Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chasing Red Herrings

Last installment of Getting By In The Kaliyuga

Balancing the budget is a red herring. Politicians make it sound like it’s the most important thing in the world, but at this point and time, it’s not. Five years ago the economy  took a nose dive. When Bush left office, we were in  a free fall. First, you have to stabilize the economy.  When that’s done then you can think about balancing the budget. This takes years to unravel. Romney even said recently that, if he gets elected, he needs eight to ten years to turn things around (but blames Obama for not getting things done in four years).

What happened to the budget to begin with? What happened to the jobs?  Who made out big time when the economy went down? Did you? Is the debt your fault?   Should you and your children be penalized for the debt?  Follow the money trail. Look the events of the last thirty years. The people that are responsible for all this don’t want us to look at the past. And did you ever see those Senate hearings   where the senators are all indignant and huffing and puffing, and the Wall Street guys are cowering at the table in front of the bench. People swallow this stuff up.  But it’s a charade because nothing ever comes of it. Nothing ever changes.

If the bankers make a profit, they get to keep it for themselves and in turn keep the politicians who helped them in office. And if the bankers screw up then  they get the politicians to convince us that we   all need help clean up the mess they created.  This is capitalism and socialism at its finest.

Prabhupada explains in Light of the Bhagavat (in the purport of text 44) that politicians "want to flourish in the guise of servants of the people...(that they) want to exploit the administrative power for their own self-interest...although professing democracy, they want to be kings.... they compete for votes by bad propaganda."  This sums up the mentality and modus operandi  of many politicians. Nowadays politicians and bankers throw out so many misleading “facts” and “figures” to confuse people. They even hire so-called “research firms” to come up with the conclusions they want you to see. Someone said that you’re entitled to you own opinions but your not entitled to your own facts.  So the problem is if you don’t (or can’t because of the misleading information) study and learn from past mistakes then you’re  condemned to repeat them. You might remember Laural and Hardy – “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”  They never learn.

Of course, we have to learn how to maneuver through this material world, which often seems like a battlefield.  Sometimes, the battle is raging around us, and sometimes even within us. We have to try our best to do the right thing, without attachment to results, and in his books  Srila Prabhupada has provided an excellent basis, both materially and spiritually.  He has shown us that ultimately real happiness  is not about cultivation of mundane facts and figures. It’s not about who’s in the White House.  It’s not about attaining  satisfaction through the temporary connection we have to this body of ours.   It is about understanding our  own eternal nature as spirit souls and our loving relationship with the Supreme Soul of souls, the Lord Within The Heart.  It’s understanding the journey we're on in this life,  a journey of self discovery. Be true to yourself. Stay focused on the real goal. Don’t go chasing after red herrings.

"One who has renounced the fruits of his actions, whose doubts are destroyed by transcendental knowledge, and who is situated firmly in the self, is not bound by works, O conqueror of riches."  Bhagavad Gita 4:41