Ananda and Political Views


Are the political views at Ananda very diverse? What is the general economic preference: communism, free-market capitalism, socialism, anarchism?

—James, usa


Dear Friend,

Ananda members have a wide range of political views. The practice of meditation and the teachings of Self-realization are not inherently one view or another, politically speaking.

The paths to truth are many, though truth be One.

Nonetheless, the spiritual path is a process of the expansion of consciousness and sympathies.

So compassion, selfless service, and the practical application of one’s ideals are a natural and integral part of the spiritual path (which emphasizes devotion). Some would say this is “left-leaning” (though it is not necessarily true).

Yet the path of Self-realization (based on the very individual commitment to meditation and spiritual growth) necessarily emphasizes personal initiative.

No one can meditate for you, in other words. Some would say this is “right-leaning” (though it is not necessarily so).

On economic matters you would find the same wide variety.

But as pioneers in the intentional communities movement you would find a distinct (general) preference for small businesses, supportive leadership styles, sustainable economic and ecological policies, healthy lifestyles, and respect for others.

We tend to eschew government involvement and subsidies and prefer self-sufficiency where feasible.

Intelligent, sincere and virtuous people can have very different views about social policies. “Fools argue, but wise men discuss,” Paramhansa Yogananda commented.

You would find among Ananda members, therefore, a wide range of opinions about economic and political issues.

And like thoughtful people anywhere, you will also find it difficult to easily classify Ananda members as to their views, at least on specific issues, even if they are, by the workings of political processes, registered in one political party or another.

Nayaswami Hriman