Don Juan called the White House “the site of power of today’s world, the center of all our endeavors, hopes, fears, and so on, as a global conglomerate of human beings—for all practical purposes, the capital of the civilized world.” *
In archetypal terms, from the deepest patterned level of our inherited collective unconscious, the American president is the KING of the World.
On Wednesday, the King of the World spoke and changed the evolutionary course of our species as he proclaimed that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
You can’t take back an evolutionary moment. The King has spoken! An American president has said the words. It matters little the reactions of a divided country or a divided world or the outcome of the next election. The die is cast. Humanity in evolution: gay marriage is proclaimed the norm.
Marriage, with its 50% failure rate, is no guarantee of anything. Marriage, like sexual maturity, is a process that must be worked at to achieve lasting, fulfilling union. However, what the King of the World, President Obama, has proclaimed, grants legitimacy to both homo- and hetero-sexual relationships to embark on a sacred path of true conjunctio versus being relegated to the shadows of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Whether President Obama seized the political moment, as my ego mind suggests, is immaterial. Whether Vice President Biden was dispatched, on some level, to be the advance guard, preparing the ground for the King of the World to make the proclamation, is immaterial. Obama—with strong support and likely urged by Queen Michelle—took the evolutionary leap, like his channeled mentor Lincoln, to stand for full legitimacy and the right for all people to marry, and for that he is, indeed, at this moment, the King of the World.
We, as a world, are moving at the speed of light now. The dark shadow of 12/21/2012, the proposed end of the Mayan calendar, looms large, but its counterpart, the evolutionary consciousness of humanity to right its course, looms bright.
Can President Obama, the King of the World, continue to seize the moment, to right the course of carbon emissions, nuclear development, fallacious and unnecessary wars?
Let’s see what happens. Me thinks we first have to complete the civil war, now reactivated—our country once again divided by an emancipation proclamation. But the first challenge is a tough one: Can we get beyond civil disunion to true marriage?
What a lovely epitaph this emancipation proclamation is to Maurice Sendak, the famed author and illustrator, who died a day earlier, a man who lived for 50 years with his gay partner, Eugene Glynn, in true conjunctio.
Thanking the King of the World, for moving us one step closer to emancipation for all,
Chuck and I live in Red Hook, New York, a rural community in Northern Dutchess County. We are surrounded by fields and rolling hills, with nature at our door. There is another Red Hook, New York, in Brooklyn, quite a different environment. Sometimes people think we live there. Although Chuck and I have both had our city experiences, at this point in our lives we are quite contented with our rural existence. But that does not mean we are free of the issues that Red Hook, Brooklyn faces in its urban chaos of growth and change, as rustic an environment as our own in many senses. We too have our gangs, coyotes that roam the neighborhood at night, owls that swoop down and grab the unsuspecting ones. We have the unseen hovering always over us, destructive forces of nature and environmental catastrophes abound. At any moment something can happen, just as it can happen in a city of millions, in a rural Red Hook just as in an urban Red Hook. These two places with the same name represent contrast and sameness, two worlds equally offering darkness and light.
Today as I sat and meditated, gazing out into the backyard from my favorite spot, I allowed my eyes to note what was outside, when normally I would have turned my gaze inward. It felt important to take note of what which was happening in the outer world rather than refuse its insistent, distracting call.
I heard the blue jays, like warning sirens, loud and clear. I saw the squirrels leaping from tree to tree, their mouths full of large green hickory nuts that seem to have grown in abundance this year, perhaps portending a harsh winter. I breathed in the colors of the changing leaves and accepted that autumn is now in full swing. I noticed the large black crows, calling to each other as they swooped low over the house.
I noticed another bird, lighter in color yet the same size as the crows, flying across the sky, going in the opposite direction from the crows. I was struck by its struggling, flapping wings, looking more like the fluttering wings of a butterfly than a bird. I couldn’t remember when I had ever seen a bird fly like that. It did not soar as the crows had done, but seemed singularly intent, flying in great, breathless haste.
