Saturday, October 15, 2022

SOME THOUGHTS ON “LETS YOU AND HIM FIGHT”

 I remember family get togethers when I was a kid. After dinner, the women would go to the kitchen and the guys would be in the living room. Since I wasn't interested in babies, relationships and recipes, I would find an inconspicuous place to listen to the men. Uncle Bob would usually kick things off by bringing up some controversial topic, then ask the other guys what they thought about it and when it started getting really hot, he would lean back in his chair with a bemused smile as faces turned red and voices got louder. It was obvious that he was getting a charge out of the heat.

Occasionally, I receive email links by far-right conspiracy theorists with all the details of how the demonic Democrats are manipulating we the people to control our wealth and our lives (or lack thereof) if we allow them to stay in power. The Democrats email their constituents for support to prevent extremist takeovers from the far right that will send us back to the stone age socially and make America a dictatorship whose ruler will assuage their followers’ fears with seductive promises."Divide and conquer" worked for the Romans, until it came home, and many of our habits of rule are still under their influence.

However, the Democratic party seems frozen in its insecure idealism about the state of American distrust concerning what is really happening in government. They function oblivious to growing distrust and seem to believe that there are enough reasonable people that democracy with its business-as-usual habits will prevail. But what is that business. Most of it is hidden from people who don’t have time or connections for extensive research. I’ve observed the effects of group fear on even well-educated good-hearted people and noticed that it is quite literally a hypnotic process. The so called, but I believe false patriots have wedged themselves into the cracks of fear. Fear is an out of balance, vulnerable state of mind, that shatters reason and distorts perspective, until only a bitter cocktail of imagined ingredients leading to a dreaded outcome are ingested.

The truth is, very few of us really do know what is going on in Washington under the radar, and our politicians tell us what they want us to believe while they ask us for monetary assistance to beat the “bad guy” opponent in the next election. It seems to those of us on the outside that money has become the only factor of success and therefore determines the value of any concern. I’ve noticed that the “experts” who always claim to be on the side of their targeted audience while stirring up fear on YouTube and TV, are speaking to people’s financial vulnerability while  making loads of money on the sale of their books exposing the evil agenda of the opposition.

But is any party really in control? It seems to me that politics has become a diversion to keep “us” focused on the dreaded “them”. I suspect that the rhetoric, demonstrations, YouTube revelations and promises are distractions from the things we have no control over, nor do the politicians who seem to have themselves become distractions. While the political parties are wrestling and promising, the rich keep getting richer, the poor get poorer, inflation soars, and corporate entities move us wherever they want us to go.

I’m sick of hearing “left” and “right”. Left of what, and right of what? If right is conservative and left is progressive, I’m totally confused about what is being conserved from the past or envisioned as progress for the future. If the system was working properly, I would think that there would be a flow from past to future, and that conservatives would be preserving something of value to be used in the future and liberals would be augmenting past values and updating them in real time to survive and meet a common future. Instead of genuinely addressing the problems of real people, it seems that politics is about manipulating the people’s hopes and fears to help candidates get to a platform where they can work for powerful forces of which we, the people have little or no awareness. We are like fish biting at skillfully artificed flies at the end of a transparent line.

When people don’t have a realistic view of the powers that are playing them, they have a sense of vulnerability that is easily stirred into fear, paranoia and then rage looking for an outlet. No one can live with fear and a state of helplessness very long. It must have a target and possible correction or broils internally until it becomes sick, or mad. Thus unstable young men  go on killing sprees in places where large numbers of people come together. The people they kill, and wound are usually random targets, not enemies but unspecified victims, just as the shooter is often lacking a sense of identity, place, or purpose. In a sense, the victims are icons of the one who victimizes them, sacrificial victims of the shadowy perpetrator. In this way, it’s a hopeless religious act.

