Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Illegitimi non carborundum

I read a great editorial by Sean Olender this weekend in the Chronicle on the massive fraud taking place within financial institutions around sub-prime mortgages, and how the government is apparently working with the institutions, in private, to basically prevent the instigators of this fraud from being held accountable.

This seems to happen over and over again. Whenever the economy is doing well, we don't hear about these things. But at some point the apple cart falls over, and everyone sees the ugly crawling bugs underneath. And usually the crooks get away, as they are in cahoots with our government. I find myself surprised, yet not surprised, outraged and resigned.

I hate it that government is in the pockets of people with money. I hate it that criminals of the poor classes are punished with a vengeance, filling up our jails, while white collar criminals are regularly let go with a slap of a hand while they walk aways with millions or billions of our hard-earned money. And our government is one of the better ones in terms of corruption and criminal activity.

I feel myself powerless to do anything about all this. I ask myself: what's the point of trying to live a good life if we're constantly being screwed over by the greedy and immoral and power-hungry?

But then I recognize that all this impotent anger really isn't helping me or anyone else. Not that I won't take action where I can, but to reduce my own stress I gently remind myself to step back, and take on the vision of Shiva, the vision of eternity. I remember how ancient and eternal this universe is. I remember that Death visits us all, and does not recognize or pay homage to wealth, power, race or position. I remember that in the game of life, Nature always wins.

From this perspective, it becomes clear to me that the best I can do is live a life in harmony with the eternal throb of Nature. You can feel it in the emptiness of nature - in the desert, or on the ocean, or in the mountains. That deep throb of stillness and eternity.

From this perspective, I begin to see that all of this is happening as a great dance. It's like watching the waves on the ocean, a constant play of shadow and light. And I remind myself: illegitimi non carborundum - don't let the bastards grind you down.

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