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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/14/20

A Caterpillar, A Butterfly and Donald Trump

Author 71296
Message Blair Gelbond

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Introduction

As we seek ways to mitigate the damage caused by the multiple crises currently being exacerbated by the Trump administration, it is important not to lose sight of larger perspectives, which will be discussed in the latter part of this essay. First, we turn to Donald Trump.

This article shares some of the insights of Philip Slater and others who argue that we are in the midst of a massive positive metamorphosis of global culture toward greater maturity in which old cultural premises are challenged; meanwhile upholders of tradition see this process as a social ill - a critical moral infection worthy of being attacked and destroyed.

Trump and Authoritarianism

Donald Trump is prime example of a childhood gone terribly wrong, his own resulting twisted and arrested development, and his current, deeply personal attachment to authoritarianism.

Mary Trump, who is the President's niece, a clinical psychologist and author of the best-selling book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, shares the following:

www.youtube. com watch?v= Jxj2HGYiWPM

www.youtube. com watch?v= lHg6Idf91lo

Adorno and his colleagues, in their groundbreaking 1950 study, offered a specific formulation regarding a likely origin point for "the authoritarian personality". Their theory suggests that rigid, punitive parents, by definition, cannot tolerate any expression of a child's powerful, spontaneous, and natural sexual and aggressive impulses. Such parents respond to the child with an exaggerated punitiveness, and this parental reaction leaves the child no alternative but to repress those impulses - that is, to ban them from consciousness.

However, our knowledge of the psyche tells us that emotions banished into the mind's basement remain disturbing and tumultuous, whether or not "the owner of the house" is aware of their existence. As a defense against feelings, repression alone is rarely completely successful. To guard against the anxiety that these emotions might break through into conscious awareness, additional defenses must be erected, much as one might pile larger and heavier pieces of furniture against a door to keep out an insistent intruder.

It is understandable that a child will respond to his parents' excessively punitive reactions with feelings of rage. But this very emotion is one the child dares not allow himself to acknowledge - or at least must not connect with his parents' behavior. If forced to submit to abuse, it is common for a child, who is completely dependent on his or her parents, to deny parental abusiveness and continue to idealize them.

Adorno theorized that the beginnings of the formation of the adult authoritarian character style are forged in these humble and poignant origins. Unresolved feelings do not simply "go away" with the passage of time and physical maturation. The original aggressive emotions (and especially those feelings that arose following parents' suppression of those emotions), far from becoming extinct, grow into a major determining force of the adult's outlooks and beliefs.

Aspects of themselves that the individual disowned long ago are transformed into a more "acceptable" form - they are projected onto (unconsciously attributed to) others who are often members of a despised out-group. Hitler viewed Jews as evil and worthy of death. Trump's attitudes can be seen in his comments and actions concerning Mexicans and blacks.

Experimental psychologist Bob Altemeyer has spent his entire career studying authoritarians, both leaders and followers. Altemeyer's research shows that many right-wing authoritarian leaders also score high on measures of "Social Dominance Orientation". Empirical data demonstrates that they are "relatively power-hungry, domineering, mean, Machiavellian and amoral, and hold 'conservative' political outlooks". Many of them can accurately be referred to as "sociopaths" who see human beings exclusively as objects to be used toward self-serving ends; any means can be justified for achieving their ends.

"Double Highs" do not possess a functioning conscience -- they will do or say anything to accomplish a goal, regardless of the consequences to others. Not surprisingly, their parents have often modeled a lifestyle lacking ethics and morality. While numerous Americans continue to overlook and make excuses for Donald Trump's abnormal behavior, many other citizens are appalled by his actions as "leader of the free world".

A growing number of us have become aware of his long history of bankruptcies, his fraudulent activities such as Trump University, his behavior vis-à-vis his alleged university education, his not paying workers at his Trump properties - hiring many Hispanics, knowing they could not afford to take him to court. Those of us who are willing to see the truth are reflecting on his history of sexual, verbal and mental abuse toward those around him.

Clearly, Trump is invested in our being preoccupied by his theatrical distractions, which are aimed at preventing others from connecting the dots to perceive patterns that would provide a genuinely illuminating picture. We are finally waking up to his compulsive conning: his continual lying, cheating and manipulating to get what he wants - not caring whom he hurts. His focus is "winning" at all costs.

It is apparent that he has a hypomanic temperament, that he generates whirlwinds of activity, that he needs constant stimulation, and that he is narcissistically focused on constantly keeping attention on himself. We are seeing his vindictive anger, his lack of accountability and disregard for truth, as well as his need to blame others, amplifying divisions and bigotry.

It is clear that he paints caricatures of evil that he can attack without remorse, regarding himself as a victim rather than aggressor or victimizer. He vastly oversimplifies his world into black or white, friend or foe, reducing reality to an epic contest between righteous and evil, winners and losers.

He unashamedly insists on being surrounded by sycophants so that his fantasies of infallibility can flourish unchallenged by reality. It is now obvious to an increasing number of citizens that his undivided commitment is bestowed only on himself (and possibly family members) - and that he will throw anyone under the bus if their actions challenge his agenda of keeping his fragile ego intact.

Lance Dodes, contributor to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, shares these observations:

www. youtube.com watch?v= 0B4nS1-ScYw&t=107s

www.youtube. com watch?v= YgtQbkkHGUQ

Trump relentlessly locates his own incompetence, dishonesty and weakness in others at home and abroad. Casting immigrants as criminals and rapists, he has used this assertion to justify aggressive deportation policies. We have witnessed the extraordinarily inhumane policy of separating traumatized-for-life children from parents at the Mexican border and putting them in holding camps and cages; we can also recall his shockingly inadequate response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The reality is that Trump's pathological levels of narcissism can easily spiral into psychosis, imperiling the safety of others through paranoia, impaired judgment, volatile decision-making, fact-free self-justification, and a compulsion to go to war with the world.

He has courted grave geopolitical danger by withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by the U.S. with Russia in 1987, the Paris climate accords and the Iran nuclear agreement; Trump's 2021 budget calls for $28.9 billion for the Pentagon to modernize nuclear-delivery systems.