Our modern world, with Scientific Materialism as its orthodoxy, leaves a huge gaping hole where the Great Spirit of our cosmos once was. According to this material canon, we should be happy to be free of the horror of religion past with its inquisitions, holy wars, hatred of physical pleasure and dread of eternal damnation to an endless fire for those who choose to disagree, or even dislike the terms.  The European and mid-eastern god is certainly a terrifier. Something had to be done to take the sting out of this maniacal deity. However, the replacement has not satisfied. Even the hope of artificial intelligence to find a way for us to live forever without any spiritual assistance, leaves us unsatisfied. Smart and proud perhaps but empty. I can’t avoid thinking of the billions of beings behind us and the unfortunate victims of fate and war who won’t be able to enjoy life as a forever bot. To me it is an unsatisfactory answer to an unfulfilled problem.

I’ve come to look at earth life as a school, and earth and its siblings cycling around our life source, the Sun, as one family in an incomprehensible mega-verse of trans-cosmic families. I can’t imagine us ever knowing its truth only from the outside. But I believe as participants, we are wired to experience its essence by penetrating to the core of our membership—a heart to heart connection.   

I wonder how many times humankind has been in this position in history, and even pre-history, since I believe Plato’s story of Atlantis, and the increasing evidence that we have been influenced in the past by  more advanced life forms from other parts of the cosmos. There are few indigenous peoples that don’t have stories about beings from other realities, either dimensional or planetary who seeded them or guided them in the deep past. Mainstream science doesn’t yet acknowledge any evidence of this hidden past, and there is plenty.  Science has become another rigid orthodoxy which causes me to believe the doctrinal barriers will eventually collapse. They are already struggling to maintain their crumbling walls against the blows of unwanted evidence. As with any other belief system, careers and hard-won reputations are at risk.

However, my greatest concern is the compartmentalization that seems to be endemic with information overload. There are so many narratives about reality to choose from that in reaction people are becoming more narrowly focused rather than better informed. YouTube and social media are a free for all, and the various opinions all have their followers, depending on whatever gives some sense of emotional satisfaction be it thrills, safety, or the desire to have a special heads-up. It’s endless! You can learn a foreign language, practice yoga, listen to great music, follow history, your favorite rock stars, or choose your favorite conspiracy theory. But there is no way to know the validity of theories and unvetted ideas flying around for anyone who is hooked on a flavor to catch and pass along. COVID19 augmented the menu. The mystery surrounding its origins and the controversy over vaccination with its quick development and enrichment of big pharma made it a perfect topic for conspiracy theorists and political rhetoric. However, it seems to fit the uncertainty of the times. Ironically, the bigger the choice of subjects and opinions, the narrower the focus has become. There is little critical thinking involved.

Maybe nature is threatening to give us another hard restart, as happened with the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, or the destruction of Atlantis and the great flood. Humanity has had several wipe outs. It would be splendid if we could avoid another restart from zero.

I have this suspicion now and then that there may be parties hidden behind the curtain of our simulated drama that are giving us a nudge toward the precipice by encouraging our discord and escalating wars. They wait in the background for us to self-destruct with the expectation of replacing us or molding who remains to their purpose. We’ll never make it through this dark tunnel to the light at the other end without the wisdom of the heart.  We’re all in this together and when we forget that we are on the way of becoming another extinct species or servants for our robots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

MOVING THROUGH THE GREAT MYSTERY WITH THE MAN OF MANY COLORS:

FEAST DAYS AT THE ANCESTRAL HOME: 

 As I approached the ancient adobe house of Standing Deer’s parents Joe J. and Frances Suazo on pueblo feast days, I thought; “when I walk through that weathered door with its multi-layered crumbling paint, revealing layers of time, there will be people on the other side from many backgrounds and many places.” Some will be from foreign countries, some, will be famous, some new acquaintances, and some old timers. There will be artists, writers, actors, PQ’s friends including a few old girl friends, brand new residents of Taos, many well-seasoned friends and of course family relations from infancy to elderhood. My personal tradition is to assist Frances in the kitchen making chili and potato salad and washing pots and pans for the next round. A few days before the big day, I will ask her what she would like me to bring. “Cake would be nice,” was the customary response, but I would also bring paper plates, plastic ware, and napkins. I knew that Standing Deer would chop wood, carry water, and mind the fire. His father would sit at the head of the table and tell stories. Not only would there be guests who come to all feast days, but also people recently befriended and invited so that they could have a special experience that the Taos Visitor’s Center could never provide. The Suazo’s were a unique and elevated visitor experience. 

