The solution to today’s most popular problem: Improved spiritual care will improve health care
BY DAVID RICKEY — The long ranging and raging debate over Health Care Reform reveals a more fundamental problem: human beings, even in the more educated and “enlightened” countries, may not be ready for the next major shift in spiritual evolution.
The questions asked on all sides — “How much will it cost me? Will I lose my freedom to choose? Will I get the care I need when I need it?” — demonstrate how we remain caught up in ego-centric concerns.
Only a few seem to be asking, “How can all people share in the benefits of medical care?”
And when the “anti-Obama plan” ads depict an individual case where the Canadian health care system seems to have failed, did anybody ask, “Is it right that I get the care I need when millions of others can’t even get basic care?”
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
As the prophet Jeremiah said thousands of years ago: “Seek the welfare of the city/community and you will find your own.” Unfortunately, most Americans still miss this fundamental spiritual teaching of interconnectedness.
As a recent Soul’s Code article on Spiral Dynamics points out, it’s a matter of the stages of growth in consciousness. To draw from the Spiral Dynamics article, it seems our society is a mixture of three different “memes”:
“Blue: Started about 5,000 years ago. Laws and regulations used to build moral standards.” Hence we want government to regulate.
“Orange: Starting about 300 years ago. Use earth’s resources to create the abundant life.” Hence we want individual rights and choice, competition and ego-driven motives, and we want health care reform to make it better for us.
“Green: Started about 150 years ago. Explores the inner I and places everybody at the same level. Freeing humanity from greed. Egalitarian and caring.” Hence some are recognizing the importance of caring for everyone.
A critical mass of citizens haven’t evolved to a “green Meme” level where we can think globally enough to understand that individual welfare is dependent on the welfare of the entire ecosystem, bio-system, or indeed Cosmos. Even when elected leaders have the vision, they still depend on the people they represent and, therefore, are relatively powerless to effect change.
The solution, it seems to me, is to shift the “battle ground.” If Spiral Dynamics is true, then there is little point in arguing with people who have achieved a certain level of awareness with a view towards getting them to expand their awareness to the next level.
Instead, efforts need to be directed towards fostering the evolution of consciousness. Once consciousness is expanded, the solutions to social problems including health care reform will become self-evident, or at least the wisdom will be available to work out the details.
The area of focus then needs to shift away from arguing to teaching: instead of trying to convince people of something they are incapable of grasping, we should put our effort, time and money towards expanding humanity’s consciousness. I am not suggesting that we halt seeking solutions to health care, poverty, war, and starvation. I am, however, suggesting that those of us in the business of spiritual teaching need to focus on contributing to the expansion of consciousness.
Practice What you Preach
As I know that most of our Soul’s Code community does exactly as I am suggesting, I am aiming this critique at mainline churches and other religious communities. For example, it disturbs me that my own Episcopal denomination has a “mandate” called the “Millennium Development Goals” but places so little emphasis on developing personal spiritual practice.
Proclaiming the intention to end poverty, disease, and abuse of humans and the planet, even throwing money at various projects, while virtually ignoring the consciousness-changing teachings of Jesus and so many others seems to me not only a waste of time, but a denial of the greatest gifts we have to offer. Other organizations are much more gifted in finding and proposing solutions to these fundamental problems. We should be tilling the soil of humanity’s mind to be receptive to these proposals.
Getting back to health care, it seems to me that the reason the two previous presidents and our current one have had such a difficult time getting health care reform legislation through congress and into real acts is because congress represents constituents and respond to lobbyists who are still stuck at an ego-centric level of conscious development. If they fail this time, it may become the loudest wakeup call yet to those of us who claim to have the tools for expanding consciousness. As Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”
David Rickey is an Episcopal priest, Soul’s Code co-founder and counselor in San Francisco who does a weekly ministry at a residence for the elderly in northern California. Follow David on Twitter.
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