Wade Davis’ article published in Rolling Stone magazine on Aug. 8 entitled “The Unraveling of America” strikes me as being an incomplete survey of the current social-political-moral situation in my homeland. Granted, Wade is a Canadian, and self-admittedly “loves America” because he’s married to an American, received his education here, and has a son-in-law who is currently serving in the U.S. military. He claims his piece is a “love letter” held up as a mirror for us all to see what’s really happening. As if we all don’t already know!
Wade Davis Makes Some Good Points
Davis’s point of view represents more than just the renowned anthropologist he is. Clearly, he’s making a political stand. He has crossed into the murky swamplands of being a political pundit, instead of objectively viewing the human interaction going on today, what has preceded it, and projecting (based on historical, and anthropological evidence) what’s likely to happen in the future.
We know what the rest of the world thinks of us. It’s been clear from Trump’s ’16 win that America has been in the “fish bowl,” peered at in astonishment by the rest of the world. Tell us something new, Dr. Davis, please.
He reiterates, as news agencies have for the last four years, all the grotesqueries we shudder about.
I agree with everything Wade has said about how America’s reputation has been tarnished in the eyes of the rest of the world. I agree that there have been many bad judgment calls by the Administration since Trump first took office in January ’17. There is no doubt that Trump is an offensive buffoon who is “intellectually incapable” of coping with the virus, as Davis reasserts for us. Yes, it appears that unless a negotiation is being discussed — which seems to be the American president’s greatest self-proclaimed talent, aside from golf — his only other interests are forms of entertainment, tweeting, posing, preening, postulating, and making outrageous accusations: keeping the fire of incendiary involvement turned up HIGH.
We all know entertainers thrive on conflict. Trump is an entertainer, and more fitted to be the circus clown than the leader of the Free World.
Yes, we all know that, Wade Davis. You are a great scholar turned political commentator.
Everything Davis says is true.
What Wade Davis Overlooks
But what he left out (and what I ask Wade Davis, who is a personal friend) is: What are we going TO DO about it? We know how we got here. How are we going to make this shitty (sorry, am I being too crass?) situation better — for everyone!
Trump’s win over Clinton in ’16 was not a fluke. Every action has a reaction. The majority of the electorate was upset by Obama’s election. It was time for the pendulum to swing the other way. This is the way of Nature. This is also the way of human nature. The American constitutional safety measures of an electoral, not a popular, vote decides the presidential election, unless someone has voted in an amendment I don’t know about yet. Trump’s win, to this humble observer’s way of thinking, happened — to everyone’s shock, including Trump’s own — because this is the mysterious nature of life’s evolutionary forces.
Here’s another way of looking at why Trump’s win had to be.
People, whether of the U.S.A. (we’re the “leaders of the Free World,” remember!) or other democracies, had arrived at such a low point of basing their life-worth, value, and personal significance on material things (such as income, possessions, popularity, social media “likes,” and being entertained instead of creating innovative new ideas for themselves to pass time by) that a worldwide WAKE UP was necessary in order to SHAKE UP people’s falsely basing our sense of self or self-worth — of our very aliveness — on something outside of ourselves.
Politics is a “religion” to many people, just as sports, music, other forms of culture, or following celebrities or a favorite TV show is to some. These are all things outside of our own selves that heighten one’s feelings of being alive.
If you didn’t vote for him, in other words, Trump’s presidency was the spiritual BOTTOM needed by (perhaps more than) half of our beloved country to effect a spiritual transformation. Clearly, the election was a rip right down the social fabric of American life. And the clown who won has no skills at effecting a healing, not even close, so the rift has only grown wider, the wound deeper, the bleeding more profound in these past four years. But … stay with me here … it all HAD TO BE.
A Spiritual Awakening
There is no other way for a spiritual awakening to happen. There HAS to be a bottom, period. I know this because of my own experiences. I also truly believe this is the real purpose of Trump’s needing to have been elected. People were too complacent and too proud of “being American.” They had become lazy and addicted to complaining, and allowing divisiveness to accumulate, for there to be any other way but to have a CRASH and a BOTTOM, which Trump neatly presented us in oh-so-many ways. Uncountable ways. I’m not going to elaborate. Anyone can re-read Davis’s article, or read any headline (I don’t watch news) to get the facts.
