At the outset, let me just heartily agree with Conor that Joe the Plumber is a far more articulate spokesman for his cause than his current party’s candidate for VP. [Except for his answer on no WMDs in Iraq]. He’s even done more interviews than her!!! Plus Joe is a fellow Buckeye so I have to support my own. Little homer side from yours truly.
But that aside, Jed Report has the pick up of the century in my book. Buried down in this post–Joe used to be a member of the Natural Law Party!!!!. No F’in Way man.
Veteran readers will know one of my (many) strange side fascinations is small 3rd/4th/5th parties (e.g. here). I actually knew about the Natural Law Party–long long story–but I hadn’t heard it mentioned in years. I didn’t even know if it was still around. [For the record, Plumber Joe is now a registered member of the GOP].
The Natural Law Party actually has fairly strong roots (pronounced “ruts” like my grandpa would say) in Ohio. Strong as far as these things go I mean, so that sets the context for Joe having a connection with them.
Now you’re probably wondering to yourself “Ok but what does this have to do with the giant image of the Great Chain of Being above?” Ah, well I’m just getting to that.
The Natural Law Party argues that US policy should be based on, you guessed it, Natural Law. Now Natural Law has had a few different meanings throughout history–e.g. strong in the US Founding Fathers notion of inalienable rights–but another one of the classics (the medieval/traditional) is that the Natural Law is the outgrowth of the Great Chain of Being.
In this case, it’s it’s an interesting combination of the two as The Natural Law Party of the United States actually grows out of the Transcendental Meditation Movement (the TM folks). Based on the philosophia perennis as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Natural Law’s connection to the Great Chain/Perennial Philosophy is that the entire order, flowing from and ending back in God (as pic’d above), is self-sustaining. The application of this insight to human affairs (“in accordance with nature” in the language) is natural law.
Sidenote: For you Indistinct Union/Nonduality types out there: who is in the position to see the entire order? Notice that God is part of the order. Who then views God?
Back to main thread….The Natural Law Party’s website, complete with platform, is here. [If you now wondering how Eastern Meditation got (starting) in Iowa and later Ohio, Philip Jenkins’ book has the answer.] Their wiki here. Also its candidate for President, was in (New Age warning) both What the Bleep and The Secret…how many political parties can say that? [McCain was in Wedding Crashers, natch!].
So for example (plaform page under Natural Law)
The best government is “nature’s government” — natural law, which governs the universe with perfect order and without a problem. Nations can govern themselves with this same perfection in administration.
One might reply however that this order in nature has come at the cost of 99+% of all species that have ever come into being going extinct. Through the sides of evolution/nature that are red in tooth and claw. Would it be “natural” then to make war upon fellow human beings?
I come from a position that could be called a neo-perennial philosophy, so while I admire in some senses how they discuss meditation in light of political policy (interesting links possible) and take into account a cosmological view, obviously the neo part of that formulation means there are some critiques of the (paleo?) perennial philosophy. Namely that the notion of interpretation is missing. Which is why the red in tooth and claw question matters. How do we interpret how nature is?
Is nature the same in all times and places? Or are there emergent phenomena?
Nature is at best ambiguous in relation to our moral bearings. There are cooperative aspects to the natural world, self-regulative features to the biosphere, to be sure, but how does that connect to human moral community? The problem is that ultimately such a system requires an absolutization (making true for all times and places) either a religion/Revelation or person’s interpretation of a spiritual awakening. [Like say a Master Yogi?].
This is why the constant references to following science in the platform are problem-filled and probably question begging. Which science? The Science of the Mind as they would see it? Biological science, but how is that related to human moral-political problems?
Anyway, my dificulties with the theory aside, I had some fun googling around on the subject.
Update I: For the takedown of the Quantum Physics=God Enlightenment view, see Wilber here (bottom half of the page).