Each of us works so hard to protect this little patch of turf we call "the self." But we also have a sense that there is much more to who we are. In moments of self-transcendence, we catch glimpses of an identity that is profound and expansive, giving us an unmistakable sense of our connection to all things.
This simple mantra, "ALL ME. ALL WAYS," came to me in meditation at the beginning of April. I have been using it on a daily basis and noticing how it increases the frequency of these self-transcendent moments.
The mantra may sound egotistical at first, but it's just the opposite. If you identify with everyone and everything you encounter, you extend yourself far beyond the limits of the ego. We have all encountered spiritual teachings reminding us that we are one with everything. This mantra reminds us that everything is one with us, and that it has always been that way.
I know from direct experience that there is only one consciousness in this universe, and there has only ever been one. Each of us is simply an embodiment of that consciousness. The sense of separateness we feel is a beautiful illusion but also a glorious challenge. If there is an aim to my life, it is to see--and more importantly, to live--beyond that illusion. The mantra, "All me. Always." helps me find alignment with this simple aim. I offer the mantra freely, with the intention that it may serve the same function for you, if you wish.
Here and Now, Baby!
Rarely does someone offer you a billion-dollar gift—especially one that can revitalize American democracy. For at least one of you, today is your lucky day. I am feeling especially generous and know that someone reading this post is about to become the beneficiary of this simple yet powerful idea. Here it is:
All you have to do is create a social-media site devoted to the electoral process. Call it something like “VoteFree.com.” This site will be the primary forum through which candidates for office at any level can communicate with potential voters. The idea is to create an even playing field where any candidate can participate, regardless of party affiliation or campaign funding. Candidates can post videos, articles, position papers, and anything else that can help inform voters.
Meanwhile, voters can interact with candidates, posting comments and questions and also endorsing or sharing information as they would on other social-media sites. Your site will impose certain restrictions on candidates to minimize the influence of high-priced campaign strategists and media consultants. And you can generate revenue, if you wish, through non-political advertising, although you could also offer this site purely as a public service.
At a time when unprecedented amounts of money are being spent to sway voters, your site will allow political candidates to run their campaigns without having to become indebted to Big Money. The success of the site, which is inevitable, will most likely end the two-party system as we know it. Currently, both parties are beholden to Big Money. The Republican leadership distracts its rank-and-file members from this fact by drawing attention to other issues, like national security and family values; the Democratic leadership creates the illusion that its party is resisting Big Money and standing up for the interests of ordinary people, although neither is actually the case. As long as money wins elections, candidates cannot afford to antagonize their biggest financial supporters.
Your site will liberate the democratic process permanently from the influence of Big Money. This will be your lasting contribution and legacy for future generations. And you will receive all the credit, as you should, for revolutionizing the way that political campaigns are run. I wish you all the success you deserve for taking on this most important issue. Here and now, baby!
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