Domestically, his destructiveness already knows no bounds. He has intentionally destroyed the protections that have attempted to shield Americans from the predations of the worst corporations. As a role model who refuses to wear a mask during a pandemic, discounts testing and has suggested injecting bleach, he has irresponsibly influenced countless people to follow his lead. According to the CDC, as of 9/11/20, the death toll in the U.S. attributed to COVID-19 has surpassed 192,000.

The following is an excerpt from a brief submitted to Congress by a coalition of psychiatrists and mental-health professionals:

None of us has clinically examined the President and therefore we refrain from making any diagnosis. However, our examination of his public record leads us to believe that he has the pattern of fragile sense of self and is prone to blame and attack others when threatened.

The President has also shown himself willing to encourage violence against his perceived enemies. We also should not ignore the President's ability to initiate a conflict with other countries in order to distract from his political troubles, perhaps with the hope of rallying the country around him, as often happens at the beginning of armed conflict. The fact that the President holds in his hands alone the ability to initiate nuclear war cannot be ignored.

Rob Kall has written:

People who engage in such behaviors, people with strong narcissistic and psychopathic tendencies and characteristics should be identified, just as sexual predators are. This is not bigotry, not separating out any particular religion, race, or culture. This is what is done with sexual predators and carriers of highly contagious diseases.

We need to deal with the reality that these people are dangerous, malignant, destructive people. At one level, they are predators These are the people who set examples of the worse kind, so we see massive increases in hate, bigotry, intolerance and discrimination. We need to identify them and protect [everyone else].

This should be a conversation that is on the table. It will not be easy. There are billionaire narcissists and psychopaths who will fight it and they will fight dirty, attacking the messengers, attacking the idea. But we've gone far too long without doing this necessary work.

Pathological narcissism is derived from a sense of entitlement, a willingness to exploit others, and an impaired sense of empathy - which is what we often say about psychopaths. Psychologist John Gartner notes that in the classic analytic formulation, the narcissistic/psychopathic syndrome includes: antisocial behavior, paranoid traits, grandiosity, and sadism (i.e., aggressively domineering behavior punctuated by joyful cruelty, or "bullying") and at times a "delusional disorder".

From the evidence to date, Trump's precarious mind is a threat to our nation, and quite possibly, to all of humanity.

Ex-Secretary of Defense William Cohen has recently said: "What I see taking place is the White House engaging in very menacing activity and leading us down the trail toward a dictatorship."

It is an understatement to assert that Donald Trump cannot be trusted to make wise, informed, and measured decisions. We, the people, must find a way to mitigate the damage he can, and will predictably continue, to impose.

Transformation

After what has been said so far, it would seem peculiar indeed to regard Trump as possibly inevitable and a sign of cultural health in the body politic! Yet, as suggested in the introduction, it is important to put the present in a larger, workable perspective. Jared Diamond, author of the book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, has written that when values are becoming outmoded and detrimental due to deteriorating environmental conditions and changing circumstances, it is the willingness to reconsider core values and assumptions that can safeguard cultural survival.

Diamond's conclusions come from his study of civilizations during the long course of human history; he emphasizes the importance of long-term thinking to ensure prosperity and survival. History is full of species and societies that failed to adapt to change.

It has been said that cultural assumptions and beliefs are like glasses; if you don't change the prescription once in a while, you're probably not seeing world very clearly. Philip Slater has argued that we are on the threshold of two mutually exclusive global value systems. which he has named Control culture and Integrative culture. The first is in the process of dying, exhausting itself in an attempt to stay alive and dominant; the second, Integrative culture, is still in the process of being born. Naturally, this is a disorienting and disconcerting time.

Slater offers the image that we are currently walking a flimsy rope bridge over a great chasm, having come too far to turn back, while the end is barely in sight. He also suggests that the excesses of consumerism are contributing to produce climate disruption, the depletion of cheap oil, growing income disparities, and resource wars. Integrative culture is more appropriate to a species living in a shrinking world, which requires global cooperation and communication.

Unlike the current Control culture that has evolved and dominated over the past 8,000 years, Integral culture will incorporate more right-brain feminine qualities, such as holistic thinking, feeling, empathy and connection, complexity, collaboration, and creativity.

Slater states:

Spirituality in Integrative culture is based on the awareness that we're part of something beyond ourselves. This something doesn't stand apart from us, or over us. We participate in it - we belong to it. Integrative spirituality is an appreciation of our oneness with all life, with all spirit. This integral vision provides us with a new, more expansive, and more hopeful perspective of the future, aids us in understanding ourselves and all of existence as an intricate and interwoven system of dynamic process.

Here is a brief, general list of contrasting tendencies framed simply to clarify distinctions.

Control culture: 1) sees the universe as split into polarized, often warring opposites; 2) the world is seen as static matter, fragmented matter capable of being manipulated -- and to be studied as such; 3) leading and governing are accomplished through an authoritarian and hierarchical style; 4) a competitive, macho, warlike milieu prevails; 5) women are devalued and constrained; 6) any significant change needs to be ordered from above.

Integrative culture: 1) the universe is regarded as undivided and whole; and 2) is regarded as energy in process; 3) a more democratic, egalitarian ethos is striven for and actualized; 4) likewise, communication and cooperation are valued, as are balance, recognition of patterns and circular feedback loops; phenomena are seen as wholes and the concept of hierarchy is superseded with that of "holarchy"; 5) the process of evolution on both micro- and macro- scales is seen as spontaneous -- as self-creating coherence.

Similarly, Riane Eisler has described these two processes as the Dominator (power-over) vs. Partnership (power-with) way of organizing society; she depicts signs of movement in highly progressive directions. One of these is the emergence in psychology of new models of the human psyche. These models are succeeding previous paradigms, which focused on the need for survival, defense, and mastery of the environment. The newer models are notable for including higher needs - for human forms of "growth and actualization" - needs that distinguish us from other animals.

