Repeal and Replace is one of the Washington, D.C. catch phrases for 2017. It is used in reference to the republican agenda to do away with former president Obama’s healthcare system. They don’t want to fix what they say is wrong with it, they want to get rid of it altogether and replace it with something of their own. Granted, they have nothing of their own to replace it with because the whole thing is a ruse to do away with healthcare that regulates the insurance and pharmaceutical industries (weak though those regulations are), and redistribute Medicaid money away from the needy to the wealthy. And there are pieces of Obama’s healthcare system that the American public will not allow them to repeal, such as providing care for people with preexisting conditions. When whatever policy they cobble together gets made public, it will be “repeal and replace” in name only.
Why bother, one might ask? Greed. Not just for more money, but to make it their own. This is what we do. We are an ownership society. Greed—the point where desire and selfishness join forces—is built in. Because it is built in, and because we are born into that, raised in that, firmly ensconced in that, greed has deep, unconscious roots in us. This means that we can see and protest and eliminate some forms of it, but other forms remain buried. Some of these are more personal. It is always easier to protest a new policy by people out there than the personal policies of change within.
Often, the loophole we create for our personal politics is the same as societal—we tell ourselves we’re making a huge change that is superficial at best. For example, most of us have, or know someone who has, rejected the organized religion they were raised in. In many cases such folks in the West, if they don’t identify as agnostic or atheist, adopt a spiritual system from the East and/or from a heart culture. But they tend not to give over fully to that system, although they say they do. They tend to superimpose the shiny new system over the one they say they’ve transcended or left for dead because Greed is the Western god, accumulation is its virtue, desire is its prayer, you-as-Truth is its sacrifice. Religion is just one way this Greed god gets in our ear, with promises of entitlement. Its success through the medium of religion depends upon whether or not we see through the fallacies of its dogma and factual claims.
But that is just one medium, for the sense of entitlement is firmly embedded in not just the medium but in us. It connects with us precisely because it is in us already. The plug gets an upgrade every few millennia, but the juice is still in us to complete the circuit. We just need to find the right plug that fits. And because the plug looks superficially different, we plug it in and say we’re different. But the electricity surging within us is completing the same circuit. Lighting a new lamp is still lighting a lamp.
It is only when we stop trying on other peoples’ cultures for size while not engaging our own that Truth may come crashing through our inner structures. Only then does real change occur, as we are no longer a circuit surging with our personal energy of entitlement and desire.
That is the first step to authentic health and authentic caring.