Something Each of Us Can Do
for Our Country, Our World, Our Future
The moral challenges and painful divisions of American society in 2020 have been in the making since 1776. We cannot blame any one individual or any one political party or any one or more circumstances.
But we can, each of us individually, take up the moral imaginations and responsibilities of renewal. Democracy can be re-enlivened if each willing citizen stands up and engages with our future unselfishly.
Democracy is about unity and plurality. Democracy is for all the people and protects the rights of all individuals and all differences.
Democracy is not a materialistic concept. It is a moral and spiritual ideal. It can only be re-enlivened if we imagine its renewal with our hearts and minds.. Visualization is active imagination. Visualization requires our thoughts, our feelings and our will.
the Re-Enlivening Democracy
It is time for a renewal, an Epiphany of Democracy. This is a spiritual necessity as the Spirit of Democracy currently has no home in America.
Democracy is about dialogue, listening, negotiating, respecting. It is about the spiritual and moral energy that supports the vision of democracy and sustains it through all its challenges. Over the last 200+ years, the spiritual energy or life force supporting this American ideal has gotten weak. It lost its moral light, its human warmth, and no longer resonates with the fundamentals of democratic consciousness.
Morally, we cannot leave it to the elected representatives and leaders. Lincoln made it clear: “Government of the people, by the people and for the people.” The democratic principles will perish from the earth, if you and I, we the people, fail to do bear moral and spiritual responsibility for the ideals and weaknesses of democracy. This responsibility goes way beyond voting, donating, protesting and demonstrating, opining, raging and moaning.
If each individual who believes in American Democracy takes up the moral responsibility to re-enliven it, what can be done? What can each of us visualize?
Here is what I will be doing several times a day, between now and some point in the future. It is a series of visualizations, active visions to renew this country’s heart and Democracy’s home.
The Three Essential Elements of Re-Enlivening
There are three elements in this re-enlivening.
We must cleanse democracy of lies, misuse of power and leadership, biases, egotism, the lack of generosity and the presence of malice.
We must reconcile with all those who in the shadow of democracy have been dismissed, ignored, harmed, devalued or killed.
We must restore the great imaginations, virtues, principles and duties of democracy.
All this must be done by individuals, by you and me. Democracy only lives in the individual citizen willing to unite with all other citizens.
I will be doing these visualizations by focusing on the symbolic home of Democracy where the individuals who were elected and swore to protect and defend all that American democracy stands for have lived and worked. I will be doing all my visualizations centered on the White House.
First, prepare yourself for the process. Let go of your self-doubt or self-righteousness, any hatred of others, and any fear of the future. Pray to the God of your beliefs and the Spirit of Democracy. Breathe deeply the air we share with everyone on the planet. Relax into the power and freedom of your moral imagination. Feel the uprightness and balance of your body and soul.
Weaving the Cloth of Freedom
The first time doing this visualization, imagine weaving a cloth of Freedom. I imagine this cloth to be woven of threads of liberty, equality and reciprocity as the warp and truth, beauty, and goodness as the weft.
After weaving your Freedom Cloth, you can use it for each visualization. At the end of every visualization, you can imagine folding it or rolling it up carefully. Then unfolding or unrolling it carefully at the beginning of each new visualization.
The Freedom Cloth has a magical gift. When it is unfolded or unrolled it expands to the size necessary to its task.
With each of the three visualizations, begin with imagining your cloth spreading out underneath the White House.
The Cleansing Visualization
Call in the four great Archangels, those that in another time and place appeared as a Mighty Wind of New Beginnings and Universal Harmony. These Archangels stand at each corner of your Freedom Cloth holding it outstretched. They move the cloth slowly up through the White House until it is has moved through every element of the building and reached the air above the roof.
In the cleansing visualization, the cloth is translucent energy. The Freedom Cloth has a magnetic energy that attracts all the lies, manipulations, hate, egotism, prejudice, supremacy, and selfishness that have become the dark energy that corrupts, sabotages and defeats American democracy.
