I’m breaking the enlightenment rules again.
Instead of playing the non-duality equanimity game that implies it’s spiritually-incorrect to have an opinion about politics, I’m going to go out on a burning limb and speak up about what I perceive is really happening in the frightening spectacle of American politics these days.
And I’m not just going to pick on the flamboyantly xenophobic Donald Trump who is playing the Darth Vader shadow-role extremely well. Because the real story here is not simply this eerily Hitler-like rise to populist power of an unattractive master of hate and fear rhetoric.
Rather the real story is the glaringly obvious dynamic of extreme polarity. Not just the polarization of left and right politics, but a grand-canyon sized gap between the light and the dark in the soul of humanity.
The United States, it seems, has become the global stage for this schizophrenic soul drama, where sentiments based on hate, fear and anger have gained mass appeal across a wide spectrum of right-wing American voters. If you haven’t kept up with Donald Trump’s rhetoric, here’s a sampling:
Racist: (Mexico) are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists.”
Xenophobic :“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words.”
Sexist: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
Just Plain Mean: “If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”
Narcissistic :“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” and “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
Just plain creepy: “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
(Click here for more of these outrageous Trump moments.)
Thanks to Donald Trump’s emergence as a Republican front runner, the sane world is riveted and somewhat horrified by what appears to be a bizarrely visible performance by the dark side. Yes, I said dark side.
What does dark side mean in the context of an awakened perspective? It means the that the more light we as a species have accessed within our being, that which was hidden in the shadows of our collective psyche becomes all the more visible.
In the words of Carl Jung, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,but by making the darkness conscious.”
Donald Trump is humanity’s great big shadow showing up in the middle of the civilized world, trying to make the darkness conscious. It’s a freak show that’s hard to ignore.
After all, it’s one thing to witness the darkness of desperation in nations where despots rise to power amidst extremes of poverty, displacement, religious fervour and battles for resources. Its entirely another to watch something ugly rear its head in our relatively educated, materially prosperous and supposedly spiritually literate first world.
How can we reconcile the white picket fence and manicured lawns mindset with a popular bully like Donald Trump?
Easily, if you understand that the fence meant to declare “this property is mine, stay out” is the very same fence that imprisons the truth: There is no you. There is only a We. It’s that very recognition, that sense of knowing the unity of all life, the Oneness of existence, that is driving Donald Trumps rise to power.
Because any movement of humanity toward the light of Oneness will always be countered by the Shadow of what remains unconscious. If Donald Trump is a monster, he is the troll of fear and loathing that lurks in all of us, made visible.
And he is particularly popular right now because that shadow is emerging in the context of increased light. As humanity as a whole becomes more conscious and self aware, the pendulum must swing.
In this case, the swing to the dark side involves a certain fearful and deeply unconscious part of the human soul who just happen to show up in the manifest world as American Republicans.
Who are these Donald Trump fans, exactly? According to astonishingly predictive research by political scientists, the electorate that gravitates to a man like Trump are what are known as “authoritarians.”
From the thought-provoking article The Rise of American Authoritarianism by former human rights lawyer Amanda Taub: “Authoritarians are thought to express much deeper fears than the rest of the electorate, to seek the imposition of order where they perceive dangerous change, and to desire a strong leader who will defeat those fears with force. They would thus seek a candidate who promised these things. And the extreme nature of authoritarians’ fears, and of their desire to challenge threats with force, would lead them toward a candidate whose temperament was totally unlike anything we usually see in American politics — and whose policies went far beyond the acceptable norms.”
The rise to power of a politician fuelled by fear-driven authoritarian voters is not new. It was this same dynamic in a down-trodden post World War 1 Germany that gave rise to Hitler’s rule.
The question is not what is happening. The question is why.
One of the most insightful write ups I’ve read so far about the dark side and Trump comes from a woman who makes her livelihood as a psychic medium. In her aptly named blog, Call to Light, Danielle Egnew writes this perceptive explanation for Trump’s rise:
“The fact remains that Donald Trump receives the unfaltering dedication and hero worship from his followers not because he speaks his mind — but the that fact that Donald Trump is indeed, speaking their mind.
Trump gives a name, a face, a resume and a strangely-fitting suit to the ugly stepchild of American Consciousness: Bigotry, fear of change — and the hatred that is born from resentfully stewing these ingredients in repressed silence.
Finally, the Movement of Secret Seething Resentment has a leader.”
I would add this: Trump does not just speak the mind of a seething dictator-prone authoritarian populace.
He speaks for the darkness that still lurks in the soul of all humankind. That darkness is aided by the illusion of separation, the amnesia of Self that hides the interconnectedness of all beings.
And this is where I go out on an even more shaky limb.
We don’t need a rise to power of a despot US president to unite humanity. We simply need to recognize that the evil out there is really in here, festering in our own collective psyche that imagines it is separate from God and from each other.
And yes, that wounded egoic consciousness has cheerleaders, less luminous beings who keep picking at the scab, making sure humanity’s exile from Eden continues on. But those forces are impotent against a full-scale remembering of our own Divinity.
The One Heart of Humanity is ready to remember itself as Love. Eden was never a place we left. It is a place we forget we already abide in. Eden is a state of consciousness, one that is increasingly being remembered by more and more people.
Donald Trump will try to remind us of our apparent exile by stirring up fear, hate and anger. It’s not our job as light bearers to judge him and his followers, or to despair. It’s our job to simply to remember more deeply the Eden of our own True Self.
And then, take action that really matters.
Pray. Meditate. Gather in groups and go deep into stillness. Bring the Maharishi Effect into action. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the well documented power of collective imagination and meditation to alter reality for good.
“In 1978, what is known as the “Maharishi Effect” took place when a group of 7000 individuals over the course of 3 weeks were meditating in hopes of positively effecting the surrounding city. They were able to literally transform the collective energy of the city which reduced global crime rates, violence, and casualties during the times of their meditation by an average of 16%. Suicide rates and automobile accidents also were reduced with all variables accounted for. In fact, there was a 72% reduction in terrorist activity during the times at which this group was meditation. Almost 50 studies have been done further confirming the benefits of global meditation and it’s direct impact on everything in the world, Read more at: http://www.social-consciousness.com/2014/01/scientific-proof-that-group-meditation-can-change-the-world.html.”
So, rather than just talking about the crazy evil debacle of Donald Trump, or going to protest rallies, or writing blogs about how awful things are, what I am saying is let’s do something that turns collective fate into higher destiny.
Let’s be engineers of goodness.
After all, Ghandi said it best. “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”
So then. Let us pray.
PS: The theme of freedom seems to be the point of this singing cheerleader performance for Donald Trump’s campaign, but the lyrics are cartoonishly aggressive to the point you could add “kapow” to these refrains: “Deal from strength or get crushed every time ” and “Enemies of freedom, come on boys take ‘em down.” Classic authoritarianism relies on the bully-stance and a willingness to imagine that brute force and punitive tactics equals strength.
PPS: Did you know I have a weekly video blog delivered straight to your email box? Curious, check it out here.
Awareness is here, provocatively political.