Posts Tagged ‘unalienable rights’

Two Opposites and a Harmonious Resolution

June 27, 2009

Kabbalah teaches that the universe is built on a tripod, consisting of two opposites and a harmonious resolution. This is the pattern for everything in life. Stability and confidence is impossible without the support of all three legs of the tripod. We cannot have “shalom” without all three. This tripod – and its attendant challenge of conflict resolution – is inherent inside each one of us, in all of nature, of mankind as a whole, and in the spiritual realm as well.  –Korach (Numbers 16-18) Conflict Resolution

For the scholars of scripture they have an advantage over the rest of us. They have the time to think through some issues, take a step back, and perceive patterns that are opaque to us while we are in the trenches of the war of life. This week’s Torah portion is such an insight and when you think about it we can gain perspective on our lives, our community our country and the world.

I am struck by the conclusions to be reached by this statement. You see, if we are talking about a tripod, then if you take away any one of the legs it will fall. You might, as I did at first, focus on the harmonious resolution leg as the “most important.” Take it away and the tripod falls. For true harmony to evolve there must be recognition of discordant views. No two people (or for that matter two countries) can have identical views. Our thoughts, brain process, perceptions and conclusions are like fingerprints — they define us as unique individuals. So even if you say “I agree” you might find out sooner or later that you agreed with something the other person did not say or mean.

What this means to me is that for me to strive to live in a harmonious world I need to seek out both people who see things in similar ways to me AND people who don’t. I must engage BOTH the people who seem to agree with my world perspective AND those who don’t. Standing in the shoes of both “camps” is the only way I can perceive where there is commonality, conflict or room to compromise. With the recognition that life is a process and not a series of events comes the foundation of the process of harmony. Harmonious relations do not represent a static place of equilibrium, but rather a dynamic place of interaction, catalytic relationships and evolving development of ourselves, our society and our world.

Harmony and the whole tripod fails when we deny the existence of other points of view. If we deny the validity of other points of view we deny their existence and we deny the speaker the right to hold such views and express them. We take away one leg of the stool and the tripod fails — because there is nothing left to process toward a harmonious resolution.


Find Your Outrage, Abandon Your Despair

November 10, 2007

I read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution with much the same interest and devotion as I do the Torah. It is true that much in history as recorded in our myths, stories and laws is based upon one or more perceptions of one or more mere mortals. Yet they are not irrelevant. Whether we are looking at Genesis, or the story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree, these things have penetrated our consciousness, they affect our perceptions and we make decisions about our behavior based upon what we perceive as truth within the context of our own stories and myths.

And yet, despite the differences amongst us, there are common notions of right and wrong, of good and bad. This is what Thomas Jefferson told us when he wrote of unalienable rights and natural law. The Declaration and the U.S. Constitution are in the final analysis the creation of a few people, but the powers of the people, the naturals laws that govern their lives, are the inner knowledge, whether expressed or not, of all people.

Our country cherishes freedom, liberty, and protection of life, and property with “due process of law.” Yet as the base nature of those with ambitions greater than their fellow human beings take over, government sometimes becomes an instrument of those who have power and wealth and who seek to serve themselves rather than their society. This is inevitable. The correction is with natural law as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution (all powers derive from “We the people”), and ninth amendment to the Constitution which reserves those rights to the people — not to the states nor even the Federal government. The 5th and 14th Amendment go even further to assure protection of our basic unalienable rights providing for due process and equal protection of the laws.

It is therefore the right, indeed the duty, of people to correct their government when it errs and hurts the society as a whole, and to remove either the people appointed or elected to positions of power, or to remove the powers themselves to restore law and order.

We are faced with a series of events that affect our basic existence, in which our government has been the instrument of monied interests and has acted against the interests of its citizens or refused to act in the interest of its citizens, giving special privilege to some (violating equal opportunity and protection under the laws) and denying the rights of people to their own homes, safe food, and access to substances and protocols that would save the lives of our children, our grandchildren and even ourselves. This government even refuses to protect our borders from invasion, which under any interpretation could only be called treason under man-made law.

We have reached that point in human events, where the people who are the sole source of all power in our country can and should make the corrections necessary to save people from the threat of losing their homes due to unscrupulous use of derivative securities (collateralized debt obligations, which threaten our viability as nation in the world commerce), to save people from eating poisonous food, and to grant everyone access to the American dream of health, prosperity and happiness. It is our duty under God and under our man-made laws.

Resist the normal legal process of foreclosure, refuse to play by the rules created by those who are no more than predators and whose agents continue to make money off of the misfortune of those whoa re threatened with losing their property and refuse to leave when called upon to do so. Overload the “system” with the two million people expected to be foreclosed and refuse to leave the homes you purchased in good faith and force the correction by using your unalienable right to vote, to remove people from power who misuse it, and remove powers from government that were never intended to be used as a source of tyranny against the great majority of Americans. 

As in the Torah, appoint inspectors of food and food processing or actually present and protect us from poison and protect livestock from inhumane treatment. No tainted food should be allowed to enter any household, any state or even the country. Merchants who sell such food should be branded as outcasts. 

What person with any sense of right and wrong would deny a person the right the live because they don’t have the money to pay for medical services? The reason that medical care costs more in this country than  other countries, is because we let it happen. 

Profit and purpose have been reversed. We, the people, need to make a correction. It isn’t that we can’t afford it. We already pay for it. The costs and savings should b reallocated fairly, equally over society, not into the hands of the insurance companies who control the amounts that get paid and the treatment that will be available, the pharmaceutical companies that control the medicines that are available and the prices of those medicines, and the providers of medical services who have left the traditional philosophy of “first do no harm” and entered the world of playing with people’s lives as though they were toys. 

If we find our outrage,if we lose our despair and see the world and our lives as capable of improvement, then we will prevail and the world will be right again, with each succeeding generation looking forward to a better future, with greater justice, fairness and quality of life.