Imagine the Archangels slowly lifting the cloth, see the cloth turn muddy and grey with the shadows of all the conversations, decisions, and deeds that led to the current tragic state of America.
Once it has moved through the roof of the White House, visualize these shadow energies catching fire in the sun and burning away. The Archangels shake the cloth and blow away all the ash with their Mighty Wind. The Cloth of Freedom is returned to its original state.
Do this cleansing visualization until the Cloth of Freedom is no longer merely clear but now is luminous with every color.
The Reconciling Visualization
In the reconciliation visualizations, the Freedom Cloth bears the images of those who have been harmed by the shadow of Democracy: their freedoms, rights and needs have been excluded, criminalized, enslaved, or held captive. The Freedom Cloth is heavy with the both the suffering of the victims and the guilt of the perpetrators. Visualize these souls.
The Archangels still hold the corners, but lining the edges of the cloth are the 45 Presidents who made a sacred oath to uphold and defend democracy, the Founding Fathers who shaped democracy, and the civil, intellectual and cultural leaders of American life who explained and envisioned how democracy would manifest for all.
Here are some of the groups that have suffered in the shadows of democracy:
- Native Americans
- African Americans
- LGBTQ individuals
- the poor
- the radicals
- the uneducated
- the dreamers
- the physically and mentally ill and handicapped
- those who gave their lives and took lives in the name of defending and promoting democracy and upholding our laws, and
- all who feel unheard, unrepresented and unprotected
What other groups and individuals would you add to this list?
As the Cloth of Freedom moves up through the White House feel the light of democracy brighten and shine on all individuals. Feel the embracing warmth enfolding everyone. Hear the harmonies of all differences. Imagine the force of democracy providing safety and reverence for one and all.
Feel the commitment to a new democracy.
The Restoring Visualization
In the restoration visualizations, the Freedom Cloth bears the great declarations of democracy. With each movement up through the White House, the Freedom Cloth becomes a living document of democracy. First, it is embroidered with the words of
the Declaration of Independence, then
the Bill of Rights,
Imagine the words of individuals inspired by and inspiring American Democracy embroidered on the cloth:
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
the poem of Emma Lazarus engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty,
Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
lyrics of great songs that sing the values of democracy
any of other words of insight and inspiration from wise Americans.
Imagine these American declarations of democracy moving slowly one by one through the White House restoring ideals and values, the heart and soul of Democracy. Over and over the cloth moves up through the White House each time restoring the meaning and the purpose of the virtues, principles, and duties of democracy.
Now the Spirit of Democracy can dwell in its home, The White House and be the guiding inspiration behind all conversations, decisions and deeds occurring there.
Please visualize with me. Our visualizations will not harm. They can only do good. Wrap your soul in the Freedom Cloth. With every imagination of cleansing, reconciling and restoring you visualize you will become stronger in your own existence.
Some Suggested Guidelines
When will you do these visualizations? How often? I imagine doing these visualization now and often in the immediate future until they are a living part of my consciousness. It is curious how some thought, feeling or deed frequently repeated moves from new and intentional focus to a constant presence. Do the visualizations every day until you feel in the beat of your heart the fullness of the Spirit of Democracy.
I also want to celebrate the re-enlivening of Democracy twelve times a year. I will put reminders in my calendar on the 6th of every month. I imagine doing the visualizations on MLK’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and on any day I feel a threat to Democracy.
Every year read a book about American Democracy, the good, the bad, the nobility, the weakness. Read about its history, its heroes, the ordinary folk. Read one of the great documents.
Have frequent conversations about democracy. Respect and consider different perspectives. Explore leadership, representation, and justice.
This visualizing process can be applied to any and all human ideals and intentions.
Here in America, we can also apply these visualizations to the Capitol Building and to the Supreme Court.
If you are not American, but believe in the ideals of democracy, please practice these visualizations in your own way.