America has always associated happiness with the acquisition of wealth. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration of independence, his original intention when he wrote "the pursuit of happiness," was to express the "pursuit of property." In the last few decades this pursuit of property has been unattainable for the majority of Americans as the gap between rich and poor increases exponentially. The American dream is failing. No longer can many young people realistically envision having more wealth than his or her parents.
Democracy and industrial capitalism closely mirror our instinctual egoistical desire to attain more without considering the benefit of the whole system. This is why the greatness of America in the mind of a patriotic person is the result of his or her ability to pursue individual prosperity and comfort. However, when this American dream becomes difficult or unrealistic to attain, what grows is an angry populace that has lost faith in the very systems that once brought its nation fortune to the likes of which the world had never seen.
"When this American dream becomes difficult or unrealistic to attain, what grows is an angry populace that has lost faith in the very systems that once brought its nation fortune to the likes of which the world had never seen."
This lack of faith is loudly expressed in the upcoming presidential elections, where candidates who appeal to the emotions of voters have captured the imaginations of the public. Donald Trump's slogan of "Make America Great Again," is appealing directly to this desire. He won the Republican nomination on a platform of xenophobia, the personal freedom to be politically incorrect and the need to run America like a business that wins negotiations with foreign powers and stops wasting money it doesn't have like a sieve. He is essentially trying to use the ego to recreate the past American system, a desire in the voters to return to a nostalgic version of America where great prosperity waits around the corner, which is patently impossible.
On the other side of the coin, Bernie Sanders wants to create a new economic model that curtails America's huge economic disparity and provides free college and single payer healthcare like Scandinavia. Though it would be near impossible for any of these promises to be fulfilled in a single presidential term when questions like, "Where will the money come from and how could these proposals pass without a huge congressional majority" loom, these revolutionary ideas are gaining widespread support from a population that has lost faith in its leaders. If in the most likely scenario, Hillary receives the democratic nomination it will not be because of her insider status and extensive experience, it will be because she can convince the country that she too wants to change the failing systems, that she is the only person who understands the process of making these changes and that the big banks donating money to her campaign won't affect her policy decisions.
What people fail to understand is that this desire to shake things up in American life comes from a spiritual lack that cannot be solved politically. When politicians and private individuals are all driven by their egoistical desires, greed will always persevere above the best interests of the majority. Even if Bernie Sanders were able to create a more socialist framework for American life, it would ultimately fail, because it would still be born out of a collective egoistical desire for free things, not a truly revolutionary shift in human consciousness. It would be recognition that it is too hard to attain personal wealth on one's own instead of a change in human desires. Socialism without a change in consciousness will never work, because it expressly goes against the ego, which strives to attain more to the detriment of others. The world needs to recognize that the force of the ego that is responsible for all of human development has become a cancerous cyst on humanity and nature.
"We must recognize that our self-interest has created a world crisis in all spheres of existence, be it economic, environmental, educational, or social."
We must recognize that our self-interest has created a world crisis in all spheres of existence, be it economic, environmental, educational, or social. Look at the rainforest and the polar ice caps and we can see the environment is literally destroying itself. These ecological phenomena all begin with humanity, the ego-driven dominant species of the planet that works in opposition to the system of nature where everything serves a purpose in the life of everything else, where everything works for the betterment of the entire world. The only choice we have is to redefine how we measure success in our world. We have to strive to repair our world over our individual desires and this is only possible if we make a decision to connect with each other specifically for this purpose. We need to care for the whole above even our own interests.
We need to shift humanity from egoists to altruists, but before we can achieve this we need to recognize our nature. Precisely because of our current egoistic nature we don't understand a single thing about reality. Like the politicians running for president, until we recognize the sickness of our ego and connect with each other to overcome it, we are only grasping at straws. Without a desire to work above our egos and a method to attain true connection, we will be unable to repair the world from its state of crisis.
At the North American Kabbalah Convention taking place this weekend in Newark, New Jersey (May 19th-22nd), one thousand fellow Kabbalah students will unite expressly for this purpose, as tens of thousands connect around the world on the internet around our common desire. From our humble beginnings we believe we are taking a giant leap towards a revolution in human perception. By making great efforts to mirror nature and work above our egos, according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, we can create a new reality above the limits of our five senses. We will awaken a pure connection that can gradually serve as an example for the entire world. We will unconsciously influence the rest of the world. While we understand many people may find this pronouncement naïve, all great revolutions begin with naïve idealism. Was it not idealistic when a small group of Americans sat in a room and decided to pronounce themselves independent of the most powerful monarchy in the world on July 4th, 1776?