Putin and his followers (including notable American admirers) are living by an animalistic paradigm we tell ourselves we have left in prehistory. It is the cave man mentality of amassing your personal empire by force and enslavement. Bullying is the paradigm with disregard for the fullness of humanity and focus on material ownership.
The human is the part of creation which has grown into the capacity to consider more than just the material and to make choices based on intangible, spiritual enlightenment. Because we have the capacity to order our physical behavior based on the wider reality, we can choose to heed what we call the Law of Love. (More on this HERE.) The greater good informs our choices and so our behavior can be more nuanced than just brute force. This paradigm causes us to think relationally and with a broader outlook than immediate, personal gratification. We can realize our common connection to each other and the rest of creation as a unified Body.
But it all depends on the choices we make.
Do we follow the impulse to rise into the growing paradigm of the intangible and behave with care for the Body of Humanity, or choose to abuse and wound our Body? The new way promises thriving life and growth. The old way results in restricting and stunting growth leading to death.
Jesus called the choice to pursue the new way “believing”.
It is the way of faith because we have not gone that way before.
It is the way of discovery, mysterious, unknown, daunting like a young person stepping out on their first attempt in a new experience.
It is the way of patience rather than immediate gratification.
It has been arising. Witness the global outpouring of sympathy and outrage for the abuse of Ukrainians, and Black Lives Matter. We have many examples through the centuries who have chosen the paradigm of Love and given evidence that it is the way of advancing life.
But can it survive?
Those who hold to animalistic humanity seem to have the power to keep us from the new creation. The cult of self keeps asserting its paradigm in “sacred” words such as “individualism” and “independence”. It fuels the greed that compels the powerful to grab more and more for themselves. There is violence awaiting anyone who speaks of commonality or to include “differences” from outside the tribe. This violent protection of “our own” is based on fear of losing one’s personhood and all the goodies we collect for our appetites.
But our faith impulse says that paradigm cannot ultimately prevail. The cave man we thought we graduated from is slowly passing away as more and more of us choose to believe in the emerging, greater Life and order our behavior accordingly. We say “emerging”, but it has always been here. What is actually happening is that we are slowly awakening to reality. We remind ourselves and one another that we are members of the same Body. This is why Jesus taught to “love your Neighbor as yourself” NOT “every man for himself” or tribalism.
The scarcity mentality asserts that there is not enough to go around. The new paradigm of Love “casts out fear” and reveals the Truth about abundance for all. The old view looks at the material limits, while the new view knows how to multiply the loaves and fishes because it understands that Love frees up creation power.
We CAN choose to change our systems and structures to follow the Law of Love, rather than limit resources and opportunity to those who take it by force or who “qualify.” Love can give us courage to let go of our monolithic social constructs and rely on the living “root system” that feeds life to all the forest (See the aspen forest). The individual can thrive because the whole Body is caring for all its members. Patiently we watch for more to awaken to our real connection.
This is a call for us to stop defending tribal warfare and operating as if we are separate. I call for us to heed the sense of inspiration rather than choke on fear of the unknown.
There IS Love,
Love for me and you,
Love that guides into thriving life and fulfillment,
Love that is not shut down under the old brutality flaunted by today’s bullies.