“The world is inflamed,” I mused to my friend today, “and Donald Trump is simply an expression, a symptom, of that inflammation.”
Michael Brown, in his brilliant book “The Presence Process,” speaks articulately about how suppressed emotion is stored in the human body-field as heat. (You find it reflected in countless idioms in our language.) And anyone sensitive to energy can attest to having experienced this in his own body or psyche–whether as reactivity, inflammation (when the friction of inner conflict collects unexpressed) or as simple heat (when some pocket of physical or psychic material moves within the body or releases from it).
Chinese medicine recognizes this. Certainly, in Ayurveda, this would promote, and qualify as, a Pitta imbalance. In Western Medicine, the approach has more often been to ignore it until it becomes a symptom– or complex of symptoms– assertive and established enough to earn its own title: like arthritis, heartburn, hypertension, or hemorrhoids. But this is just a way to acknowledge and treat the symptom without having to address the subtler, underlying cause.
Another way this phenomenon finds expression,when unacknowledged in the individual or culture, is to either leak out in behaviors or be out-pictured in our greater world, which is a reflection and projection of the personal or collective consciousness.
We all experience its consequences, whether we are sensitive, self-aware and health conscious on the one hand, or tend toward the other end of the spectrum, or fall somewhere in between. And it’s as likely as not that the heat showing up in our lives and our world is not the consequence of only our current or recent wounds, thoughts and deeds, but are individual and collective Karmas, if you will, bubbling to the surface from our deeper physical and non-physical heritage. Those factors, combined with our constitutional strengths and weaknesses, govern how, where and when it shows up.
The sages saw it not so much in terms of wrong or right, but a matter of natural, inevitable consequences, rather like the predictable outcomes of physical laws or the mixing of certain chemicals.
When we see violent natural phenomena, actions and their equal and opposite reactions, we tend to be awed unless they disrupt the veneer of control we like to think we have. Then they become cruel tragedies. And if we drop stones into a pond and watch the ripples radiate out and interfere with one another, we are watching calculable phenomena, even though, if we took to rooting for one or the other stone’s patterns of influence in the surface of the pond, we might subtly demonize the other stones’ waves as disruptive, obstructive, violent, intrusive, inappropriate, evil.
Social movements are the same way. They are natural, cumulative progressions, which have origins, rises, plateaus of influence and then dissipations, as newer, stronger waves neutralize, absorb, distort or react to their energy or ideas. It would seem these are the evolutionary gyrations and growing pains of our species and probably our whole Cosmos, in which most thinkers acknowledge unfathomable intelligence and order, even when, from our limited perspective it looks like chaos. One observer’s miracle is another’s messy universe. Ever baked cupcakes with children? Messy universe! (Though, I hear, if there is chocolate involved it’s somehow more tolerable– even medicinal ).
At last we are seeing a pushback against Trump. The pressure had to build sufficiently behind and between the tectonic plates of complacency. We had to feel the earth shake and contemplate what we might lose, and put down our smart phone windows on the world and walk out onto the shaking earth, look at the shingles and shutters tumbling off already neglected village walls, hear the ululating security alarms and dodge the occasional fire geyser of a ruptured gas main–I reckon that last one might describe Trump, yes, but also any of too many mass shootings, climate-change-induced natural disasters, or acts of terrorism.
I think the lesson here is that we are not victims of our universe, but participants. So, just as peaceful cultures tend to work cooperatively with nature, so we must learn to do, not only with outer nature, but inner nature, our own human nature, respecting the power of all our faculties– emotional, spiritual, and others, as well, not just the mental or the grossly physical. As wise ones inscribed on the Temple at Delphi millennia ago: Know Thyself. And as Jesus added: Love One Another. Even the Egyptians knew that DE NILE inevitably yields a Flood. So they learned to work with the river.
If we do not drown in our own ignorance or arrogance, human evolution continues forward like a river sloshing along and slowly rearranging its banks and changing its trajectory, as it meanders back to the sea of Unity. But the rocks dissolving in its path might see nothing in this but dissolution and entropy.
One might ask, “So, do you want to be a Rock or a River?” But why limit ourselves? A Taoist uses the wisdom of both and practices to employ the strength of each in its appropriate turn. Not “either/or,” friends, but AND. That is the teaching of TRUMP. The either/or culture has served its evolutionary purpose, and now the citizens of AND are awakening and rising up.
As case in point, I close on an amusing, uplifting pop-culture note: I happened to catch a recent episode of Castle last night. The show is consummately smooth and catchy fluff. But the last scenes of the episode gathered together the students in an English-as -a-Second-Language class, many of whom were featured as the police procedural wound through its twists and suspects, toward the inevitable apprehension of the murderer. They were all invited to feast at a table spread with “American Food.”
“This is American Food?” one student asks in thick accent, as the camera continues to pan over colorful platters of pizza, kimchi, egg rolls, enchiladas, saffron rice, etc. “It’s very …Internationale.”
“Exactly,” says Martha (Castle’s mother), “And this country was founded by immigrants; and it’s those customs and cultures that have shaped and molded us. And YOU…were the ones that made this country great….” Obvious? Sure. A tad maudlin? Maybe…. But (I’m betting) a response to Trump: another voice for an America awaking from slumber, a voice issuing, importantly, from country’s leading hypnotist, one of its favorite pacifiers and teaching tools.
From her mouth to God’s ear.