Dear members of the depth psychology community,
Like many of you, I was stunned by the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election yesterday, November 8, and have spent the day mourning for so many things that feel like they have been lost. As a woman, I am keenly aware that the moment for electing our first woman president has evaporated, but on a much deeper level, I am also profoundly distressed by the election of someone who is so clearly disrepectful of women and lacks compassion and understanding for so many who are marginalized, including other minorities, other species, and planet itself. I wonder how all these deep feelings, including anger, are going to be manifest in coming weeks, months, and years.
Like some of you, also, I seem to bounce between feeling numb and being distraught, even questioning on some level what role I play in all of this, and whether the calling I feel to make depth psychology more accessible in the world actually does a bit of good on some many levels. And yet, I know I must have hope: hope for our future, for our young people and generations to come; for everyone who is suffering and will continue to suffer in the face of a political system that favors certain groups over others.
We live in a world that is as challenged as it has ever been, and yet I maintain a powerful faith in the patterns at work in a world where change is the only constant. I know there is something bigger at work. I am certain I see only a narrow slice of what's at work. I believe in the idea that nature is constantly reaching out to us to pull us back from the brink of extinction (an idea I first encountered in Jerome Bernstein's groundbreaking work, Living in the Borderland.) Some part of me wonders if Donald Trump had to be elected because it will serve as a catalyst to something new; because people will be more innovative in creating change, be inspired to action in a different way, collaborate together with those they may not have engaged with before.
Ten years ago I experienced a profound awakening of my own—so powerful it sent me into what Stan Grof aptly terms "spiritual emergency"—basically, when something spiritual happens that sends one spiraling into emergency. Somehow, at that time, I believe I managed to tap into something bigger than me, a pattern at work in which I play a part and which is playing out not only for the good of each of us individually, but for us as a collective, a species which is resilient, conscious, and able to evolve and learn and love one another. What I experienced then was a taste of what we truly are as divine souls, and the stunning realization that as earthly beings caught up in human bodies and conditioned by culture outside our control, we have truly "settled" for something we can't begin to grasp. Each of us is different, and perceives our lives on earth in different ways, and we each must find our way to carry the torch for new beginnings, for hope in humanity, for belief that we can truly evolve as a species. I think being willing to participate in community is one of the ways these things can manifest. I hope you believe that too.
If anyone feels moved to share your own thoughts and feelings about all of this, please feel free to respond below. If you have criticisms or comments on political parties or policies, maybe your forum is elsewhere. If you wish to provide a depth psychological response or lens, or simply an authentic contribution (it could even be in the form of art or poetry), please respond below, and let us each hold one another in love, compassion, and a willingness to hold the tension as much as we possibly can.
HI Bonnie, It has now been three weeks since the elections. My Mother was born in Riverton, Utah just outside Salt Lake City, Utah 1931. She and her relative were mostly " Jack Mormons" and general trouble makers. Politics were very important to them since they had no voice in an ultra conservative landscape. My Grandfather identified himself as a Norman Thomas Socialist and loved Al Smith and FDR. One of his neighbors on a ranch nearby in Oregon was Governor Tom McCall. He often argued politics with neighbors, family and friends. It was a way of showing you cared and having someone to talk to. Sometime he went weeks without speaking to another person besides my Grandmother. This was hard on him as he was (like me) a bit of an extrovert. I was reminded this month of great Western Statesmen like Wayne Morse ( Lion in the Senate), Frank and Bethine Church, Thomas Metcalfe "Stonehammer". I tend to remember these men and women in times such as these with so much transiency and fluff. In the Kim Hemanson exercise I saw a Lion.
As this particular discussion thread--and perhaps many of them around the Internet—start to wain as the initial reality of the election results begins to sink in, I'd like to draw your attention to an important and thought-provoking post on what we should be doing—written by Jungian analyst, climate scientist, Depth Psychology Alliance board member, Jeffrey T. Kiehl.
Looking for Ceaser begins with the quote from Jung...
“If we are stumbling into an era of dictators, Caesars, and incarnated States, we have accomplished a cycle of two thousand years and the serpent has again met with its own tail. Then our era will be a near replica of the first centuries A.D., when Caesar was the State and a god, and divine sacrifices were made to Caesar while the temples of the gods crumbled away. You know that thousands in those days turned their eyes away from this visible world, filled with horror and disgust, and adopted a philosophy which healed their souls.”--C.G. Jung CW (18, par. 1342)....
It's a wonderful essay, Bonnie. Thanks for posting it. The essay she links to, Mathew Fox on "The Return of the Black Madonna" is also very good. Today, I think we've been given a clear indication that de Chalambert is right to quote Leonard Cohen about his song "You Want it Darker":
In his last interview about the album, Cohen says that this track is about offering ourselves up when the “emergency becomes articulate.” I think we can all agree that it has finally become articulate.
The last Bush presidency had a terrible (little publicized) record of doing away with environmental protections and regulation. Today we learned who Trump will nominate to head the EPA:
- "Democracy Now" story:
- from Cohen's "You Want it Darker"
There's a lover in the story
But the story's still the same
There's a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it's written in the scriptures
And it's not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame
For some and most definitely not all the shock of the Trump's election has given way to rage.