In business, too, one can notice trends toward partnership models of management, now existing side by side with more traditional military-based models of rigid top-down chains of command.

This is occurring due to a growing perception that authoritarian structures are simply inefficient in an era of rapid technological and economic change. A similar contrast occurred during the time of Galileo and Copernicus. For many, shifting to a radically different conception of the cosmos was no doubt distressing. Does the sun revolve around the Earth or vice-versa?

Just so, today there is a confusion of values, a loss of ethical certainty, and a bewildering lack of consensus about just about everything. Incivility and chaos seem to be everywhere. The recent speed of social change has put an almost untenable strain on our adaptive capacities. In reaction, a rise in fundamentalism and violence (secular and religious) has arisen in an effort to keep things the same or have them go backwards to the "good old days".

As the cultural pace of change continues to increase, we should expect more of the same - based on a desire to hold on to the old ways.

Why is this happening now?

During the last fifty years the pace of change and communication has accelerated, creating the most rapid social upheaval in the history of our species, taking us to the brink of endurance. Expressions of integrative culture that have arisen in a very few recent decades include changes in the status of women and minorities, the sexual revolution, the decline of the nuclear family, the global economy, the ecological movement, and the strange revolutionary concepts of modern physics.

Slater uses an analogy of the way a butterfly is born. Something within a caterpillar tells it to spin a chrysalis and, once inside - what are known as imaginal cells appear - the cells that contain the image of the new level of being. Initially, the caterpillar's immune system works to destroy the imaginal cells as they appear. But over time, more and more emerge, until they overwhelm the immune system and become the directing intelligence of the process of transformation, creating a new organism.

Slater states the obvious: for a butterfly and a culture: this as a spontaneous, natural process. However, the newly emerging butterfly needs to exert apparent self-effort in drying off and strengthening its wings prior its first flight. Likewise, building a culture with fresh values involves our individual and collective efforts to grow into it.

In our current phase of development, given the pervasiveness of computers and satellite systems, people around the world are finding themselves joined via a "communications revolution". This is occurring just in time to enter into dialogue about how to cope with the intertwined, entangled system of problems that now threaten our future. It is possible that with communication possibilities so widespread we can discover a shared vision of a sustainable future.

It is also essential to gain perspective on the forces that are obstacles to undergoing and successfully coming through this process already convulsing the entire world. The truth remains that old cultural systems usually are not abandoned without fierce resistance. As they sense that the old system is dying around them, those who are wedded to it will tend to assert its values more harshly, stridently and desperately. Diversity and holism are seen and assumed to be the "enemy".

Trump is a prime representative of Control culture writ large. He is the caterpillar (happily?) chewing its way through the leaves that surround it, consuming hundreds of times its own weight daily, utterly unaware that he will soon be encased in the form of a shapeless, liquefied mass.

In Slater's analogy the caterpillar stands for the existing culture, with an emphasis on authority and domination over people and environment, growth as the most important aspect of economy, and most of all the belief in separation and conflict. The butterfly stands for an emerging, more mature culture that values cooperation, democracy, a sustainable economy, and most importantly a belief that everything is connected.

From this point of view the culture has selected Trump as a chief representative of its immune system. It continues to remain uncertain that, even if defeated in the next election, he will relinquish power willingly. Since it seems highly likely that he answers to others "above" him, we can wonder where the military-industrial- intelligence-services, and the judicial and legislative branches, stand on the matter. Even though Trump's absence could, in many circles, evoke a huge sigh of relief, we are dealing with the habits of an entire culture, and his electoral loss would in no way be a panacea.

Donald Trump is the grotesque exemplar of our country's sociopathy: our history of genocide (of native Americans); racism (the country being built on the backs of black slaves); long-term inequality; climate disruption and climate-change denial; current rates of mass extinction, exploitation of third-world countries, our historic use of false flag attacks to initiate wars, the massive transfer of wealth to the already obscenely wealthy, and now, a pandemic whose origins and political elements remain questionable.

Have we have taken the belief in "individuality" to such an extreme that many people have become profoundly hostile to the idea that there is such a thing as a society and world we must care for?

Given the insistence on the right to carry a gun to Starbucks, kids have to do traumatic "active-shooter drills", pretending to die. All too many people would deny everyone else decent healthcare, access to medicine, a visit to the doctor. Powerful forces seek to demolish retirement, safety nets, and other supports.

A sense of urgency is appropriate. As noted, today we are already faced with dwindling resources - including supplies of nonrenewable energy - a dramatically destabilized global climate, mounting environmental pollution, expanding population growth, growing authoritarianism, and rampant corruption. Humanity appears to be divided against itself and pitted against nature. This is a formula for ecological collapse and social anarchy. It seems evident that, given his utter egocentrism, destructiveness and lack of empathy, a second term for Trump would only serve to speed up this dissolution.

Conclusion

A painful reality seems to be at the heart of the evolutionary process. We seem to grow only through the push of dire necessity. If we are very fortunate, the political, economic, ecological and moral crises in which we will continue to find ourselves entangled will mutually act as an evolutionary catalyst: motivating the human species to move to a higher level of awareness by "forcing the issue". This process can be termed "emergence through emergency"; it has a long and honored place in history and can be a potent stimulant, capable of inducing labor and a new birth.

 

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Blair Gelbond Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: (more...)
 