THE BEGINNING: 

 I visited Taos for the first time in 1989. However, I had been drawn to the Southwest since I went on a road trip through New Mexico and Arizona with Uncle Bob and Aunt Ruth in my eleventh summer. I was enthralled by the powdery red dirt, aromatic pinon, and juniper trees. The pure air and clear blue sky affected me like a drug. It felt, not so much like home, as the way home should feel. My feet were quick and sure on the trails as if made of something even lighter than air. I still have the small San Ildefonso pot I bought in the Visitors Center of the Petrified Forest, my big splurge, and two archaeological books purchased at the Mesa Verde Museum. Even now, I can feel myself sitting on that adobe wall surrounding Spruce Tree House. While the guide talks, I am time travelling to a fascinating and mysterious past grinding corn and cooking beans in a clay pot, after a day of minding the fields of corn and squash under the hot but brilliantly clear sky. A part of my soul stayed there through the years until I finally found my way back home. 

WHEN THE CALL CAME: In 1989, I was working at the Tattered Cover, a four-story bookstore in Denver, Colorado. I used my first vacation time in years to visit New Mexico. It had been penetrating my dreams with increasing frequency. My first husband and I decided to use my vacation time to visit Taos. But how did Taos come to join my southwest fascination? Curiosity about Taos began years earlier, when my mother worked as a supervisor in the Accessor’s office of the City and County of Denver. A young woman working under her was from Taos, New Mexico. They struck up something of a mother/daughter relationship while this young woman was going through some personal challenges. Mom introduced me to her because she thought since we were the same age, I might better understand her. I remember hearing the words Taos New Mexico and was immediately pulled into a curious fascination. At almost the same time, a lovely Hispanic family moved into the house next door. The man was from Chihuahua Mexico, but his wife was from Taos and sometimes did witching ceremonies in the back yard. They planted green chili’s near my bedroom window and shared homemade tortillas with beans. I knew then that I must find my Taos, because there was something more than beans and chili there. The following year we visited Taos again. Then every three-day-holiday became a chance to go to New Mexico and especially Taos. Usually, we stayed in the cheapest motel we could find because we were poor and only needed a place to sleep. Sometimes we camped. Then in 1991, I attended an astrology workshop given by an English woman whose husband worked as a masseur at Ojo Caliente. On on my way home, I impulsively took a dirt road shortcut to Taos. I drove through the sagebrush as if floating on air. The sacred mountain lured me forward. After a few miles, I was suddenly confronted with a breathtaking drop into an abyss and screeched to a stop. What happened? Why was there no warning? When I inched forward, I saw a narrow dirt road plunging down the side of the gorge, across the river and up a sharp incline to the other side. It has now been closed for many years due to a landslide. Back then, I felt I’d discovered a new and dangerous entrance to the sacred land. During lunch at a restaurant on the plaza I imagined living this fantasy and yet it wasn’t long before Taos became the most tangible place I’ve ever known. Much to my amazement I ended up married to a native man, Blue Spruce Standing Deer, of Taos Pueblo. I would have never in my most inventive phantasy imagined how I arrived where I am now thirty years ago. 

 MY CONNECTION WITH STANDING DEER: 

