Election 2016: Dark and Light Energy
Throughout my life one of my true and consistent passions has been for political campaigns, activism and democratic processes. I have observed and often participated in the fourteen presidential elections since 1960 (the iconic election contest between Kennedy and Nixon) when I was 13 years old. My loyalties have always been for liberal progressive policies which see government as a vehicle for the furtherance of justice and equality. Having been involved for these fifty six years I acknowledge that I have never experienced anything like what is presently happening. I’ve never seen candidates so freely engage in hate speech, racism and disdain for human life and decency.
In this blog I am sharing some understandings of what is happening from the perspective of engaged mysticism. It feels like a cataclysmic conflict which has the potential to shatter the collective fabric of our country and destroy one hundred years of social progress. Dark energies of hate, rage and fury flow everywhere. The mystic sense of this is to wonder how it all fits together with the oneness of life. It is to affirm that this is also part of Divine Plan. To understand requires rising above the individual election, vote tallies, delegate counts and campaign slogans to see from a higher perspective. Trying to fly not only through the chaos but above it all to see how it fits into a cosmic perspective.
The engaged mystic is not seduced into living in the fear that politicians like Donald Trump are selling with every word they utter. Politicians seem to specialize in demonizing many groups. Spiritual people need to resist the temptation to demonize them and their supporters. Our role is to light candles and shine light into our national dark night of the soul.
All this is a marvelous opportunity for Americans to face our national and cultural shadow and darkness. We are not unique as a nation in having a darkness at our core but this darkness is uniquely ours. We have a chance to finally heal and cleanse the karma of our history arising from slavery, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, and denial of climate change, racism, lynchings and racial discrimination. This can only be done if this dark energy which is so prominent continues to come forward. Hate, rage and fury has been part of every era of our history. Donald Trump and those like him can be seen as vehicles for this opportunity as he continues with his vile, hate filled speech demonizing every group but his own.
While the process is often ugly and barbaric it is flowing in a perfect way. It provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to heal our nation’s heart and soul. In this paradoxical sense Donald Trump and the other main Republicans still running (who are not really very different from him other than being polite about the hate) are vehicles of healing.
Hindus believe that there are numerous manifestations of the one god Shiva. This is often wrongly interpreted as a form of polytheism. But that is an error. The belief that God manifests in many ways and forms is comparable to Christianity manifesting in many denominations. One of the manifestations of Shiva in Hinduism is Kali who is filled with wrath and destructive force. She is pictured wearing a belt of skulls and carrying weapons to slay whatever is in her path. The energy we are seeing now in our processes is Kali energy mowing down the usual political niceties which provide hiding places for hate and discrimination. Politicians hone insults as though they are in a sixth grade locker room fight and even referencing body parts as though they have yet to mature beyond early adolescence. Kali shows us what our processes are really about. She cuts swaths through our denial and pretentions of being civilized. A war hero is mocked, women are disparaged in multitudes of ways. A handicapped reporter is ridiculed and speaker then denies he did it. An entire ethnic group is disparaged as rapists and killers and an entire religion is to be banned from immigrating here. The second amendment is proclaimed sacred (gun ownership) while the first amendment (freedom of religion) is ignored. Politicians speak in ways so crude that parents think they should shelter their children from them. Kali is stomping though the land cutting a path through the centuries of denial and self-righteousness. Kali is showing the darkness that has always been present in the American heart and demanding that we face it NOW. We will face it or degenerate into a fascist country. If we have the courage to face it there is hope for our country and culture if not we will descend into greater darkness.
Spirit is not separate from what is happening around us. The Divine is involved in every aspect of every life, situation and culture. In the midst of this “dark night” for our country spiritual people have an important role and opportunity.
The next posting on this site will continue exploration of these themes especially the role of meditation and spiritual practice, practical involvement and discerning judgment.