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7 people are discussing this page, with 44 comments  Post Comment


Blair Gelbond

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  New Content

"Dangerous," "frightening," "out of control." This kind of anxiety is a pivotal psychological reality of our time. However, we need to see not only the characters enacting this play, but the stage on which this is all happening.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 2:51:12 AM

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"If we are very fortunate, the political, economic, ecological and moral crises in which we will continue to find ourselves entangled will mutually act as an evolutionary catalyst: motivating the human species to move to a higher level of awareness by forcing the issue". The current intolerable, adversarial conditions can likewise, be compared to the very high temperatures and pressures, required below the earth's surface, for the formation of natural diamonds. "Trump .....is the caterpillar (happily?) chewing its way through the leaves that surround it, consuming hundreds of times its own weight daily, utterly unaware that he will soon be encased in the form of a shapeless, liquefied mass." Trump will never, ever metamorphosize into a butterfly, a symbol of peace and virtue, happily fulfilling a Divine mandate; to grace the world with purity, light and beauty. He will always be shrouded in foul, gooey darkness, and weighted down by ignominy. He has been, and will remain a distressing, shapeless rock of offence.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 4:01:10 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

Hi Irene,

I was attempting to portray Trump as an exemplar of Control culture. If we are fortunate and compassionately choice-full over the next decades, it is the caterpillar of Control culture that will undergo metamorphosis and emerge as a butterfly.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 4:36:11 PM

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Understood. He is still a creature of the control culture. Hence what applies to him, applies to the system.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 4:50:35 PM

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Yes , the hope is for a butterfly to emerge. Similarly, a system reflecting something beautiful, enduring and of value, such as a diamond, will be the product of the immeasurable pressures and hardships which are now in place and dominate.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:10:39 PM

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Typo: similarly, hopefully....

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:15:16 PM

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"A diamond is a piece of coal that 'made good under pressure!'"

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:01:57 PM

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Liquefied rock? That would make Trump lava. It has been reported that he's sometimes volcanic.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:35:38 AM

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Blair, you do a very effective hatchet job--perhaps better than mine--on Donald Trump. Unfortunately, you don't draw the OBVIOUS conclusion that we must--even if it involves choking back our vomit --vote for Joe Biden. That will probably protect you from the HATERS my articles attract. Savvy on your part (if avoiding haters is your goal), but you risk diminishing your service to the common good by failing to take a clear, unambiguous stance that we all must suck it up and vote for Joe Biden.

Typical OEN commenters--believe me, I know them from experience--will say, "Yeah, he's right about Trump, but Biden's worse." Until you unambiguously say we must elect Biden--with disgust, but for the sake of saving civilization--I see you as insightful person, but a rather milquetoast representative of the common good.

Are you just a New-agey spiritual optimist, or do you really think defeating Trump is a matter of urgency for civilization? Inquiring minds--above all, mine--are curious to know.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 4:59:11 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Hi Patrick,

I do think it is a matter of urgency to defeat Trump (although he will probably play every trick in the book to stay in power). I will take your advise and write something about the value of electing Biden. It is possible, despite his less than progressive history, that in our time he may be able to be influenced in a more progressive dimension.

As far as I know, I don't do "new age. " What is true is that I have been on "the spiritual path" for decades, have studied with (or studied the work of) the most evolved teachers I could find, along with studying and practicing both psychoanalytic and transpersonal psychologies.

I will confess to being passionate about human potential and, like Gandhi, believe that political realities are central to our unfolding as individuals and societies.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:00:47 PM

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Hi Blair, I'm delighted to hear you say that and strongly encourage you to do so. For what it's worth, I'll certainly think better of you if take that (needed) plunge. This is certainly not an election where we can afford intelligent, informed people sitting on the fence.

I'll be curious to see how the Never Biden "haters" react. You seem implicitly less likely to provoke hostility than I am, but you will be taking the position they HATE. If you take it--and Rob still gives you a top headline (as he ought to if you make such a gutsy move)--I'm really curious to see if you provoke as much hostility as I do. If you don't, I'll concede that you're either a genius or simply of much better character than I am. That will tend to confirm your point that my problem is being too angry and confrontational rather than lying in the uncompromisingly truthful stance I take.

Good luck!

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:18:11 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Patrick,

Again, I ask, do you think it might be possible that you are doing as much harm as good in your style of writing? If it is the case that you have an inner authoritarian or fascist in your shadow, it would naturally appear that, as you wrote, I am "a rather milquetoast representative of the common good."

My current perspective encompasses the next fifty years and in fact, the next 500 years, as well as the immediate present. If you wish look up Amma.org, Neem Karoli Baba, and Jack Kornfield. What I'd love to see from you is an admission that perhaps, just maybe, you might be in error in one or more dimensions.

Psychological and spiritual maturity is what we need to make it through this election cycle and the immense challenges of the decades to follow.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:16:13 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

I'll have proof of your greater spiritual maturity when you 1) publish a piece arguing we MUST elect Biden and 2) either convince the Never Biden folks or at least not drive them to paroxysms of anger.

If you can accomplish that, you're certainly a better man than I.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 6:22:02 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Patrick,

I, like you, often have a few articles in mind beyond the one that is published. It may be a short-while before I specifically focus on Biden, although I'll be happy to do what I can to work him into what I hope to write in the near future.

Obviously, we don't know each other, but I wouldn't be surprised if things happened in your less than ideal childhood (like all of ours!) that simply made you very angry. My guess is that you have not metabolized these events (or your interpretation of them), but that you have piggybacked them on to the valid rage you have re- today's politics.

Aggression is a huge problem in our world (I'm talking about rage, rather than aggression as in, "going for it"). It seems possible to me that your rage is adding to the problem, as well as bringing necessary attention to the issues.

BTW re- communication I recommend "General Semantics" and specifically Robert Anton Wilson's Quantum Psychology.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 7:28:32 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Blair, I notice a certain sense of (very un-Gandhian) condescension and smug sense of superiority creeping into your comments to me here. Perhaps you need to gave into your navel and reflect a bit on the less-than-ideal events in your own childhood that led to that.

As to rage, if most progressives don't feel that about the prospects of a Trump vs. Biden shithole election and the insanely broken system that led to it, I abandon all hope for our world.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 9:45:31 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Patrick,

I do not feel superior to you. I can understand your defensiveness. What you are hearing is someone "calling bullshit" on your aggressiveness.

Whether you seek the source of what I conjecture is a personality-based rage that is not merely connected to the upcoming election is entirely up to you. What you don't see is that your own aggressiveness has unintended consequences. You do seem to rationalize your rage, and as I said, may be doing harm as well as good.

