Republicans tend to extol the virtues of self-reliance and self-interest. To believe their responsibility is primarily- sometimes exclusively- to their family and close friends. This is a practical approach to life. It’s more sensible to focus on being a good provider than to try and Save Africa. Growing your own business is likely to produce more prosperity for the world than giving to charity.
And yet there is also an opposing principle on which the survival of humanity depends. Sacrifice. We are only here due to the sacrifices of those who came before us. Their willingness to use their life or lay down their life for people they would never know. Their willingness to allow their family to experience hardship for the good of the collective.
When greed and focus on me and mine becomes too strong and a spirit of sacrifice too weak, humans are vulnerable. No one steps up to combat threats. Instead they focus on minimizing damage to themselves and their families. And so the threats grow increasingly stronger until protecting oneself and one’s family becomes impossible. Everyone must be willing to risk something for the collective or none of us survive.
We’ve seen a lot of this selfishness in recent years when too few wanted to stand up to the mobs because it wasn’t in their self interest to do so. No one wants to lose their job, their friends, get yelled at. And so the mobs, the insanity, the bad things grow stronger and stronger, hurting all of us. In coming years this will continue. Unless we can muster a sense of devotion to the higher good, unless we take risks for the collective, we WILL be overtaken by tyranny. Selfishness leads to mass death.
But sacrifice is not only essential for survival- it is part of what makes life worthwhile. It opens the spirit to everything transcendent and beautiful. To make a God of one’s own survival…. there is something grotesque about it. It traps us in a world of meat. Only through giving our life away does our existence begin to take on meaning.
This is the story of Jesus whose symbol- like Pisces- is a fish. When he sacrifices his life out of love for humanity, he gains life eternal. His suffering is temporary but his joy is permanent. Because really we are already eternal beings stretched beyond death, but until we care about something more than ourselves we remain unaware of this. Even when you place your family’s survival above all else, what are you teaching them? That the purpose of life is to survive? Then life must have no purpose, because they won’t.
Sacrifice opens us up to receive from higher realms. We grow inspired, uplifted, empowered. We have two more years of Neptune in Pisces. We must use this time. If you believe bad things are happening, then stand against them. Do not simply try to minimize the impact on your own self. Unless we love the collective and risk ourselves for those we will never know, we all fall down. Don’t save your own hide at someone else’s expense. Instead take a bullet for an unknown brother.
P.S. Love of one’s own life is a beautiful red flame and without it nothing else is possible. To survive is the first law of the jungle, a religion I subscribe to. Unless one values survival, risking it has no meaning. Unless one cherishes their own life, they can’t develop that love for the multitude which opens the gates to heaven.