Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Election Day in Narnia: The Kundalini Candidate

"The ancients said, When occupations come to us, we must accept them; when things come to us, we must understand them from the ground up. If the occupations are properly handled by correct thoughts, the light is not scattered by outside things, but circulates according to its own law."
 ~ The Secret of the Golden Flower
Whether you're a Pundit or an everyday citizen, at some level, you have probably become infatuated by the 2016 presidential campaign. The candidates' public and private lives have been been shaken and stirred from just about every perspective — with one exception. Which one is the kundalini candidate? In which one, if any, does the life force burn brightest?

2016 Presidential candidates
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson
Let's take them in order, the first being Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary is a "policy wonk," denoting, I suppose, that she's wrapped up in the memorization, the understanding, and the discussion of issues and their consequences — more interested in moving pieces on the chessboard of domestic and international affaires than in inner contemplation. She's an intellectual, a quality for which she is reviled and hated by the forces who disagree with her. Nevertheless, according to The Secret of the Golden Flower that's not necessarily a bad thing: "If the occupations are properly handled by correct thoughts, the light is not scattered by outside things, but circulates according to its own law."

In other words, a person with limited contemplative capacities can still lead an effective life — be an effective leader — if his/her "thought process" is not scattered, which in Clinton, it seems, is a matter of whether she's leading or running behind.

After the first debate, when she was anointed the winner, her physiognomy and psyche changed. No longer were bothersome things happening to her, no longer did her responses seem erratic and hesitant. No more "basket of deplorables," a remark that "echoed Mitt Romney’s comment of four years earlier that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes and thus were unlikely to support his candidacy." No fainting at ceremonies. In fact, she no longer appears rattled by attacks on her support of the Iraq war, her email practices, her involvement with the Clinton foundation, or her Benghazi connection. A big change from earlier weeks, when she appeared to be compounding each misstep with an even worse followup.

What would this mean if she became president? Perhaps it means that relying on intellectual capabilities alone — without a spiritual wellspring to fall back on — she would be fine as long as things were going well, but if things headed the other way, she would become unglued. As long as the demands placed on her could be solved by intellectual prowess, she'd be fine, but when events did not follow the playbook she's memorized, she might become easily rattled and overwhelmed. No one can say for sure, but just look at George W. Bush's first forty-eight hours after 9/11. Would Clinton lose it? Or would she take control?

To some degree, Hillary Clinton's vulnerability does render her more human than Trump, but does that qualify her for the high office?

Donald Trump
Donald Trump, on the other hand, would sit down at the chessboard, knock over his opponent's King, then order a missile strike against all the countries on his shit list. Whatever else he may be, Donald Trump is a high energy person. Trouble is, his energy appears to be active in the wrong channels, which manifests itself in an inability to focus, listen, or control himself. In short, to "adequate" his response to the issue, event, or circumstance at hand. He doesn't respond so much as react, which has him playing defense most of the time. Defending himself instead of proactively addressing an issue.

Because she was able to entice Trump into defending himself on the tax and other issues, Clinton now continues to lure him into situations that are not only unrelated to governing, they are also a waste of valuable time. That makes him easy to manipulate, and instead of recognizing his predicament, he doubles down on irrelevancy, lashing out against those — no matter how lowly — who oppose him.

Donald Trump would be the same person when things were going well or when things were not going well, which is to say that it would be all about Donald Trump. His salesmanship, his claim to being smart because he's escaped paying taxes, his wall, his invincibility, his long fingers. He's a narcissist à la Christopher Lasch's classic book, The Culture of Narcissism: "Notwithstanding his occasional illusion of omnipotence, the narcissist depends on others to validate his self-esteem. He cannot live without an admiring audience."

Narcissism aside, would he be a good leader in a 9/11 event? Something would be done, that's for sure. Something grandiose. Question is, would it be anywhere near the best case scenario? It's not possible to tell; certainly his followers see him as a panacea, but so did Mussolini's!

Like so many who start out following one voice — Trump was supposedly a democrat to begin with — he seems to be at war with the various tendencies inside himself, frequently alluding to how much he's going to do for ethnics and the poor, at the same time he reviles immigrants.

Again, The Secret of the Golden Flower offers insight: "When occupations come to us, we must accept them; when things come to us, we must understand them from the ground up." The Donald often brags about how he learned the construction business and the negotiating and financing of deals from the ground up. Could he learn the presidency in the same manner? Or are the vicissitudes of the two jobs so different as to render him incapable of ever being able to function as president? Especially since he's in denial about crucial issues such as climate change.

It seems to me that a great president must be a great soul. Does Donald Trump qualify? He's certainly not the most mindful candidate.

Jill Stein
This lady's claim to fame seems to be the fact that she's run for office many times, but never won:

  • Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, 2002,
  • Massachusetts House of Representatives candidate, 2004,
  • Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth candidate, 2006,
  • Town of Lexington Town Meeting Representative, 2005 and 2008,
  • Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, 2010,
  • Presidential campaigns: 2012 & 2016
She's a progressive on all issues. Among others, Stein has voiced concern about wireless internet (Wi-Fi) in schools, saying,
"We should not be subjecting kids' brains especially to that... and we don’t follow this issue in our country, but in Europe where they do, you know, they have good precautions about wireless. Maybe not good enough, you know. It’s very hard to study this stuff. You know, we make guinea pigs out of whole populations and then we discover how many die."
Gary Johnson
I got to watch a tiny portion of Johnson's Town Hall episode. Once again he got caught in the headlights, unable to answer a question on foreign policy. The media love jumping on a candidate for this, but most of what happens during a presidency is unexpected, and therefore cannot be dealt with by rote. I'd rather have a level-headed person who feels a situation, sizes it up, and knows what to do.

Johnson did wax voluble on one subject: the legalization of marijuana. That's where I felt his passion the most. For his enthusiasm on this issue to get him elected would take a miracle.

The Elephant in the Room: Bernie Sanders
Sanders may be the most mindful of all candidates. Unfortunately for him, he lost in the semi-final. Nevertheless, it's funny how both frontrunners keep citing Sanders and paying tribute to him. After all, during the primaries, polls had him beating all Republicans by a wide margin. He would have turned out a lot of voters.

Is Sanders a great soul? The fact that he's fought so long for so many overlooked issues bears witness to his integrity, but I like to see someone in action before handing him my vote.

Only Gary Johnson (governor of New Mexico) and Donald Trump (as head of his dubious NYC empire) have any executive experience.

While it's probable that persons-we've-never-heard-of might be really good at the job, they are not on the ballot. Our job is to pick the best of the four, even though there's no clear-cut kundalini candidate. Let's hope the winner rises to the challenges of the job as a select few have done in the past.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is an old article..

    But the litmus test for voting all other candidates seems awfully low while Bernie's litmus test quite high...
    And misinformed. He has had executive experience. Just like Trump. He's been a mayor in Vermont before he was in Congress.
    So I think people should vote for the most principled rather than refraining and basically hand over the "election" to a documented snake oil salesman who don't like brown people.
    So as far as being the enlightened one... I would choose the liberal Jewish carpenter who spoke of ending poverty, healthcare for all, ending wars, stop putting people in prison for cannabis. Treating everybody equally.
    Apparently, according to the sitting duck himself, "the American people decided"...
    But who am I to point fingers? A Norwegian traveler who has had USA as a "special case" study in collective psychosis triggered by decades of propaganda.