What Davis left out, and I so clearly see, is this. We needed Trump to bring to us a rallying point, a cause celebre (not just a political choice) to force people to get off their asses and get involved with what truly makes us human. And that, my dear friends, is … living from a place called LOVE.
Love, defined here as the sacred energy kind of Love: that invisible bond that unites us all — all people, all creatures — with this gorgeous garden planet on which we’re whirling together in the middle of space.
So, first off, Trump had to be. Imagine if Clinton had won. We’d still be bitching and moaning, two parties at each other’s throats not only in the Senate and the House, but at every dinner party and at every social gathering. Nothing would have “saved” us from this moment of the crossroads when we must choose between the spiritual and the material life.
Then along came Coronavirus: people-changer number TWO!
What the COVID-19 disease does (besides kill people, of course, or make us scared we’re going to “get it”) … is cause our social interactions, our economy, our very way of modern life to be completely turned upside down, topsy turvy, shook around, banged on its head, and let loose to figure out whatever the heck is going on. Duhhh, we don’t know. None of us knows. Vaccine? Ha! Masks and social distancing is the new “IN look.”
COVID-confusion mixed into the brew of social unease equals total chaos. Anarchy. Riots. People so fearful they’re staying home (the sick and elders), or rushing to find new jobs (those younger who’ve lost their income), or spending an inordinate amount of time washing and disinfecting instead of interacting. They are feeling deprived, because of one or more of the above factors are impacting everyone’s life.
This is a time of a complete, worldwide, mass shakeup. It is an emotional, physical, economic, and political crossroads.
And it’s all good.
Why do I say that?
How Real Change Occurs
Because for real change to occur, this kind of catastrophic shakeup has to happen. It might have happened more slowly, more whispered and nuanced, more democratically, and more humanely had Clinton won the U.S. Presidency. But she didn’t. Cosmic (or constitutional) forces were at work not allowing that scenario to happen. The fluke of a carrot-headed Clarabelle-the-Clown figure called “the Donald” won, because no one else had the means to “entertain” the masses. He was a “known” figure from his years of shouting “YOU’RE FIRED!” in America’s living rooms from Alaska to St. Thomas, and beyond, thanks to our internet digital era. People laughed at him, but they knew him. People shook their heads at his behavior, but they knew him. He got elected because the average Joe Blow knew this carney, and familiarity goes a long way when it comes to persuading people.
Change is the hardest thing for the average person. Just ask anyone who is trying to quit whatever unhealthy habit is ruining their life. Just ask someone to take another route instead of their daily one to work. Just ask someone to … change their thinking … about who and what they think this name, God, is.
Change is the most difficult thing for any human.
So now we have this spiritual crisis (I’m shortening it by getting rid of the political, economic, cultural, racial, and social injustice crusaders). And guess what?
A spiritual crisis is the only way real change will occur, whether in an individual person or an entire human blended family: a community or a nation.
Yes, Trump has unraveled us in America, but it’s a good thing. And I know the place we’ll end up after November 6, 2020 will be the best for all of us.
How can I say this? Am I a fortune teller? Am I psychic? Do I know for certain who’ll win? Trump/Pence (if he doesn’t kick Pence out and install Nikki Haley, which some think would increase his chances of winning — but, as we saw at the Republican Convention, that’s unlikely to happen) or Biden/Harris?
No, I don’t know. But I do know that life is a mystery. And the forces that direct the course of human interaction and consciousness evolution are real, unstoppable, and ever-most importantly, coming from the universal source which I prefer to simply call LOVE.
