Question: I am wondering about how much to be politically involved. It seems as though resistance or effort to promote a change in the world is counter-productive as it tends to just prolong issues. How do we know when to take action?

Answer: All of us are moved to do whatever it is that we do in this life because of what we believe in, which is very much the same as what we are attracted to in one way or another. It is a fundamental principle that we are drawn to whatever it may be because within that relationship — whatever its nature — exists something for us to discover about ourselves through that relationship. Another timeless precept is that “the inner determines the outer,” which is to say that the world we meet — individually and collectively — is pretty much a reflection of the level of our own present nature.

If we can marry these two important ideas, then what we will see is that trying to change the world around us without first awakening to the world within us that has created what we want to change is an act of futility. That being said, we can’t ignore the world we’re making, and certain actions are mandatory to keep it from going completely down the drain.

So, one must be a good civilian. To quote a bit of Eastern wisdom, one must put their faith in Allah but tie up their camel. People who arbitrarily destroy or deliberately corrupt must be dealt with. It is wise to live as “green” as possible. To not vote for what one believes in, is to vote for what others believe in that runs counter to one’s own common sense.

To summarize, the most difficult thing in the world is also the most important thing in the world… and that is: to thine own self be true. What others do or don’t do often requires our attention, but without first attending to our own interior unrest and conflict, we are hiding from our own sickness by feigning interest in the health of others.

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