Rage is not the only possible response to the current situation. Nor is indifference. I still think you are mixing your unmetabolized psychological "stuff" with your thoughts and feelings about Trump et. al. The "haters" you complain about may well be responding to your tone.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 12:15:38 AM

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

I think you get things BADLY wrong by not making distinctions and globally labeling my enraged position "bullshit" to be called out. See my new comment below.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 12:54:30 AM

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Al Hirschfield

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Thanks for that truly extraordinary piece of work. I also want to thank you for gracing us here at OEN with it. I'm pretty sure any number of other similar outfits would have welcomed it as well.

I'm pretty much on board for most of what you say as well as your conclusions. But, I think as bad as things are, they are magnified 1000 fold by the lens of the hysteria-inducing media, for whom "crisis" is their bread and butter. The possibility of a second Trump term is, of course, a bona fide crisis. But (and this is where I get very, very "nervous"...), unfortunately, for what it would take to generate the "equal and opposite" reaction, i.e. a Golden Age (and I don't mean that sarcastically at all because I believe it's coming as well) I believe there would have to be an event which would have most of the people of the earth looking directly into the face of oblivion. And while many would say "Don't you read the papers? We're already there!!!"

We're not.

Not by a long shot. Ask Irene about how 200 million Nigerians have managed on an average per capital income of one or two thousand dollars per year. And the same can be said for a billion and a half Indians, and perhaps about half the population of the world. And, most countries are, despite their many flaws, are nominal democracies, etc.

So, while I am most certainly on the same page as you are, my friend, and am also acutely aware of the "rising level of consciousness" all around, I have serious reservations about the imminence of meaningful, universal change, without even more serious threats to our very survival.

I could very well be way too cynical here. It's frankly hard for me to tell. Perhaps we're much further along the way to the Promised Land than I appreciate, the process being sped up by sheer Grace, and the prospect of a true catastrophe thereby avoided (because that's what I think it would take).

In any event, thanks a third time for being such a truly remarkable voice of reason and sanity here at OEN.

God bless.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 7:42:14 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Hi Al,

Thank you for your generous words. I am in full agreement with you re- awakening: the need for "an event which would have most of the people of the earth looking directly into the face of oblivion."

First, I see the probability that we will be peering over that chasm during the next 50 years as we experience - decade by decade - a whole-systems collapse with cascading failures of natural and man-made breakdowns leading tragically to death, disease, and economic misery. It may be that we will only learn the Hard way.

Secondly, there are two wild-cards: the probabilities of disclosure re- 9/11 and the presence of ET species. The powers-that-be are doing their best to bury these revelations. However, disclosure may be more imminent than we might guess. I'm sure "they" have gamed out responses to both scenarios, but pressure is building for details to be revealed.

We may have to earn our "Golden Age" through blood, sweat, tears, and bittersweet experience. It may be that witnessing world-wide pain (and I take no pleasure in saying this) via the Internet, etc. will serve to open our hearts and minds, and help us evolve by turning to the Divine for help.

Then, as you say, there is another wild card: Grace. No one can predict how this will impact our potential maturity.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 8:26:59 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my comment. Much appreciated.

I'd also be quite interested in your take on how the supporters of Mr. Trump fit into the equation. The fact that they make up about half of the voting population of this country is rarely directly addressed by the powers that be.

Being myself, literally surrounded by his supporters (in a middle class section of a very blue state.) I know that the standard "racist", "fanatical", "ignorant", "uneducated" etc stereotypes are quite superficial and facile. Some of them are the kindest and most generous people I know, and a significant portion are country club types, who just like the tax breaks and de-regulating that any Republican will reflexively favor.

But for such a sizable portion of this country to want an out-and-out sociopath to be re-elected to the Presidency... what does this say about our civilization's true preparedness for taking a quantum leap upward, spiritually and culturally?

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 9:01:42 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Thanks for this very insightful comment. Trump's supporters seem very analogous to the average Germans, often quite decent neighbors, who either supported Hitler or facilitated his rise to power. I can't say I've found the key to this mystery, but it's a crucial one for us to be pondering.

To adopt Blair's Jungian language, it certainly does seem that nice, ordinary people have a shadow side that comes out when they vote (or do politics generally)--especially when the "news" they get is mainly propaganda.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 10:35:53 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Al,

It Is a bit of a mystery - why these well-to-do people do not see and fear a cruel, self-centered, dictator-wanna-be in the highest office in the land. I'd be interested to hear if any of my attempts to unravel this conundrum clarify anything for you in this regard: The Authoritarian Character in a Time of Turmoil, Mechanisms of Escape from Freedom, Overcoming Fear of Freedom.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:18:11 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Al,

I just checked: I also deal with the phenomenon of authoritarianism and dictatorship in these articles: In a Relationship with an Abusive President: Will the Country be a Trauma Victim or Trauma Survivor?, In Relationship With An Abusive President, Will We Be Trauma Victims or Trauma Survivors? - Part 2: A Larger Context, and The Childhood of Tyrants. Perhaps some clarity will arise.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:32:13 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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I will check them out and let you know.

Thanks.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 11:48:07 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

I do like what you say in the first article:

Authoritarian Followers

As onerous (and dangerous) as it may be to allow autocratic leaders to remain in place, there is another troubling piece to the puzzle. That is, the crowd that would lift a dictator or autocrat into positions of power - those who Bob Altemeyer calls "authoritarian followers." This apprehension is well-founded. According to Altemeyer, research indicates that a bed rock 20-25% of the adults in North America is highly vulnerable to a demagogue who would incite hatred of various minorities to gain power. These people are constantly waiting for a tough "law and order," "man on horseback" who will supposedly solve all our problems through the ruthless application of force. When such a person gains prominence, you can expect the authoritarian followers to mate devotedly with the authoritarian political leader. Each gives the other something they desperately want: followers' feelings of safety and validity, and the tremendous power of the modern state for the leader.

Research suggests that such followers can be identified by the following traits:

They are highly fearful of a dangerous world. Their parents taught them, more than parents usually do, that the world is dangerous. They may also be genetically predisposed to experiencing stronger fear than others.