 There was plenty of drama attached to my exit from Denver and arrival in Taos. I have written about that in other places, but my connection with Standing Deer is what I’m exploring now. I knew his family members and friends before I met him. Everyone had strong feelings about him. Those feelings were often intensely positive or negative and frequently both. Indifference didn’t happen. He was apparently a rascal but a likeable rascal. As soon as I learned of it, I became seriously interested in his family’s connection with Mabel Dodge and Tony Lujan. I believed their attempt to bring America out of its blindness and arrogance toward life values still preserved in the Native culture to be even more important now than in their lifetime. It seemed curious and sad that their efforts had almost faded from history. Many people in Taos the place of Mabel’s revelation and convention breaking marriage to Tony didn’t know who they were. However, there is no possibility of remaining impersonal or removed from the process of cultural karma just because one stands silently in the corner. I was drawn in to Standing Deer’s life by the same spirit that brought me so circuitously to Taos. Perhaps it’s the same force that brought Mabel to Taos and brought she and Tony together. It wasn’t uncomplicated and like tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural forces, compensation for an unbalanced situation breaks through conventions and safety zones. Even now, the people of Taos Pueblo are more inclined to see Mabel and Tony as home wreakers than as “movers and shakers” (her words) bringing attention to the need for social healing and evolution. Today I’m recalling our first meeting, it was just after PQ returned to Taos from Truckee California, drawn back home by a family crisis. By then I knew most of his family and enjoyed his father’s and mother’s songs and dances almost every night at our mutual friend Diane’s home. It was as if I’d already known him for a long time. I’d learned that he was an artist and singer but also a lady’s man and heavy drinker from those it affected. But that isn’t who I met when I walked through the door that day. I saw someone that I’d known a long time and hadn’t seen for a while. I wasn’t impressed either positively or negatively. In fact, I was quite comfortable with him. In those days, the Taos Inn truly was the living room of Taos, much more so than it is now. I spent most evenings after work there, writing in my journal, sketching, watching the patrons, and connecting with friends. Virtually every night, Standing Deer would emerge from the back entrance, pause for a moment, then put on a brilliant, smile touched with mystery before stepping into the main room. He always wore his full regalia consisting of long braids with two colors of ties woven over them, a turquoise earing, his trademark silver turtle bolo (he was turtle clan), leather vest, large turquoise bracelet, colorful shirt, jeans neatly ironed with a crease and cowboy boots. To the end of his days, he wore only cowboy boots. Later, he discovered the advantage of paint splattered pants as a conversation starter. There was some odd chemistry between he and I from the beginning. He avoided getting too near but never stayed very far away. He often visited me late at night after the Taos Inn closed. In those days, I frequently painted until 2:00 am. At first, he didn’t have a vehicle and walked to the Taos Inn each night, then would ask someone at the bar to drive him to my house. When he got a truck of his own, I could recognize the unique sound it made on my gravel drive. His parents often called me if they were trying to find him. Even when he was staying with a girlfriend in Santa Fe, I usually knew who and where. Although I was devastated for months when he finally married one of his girlfriends, he continued to visit me. We had a complex relationship that went far beyond romance. 

 ABOUT LIVING WITH HIS ABSENCE IN THE FLESH:

 Now I talk to PQ (Pba-Quen-nee), Blue Spruce Standing Deer in Tiwa, as I drive around town. Yesterday I told him how beautiful the golden leaves are this autumn, and that it had been a beautiful summer that he missed, and oh! The roses shortly after he left us this summer were magnificent. He loved purple, so I’m pleased that our purple flowers were abundant while he was still on this dimension. I was very grateful he didn’t die in winter. Summer is open and the air on which he now rode moved in and out of our house. Then I talked to him about the progress (snail’s pace) of the road work on Paseo del Pueblo Sur and remembered that he would probably be cursing how the “stupid” Town of Taos went about such things, and the way people were driving. He once told me, when I accused him of being negative, that fussing at roads and drivers was his frustration release. I watch film clips of him on Vimeo and YouTube in anticipation of his life story, Man of Many Colors, by producer Mark Gordon. But what I must admit is that much of my grief is not for him alone but for the part of me that dissolved in the wind when he left. Everything changed. Who am I now? I’ve known him for 27 years and we went through many ups, downs events and stages. While we were only ceremonially married 10 years ago, it was the culmination of a life’s direction. Counting the two years we lived together before our marriage, we were together 24/7 for 12 years. I can’t imagine ever having another marriage. I value above everything the freedom to continue what we began together. I am committed to fulfilling the final chapter of our story and evoking some understanding of how the pages come together. We each had our own life purpose, and yet we circled around a common star. After he left, I cleaned up the garage, got rid of clothes I’ll never wear again. Perhaps it was preparation training for letting his favorite clothes find new closets. Then I reorganized the pantry, and while it was still green outside weeded, pruned, and cut up dead wood. He would have complimented me for that. He completely admired my way of working. I did it for myself to build the muscles of my soul, but wished he could enjoy the results with me. What is the next step? There is no one to discuss the news with, our traditional breakfast smoothy doesn’t taste so good anymore so I only have it occasionally, and I miss the sound of the TV through the open door as I trim shrubs or water flowers. He isn’t waiting for me in the car when I come out of the grocery store. It’s these simple mundane things that are the sharpest loss that penetrates my heart. Our whole house seems to be turned off most of the time and yet there are some new sounds. I never heard the annoying tick tock of the kitchen clock while his oxygen concentrator hummed. And yet I’m curiously enjoying the silence as a time to be quiet enough for memories and insights to rise to the surface, even though my identity is morphing. I’m grieving but I’m not sad. I’m on a new trail and its as if my old life ended with his earth life and I’m interested in what I’ll find around each curve. I feel that our excursions are still in sync. What I know now, is that he is just fine. He left before his illness became an overwhelming burden. I admire his higher self for the wisdom of his timing. Yet now I must find a new way of being. I explore the memories of earlier times before we lived together, but I’m no longer that person and it doesn’t work. I’m now in unexplored territory. I sometimes felt sorry for myself because by the time we got together he wasn’t physically able to do many things he did with earlier partners. I will never visit Italy or even Florida with him for instance. However, the truth is I received much more. He listened to wisdom and humbly allowed spirit to speak. He was far more tolerant of the weaknesses of others and of his own limitations. He loved to have me read my Blogs to him and commented thoughtfully. He overcame many prejudices and allowed compassion for other people to override judgement. He had struggled with his frenemy alcohol since adolescence, but in the last years finally let it go. He could always weep. That is one of his qualities that gave me hope at the beginning. His tears came from the heart and were without shame. He was intensely loyal to his friends, generous and sweet to those who made it into his heart. While we lived together, I almost lost my driving skills, but they’re coming back quickly. This makes me a little sad, perhaps because he’s only been gone since June 12th. My car is getting old and yet the memory is sharp of going to the Santa Fe Subaru dealer twelve-and-a-half years ago with he and our friend Grandmother Jean to pick up my first new car and drive it back to Taos. Characteristically, he drove the new Subaru and I drove myself and Jeannie back in my old Mercury Tracer. That day seems so recent. He enjoyed driving, didn’t really trust anyone else to drive, and was good at it. I only drove the car on the occasions when he didn’t want to stop what he was doing at home to take his son to work or pick the grandkids up from school. Much later he had to trust my driving after he became very ill. I dread telling his old contacts from out of town why he’s no longer taking calls, painting commissions, or practicing his ceremonies. I look at his paintings from the past two years and am amazed at how innovative and unique they are. I so wish he could have continued this amazing new trajectory for a few more years. However, as I explore the truth of his absence, I must admit that much of the pain is about me. He no longer needs me, but I feel at loose ends searching for the right macramé pattern to turn loose ends into beauty. Now I’m grieving for the part of me that left with him while my remaining self is trying to identify the right opening to the future. It’s not that I need a new identity so much as opening the door for one that was closeted most of my life. However, I haven’t been draped passively on a clothes hanger but secretly slipping through the back end of the closet wall to my secret world. It conjures the image of C. S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Can I get through the visible closet door? Both he and I knew this was the reason our story’s last chapter took the style it did. He often told me this, though I didn’t want to believe it. It’s halfway his story, yet I am the storyteller. Nevertheless, we both loved what we had and didn’t want it to end. At my age, I’ve lost many family members and friends. But this time I lost the central visible focus of my life. The remaining half has always functioned hidden behind the stage curtain. I recognize now that I used his powerful presence as a protective screen. It was intentional. In some ways his development and success, was my success and I had envisioned many of the things he and I became involved in at the beginning of our relationship. Grief in my case, is not triggered only by the loss of a beloved person, after all, we both believed that life continues on a higher dimensional vibration, but the big changeover is one’s personal identity as the actor in the cinematic drama in which one is invested. The revelation is that we survivors are grieving for ourselves. The small griefs are possibly the hardest to quiet. I still feel guilty for trading both of our iPhones in for my new one. His phone was a part of his aura. My throat sometimes tightens when I don’t see his pretty red iPhone laying on the coffee table by his TV seat. This is where it waited ready for action as we watched our favorite programs. He would snatch it up and call a friend or relative spontaneously. It was never very far from him. He also used it to play his favorite music while he painted. Yes, it’s the loss of my married to PQ identity with all the physical props, habits and sensations that are imbued with his beloved essence that is giving me the most grief. I can still hear his voice, feel the warmth of his body, and the smell of his skin when we hug in the morning, ready to start another day. I felt grateful for each of these days. They are more precious when one knows they will run out. Old love has this advantage over the assuming confidence of youth. He will be just fine. In fact, he is just fine. When I pray for him, I envision him getting reoriented, in anticipation of his next earthly endeavor. We were just learning to be a good team, so I hope we find each other again. I don’t think we’re finished.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

