Regulars and Shorts

Ask the Swami: September 2009

By Steve Bhaerman

Creating change we can believe in.
by Swami Beyondananda

Dear Swami,

I voted for hope and change last Novem_ber, but unfortunately the change I’d hoped for hasn’t quite materialized. Too many of Barack Obama’s appointments have been disappointments, and it seems as if the usual suspects are still in charge. Thanks to the bailout, the banks are making huge profits, and the average Americans who thought they had retirement money are facing huge losses. I am coming to the sad conclusion that the two-party system has failed us. As a respected political guru, Swami, what do you say?

—Hugh R. Phelan


Dear Hugh:

I am sorry to have to confirm your sad conclusion, but indeed the two big parties -which we collectively can call Dempublicrats -have been partying on our dime-and we the people haven’t even been invited to the party. Sure, there’s been political climate change. But instead of letting the light shine through, the two parties and the media continue to cloud the issues.

Once again, the Democrats have positioned themselves not as a force for transforming the trance, but as the lesser of two weasels. Imagine an ad campaign for any product that proclaims: “Buy our product: It’s not as bad as the other guy’s.” As long as we the people buy this illogical logic, we will be sold a bill of bads.

So, how do we create change we can really believe in? We can begin by changing our beliefs, and imagining something that seems unimaginable-going to the polling places to vote for the greater of two goods. Believing is seeing, so once we see this we can take the next step. We can throw a party of our own. We can call it the Right To Laugh Party, and offer our own slogan: “One big party, and everyone is invited…all for fun, and fun for all.”

Why Right to Laugh? Well in these times when our problems are so serious, doesn’t it make sense that the solutions are humorous? What if we came together from across party lines to laugh at the institutionalized insanity of a system too big to not fail? What if we laughed at the obscene foolishness of spending so much of our livelihood on weapons of deadlihood, and the utter absurdity of doing the same things over and over and expecting different results? Why, we might get struck by enlightening, and commit ourselves to a sane asylum. And in the wake of the laughter, we might awaken from the trance of just voting for the two candidates we are given and begin to choose our own-candidates who serve the commonwealth and not just the uncommonly wealthy.


Dear Swami:

Is it true we have to be childlike to get into heaven?

—Sue Nafter


Dear Sue:

Actually, it’s more accurate to say you have to be adult-like to get out of heaven. The cosmic joke is that we are born to create heaven on earth just for the hell of it. However, we are soon conditioned to be serious, hence the serious condition the world is in. Next thing you know it, you’ve got Sinatra’s Syndrome-a doo-be-doo-be-doo imbalance-from too much being and not enough doing. No wonder those who spend so much time being a doer will come home and do a beer…or do a doobie. All these are ways people try to “get into heaven,” or at least make a short visit. But here is the thing: Heaven is in our own hands. In fact, it is in our faces. Want to go to heaven? Just turn up the corners of you mouth in a smile. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it. You will. Just the act of smiling releases a flood of chemicals to make the body think you’re happy…and the body doesn’t know the difference! Pretty soon, you realize that you’re happy and you don’t know why. If that ain’t heaven, I don’t know what is.

(c) Copyright 2009 by Steve Bhaerman.



This article was originally published on August 29, 2009.