I was struck by the light and dark of the world we live in, the urban and the rural, the soaring black crows equally as intent as the flapping white bird, though their practiced, narcissistic moves appear so calculated, their stature as rulers of the sky taken for granted. I was struck by the synchronicity of this scene before my eyes and that which is happening in our own world, in our earthbound world, the grassroots Occupy Wall Street movement taking up residence in the narcissistic world of money, fledgling white birds daring to own the sky too.
I’m struck by President Obama’s fight against the dark crows of republicanism, his every effort to enact the change we all want shot down again and again, the struggling white bird constantly knocked from its perch. In our electing him as our president we set the intent to fight this fight that now is being waged, the light against the dark, the fledgling prince of the skies against the dark kings who so easily swoop over us, dismissing the kind of change that is so right for all humanity. We did indeed set the intent for this clash of worlds.
I see it as no different from setting the intent to change our personal world: to recapitulate or not, to divorce or not, to move or not, to change jobs or not, to become a spiritual being or not. The time has come to realize that we must change because even if we are not personally choosing it, change is happening.
We have to change. It’s not a choice anymore. Everything about the world, as we know it, is changing. It’s not fair, in my opinion, to argue that President Obama is not bringing the change he promised, because, as I see it, he is bringing us the greatest change we’ve probably ever seen. Simply by us, the American people, electing him as our president, we also elected to engage the universal energy of change. We set our intent to change along with him and his slogan: Change we can believe in.
So where do we go from here? The first thing to do is to embrace this change, to indeed believe in it and to accept its inevitability on a national and a personal level. We must all allow ourselves to be engaged by it, both innerly and outerly. We must find out why we live during this time of change and what it might mean to us personally.
I think we are all being asked to let go of the old world and flow into the new, but we can only do that by acknowledging that the old one no longer works for any of us. When we get so fed up with our own lives, when the way we function no longer gratifies or fulfills us, when we finally accept that we have reached a point of total despair, boredom, frustration, sadness, anger, or whatever else comes as a catalyst, we must be ready to open to new ideas and new ways of living. These are the moments of enlightenment that we all need, but the trick is to handle them properly, in balance and with pragmatism, so that we don’t just create a new wall, so we don’t just construct new structures impossible to penetrate or scale.
We must not turn from one darkness into another. We must find the light in all of us and use that to change the world. But we must all face our own darkness first, even as we ask the government to do the same. We must reveal our own deepest truths to ourselves, even as we ask others to be transparent. We must all become honest, with ourselves above all. For if we, the people who are protesting the dishonesty and the backhandedness of those we consider the culprits, the evil ones, do not face our own darkness we will not have a leg to stand on when it comes to the final battle.
I exposed my deepest self in my book, The Man in the Woods, and yet each day I am confronted with still more work to do on that deepest self, for that self offers endless opportunities to explore and discover who I really am, why I do what I do, why I conclude the things I conclude. It’s a little daunting to be so exposed, but I know it’s right in alignment with the times we live in. It’s time for all of us to face the truths of what we hide inside us, to free ourselves of that which keeps us stuck, so that we can be the change we so desire in our world. We can only be a world of truly changing beings if we each individually change ourselves too.
So the white bird fluttered away, butterfly-like in its insistence on getting where it needed to go. I didn’t see where it went, somewhere beyond the trees, but like the butterfly spirit it embraced it had set its intent and nothing was going to stop it.
As I watched it fearlessly make its way across the sky I sent my own intent to ride along with it. It was only then that I turned inward and asked myself to take up that intent, to never stop challenging myself, even though, on some days, I must force myself to confront the uncomfortable questions that arise within. I know that I must respond by facing my fears and questioning myself once again with the universal question that never seems to be fully answered: what am I so afraid of?
I’ve already learned that change is good, that each time I face down a fear I face down something that has been standing in my way. I’m as fascinated by the rural Red Hook that I live in now as I was fascinated by the urban Brooklyn I once lived in, not far from the other Red Hook. Life flows in both places and right now we’re all living in the same place. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we live, the place we’re in is the place of change.
Let’s go for it, in whatever way we can, personally first and then universally, because we are going anyway. I prefer to go openly and honestly, challenging myself to face what I do not like in others, learning from them what I must also face inside myself.