They are extremely ethnocentric, dividing the world into their in-group versus "others", and automatically disliking or being indifferent to all others. They feel politicians who promote minority rights and immigration discriminate against them. They tend to be highly self-righteous and aggressive. They believe they are the "good people" and this gives them permission to express hostile impulses against those they consider bad. Given the chance to attack someone with the approval of an authority, they are likely to do so.

Poor reasoning: if they like the conclusion of an argument, they don't pay much attention to whether the evidence is valid or the argument is consistent. They have highly compartmentalized minds. When an unpleasant truth forces its way into their awareness, they do not try to integrate with the other things they believe. Instead they put it in a mental box, isolate it from the rest of their thinking and proceed as if the truth never existed. As a result, their thinking is full of double-standards.

They tend to be highly dogmatic. Because they have gotten their beliefs mainly from the authorities in their lives, rather than thinking things out for themselves, they have no real defense when facts or events indicate they are wrong. In these cases, they dig in their heels and refuse to change. It is not uncommon to hear such a person say that there is no evidence that will make them change their minds.

They are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they are right because almost everyone they know, almost every news broadcast they see, almost every radio commentator they listen to, tells them they are. That is, they screen out the sources that will suggest that they are wrong or mistaken.

They get great satisfaction from being part of a large movement. Because they severely limit their exposure to different people and ideas, they vastly overestimate the extent to which other people agree with them. And thinking they are "the moral majority" supports their attacks on the "evil minorities" they see in the country. Their connection with their leader is not rational but emotional. It is based on the fear he fans and the anger that he channels.

There are, of course, benefits of being a follower; for example, self-certainty and freedom from doubt can be satisfying. We could also list the costs of the alternative: that self-doubt, changing one's mind, or admitting you are wrong can be quite uncomfortable.

In addition, the more complex the world becomes the more appealing it is to give up on thoughtful reasoning and put trust in an authority who speaks with confidence. Such followers have stripped the ambiguity from life. There are no tough judgment calls anymore. With authoritarian followers, the thinking is already over. They're not guessing at what's true. They know: there's no interpretation left to do. They and their leaders have already done all the interpretation necessary. They can't or won't believe they should ever have to question their assumptions. The unspoken bargain is, "Do my thinking for me and keep me and mine safe and I'll do whatever you say."

But as you say: this applies to the 25%, which is probably what Trump's core base consists of. I'm not aware of anything which can really explain the phenomena of the other 25%. But I also think these are separate questions from the one I asked. Even if we could explain precisely why Trump has the support he has, would that also explain how the cosmos plans on getting them onboard for, and fitting into, The Golden Age? I'm not sure it does... or could.

Perhaps we've discovered an entire new field of sociology: Millennium Assimilation!

Catchya lada...

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 4:39:46 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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PS Personally, I'm gradually coming around to the thinking that a "New Standard", based on universal human values, will gradually become acknowledged by the general public ("You first must become human, before you can realize that you're already Divine," Sathya Sai Baba). In time, even the "stragglers" will find it hard to argue with its basic principles. The New Standard will at first seem somewhat abstract, as probably so did much of the New Testament. But that didn't prevent it from transforming virtually all of western civilization into "Christendom" for nearly 2000 years.

I'm convinced something of that nature is currently underway. I was, in fact, at a Satsang with Karunamayi where she said quite explicitly, "We have to figure out a way to create a new standard." All of the truly great spiritual teachers now in the world are doing nothing but working towards this goal (The Next Thousand Years ). And, when it finally does hit its stride (which may well be 100 years from now), the result will make the Middle Ages look positively quaint (and I don't just mean in relation to the subsequent technological revolution)...

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 5:08:34 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Al,

I like the saying, "You have to become somebody, before you can become nobody."

Also, as you suggested, it may be tragedy that catalyzes more human maturity.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 7:23:34 PM

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Hi Al,

Thanks for reviewing the material on authoritarians. It may be that the well-to-do, "generous" folks you mentioned are compartmentalizing...like the description of some Germans during Hitler's rein. I think your question is a very important one. I'd wonder about what in psychology is called their "character structure." Trump's massive flaws and issues are out there for all to see - as his his destructiveness. So, is there a part of these people, which is under the surface - and especially hidden from themselves - that has an ax to grind...or hatred? Did their parents support racism or authoritarian leaders or principles? What might be motivating them to support a man with violence ("5th Ave", corona deaths) at his (personality) core? What is blocking their vision? It's a mystery!

Might you say a bit more about some representative people from this group?

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 6:18:36 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Well, I have no training whatsoever in this. But there probably is no monolithic entity as "Trump Supporter" any more than there is a monolithic entity "Democrats" or New Yorkers, for that matter. I remember how stunned I was as a youngster when I learned that Ringo was the second most popular Beatle (after Paul McCartney). "What??? How is that possible? He's the drummer! He doesn't write the songs, virtually never sings lead..." etc. People are attracted to certain people for lots of different reasons.

So, I think we often try to put all of the people who do certain things and lump them as one, when the fact of the matter is that it could very well simply be the phenomenon of one thing, appealing to an extraordinarily diverse set of individuals. I remember someone once explained how "Seinfeld" became just such a cultural phenomenon. Many people would just say "It was the funniest sitcom ever." But this fellow (who I actually remember being one of the stars of the show) pointed out how slowly the show started out, and how, gradually, different aspects of it started to connect with different groups. For example, I distinctly remember how important it was for its popularity that Kramer eventually brought young children to its audience...

So it probably is with Trump. Some will always just be in awe of how rich he is. That alone will make him great in their eyes. "Oh, the gold toilet seats in his jet!!!"

And he's also had decades to learn how to connect with a certain audience by being a performer. Ask any actor, a lot of that is sheer technique, which can't be taught, and can only be honed and developed. And, some people will just find him very entertaining and appealing because of it.

For some, I'm sure its just the fact that he's been so famous for so long as a builder, or TV star or just famous for being famous, like Paris Hilton or whatever. Remember, Sonny Boo was elected to Congress, and he couldn't name a single Supreme Court Justice (quite literally).