THE EGREGORE OF TRUMPISM

I find myself sickened by the emotional division of this country into right and left armies at war with each other. The odd thing is that in my time the descriptions of right and left seem to have been turned inside out. Right of what or left of what is the question.  I suppose the significant part is that they are teams opposing each other in a political game of thrones.  

The concept of the Egregore is an occult term, but we have all experienced the effects of an Egregore. I'll try to explain how I am using this term. When I was a small child, I remember being deeply affected by certain objects that I chose to personalize. My first experience of this was a bottle of Calamine lotion used for sunburns. I spent lots of time on the beach with my grandma free of the turmoil at home.  I took it with me everywhere. The lotion itself was not important. It was the bottle that I personalized and turned into a virtual pet. This was during the Pacific scene of WWII. I was three years old, my mother was ill, my new baby sister was dying from a birth defect, my father worked at the Mare Island Shipyard repairing damaged Navy ships, and I was the last thing on anyone’s mind. I created an intimate friend from that bottle and grieved for days when I accidentally left it on the beach where it was taken by the tide. This was a simple type of Egregore, but any mentally/emotionally enhanced object to which one transfers personal heart/soul identity and support whether good or bad acquires a personality and a degree of independent existence. This includes social and religious groups. Trumpism has acquired an intense independent identity. An Egregore fulfills an otherwise vacant niche in a person’s life.

I am deeply disappointed with the Americans who stormed the United States Capital yesterday, and yet they feel something wrong at the core with our government. They created a hero out of Trump, ignoring his extreme narcissism, immorality, habitual lying, racism and disinterest in actual governance. He is a personality cult, but we need to ask why. Simply condemning the radicalism, paranoia and pent-up violence recently unleashed at the Capital is not helpful.  

I noticed that most of the rioters were young and middle-aged white men. This seems to be the group that is most attracted to fear driven radicalization. However, the John Wayne approach to life’s challenges glamorized in the movies no longer works, if it ever did, and these men don’t have an honorable role with which to replace it.

The real conflict not being addressed may be about diverging beliefs about what America is or should be in essence. The men (and a few women) who stormed the Capital are admirers of the independent hero of the cinema who acts against the weak and corrupt leaders who have shut out the common person who pays taxes and dies in wars to save the values of the country.

THE UN-UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The truth is there are several Americas, and they clash with each other. What they have in common is that human beings have a need to feel that they are living and working for principles higher than personal aggrandizement. There are the people in the Capital center of the United States of America who regard themselves as the functional heart of the country placed in its hallowed temple to protect the values laid out by the founding fathers. But the values have changed and the power of money has replaced the power of ideals.

On the other side are the rough and ready bunch who see the world divided into white hats and black hats. Only the first side sees our country as a land of law and order. The other side sees America as a land of conquest, survival of the fittest and the Hero who triumphs over hardship diversity and suppression. This side believes in force rather than compromise. This is the America seen in the action movies that feature a non-conformist anti-hero warring against the stultifying laws and barbed wire fences of the modern world.

It’s ironic that both Covid-19 and Trumpian inspired conspiracy theories have something in common. They are super spreaders. Each in its own way. I have been shocked by how many well educated, reasonable and once spiritual people have caught the Trump virus and or Covid-19. I don’t believe their consecutive rise at this time is accidental. One is voluntary and the other is snared unconsciously, or so it seems. As someone who believes in synchronicity and astrological patterns, it appears like the onset of a perfect storm. But storms don’t come without a prior build-up.  