“Dad! Nathan and I just did the giant slingshot! We shot way up into the sky overlooking Myrtle Beach; it was awesome! I feel so great, I’ve never felt like this in my life!”
Ten minutes later, a second phone call:
“Dad. We just got back to where I parked my car. It’s gone, they towed it away. I’m so depressed, I’ve never felt this bad in my life.”
“Well Erica, you’ve just experienced, firsthand, bipolar disorder—a better lesson than you’ll ever get in a psychopathology class at school.”
It is the consequence of bouncing between polar extremes that gives bipolar a bad name, but the truth is that all life is produced and powered by two mutually dependent opposing energies. In my daughter’s experience these opposing energies are opposite ends of the same system. What goes up must come down. What goes way up must come way down.
Everything that exists is a composite of opposing energies. All elements are constituted of opposing energies that bond them together. Electricity contains positive and negative energies, which combined create power. Daily life requires day and night—awake active time and sleep dormant time to rejuvenate and sustain itself. We strive for order but hunger for chaos. The light or ‘rational day’ dims to the irrational release of the night. Boredom is the result of too much living in the day. Addiction is too much living in the night. The human challenge is to reconcile these bipolar energies within the self. Most problems in life arise from an overattachment to one or the other opposing energies. True reconciliation must include an acceptance and joining of both of these primal energies.
In the East, this human dilemma is energetically seen in the spine of the human body. At the base of the spine, in the sacrum bone, resides Kundalini Shakti, a primordial cosmic energy, the divine feminine creative power, corporeal energy at the feminine pole. Kundalini lies coiled up like a snake, dormant, awaiting awakening. At the crown of the head resides Vishnu, the supreme masculine god, associated with light and the sun. Many yogic practitioners focus meditation upon awakening Kundalini to rise through the chakras and ultimately merge with Vishnu in transcendent bliss.
In the East, this androgynous bipolar nature in humans—that is, as containers of both masculine and feminine energy—is depicted in gods with genitalia of both sexes. In the West, these primal energies have been completely polarized and assigned to respective sexes: men as masculine energy, women as feminine energy. The contrasexual nature in both men and women is projected outwardly onto members of the opposite sex, or onto members of the same sex who nonetheless personify opposite energy. Herein lies the compulsion to relationship in the West. If we are sex-typed to only one of our primal energies we are compelled to seek the other in relationship in order to achieve wholeness and completion. The inner mysterious other energy can only be found ‘out there’ in another. We must find it, possess it, and merge with it, after all, it is us—we cannot live without it.
Of course, the opposition inherent in these opposing energies is no less challenging to resolve in relationship than it is in doing years of meditation and yogic practice. People enter relationships, briefly, under the romance of felt wholeness—having finally joined with their lost other, their soul mate—only to shortly encounter the conflicts that naturally arise between polar opposites.
One polar energy always seeks to control or dominate the other. Each wants the world their way. Compromise, more often than not, results in secret resentment. Well-ordered agreement often results in secret chaotic affair. True relationship, deep intimacy, requires a genuine meeting and joining of Kundalini and Vishnu, not a meeting of power and subservience.
The split and projection of polar energies in the Western psyche is also evident in the rise of science and the downfall of organized religion. Religion once ruled the world; early scientists were put to death. In the modern world, though many in the West affiliate with a particular religion, it’s far less a spiritual affair and more of a social identity. Now science rules.
Actually, modern Western religion aligns itself more with science and rationality than it would appear. The deep connection to spirituality—the feminine power of intuition and religious or numinous experience—split off from the tightly controlled, rule-based rational church and synagogue long ago and found life in the secret traditions of alchemy, the Kabbalah, astrology, and the like. We read the weather report to satisfy our rational, ordered lives and the horoscope to feed our mysterious, intuitive, irrational lives.
