Just as the physical world has laws and functions in ways that reveal underlying patterns, so the spiritual world has laws and patterns that can be observed and understood. We can observe that justice only emerges where there is love. An environment of love needs to be cultivated through the authentic use of power, in the same way that a gardener prepares fertile soil and removes things which deter growth, like weeds, pests, and rocks. Power must be exercised authentically to create love. Love is the set of conditions that allows justice to flourish.
There is a hierarchy of value in reality, where God is the most valuable being in existence and the human being is the most valuable being in creation. Love is the process of properly attributing value to things, and is expressed by people who attain knowledge of reality. Ignorance results in inauthenticity, or sacrificing things of higher value for things of lower value. For example, the practice of Communism was inauthentic because it sacrificed human beings on the alter of ideology. Becoming more authentic requires attunement with reality, movement from ignorance to knowledge, and the expression of love.
Power can be exercised over others or with others. Exercising power over others takes the form of manipulation, coercion, or domination, and places a higher value on one soul than another. Exercising power with others takes the form of collaboration, mutualism, and empowerment, and expresses the spiritual truth of oneness – that all souls are equal. A person who exercises power with others acts more authentically than a person who exercises power over others. Practicing the use of power with others is more aligned with spiritual reality, and is more conducive to love.
What strikes you about this view of power (over vs. with)? What insights can you share about the relationship between love, power, and justice?
What happens if we reject all power as coercive? Can justice be created by eliminating power?
Do you agree that authenticity requires knowledge? What faculties allow us to detect inauthenticity?