• Franca Baroni

United States: Naive or Innocent?

In the pre-election frenzy the question of what we ought to be as a country is often tossed around left and right like a wild ping-pong ball. On a larger scale wild ping pong games are happening at many levels while the fun of playing or watching has long dissipated and while we are desperately holding on to a rapidly disintegrating national identity.

Often when we don’t know who we are, we pretend to know best. This is natural in the stage of denial. Yet, the all-knowing national drug is wearing off quickly leaving us with the raw and naked truth of our dated national identity. In the juicy natural stage of awakening we can realize that when we know nothing we have actually connected to whom we are.

To move us closer to the essence of our country and our impact in the world we are called to slow down the mind chatter of politics, history and identity. While we observe the tales of our national stories we can allow ourselves to move into the place of emptiness. When we relinquish for a moment what we claim to know as a country and take the risk to assume that we know nothing, we become naked, raw, calm, furious, insecure, righteous, enlightened. Then, we begin to connect to what our original thoughtless collective blueprint reveals. We kinesthetically learn what shines and what obscures our vision.

Collectively we rarely go into the emptiness. We engage and perpetuate our stories of past glory and our stories of guilt-ridden disaster. And looking into the future we dream of the grand power of our country as the divinely inspired example for the rest of the world.

No matter how flattering and inspiring these stories feel and sound, they are nevertheless assuming that somehow as a country we are and have something special that no other country can ever live up to. This view, which is not only embraced by “Trumpian” followers but often equally by wise spiritual leaders, is still founded on an increasingly outdated ego identity that our public heart is asking us to radically shed like an old skin that has run its course.

As countries we have different roles and functions and varying degrees of consciousness, each perfectly necessary in the unfolding of our human species. As special as every human being is, the United States of America is as special as any country in the world. Special does not mean better or worse, it simply means it IS in existence. This fundamental equality is the essence and premise of Being. No matter how simplistic this sounds to our minds, let’s allow this “equality” to permeate our national Being, even just for a moment. And maybe for another moment, let’s remember that “America” is a continent and not a country…

In a mind-based paradigm each country is geared to preserve and perpetuate its stories and identity without questioning the premise and digging deep of how it came about in the first place. Often there is a naïve holding on to a dream of grandeur and specialness, at times capable of justifying even the most heinous human rights violations. For as long as it does not turn into arrogance, this naivety is also endearing and charming. This is true for the United States as for many other countries which we would want or not want to be associated with. Yet, clear vision of the true essence of a country only comes from outside the context of self-centered stories and attitudes of leadership and survival. In fact, what often cause countries to self-destruct or stall their growth process are self-centered assumptions that easily create an illusion of forward movement.

In the paradigm of the public heart, naivety moves into innocence, the pure place of the heart where all knowing and assumptions of who we are is relinquished. Innocence is emptiness. Innocence is in sync with the rhythm of Life. Innocence is the pulsating core of heart wisdom. Innocence is what allows Life to move through us unobstructed. Innocence is the starting point to naturally create what is in balance with the whole.

As a country, the first step to move into innocence is to give our smart brains a rest and feel the pulsating beat of the public heart of the United States. No fretting about the elections, no stories, no assumptions, no agenda, no grand visions or plans. We allow the beat of the public heart of the United States to inform the cells of our collective Being. One beat at a time. We allow the public heart to vibrate into the matrix of our country. No chatter, no analysis, simply connecting to the pure Joy of being alive and radically accepting the responsibility of having chosen this country. This is the starting and end point of true sovereignty. This is the starting and end point of true global leadership for any country. It starts with the citizen practice of innocence. And it starts with play.

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