Social/political theater has a cosmic aspect. I happen to believe that creation and evolution are not something that happened in a past too deep in time to measure but are a continuous process. The fact that government officials in the Republican party tried to ride Trumpism to political power shows a deep misunderstanding of the depth of American dissatisfaction with business as usual. Until the insurrection at the Capital yesterday, they were living in a bubble.

Attention is focused on Trump by his own design, but he unconsciously lit the fuse to a cultural bomb. He isn’t a skilled politician, but a cunning salesman who detects the fears and hopes of his followers and wears a seductive persona due to his exaggerated narcissism and lack of concern for the outcome of the chaos he unleashes. Only a magic mirror makes him look admirable. In fact, there is a magic mirror, and it is being held up to him by the people who are disillusioned by the way they believe government has failed them. However, Trump intuits how to make his people feel that he is one of them and feeds on their dissatisfaction. His followers completely accept his conspiracy accusations about election fraud no matter how convoluted they may be. But we must ask ourselves why this is. Trump genuinely believes that defeat is worse than death or perhaps is an ego death which is even worse, and the desperation of his fight to hold power is echoed by his followers as if they will go down with him. They have acquired a voice that can't be ignored and they aren't going to relinquish it without a fight.

There is also a racist aspect to this mirror that must not be discounted. Middle aged and older white males make up a large number of Trump worshipers. Most Blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans, and other people of color who have been pushed to the margins of political power haven’t been under illusions about the hidden meaning of the ‘greatness’ of America or the influence of this person who claimed the power to make America great again. In this sense, America itself is an Egregore for a psycho/spiritual force. However, an Egregore derives its real life-force from those who meld with it and is unquestionably a type of idolatry. The fear and seduction of idolatry is about the power of an image to soak up the spiritual/psychological power of its worshipers but in this case, it is the destructive power of fear and shame.   

THE AMERICAN HERO?

The mass attraction of Trumpism calls to my mind a Bible verse. Matthew 7:13-15: Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to perdition is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep, but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. This applies to any group of slavish followers whether left or right.

Worshiping the Egregore of a country is not a harmless thing. A nation is made up of mortal humans who live ordinary lives. To worship a country is only an intoxicating step up from worshiping one’s mortal family. To love one’s family, have disagreements with family members, to recognize where one’s family is dysfunctional are all normal healthy behaviors, but to worship one’s family seems extremely dangerous and delusional. When love of country begins to require the elevation of certain people and the rejection of other’s based on projected powers, it becomes perilous. An Egregore has overtaken and suppressed a natural relationship. This is what happened in Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. It is tribalism turned in on itself.

We are in a civil war. Although the conflict hasn’t been officially named as such. This time the boundaries are not geographical which makes it more complicated. The great United States of America has voraciously overtaken the continent. It is made up of lands stolen first from native peoples and then as booty from wars with Spain, France and even Russia. There is a sword of Damocles hanging over our head as a country. We are not the shining castle on the hill, or maybe we are just that! There are bad habits brought along from ancient feudal times that will have to be purged before we can claim to be what we aspire to be.

 

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

BLACK EYES MATTER

This has been such a strange year with the pandemic and odd political behaviors that Christmas flew by like the silent wings of an owl. Taos Pueblo is shut down and there was no feast day at Christmas, nor will there be a Turtle Dance for the New Year. PQ and I curiously did not miss anything. We are living in a timeless zone. I imagine, people who look forward to Christmas all year and are heavily invested in exchanging gifts and family dinners had their own celebrations, but we have been in a quiet bubble, peaceful but not connected socially.

In New Mexico’s native world there is an important social mirror that appears on feast days in the form of sacred clowns. In Taos they are called Black Eyes, so named for the black paint across or around their eyes. They come from a different world and thus see human behavior as something of a cosmic joke. In the tribal world they offer an outsider viewpoint. They are not constrained by human rules, traditions, or authorities. On pueblo feast days, people try to avoid being noticed by them, but one must also not be obvious in avoiding them. No one wants their attention.