Anyone who doesn’t share my opinion must be very scared, bewildered, and intoxicated by feelings of confusion and uncertainty. Me? I prefer to put my trust in the very tangible and powerful energy source I can feel, and that I know I’m in contact with. And I use it as a guiding force — the Source within us all. This Source that to some has no name, no religion, and no philosophy of sureness. But it has been defined and expressed in as many different ways as there are humans, alive and passed on, who have striven to communicate about it since time immemorial. You can see those messages starting with the sooty walls of the cave paintings found etched in stone in deep, earth-smelling places of southern France, and in other places of primitive culture’s expressionistic beginnings.
From the beginning of time, from the first incidence of a person expressing their wonder at being alive, the magic of life has been the theme found universally among all our human ancestors.
And now that we’re millennia along in our recorded history, is anything any different?
No. We’re still warring, albeit more with words, which are pundits’ spears, instead of nuclear warheads (thank God for that!). But it’s still human nature to clash, fight over what the other guy wants, or what he doesn’t have and thinks he needs. Nothing’s changed.
Except the heads of our tribe are wearing suits now instead of skins, and the stakes are higher. If one of them makes a mistake, it could cause mass annihilation rather than a few burnt-out grass huts, and stolen cows and females.
The Solution to This Crisis?
I feel very strongly, and many agree with me, that we have already arrived at the age of the Spirit.
In terms of the human, we have two sides to our nature (spoken about by all spiritual teachers). Each man, each woman, each in-betweener, has both a masculine and a feminine aspect — for some, in balance to their nature, regardless of their gender.
The masculine side is presented as the more aggressive, outwardly assured, louder, rougher, and primarily based on materialism, which includes conquering. The feminine side is the inward, creative (hence, childbirth and other forms of birthing), connecting-with-others and nurturing, which includes the gathering part of the hunter/gatherer-centric early nomadic communities.
Between Trump and the Coronavirus, we have reached the end of one era and the beginning of another. The masculine era of conquest and domination is the old way. HOPE and LOVE are the banners of this new era, no matter who is “in charge.” People will never go backwards. We have evolved forward enough to demand equality of every sort.
As I write, I keep flashing on the biblical story of Abraham’s wife, Sarah, and her servant, Hagar. Both women of the Old Testament bore Abraham a son (it’s a long story; go check it out if you don’t know the Kardashianesque details!). Abraham was operating on what Sarah, barren and by then over-ninety, had told him to do when he impregnated Hagar. But Sarah changed her mind when she miraculously gave birth soon after Hagar’s child was born. Sarah made Abraham kick Hagar out of their tribe. Hagar, who was Egyptian, returned home with her son, Ishmael, who would go on to be called the “father of the Arab nation” while Sarah stayed in Canaan with her son, Isaac, and of course, Abraham (the “father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”). Thus, these particular two women started the Jewish/Arab rift that has lasted until now with worldwide dire consequences.
We have now arrived at the spiritual juncture of our blended human family where women are the ones who will heal what we women began thousands of years ago.
I am one of those women who is helping birth a New Earth. I know of many others who are, also. Some are politicians. Some are just ordinary citizens, nurturing their circle of influence. Everywhere there are women involved, there is hope.
HOPE and LOVE is the winning ticket, no matter which names are attached to what parties. Love is the weapon of mass illumination. Hope is the invisible ingredient in the Oneness that binds all living creatures, human and our kin of virtually every other species.
We are already at the beginning stages of our transition from homo sapiens (thinking hominids) to homo spiritus (loving-kind hominids). I have written a book about this transformation: Hybrid Vigor.
This is not only my belief. Love is my reality. Hope is a byproduct of Love, besides many other positive side-effects — most especially, creativity and innovation.
This is what Wade forgot to include in his article that shames America. Shame has no place in creative growth. Shame sucks away creative energy and lays it wasted, useless. Change is about creative energy, arising freely and unrestricted in order to create new ways, new neural pathways, and new human forms of communication and social sharing.
We all know the U.S.A. got shook up and our pride was unraveled by Trump. Okay! Let’s move forward and do something about it now that we’re all energized by it!
Listen to our Podcast! ZLORD.libsyn.com/
Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi
“teZa Lord is one of those untiring foot soldiers of love
without whom this life we live would be unbearable.”