With the election of Obama, America, and frankly the entire world, saw the transfer of power from the masculine pole to the feminine pole. It’s not just racism that seeks to unseat and destroy Obama; it’s a black and white issue at a deeper level. Blackness is associated with the darkness, the night, the earth, the maternal, the feminine, the mysterious, the irrational, the Kundalini energy of the self. In our fragmented Western world, whiteness—bright, light, rational, masculine energy—that has dominated the world for so long, in a deeply polarized fashion, leading to its current extremely precarious condition, is threatened and reacting with all the hysterics currently played out by the Republican party. Though Obama has, in actuality, fallen way short of Pachamama’s true need to be properly cared for, he nonetheless symbolizes a shift away from the long domineering, extremely polarized masculine energy bent on greed and destruction.
Looking elsewhere in the world, we see the same interplay of polarized energies, interestingly and relevantly, in the main players of World War II. Japan, who destroyed Pearl Harbor in a blast of masculine aggression that drew the United States into World War II, has been devastated by the recent tsunami, with Pachamama directing her energy at nuclear power plants.
On Memorial Day, Germany, the main perpetrator of abuse of masculine power in World War II, announced the decision to close all nuclear power plants over the next decade. Furthermore, Germany’s economy has grown slowly but steadily in the midst of the current world recession. This economic growth has not been at the expense of social programs and basic needs in Germany. Germany has been willing to grow less and take care of the needs of its citizens, as well as prepare to pay more for energy as it gives up nuclear power as a source of energy. Germany, with this decision, is doing the right thing for itself and the health of the world. Here we have a country that, after brutalizing the world and attempting to extinguish a scapegoated people, has emerged with a conscience and a new balance of masculine and feminine energies, showing genuine leadership in the modern world.
Finally, Israel—though well-prepared for prior to World War II, through a well-established Zionist movement—is a modern country created and sanctified as a compensation to a people nearly wiped out during World War II. Unfortunately, as subsequent history has proven, this did not go smoothly, as displaced Palestinians and Arab neighbors have not been so accepting of this decision by the Allied Powers. Israelis in turn, well-schooled by centuries of Diasporas and holocausts, dug in their heels to fiercely preserve their people and their homeland.
Today, that protective fierceness has polarized into dominance by masculine energy and a rigidity that Obama recently challenged by insisting that negotiation with the Palestinians be based on the 1967 border agreement. How will it play out? Resolution will require a reconciliation of the bipolar energies—clear boundaries (masculine pole) that care for the welfare of all peoples (feminine pole).
Our bipolar selves and bipolar world demand that we take on the challenge of finding our wholeness in acceptance and reconciliation of the opposing energies that we are. This requires owning our bipolar nature and forging a relationship with opposing energies. There are hopeful signs in the world now that our bipolar disorder may find its way into the balance of a new bipolar order.
On a deeper level, the birthers might have a point: Obama is a world citizen and leader, challenged, like Lincoln once was, to forge a union in a world torn apart by special interests.
Don Juan warned: “I am convinced that for man to survive now, his perception must change at its social base.” –From The Art of Dreaming
What don Juan meant was that we must arrive at the awareness that everything is an interconnected web of energy. Quantum physicists have arrived at this truth. Fritjof Capra writes in The Tao of Physics:
“In ordinary life, we are not aware of this unity of all things, but divide the world into separate objects and events. This division is, of course, useful and necessary to cope with our everyday environment, but it is not a fundamental feature of reality. It is an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. To believe that our abstract concepts of separate ‘things’ and ‘events’ are realities of nature is an illusion…”
“At the atomic level, then, the solid material objects of classical physics dissolve into patterns of probabilities, and these patterns do not represent probabilities of things, but rather probabilities of interconnections. Quantum theory forces us to see the universe not as a collection of physical objects, but rather as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of a unified whole.”
The shamans and the physicists agree: we are all one. The survival of our interconnected, interdependent world requires that we achieve union and balance with all the parts of our one world, human and non-human. Our current world play pits our social perception of the world as separate, disconnected objects against this deeper perception of reality as an interconnected web of energy. As don Juan states, we must arrive at this deeper perception for our very survival.