Black Eyes are something of a social and personal cleanup crew. They barge into houses without knocking, are unapologetically greedy, and generally ignore human rules and niceties. They also make fools of themselves without embarrassment, and protocol means nothing. There is a reason they are both black and white. They reveal both the reason there are social rules and the weaknesses of those social rules, as well as exposing the ways that humans conspire to help themselves at the expense of others. They often do this by being opportunists themselves in such an obvious way that they cannot be ignored.

Sacred Clowns may put their shoes on the wrong feet, have no social graces and may try to swim on dirt and walk on water. They exploit systems and authorities because it makes no sense from where they come, but it can be fun. Donald Trump is a sacred clown by these standards.

The year 2020 is almost over! Most people find that comforting, but I do not think it’s the end of craziness. It revealed our weaknesses, fears, and paranoia, but also vulnerabilities in our concepts of who we are as a nation and as individual’s in this nation. Personally, I have been shocked by how myopic and self-serving much of the population is. Even the people mesmerized by the Trump slogan, “Make America Great Again”, seem to be thinking, “make America more selfish and isolated.” I have become aware of how incomplete and challenged America is when judged by the intentions of the founding fathers. Perhaps it was necessary to open the closet door and let the skeletons fall out. The United States of America has become the ununited state of America.

Perhaps the second decade of the two-thousands is a time of exposing the holes in our union and the dissonances in many of our systems. The obvious disharmony between unfettered capitalism and equal opportunity and freedom, is one of the big ones. Free enterprise became a free-for-all and then a bully take all. Only a pretend democracy can survive in that environment and will become a means to justify its power grabbing nature. Everything Donald Trump does is for himself alone, sometimes under the pretense of patriotism and is the shadow side of the American ideal. “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all”, says the evil stepmother in Snow White and the seven dwarfs. One could say, who is the richest. Donald Trump isn’t that rich or powerful and makes a mockery of those who value those things. The image has turned out to be as effective as the reality. The Trickster is at play.

For a democracy to work, the people must know and be responsible for their government. The desire for a Messiah to take care of us and rescue us from exploiters and our own folly creates a dangerous opportunity for a want-to-be dictator. Donald Trump knows how to attune to the frustrations of many people who feel deceived and exploited. They have created him without realizing it. I hope that at least some will look in the mirror and see the real magician.

People fear dragons they cannot see as much as dragons that puff themselves into monsters, but these dragons are the creation of their fears and frustration that then takes on the shadowy shape of secret conspiracies. We are the dragons we fear.

There are conspiracies but they are not as hidden as conspiracy theorists would have us believe. Donald Trump the dragon slayer is also their own creation, and they give him credits he does not deserve However, as a Sacred Clown, albeit an unconscious one, his rise to center stage for both haters and slavish lovers is remarkable. The time was right, and as he said, “I am the chosen one.” His medicine brought out the cracks in America and helped turn them into gaping canyons.

What we do not know, can hurt us a lot, beginning with our own habits of thinking and perception. So much hurt comes from fear. Fear and its product powerlessness can blind us to the dangerous conspirators that we know so well that we do not notice them. They live in plain sight and in fact, demand our attention constantly. They use media to create an alternate reality in favor of their politically filtered agendas. The advertisers seduce with things we do not need, or cannot afford using the constant propaganda that you are not good enough, sexy enough, rich enough and lack the latest technology that would make your life easier and your image cool, or hot depending on your generation. I’ve always been puzzled about how technology becomes more sophisticated and all pervasive while its consumers become sillier and dangerously small minded like children playing with a bomb.

 Imagine the politicians, corporations, News Casters, Political Analysts, TV producers, Screen Writers, and pharmaceutical company CEO’s, with black and white stripes painted on their bodies beneath their suit and tie. The truth is not to be found on the figures in politics and media, because the other side always seems nefarious, or blind. The truth can only be found on the inside of each of us. What do we fear, and why? What do we hope for? How do we handle uncertainty? The answers will never be found in the outer world via a political party or leader. They are after all, a reflection of the inner world. Become your own leader first, or you will be chased by dragons at the service of wanabe saviors. How we see the world is the world we live in and we have a choice.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide test. It is as if humanity is getting a kick in the behind with this challenge to stay cool and avoid panic or denial. This is how teachers work. And this earth life is a school. Don’t worry, if you fail this time, the class will be offered again.