Monday, April 5, 2010

Sri Aurobindo opened up my eyes about the connection between the material and the spiritual world

Edison Dudoit: Hi, my name is Eddie. When you were downstairs voting, we had a discussion with your assistant about the spiritual and philosophical essence behind your answers and explanations to our questions, and we’re all very curious where that sort of consciousness developed in you.

Dennis Kucinich: From literature; from the English romantic poets; from Roman Catholicism; from mysticism; from the writings of Gandhi; from an understanding of Hinduism and Buddhism – and as I mentioned earlier – Catholicism, of theism and atheism; from studying quantum physics; playing baseball, football; from being a father; from asking questions; from coming to an understanding that my life doesn’t belong to myself alone; from realizing that I am by reference anyone else. That we are multidimensional beings; that there is a physical element to who we are, there is an emotional element, intellectual, spiritual; that we exist simultaneously in so many different levels as beings; that our thoughts matter, our words matter, our actions matter, they need to be integrated.
And so it’s not the province of any one religion – although my thinking derives from many different religions – or of any particular type of political philosophy. There is a Hindu writer and statesman by the name of Sri Aurobindo; when I started to read his works, it kind of opened up my eyes about the connection between the material and the spiritual world. Now, my study of Roman Catholicism also reflected on that, and I saw it in a different light when I started to study Aurobindo. I see this constant interplay between the material and the spiritual world going on all the time. I believe that without spirit we’d just be empty shells, and spirit infuses us and helps us quicken and elevate the material world; helps it ascend. So I try to put that in to every moment. And you know what? It works. And it makes life interesting and fun. …That’s a partial answer. …

There’s a sense in which when we talk about having vision, we put it in the context of time. I find that if we are in touch with our timeless nature, if we can understand that time truly is an illusion, not simply in an existential way, but in a way in which we are universal beings, we are connected to everything and all. And when you stand for something, there are principles that are timeless. Human unity is a timeless principle. Interconnectiveness – timeless principle. Interdependence – a timeless principle. Peace – timeless. Love – timeless. Hope – timeless.

So when you look at the expanse of the universe and you try to draw forth from that universe the possibilities into this present time – whether it arrives, whether those hopes are realized in 2006, ‘08, ‘12, ‘16, ‘20, on and on – is not the point! It’s that you connect your aspirations with a dream and move towards it. And that’s what counts. It is the journey, not the destination. We don’t always know where things will lead, but we have the right to make the choice to take the trip. And so I choose to take a journey of hope, and that in itself is its own reward. Where it leads, I can’t tell you. …

Keats once wrote that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” We have the opportunity of creating a more joyful world by reaching for the beauty that’s in the world and the beauty that’s inside of each one of us. And so you have a chance of connecting with that and sharing it with the world and it’s really in a sense an obligation. So I invite you to participate. This idea for a Department of Peace is really about creating a culture of peace and a structure to help facilitate the culture. So I invite you. I’ll be out in your area again. There are things that we can do, things you can do now, like start connecting with people across the country and around the world.

Dennis Kucinich: I think it was Joseph Campbell in some of his writing about mythology, writes about how sometimes kingdoms are saved by the protagonist asking the right question. First question: who are we? Next question: what are we here for? You can take it from there. These are questions with answers. What does it mean to be a nation? Is war inevitable? Are we innately aggressive and those impulses can’t be changed? …

Dennis Kucinich: There is an evolutionary process that we participate in. If you look at… If any of you have studied evolutionary biology, you’ll know that there is an often slow and steady upward spiral in the growth of a species, but there’s also a point in evolutionary biology called “punctuated equilibrium,” where there is a break in the evolutionary process and a sudden upward spiral in the transformation of a species. We need to start thinking about our own ability through self-awareness to transform ourselves, to be more than we are and better than we are as a species, to catch that impulse of a quickened evolutionary growth. We cannot even imagine who we could be! We cannot even imagine the type of beings we can become, once we get attuned to an alignment with a higher vibration, which is really love in its fullest expression. It’s about realigning with that, just suddenly become far beyond anything you ever thought you could be. And the operative word is “be,” as opposed to just having.
Years ago, a writer by name of Erich – who I think may have come from Santa Cruz – wrote a book called “To Have or To Be,” exploring the dichotomy of an advancing materialistic addiction overwhelming people’s sense of ethicacy (sic) and actualization. He also, in a book called “The Art of Loving,” talked about how love is this transformative force in our lives and in society. He wrote a later book called “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness,” which talks about how the impulse to love is also constantly in a conflict with destructive impulses.
I mean in the Hindu religion, you have Vishnu – the god of creation – and Shiva, destruction, existing simultaneously. The beauty of this and of being aware that these forces are always at play is to ask, “Okay, what are we signing up for here? Are we letting these destructive impulses play through us, because they can… or are we letting the force of creation move through us, because that can happen too.” Those things are always happening. In a way, that’s what goes on at a cellular level in our own bodies. So when we speak of aligning ourselves with an evolutionary impulse, we have to have an understanding of our own ability to self-actualize our progression as a species. That’s what we have to be able to do, and when we understand that, there’s no telling what we can become. The only limitations we have are those that we impose on ourselves; are those where we chain ourselves in a prison of our own lack of awareness. That’s our own limitations – otherwise, we don’t have any limitations. None.

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