Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player





Understanding Scriptures

Readers Views

Activity news and much more

Free Subscription:

Subscribe Unsubscribe

 Blooming Stars

Democracy and Spirituality

            Full-fledged democracy can grow only in total freedom free of financial or capitalistic influences and authoritarian or autocratic restraints. Any kind of mental set or coercion whether physical or psychological, whether conscious or unconscious, coming from prior conditioning or programming, and therefore working as strong predispositions, goes against enlightened self-determination. Democracy is the best climate wherein every human can become who he or she is destined to become. It is the best milieu for spirituality to thrive. Spirituality can fully develop only in settings that are free of pre-formulated doctrines and dogmas, unless they are thoroughly examined and freely chosen. That is why, in the current evolutionary state of religions, I advocate spirituality beyond religions.

            When I set out at the age of 17, as part of my spiritual quest, to convert souls to Christ, and joined the Jesuits for that purpose at the age of 18, I was led by a very powerful religious motto: “What does it profit a person if he or she gains the whole world and loses his or her soul” (Mark, 8: 36; Matthew, 16: 26)? Little did I know then that I would return to the same state of Kerala I left, a totally changed man, after about 50 years to live a simple life sharing resources in a community of persons from diverse backgrounds and religions! Then I could not even imagine the transformed person that I would become, after honest search and rigorous reflection on, discernment and analysis of my experiences. I had to break through my powerful neurological and mental conditioning to be where I am right now. In effect, I went through different re-births in my one long transformational life. In that sense, one has to be re-born in this life, born of the Spirit as Christ told Nicodemus, not in a narrow religious sense but as an outcome of a broad on-going regenerative and transformative experience.

            God allowed Samuel to appoint a king over the people even though God was displeased by telling Samuel: “… they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them (1 Samuel 8: 7)”. So kingly or queenly rule, that pre-dated modern democracy, is not the way to go. It is difficult to fathom that even in the age of democracy there are remnants of monarchy. The earliest democracy we know is the Athenian democracy around 5th century B. C., in which participating citizens voted directly on legislation. I have no doubt in my mind that theologically or spiritually, democracy is the best form conducive to healthy spirituality. Democracy as any human system or institution has its shortcomings. But it is up to us to discern God’s will, and eliminate selfishness and corruption from democracy as far as humanly possible, and to make it an instrument of service for the good of all. Only persons with vested interests can be unhappy with democracy. God wills the good of all. Even in the Catholic Church some limited democracy is there in the selection of the highest authority, the pope, by cardinals qualified to vote. But that democracy needs to come down to the bottom level. What is good for the top level is also good for the bottom level. One can only think that fear and distrust, and for that matter, lack of faith in God, are the factors operating in not facilitating healthy, spiritual, and God-serving democracy. Religions need to take initiative in ushering in and modeling democracy. Democracy and spirituality go hand in hand.


All rights reserved to East West Awakening. Designed and powered by