It’s time to turn the country over to the next generation.
Jefferson said we should have a revolution every twenty years. He didn’t mean blood and riots in the streets, but that each generation should have the chance to reform the laws and elect their own people to the seats of government. No set of laws, no generation of Americans should monopolize the government for a long period of time. When the hurts and resentments of one generation continue to dominate the national conversation, there is little chance for progress. We just keep stewing in our old ways of thinking and feeling and resenting.
A druid and Brehon judge in the first century admonished the high king of Ireland regarding what was known as the “ruler’s truth.”
Through the ruler’s truth great peoples are governed,
Through the ruler’s truth great death is warded off,
Through the ruler’s truth every law is glorious and every vessel is full,
Through the ruler’s truth all the land is fruitful and every child born is worthy,
Through the ruler’s truth there is abundance of tall corn.
Through the ruler’s truth fair weather comes in each fitting season:
winter fine and frosty,
spring dry and windy,
summer warm with showers of rain,
autumn heavy with dews and abundant harvest.
There is truth and there is Truth.
I think each generation has its own truth, or rather, its own perspective on Truth. In the old Celtic tradition Truth is a spiritual quality; it’s the glue that holds the universe together. The druid’s admonition is for the ruler to rule in accordance with this Truth that transcends him or her. We might think of this idea of Truth as being akin to what the Navajo call “Beauty.” The Navajo concept of Beauty is not about aesthetics or what’s in the eye of the beholder, but the beauty of being in harmony with the patterns of reality that are timeless, eternal, and intrinsic to the universe that has been given to us. It’s about being in harmony with a greater reality that preceded us and will continue to exist long after we are gone. Similarly, Truth is that quality we recognize as the “fitness of things,” the fidelity to the original qualities and requirements of creation.
I suppose it does come back to the “eye of the beholder” in some sense since what changes is not Truth but the way we perceive it. We live in a constantly changing world that emerges from the Truth, the ever-becoming world that reflects the Beauty of creation, or what some call the Divine Plan. What the druid’s teaching, and Jefferson’s I think, are pointing toward is the need for each “ever-becoming” generation to approach the Truth and Beauty of the universe with fresh eyes and hearts more open than those of the generations who are, as the old saying goes, “set in their ways.” The world is ever-becoming, and the younger generations are the representatives of that new becoming. They deserve their chance to walk in Beauty and create a new paradigm for the “ruler’s truth,” to discover how they will incarnate the Truth of creation for the current era.
If the old Brehon judge and druid is right, the ruler’s truth can create a healthy nation, good laws, prosperity, noble citizens, even the right weather for each season. And the seasons are ever-changing.
It’s time to hand the country over to the next generation.