In a world of separate objects, the industries of nuclear power, oil, and natural gas are free to take the position that incidents and policies in each of these industries have limited impact upon the world and should be unregulated and left alone. From this perception we are asked to believe that radiation in the oceans will not affect marine life, and certainly not human life. In the oil industry, despite dead sea turtles and dolphins showing up on our shores, it is argued that drilling is safe, and the moratorium on new drilling leases is now lifted. The natural gas industry is currently on the march to push for homegrown energy, despite the devastation to the environment and drinking water through hydraulic fracking as evidenced in Pennsylvania and brought to light in the movie Gasland. The moratorium on fracking in New York expires in June and that industry is emboldened now to start fracking in Upstate New York—in my own backyard!
Congress is stalled, as I write, over issues like eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency and clean air standards, an agency and laws seeking to set limits on destruction to health and the environment. This is the power and pressure of interests caught in an old world perception of separate objects, free to only consider themselves and their own needs and desires. The battle cry of these special interests is: “We must satisfy the demand!” The religious fervor of this dictum raises it to the level of the eleventh commandment.
But what does this dictum really mean? Is the suggestion that, since the modern world demands more and more energy to run, that we absolutely must, at all costs, meet this demand for our very survival? If my appetite demands more and more food, should I keep feeding it? And if I do, how will that affect my resources, the resources of my environment, and how will it affect my health? If a child demands more and more toys, should we simply supply them because they are demanded? Since when is demand synonymous with must-be-met?
If the human population’s energy appetite is outpacing its means and negatively impacting the health of the planet, perhaps it’s time to set some limits. Of course, behind feeding the demand is the true culprit: there’s big bucks to be made feeding the insatiable big baby with its voracious appetite. Is it not time to become adults and set some reasonable limits?
In comes Obama, chiding Congress to start behaving like grownups. Frankly, however, I see Obama as a work in progress. I think he has caved to the old world perception in granting new oil leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama has to go beyond the Clinton doctrine of compromise. You cannot compromise with evil.
The Republican party is now possessed with evil energy. Evil is an elemental energy and has its rightful place as part of our comprehensive whole, one world. Energetically dark and light energy are the building blocks of the universe, however, their influences and interactions must be in the proper balance. The value of the preponderance of evil energy in the Republican dominated Congress at this time is its insistence upon change. It presses Obama, with its destructive energy, into a firm and definite response. As the I Ching points out: “A compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited.” –From The I Ching, translation by Richard Wilhelm, Hexagram #43
Obama and the Democratic response to absurd Republican separatist interests are finally discrediting the evil interests that are pushing their own agendas, i.e. the Koch brothers. Mother Nature herself is using her own evil energy to force needed change upon us all. Evil energy must be responded to–directly faced by taking right action–or it will continue to devastate and destroy to awaken us.
Lincoln suffered a similar fate as Obama. He attempted to compromise with the slave industry by first insisting that slavery could not be allowed in new territories or states, but could continue in states where it was already established. From today’s sensibilities this was an absurd attempt at compromise, but nonetheless, Lincoln offered it in an attempt to preserve the union, an old world order needing radical change. Ultimately, he was forced into civil war because, with the refusal to compromise, a divided house could no longer stand.
Like the slave industry of a foregone era, the Republicans of today will not compromise. It’s all or nothing. They are forcing Obama to evolve here, to take a stand behind right action. Nature is showing us that we have no other alternative to survive. As don Juan stated, survival depends on our changing our perception at its social base. The Republicans are helping Obama to arrive at this necessary place, which is crucial to our survival. Nature is showing us we have no time to waste because continued compromise just wastes valuable time and invites greater destruction.
We must stake our claim now in a world of interconnected, interdependent energy. In that new world, nuclear energy and fossil fuels must be abandoned. Energetic sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower must be turned to, as these are Mother Nature’s natural gifts to us that do no harm to her. We must become responsible adults, limit our appetites, and focus on real hunger and needs. Greed must be tempered, the big baby put to bed.
On a personal level we are charged with facing our own greed in the context of our own lives. We must each accept necessary, healthy limits, and shift to a life of balance where we consider all the parts of our interdependent selves. As well, we need to become astute participants in the true nature of reality, not just observers, because a genuine shift in our perception, at its social base, as don Juan insists, is now necessary. This is how we support our President. Let’s not leave him out there as the only one-world citizen.
Remembering when the sun revolved around our flat earth,
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