Detroit and the Insolvent Soul
What comes first – a bankrupt city or an insolvent soul? While the largest city in America files for bankruptcy, political pundits formulate a dogmatic agenda around who is to blame for Detroit’s unfortunate demise. We can blame the Democrats with their warped sense of the ironically unjust Social Justice doctrine, Union Greed, the Darwinistic Capitalism, Free Trade, and White People, but that will not bring her back from the dead. You can’t stoke a spent fire back to life when there is no ember left to ignite it. Believe me, I have tried.
The ember I speak of is of the Spiritual realm, the human life-force, the one individual who looks out at the road ahead them daunting and bleak and takes that first step toward self-actualization – depending on faith and inner trust to guide them. Society cannot save Detroit, only the Indivdiual is capable of such a transformation.
Ayn Rand said the smallest minority in the world is the individual. Damned right I am. Damned right you are.
The most valuable men and women of our history understood individual significance. They did not wait for “society” to save them. They did not make excuses for their circumstances. They did not hem and haw about their lot in life. They did not blame their poverty on other people’s selfishness. They did not blame their situation on other people’s intolerance. They did not follow the path already taken. They created and essentially walked their own.
That is what authentic people do. They speak their truth even if their voice shakes, even if egotistical people with an attachment for their own opinion and bias blasts you with inner hatred and self-loathing – Seek Originality. Remember, your inner spirit is a reflection of your outer spirit. If you are unforgiving, angry, resentful, ungracious toward others, it only means you are just as unloving toward yourself.
“Take that first step, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take that first step.”
Martin Luther King is talking about the Leap of Faith. He is talking about having that divine guidance that leads us to discover we are the creators of our own life. To be defined by our skin color is to ignore the greatest parts of ourselves – our character – or spirit – the divine grace. To be defined yourself by your skin color is an example of laziness. The examination of character takes courage, right thought, self-awareness, patience, persistence, will and the audacity to look beyond the 2 percent of who we are as divine beings.
Society benefits from the individual – not the other way around.
Edward O. Wilson articulates here: http://www.froes.dds.nl/WILSON.htm,
“Karl Marx was right, Socialism works, it is just that he had the wrong species. This was I think one of the main contributions of the idea of kin-selection. We now understand quite well why most species of social insects have sterile workers, and therefore can have communist-like systems. In which the colony is all, the individual is only a part of the colony, and the success of the whole community is what counts far above the success of the individual.
The behaviour of the individual social insect evolved with reference to what it contributes to the community, whereas the genetic fitness of a human being depends on how well it can individually use the society. We have become insect-like only by extreme contractual arrangements.”
Extreme Contractual Arrangements? Curiously, does that mean by – Unnatural and Evil means? Are we to assume the epitome of human advancement to behave like insects – sterile for the most part and self-sacrificing?
The Native Americans believed in ritual. One very important ceremonial rite was the transition from adolescence into adulthood. Young males were sent out into the wilderness with scarcely a stitch of clothing and food to seek a ‘Vision’. The goal for every journey was to return with a boon to benefit the entire tribe.
They did not enter into the abyss as a society (insect)- they entered as an individual in search of a blessing.
“They thought that it would be a disgrace to go forth as a group. Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else’s path and you are not on the adventure … The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.” Joseph Campbell – A Heroes Journey
When individuals suffer the delusion CHANGE comes from outside influences, community organizers, and politicians with law degrees we have a society full of people living inauthentic lives. It is easy to create and stir the pot of bitterness, anger and hatred when people have been convinced they are the casualty of condition and the victim of circumstance.
If conditions had the capacity to endorse outcomes, the outcome would be the same for all men and women. The fact is, everyone handles situations differently. Where one sees a condition as good, another will see the same condition as bad proves that good and bad in a situation is determined by the mind that encounters it. ‘Free your mind, and the rest will follow’ – or so they say.
The Culture that surrounds us is only a reflection of our inner spirit. And, if our inner spirit is insolvent, so will be the community that surrounds us.
James Allen schools us on the Joy of Accomplishment by writing in the Mastery of Destiny,
“He who will not work according to his faculty, let him perish according to his necessity,” says Carlyle; and it is a moral law that the man who avoids duty, and does not work to the full extent of his capacity, does actually perish, first in his character and last in his body and circumstances. Life and action are synonymous, and immediately a man tries to escape exertion, either physical or mental, he has commenced to decay.”
To see Detroit as an example of Societies failure to support the individual is evil and wrong. There is nothing more ignorant and inorganic than believing society creates the man and therefore responsible for his greatness and his faults. Determinism is quite detrimental to the life-force of any viable human spirit.
The deterioration of individual success, accomplishment, and industry results in the decay of society. When you throw a pebble into a pool of water, the impact does not send waves toward the center of the stone. How a ridiculous a notion. Nature never does things that way. Things do not trickle up either, by the way.
The vibrations expand from the center (individual) outward (society). How insane and irresponsible to pound the faulty idea society is the center and the cause for individual poverty or prosperity. If Mother Nature followed such a practice, she would look like this.
Even worse, the Nature of Mankind would look like this:
In As A Man Thinketh, James Allen explores the power of the pebble represented here by the power of our thoughts –
“Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state. Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions. But when he realizes that his is a create power, and that he may command hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”
So you see? Detroit is a mirror into our souls and a reflection of our inner spirit. We have nothing to gain by continuing to convince people their life is the result of other people’s selfishness, intolerance, and greed. We have everything to gain by educating individuals they are the creator of their own life and the master of their own destiny encouraging leaps of Faith rather than a lethargy of inauthenticity.
We have an obligation to our fellow men and women who are struggling with the poverty of ambition to empower thems rather than trying to bring the rest down with them. Fifty years of blame, anger, resentment, hatred, and laziness produced insolvency of the Soul. Perhaps CHANGE is in order. Can the art of Forgiveness, Love, Gratitude, and Personal Industry see Detroit through to better days?
As Buddha once taught, ‘watch your thoughts – they become your destiny’.