Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joseph Campbell, 4

So what you have here on the dollar bill is the eagle representing this wonderful image of the way in which the transcendent manifests itself in the world. That’s what the United States is founded on. If you’re going to govern properly, you’ve got to govern from the apex of the triangle, in the sense of the world eye at the top.

Washington outlined all of this in his farewell address. “As a result of our revolution,” he said, “we have disengaged ourselves from involvement in the chaos of Europe,” and he warned that we not engage in foreign alliances. We held to his words until WWI, then canceled the Declaration of Independence and rejoined the British conquest of the planet.

So we are now on one side of the pyramid. We’ve moved from one to two and are now politically and historically, a member of one side of an argument. We do not represent that principle of the eye. And all of our concerns are with economics and politics, not with the voice and sound of reason.

What destroys reason is passion, and the principle passion in politics is greed. That’s what pulls us down and why we’re on one side of the pyramid instead of at the top. We’ve ceased the forward motion begun in the great awakening in 500 BC with Buddha, Pythagoras, Confucius and Lao Tzu when humans began the transition to reason from being governed by animal powers, the planted earth and the course of the planets.

But the Founders were learned men and carried on the tradition of the great awakening. They opposed religious intolerance and rejected the idea of the Fall. For them, as it ought to be for us, all human beings are competent to know the mind of God and there is no revelation special to any people. They used Masonic symbols and other ancient symbols probably available in Thomas Jefferson’s library, to embody their eighteenth century Enlightenment ideals. We haven’t had men of that quality in politics very much. It’s an enormous good fortune for our nation that that cluster of gentlemen had the power and were in a position to influence events at that time.

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