I had a doctor who was married to a lawyer, and she told me that Tump was her husband's personal ideal. Not because of the racism or whatever, just because he was Trump. She said her husband would justify any ridiculous thing he did by saying "Well, Trump does it!" (she eventually filed for divorce...)

And I also think of the whole eastern concept of some people having to live sometimes thousands of lifetimes before achieving "Liberation". As Vivekananda pointed out, there is a constant transmigration from animal forms to humans. So, this present birth is probably one of the very, very early ones for an awful lot of folks. A friend of mine who sells pharmaceuticals to doctors told me that, at what one of the doctors' offices, a receptionist confided in him that she was just so thrilled that someone who stood for "morality and values" was President of the United States! One would say on the surface, she was probably a very good, moral woman. And maybe she is. She is just completely incapable of seeing others very clearly, at all....

I also remember a couple of very nicely dressed, articulate women being interviewed on TV in Texas about Trump, and they just very calmly and maturely said that they're sure that he was doing the best he can and making the best decisions based on the information available to him..

And then as I said, there are a lot of Republicans and Independents who will be happy with any President who is primarily looking out for their bank account. I've gotten to know a third generational jeweler in my neighborhood who has been handling my late mother's estate and he is just one of the most decent, likable and responsible business people I've ever met.

Imagine my astonishment when he recently said that "as selfish as this is" Trump was doing great with the economy and unemployment was way down before the pandemic, and it was "the fake news media" who destroyed his reputation (it was one of the few times I heard him get genuinely angry). The economy and Trump's reputation were synonymous in his mind, and nothing else he has said or done while in office really made any kind of dent in this fellow's perception of him.

There was a priceless line in the movie where a well-to do southern woman adopted a black boy (who later became a famous football player) and needed a tutor when he went to the school they sent him to. And her husband responded when the tutor felt compelled to warn them how she was registered to vote. He just shook his head and said, "I could imagine having a black child before I would have believed I'd hire a Democrat."

So, some of it is simply cultural...

And all this is happening in the stream of American and US history. In the 1960s one couldn't say the word "pregnant" on the airways (it was actually against FCC regulations), let alone "f*ck" every 3 minutes, as it now sometimes seems to be said.

Apparently what people can now get away with in politics, seems to just mirror the rest of the (fraying) culture. Sen. Thomas Eagleton had to drop out as McGovern's VP because of bouts of depression. Compare that to almost anything Trump as done while actually being President...

So, as someone I know used to say, "It's complex", to say the least....

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 8:46:38 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Thanks Al, for your very thorough and careful reflection. I like the idea of different kinds and levels of consciousness - each of which provides its own set of perceptions. It's rather scary to think that others don't see the man as a murdering SOB with destruction and oppression in his heart.

But, then again, this is Earth school and we are all students. We will learn at whatever pace we can, and as you said, may well need to endure cataclysm for our hearts to open (if we are fortunate). Meanwhile, at this point in the game many people in power will continue to do their best to manipulate us to push apart, rather than pull together.

It's challenging to have equanimity when the fate of our own and other species is (and will be) on the line. And when death and misery appears likely in the decades ahead. A broken heart can become a heart that breaks open.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 at 10:08:53 PM

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David Wieland

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Regarding your last paragraph , I suspect it says mostly that having to choose between only two prospective presidents is harshly limiting. I'm not a US voter, but Biden's obvious lack of energy makes me think he's practically a stand-in for Harris. Trump doesn't deserve to be president, but it's not clear that Biden (or Harris) does either.

It's unwise to pin your hopes on electing a particular person; you're sure to be disappointed. Good luck.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:56:11 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to David Wieland:   New Content

David,

Thanks for your comment.

I, for one, view electing Biden as a "holding action," perhaps a move able to provide cover and buy time for truly progressive (in the best sense of the word) voices to be heard. I do look beyond Biden (and have serious trepidation about Harris).

My own sense is that we need to be looking at least 50 years ahead, given the whole-system collapse we will likely be facing. My best understanding currently is that it won't be "pretty" (an understatement!) as system after system breaks down leading to death, disease, and misery. This may well be our initiation into becoming planetary adults. We can do our best to get in front of this predicament now, but not if Trump is in office. He represents the worst of what Slater calls Control Culture; Biden might open the door just a crack to Integrative Culture (Dominator vs. Partnership culture). But we are the ones who have to open the door wide and walk through it.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:50:19 PM

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Irene Fowler

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Reply to Al Hirschfield:   New Content

Kudos for your profound comment. You are definitely onto something . Kind regards

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 9:15:54 PM

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Al Hirschfield

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Reply to Irene Fowler:   New Content

The slightest acknowledgement of my very existence by you, makes my day...

Be well.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 at 9:46:56 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Blair, let me be honest and see if that gets us somewhere.

You say that my rage may be doing harm. That may be true at the interpersonal level; I have some evidence suggesting it has at times (especially when aggravated by alcohol) been alienating and self-defeating.

But strategically, in my calmest, most sober moments, I see little problem with fomenting political rage--because we're oppressed by systemic injustices that richly justify it. Here, I suspect your lack of visible rage may actually cause harm. That's perhaps why I'm inclined (perhaps unfairly) to associate you with New Age phenomena; I'm worried you dissolve all needed rage against injustice into the cosmic, spiritual-world vapors, thereby dissipating the chief motive force we need for mass mobilization.

Under our extreme political circumstances, I don't think the AMOUNT of rage we find is at all unjustified. What it strikes me we must do is refocus it--against the tyrannical elites who are the chief source of our societal suffering. Elite propaganda has the rage badly misfocused, aiming it at various scapegoats rather than the elites themselves. I see the solution lying in REFOCUSING the rage at its proper targets, and that's what I attempt to do in my writing. The message I wish large numbers of us to send to our elites is "We're so disgusted with you, you're lucky we're NOT using bullets. But if you don't shape up fast, human nature can only take so much, and people sooner or later will."

