.

This imbalance is reflected everywhere: healthcare, education, life style, mental health, and so forth. Things that have been created in order to enhance our lives may turn out to be an added stress to life. An example of this is the digital world. It was created in order to help us deal better with our daily activities and responsibilities. But if we allow our brain to become over-stimulated by digital products, this could become a source of stress. Why? There is too much imbalance in favor of the brain.

What about education? Our modern educational system reflects an imbalance toward the brain. Little children are being pushed to start earlier and earlier with their brain education at the expense of physical activity and playing. The purpose of learning is to help us enjoy better and happier lives, but somehow this part of enjoying is pushed farther and farther back. Soon, the purpose of life becomes learning instead of enjoying.

Money and the Enjoyment of Life

Forex Money for Exchange in Currency Bank

Money (Photo credit: epSos.de)

What about money? Money is the symbol of goods and services. We surround ourselves with goods and services so that we can have happy lives. Therefore, goods and services are means to an end, namely, the enjoyment of life. If we focus on goods and services (namely, money) as the goal of life, this will create an imbalance. In that case, we will be missing out on the purpose of life itself, which is to enjoy life. Many spiritual teachers have warned humans of the danger of money, when it becomes the purpose rather than the means of life. This prevents people from finding the true meaning of life, which is enjoyment.

Business Organizations

Another example is a business organization. A business organization–like everything else that we create–is made in our own image. In other words, it has a stomach, a brain, and a heart. The stomach constitutes the productive forces of the business organizations; the brain are the executive forces; and the heart are the emotional forces.

FORCE America corporate building - Burnsville,...

Business (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Translating this into concrete terms, the employees who produce the goods or services of an organization are the stomach of that organization; they are the productive forces. The individuals who organize and execute the plans of the organization are the brain; they are the executive forces. The individuals who set the goals of the organization–with long-range plans, a vision, and corporate values–play the role of the heart of an organization; they are the inspirational side of the organization. This is an external reality that was created according to the internal reality of a human being. In other words, an organization is the mirror image of humans.

Which part should be valued most? All three parts should be equally valued. That is the balance of a perfect organization. In actuality, those who play the role of the brain are valued much more than everyone else. This creates a situation in which the brain of the organization receives all the privileges and benefits, and everyone else are like second-class citizens of the firm. That is the source of imbalance.

For brain health and mental health, that is a huge problem. A brain is not designed to create purpose, to set values, or to establish goals. Those functions belong to the heart and the stomach. The brain exists in order to receive those goals and then to execute them, to find the means to achieve those goals. It creates a huge burden and stress on the brain, if we were to demand of the brain to set the purpose and goal of life. That is not what brains are supposed to do.

The purpose and values of life are set by the heart and stomach. And when the heart and stomach set the purpose and goal of life, then the brain can receive that goal and purpose and execute it in the most effective and expeditious way. That is a happy brain. That is mental health. This brain exists for the heart and stomach–and not the other way around. This is a very important key to mental health.

How to find balance in the country

How does all this apply to the country? A country is no different from anything else we humans create. It also has a stomach, a brain, and a heart. The stomach is the people, the productive forces, the creative energies of the nation. The brain is the government. The heart is the culture, which is made up of the national constitution, the historical and cultural heritage, religion, a free press, and the cultural elite–such as teachers, intellectuals, artists, writers, and thinkers.

If individuals live a life of imbalance–in which the brain is given absolute supremacy over the stomach and heart–then the same imbalance will exist in the country. In this case, the government will have absolute supremacy. The government will try to control the people instead of serving the goals of the people.

English: Abraham Lincoln, president of the Uni...

Lincoln (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In contrast, if individuals live for the experience of joy and happiness–which come primarily from the stomach and the heart–then they will create a government in which the people and the culture are valued. In this case–as Pres. Abraham Lincoln pronounced in the Gettysburg Address–we can hope that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
October 7, 2013

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