This particular hysterical tirade did not emanate from the lunatic fringe element within society. It was posted by a respectable 'premier men's magazine'. I did not bring this appalling episode to your attention to rub salt into the wounds of defeat. I did so because I believe it could give the rational observer some insight into the virulent dark forces underpinning this particular manifestation of political correctness. If this isn't an episode of shadow possession I don't know what is.... It tends to make me suspect some of the fascist finger pointing at Trump is a projection emanating from the shadow of some of the politically correct.
For more than 50 years, GQ has been the premier men’s magazine, providing definitive coverage of style, culture, politics and more.
Keith Olbermann has always had quite a bombastic style, and in this piece it's moreso than usual. But the facts that he is responding to remain:
- the intelligence agencies have said that Russia was responsible for hacking both the Democratic and Republican national committees computers.
- Wikileaks released only emails that were damaging to the Democrats - nothing from the RNC.
- Several of the agencies together conclude this was likely an attempt by Russia to sway the election in Trump's favor. (The FBI is not willing to sign on to that last conclusion yet, but they agree about the source of the hacking.)
Does it not make sense for the U.S. gov't. to investigate the conclusions of their intelligence services, when it points to a foreign power meddling directly in the election campaign process? It certainly does to me. And behind all his bombast and over-the-top yelling, that is what Olbermann is calling for.
So . . . if people want to speculate about Olbermann's "shadow possession" in this tirade, that's fine. Personally, I'm more concerned with the legitimate point he is making. I'd like to see the facts behind the issue (whatever they are) come to greater public awareness. Facts like the deal worth $500 Billion which Exxon made with the Russian state oil company, but which was negated by sanctions against Russia in 2014 -- a 'problem' for Exxon and Putin which Trump will likely fix for them, possibly with the help of his Secretary of State nominee, the current Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson.
I don't want the topic to turn overly political so i won't answer you directly. I will just adjust the perspective on this virulent expression of the shadow. This beast is emerging in Europe as well:
Klemens, you don't specifically say what "shadow" aspects you think are being expressed. Which leaves us to do a bit of interpretation. One way to see it might be that the U.S. election campaign, and the election of Trump, appears to have been a catalyst for both sides of the political spectrum to start 'acting out' (in the media, etc.) fear of the "other." Here are a couple of progressive TYT commentators on what they see as anti-Russian hysteria in the U.S. recently, starting with the Keith Olbermann tirade you posted above, and continuing with some interesting ideas on the media and politicians involved (starting at 1:35) :
To be sure, I would hate to see this snowball into . . . . who knows what.
I have meditated, if you will, for weeks now about the outcome of the recent election. I was not particularly enamored with either candidate, in fact, I thought to myself, "if this is the best America has to offer we are in more trouble than I ever imagined"; however, I have to say, I was taken back with Trump's 'victory'.
Sitting here now, Jan. 1, 2017, I firmly believe the problem is not The Donald, but US, the American public. I'm not interested in belaboring the issues facing America/ the World today, I just came to say, "hello, how are you and what is the one thing YOU and I can do to make a difference in our country and our world? If you are angry, unhappy, and fed up with the status quo, do something, if you think everything is 'just fine', WOW, good luck with that. Blessings to all for 2017!
Actually, and I think this is actually what goes to the horror of the political class, Trump reflects exactly who you are.Everything they hate about him, from the nonstop concern with what the press is saying, to the willingness to override traditions to do what he wants, is a characteristic that our political class has had for decades. He just does it with insufficiently-creased pants.
If our media and political class weren’t horrible, Trump would have stayed in the hotel and TV business, and the people who hate him now would have happily attended his parties and taken pictures with him. But he is forcing them to acknowledge, at least unconsciously, just how horrible they are and they can’t deal with that.
The thing is, they’re not superior to him, as the 15-month ragefest since the 2016 election demonstrates. And, what really burns is, the voters don’t think they’re superior to him. And when a sense of superiority is all you’ve got (and cultivated self-superiority is the core of the current leftist project), realizing that others don’t share it is a narcissistic wound from which there is no recovery. That’s what’s wrong with much of our political class, and it’s ugly and destructive — because much of our political class, at core, is ugly and destructive.
An interesting take on the Trump phenomenon. Is trump a Jungian practitioner or did he naturally tap and manipulate archetypes to secure his electoral victory. Does the Trump phenomenon exhibit a numinous association with the spirit and the divine. Is his make america great campaign hitched up to the eternal symbols of rebirth and resurrection. It is a very interesting and informative watch through the eyes of Jungian psychology regardless of anyones political point of view.
Interesting take...considering America's history, that's awashed with racism (slavery, civil rights movement) and sexism (suffragette, failure of the Equal Right Admendment) what are the archetypes that represent this? I also find it interesting the the comedian used was a photo of Richard Pryor whose most potent comedy was based upon social commentary.