I'm curious how you expect to have an effect on our unjust elites without sending a similar message. Namaste.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 12:51:48 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Hi Patrick,

I get that you are not Gandhi or the Dalai Lama. You have your own way of addressing the predicament of Donald Trump. As the extraordinary hypnotherapist Milton Erickson brilliantly demonstrated - shock - can be a potent tool for waking people out of their habitual trance. Perhaps you will do the same. The degree to which your own habitual trance involves anger is an invitation for you to wake up, if that is your wish.

The current article, I hope, reflects outrage (probably verging at times on rage) without hatred. I tried to tell the truth about Trump as well as offer a glimpse of Slater's take on the next level of evolution. It's not "cosmic." If you're looking for cosmic, see Feurestein's explication of Jean Gebser's The Ever-Present Origin. If Gebser is correct (and I believe he is) - the Integral structure of consciousness is what is next for us (if we don't take the Armageddon Bypass).

My primary question is who you wish to reach with your words and what you hope to accomplish? Words can be very powerful. If your way of expressing your thoughts and feelings helps Biden get elected, more power to you. If your words cause others to dismiss you, perhaps reflecting a lack of humility on your part, that will be our loss. As I've said, my wish is for you to be as effective as possible.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:09:09 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

My wish is to form a much-needed "vanguard of outrage" of people who deeply grasp the illegitimacy of our whole rotten political system and speak and act accordingly. It's an open question whether you're part of that vanguard; writing an article lucidly explaining why we need to elect Biden (despite his almost infinite shortcomings) will be your litmus test. As I've said, your ability to express that essential standpoint persuasively--without provoking the hatred of Never Biden folks--will be the test of your own claimed spiritual superiority. If you can be persuasive without provoking their self-righteous wrath will be your own litmus test.

Good luck! You're really going to need it.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 7:15:25 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

Thanks for your comment, Patrick.

I, for one, view electing Biden as a "holding action," perhaps a move able to provide cover and buy time for truly progressive (in the best sense of the word) voices to be heard. I do look beyond Biden (and have serious trepidation about Harris).

My own sense is that we need to be looking at least 50 years ahead, given the whole-system collapse we will likely be facing. My best understanding currently is that it won't be "pretty" (an understatement!) as system after system breaks down leading to death, disease, and misery. This may well be our initiation into becoming planetary adults. We can do our best to get in front of this predicament now, but will be gravely hampered if Trump is in office. He represents the worst of what Slater calls Control Culture; Biden might open the door just a crack to Integrative Culture (Dominator vs. Partnership culture). But we are the ones who have to open the door wide and walk through it.

On another note, I seem to recall a commenter on another thread stating his opinion that you are "hard of listening" and that he has learned to ignore you or just make wise-cracks. Just so, you seem to have glossed over the fact that I never claimed "spiritual superiority." In another post I specifically said that I don't feel "superior" to you. Yet, you wrote: "...your ability to express that essential standpoint persuasively will be the test of your own claimed spiritual superiority." Living in your own fantasy-world may be another way in which you are unconsciously like Trump (to a degree).

BTW - I have no interest in passing your self-imagined "litmus test." Nor do I think that any piece of writing can prove anything. Neither do I care whether someone vehemently disagrees with me.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 10:11:32 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

As I've said before, it may well be your own tone and attitude that provokes others' anger - whether couched in political terms or not. You might as well accept that this is a possibility. If so, being the provocateur of a "vanguard of outrage" may well be a pipe-dream.

Still, I say: keep at it. Every one of us is needed and we're all learning as we go.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 10:15:10 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Patrick Walker:   New Content

You may be adding more aggression, histrionic animosity, and even hatred to our world (and in that sense may be mirroring Trump), but you have a short-term goal, which is valid. As I've also said 1) there can be a difference between rage and outrage, and 2) there are many emotional and thought-form choices available as powerful responses to the insanity of our politicians and the grave danger our world is facing.

The Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela have demonstrated ways of being in the face of "enemies" that does not add more darkness to the world. I view them as operating simultaneously at the short- and long-term levels. My sense is that they believe that the means must reflect the final goal/end. I have found their words illuminating.

"Namaste" can be translated as: "I bow to (or honor) the infinite love and consciousness that resides at your center, your true identity." It's a real challenge for us to practice that.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:11:16 PM

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Daniel Noel

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"It seems highly likely that [Trump] answers to others 'above' him." Indeed. Trump is merely a symptom, or a decoy, who conveniently lures gullible activists--his partisans and opponents alike--away from fixing an unsatisfactory social contract at its roots.

Love,

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 2:38:57 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Daniel Noel:   New Content

Thanks Daniel,

Since his election I've often wondered whether Trump himself was functioning as a distraction sort of a "useful idiot" or sleight of hand who can grab the attention of people on both the left and the right, so that deeper political machinations can go on undetected.

On a related note, for some time now I've had a certain gut sense about Covid-19. It's similar to the intuitive stink I "smelled" soon after 9/11: "something not right here." Peculiar, revealing background events seem to be getting fleshed out much sooner than with 9/11. Globalresearch.ca has some very interesting articles re- this.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 5:59:24 PM

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Dink Winkerton

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Tim Apple needs to invent the iParent, for America's unparented masses. A device that tells the wearer what to do when life gets tough. Unfortunately, we have no more fearless leaders who want to be accountable. Buy now!

.apple.com/apple-watch-series-5/

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 5:33:11 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Dink Winkerton:   New Content

Hi Dink,

Boy, that was a great post!

In the ACOA community, they talk about "adult children" (of alcoholics or other dysfunctional families).

I'd say that is exactly what we are facing - a lack of true maturity. Indeed, there have been few actual grownups able to raise children who become balanced, wise and compassionate adults! And, a dearth of true mentors in schools, organizations, religious institutions, etc. Maybe we need vetted psychologists and authentic spiritual teachers to design a school curriculum called, "How to become an adult." (Re- this, IMHO a very good book by David Rico: How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving).

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 15, 2020 at 6:29:57 PM

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