Bipartisanship

Further to my recent post on ‘Transcending polarizing fragmentation’, those engaged in a bipartisan, both-and approach to governance, for the benefit of all, look like enemies to those who prefer divisive, either-or policies, favouring one particular group in society, with a tribal identify and mentality.

That is the great paradox of living in a dualistic world, where seeking to live in Wholeness and Peace, unifying all opposites, is regarded as antisocial, not fitting in to any particular social grouping. Such divisiveness, eschewing bipartisanship, has a long history.

For instance, Aristotle wrote in Metaphysics, “It is impossible for the same attribute at once to belong and not to belong to the same thing and in the same relation, … as some imagine Heraclitus says.” This is known as the Law of Contradiction, acting as the implicit axiom for deductive mathematical and logical reasoning and inductive scientific method, and hence for politics and economics, in which we are instructed to fight each other for a slice of the finite monetary cake. It is not surprising therefore that Erich Fromm pointed out in The Sane Society that the normal behaviour of humans in society is pathological.

In contrast to Aristotle, Heraclitus, the mystical philosopher of change, said, “The Hidden Harmony is better than the obvious,” and “Opposition brings concord; out of discord comes the fairest harmony.” However, he knew how few of his fellow citizens followed a harmonious, both-and approach to life, saying, “People do not understand how that which is at variance with itself agrees with itself.” Being an outsider to the society Heraclitus lived in, his contemporaries called him ‘The Obscure’.

We can see that some ancients were intuitively aware that the Hidden Harmony—which I call the Principle of Unity or Cosmic Equation—is the universal generating power from Janus, one of the oldest gods in the Roman pantheon. Also, a two-faced god appeared repeatedly in Babylonian art. As the god of beginnings, Janus has given his name to January, at the beginning of the year. Janus is also the god of transitions, such as the global transition process that humanity needs to pass through, from pathogenic either-or ways of thinking and living, to a healthy both-and approach to life and reasoning. 

Sadly, however, Aristotle’s Law of Contradiction still holds sway throughout society, as Carl Gustav Jung pointed out in 1929 in his Commentary to Richard Wilhelm’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower: “The Chinese have never failed to recognize the paradoxes and the polarity inherent in all life. The opposites always balance on the scales—a sign of high culture. Onesideness, though it lends momentum, is a mark of barbarism.”

Such barbaric behaviour is evident from the way that two-faced means ‘insincere, deceitful’. In this respect, those who engage in a bipartisan approach, constantly attempting to reconcile warring political factions, can appear weak and indecisive. Clearly, if this perception is to disappear, the rules of the game need to change, for playing the same dirty game as severely psychologically disturbed politicians unwilling even to compromise is bound to fail. Furthermore, how can we say that those who vote for such narcissistic demagogic populists to represent their apparent interests are sane?

Among my contemporaries, Tim Freke, a spiritual philosopher, coined the word paralogical to actively promote a harmonious both-and approach to life, recognizing that we live in an inherently paradoxical world. In The Mystery Experience: A Revolutionary Approach to Spiritual Awakening, he says, “We see the paradoxity of something when we understand it from two opposite perspectives at once.” Tim aptly uses the simple word WOW to denote such an awakened state of being, for there is nothing more wonderful in human existence. Not surprising, this is something “everyone is searching for,” as he says.

Yet, very few are yet ready to awaken to Total Revolution in the manner that Vimala Thakar described, despite Eckhart Tolle saying in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, “We are a species that has lost its way.” Earlier, he said in Stillness Speaks: Whispers of Now, a beautiful book of aphorisms:

The transformation of human consciousness is no longer a luxury, so to speak, available only to a few isolated individuals, but a necessity if humanity is not to destroy itself. At the present time, the dysfunction of the old consciousness and the arising of the new are both accelerating. Paradoxically, things are getting worse and better at the same time, although the worse is more apparent because it makes so much ‘noise’.

This is just what we are witnessing today in the aftermath of the recent polarizing presidential election in the USA. Yet, this apparent battle between partisanship and bipartisanship doesn’t really address the needs of humanity, as a whole, for even national party politics is based on divisive, either-or thinking. So, for democracies to be viable, individualism, based on the false belief that humans are independent, autonomous agents, needs to be transformed into what Jung called individuation, the development of an undivided being, living in Wholeness.

Jung’s healing process of individuation goes much further than Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis, apparently with a similar purpose. For Assagioli, the purpose of personal psychosynthesis—unifying the unconscious and conscious, like Jung—is to make patients harmonious individuals, “well adjusted both within themselves and with the community to which they belong and in which they play a useful part”. Assagioli went further, seeing the need for spiritual psychosynthesis, a ‘psychosynthesis of religions’, by which he meant understanding and appreciating religions as they are, inheriting fears and beliefs laid down hundreds and thousands of years ago.

Yet, is this really a viable approach to the existential crisis facing humanity today? For, as J. Krishnamurti wisely said, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Today, some say that we should build bridges between the old society and the new one that they see emerging. But if a bridge spanning a river is to serve its purpose, the pillars on the two banks must be built on solid foundations. Yet Western civilization is built on shifting sands, on the denial of the fundamental law of the Universe, from which there is no escape: opposites are never separate from each other. We can never compromise with this irrefutable, universal truth. So, without awarely experiencing the foundations, as the Immortal Ground of Being that we all share, even basic human decency and compassion are not enough to awaken in the Age of Light.

Rather, the only viable bipartisan system of governance is one based on the single pillar of Nonduality in the Eternal Now, guided by Integral Relational Logic, the commonsensical system of reason that we all implicitly use every day to form concepts and organize our ideas. Yet, as this generalization of the transcultural and transdisciplinary modelling methods underlying the Internet is not yet understood and accepted, most live in ignorance of the answer to the most critical unanswered question in science: “What is causing scientists and technologists, aided and abetted by computer technology, to drive the pace of scientific discovery and technological development at unprecedented exponential rates of acceleration?”

For myself, I have been guided to develop a comprehensive model of the psychodynamics of humanity in the context of evolution, as a whole, by an apocalyptic death-and-rebirth process I went through in the spring of 1980. This life-changing event led me to abandon my business career with IBM in order to study the long-term psychological and economic implications of humanity’s growing dependency on information technology. However, until others engage in similar self-inquiry, free of anthropocentric preconceptions about what it truly means to be human, it seems that I must paradoxically continue to live in isolation, knowing that none of us is ever separate from any other being, including the Supreme Being, for an instant.

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