This is an update from the previous article, which needed a fuller ending, so here it is. 🙂
If we thought 2021 would be easier sailing, that illusion evaporated with the high-noon showdown of Trump’s cult-driven coup. As its extent clarifies, so does the far-reach of its tentacles wrapped around almost every aspect of American life, from its core power structures into the depth of its disaffected psyche. Witnessing, we wait to see if the emergency brakes stop us careering over the edge into a terrifying abyss.
The last few days, even though shocking, are not surprising. Yet, the speed of so much unmasked, while profoundly unsettling, is oddly gratifying. To have made clear and conscious, for all to see, the foundational rot within the American project, while yielding this moment of clear choice, feels cathartic.
The journey through Trump has always been, in significant part, about catalyzing an expose of America’s shadow, and within that gaslit, brutish curriculum, an opportunity to clarify where we stand individually, institutionally, collectively, and because the American “empire” is still a primary power fulcrum, globally.
In 2016, just before that terrible election, I wrote a blog warning titled “Trump, America’s Ebola Virus,” making the point that, actually, he’s worse than flesh-eating Ebola. In contrast, Trump was about destroying the very soul of America and radically stymying a world on the cusp of marshaling its collective will to tackle the multiple crises that constitute our planetary emergency.
None of us wanted the curriculum for the last four years. Still, it’s been both unavoidable and inevitable, given the unaddressed, unacknowledged, uncompensated grievous injustices the US founded itself on. That, in brief, would be the Eurocentric Patriarchal, Racist, Imperial, Colonial project.
While we’re not “out of the woods” yet, by any means, we have collectively dodged a dreadful bullet, at least for now. That is Trump’s Fascist takedown, and with that, a rapid devolving of the higher dream of humanity, which we have a chance, even if slim, of realizing more fully.
We all know time is ticking down on securing any hope of a sustainable path forward. Still, perhaps, we now also irrevocably see that we cannot embody such a course without a core systemic overhaul and a deconstruction of hierarchical oppression.
In a chaotic, distorted way, those baying, pissing, defecating, dressed in cult garb, ransacking the hallowed Capitol, are trying to access some deeper shared initiatory “truth.” Perhaps, some meaning and placement within the failed American dream, from which they probably never felt included.
However, engaging this malcontent through an inversion of all societal norms, without any ethical or wise guide rails, left them wide open to possession by the vast outlier of their unprocessed shadow. A ghostly, cold planet where not only rage and hate stalk but also the great demons of the past who have resurfaced in horrific slogans like “Auschwitz Camp Staff / 6 Million Wasn’t Enough.”
With no real, worked out, integrated inner ethic beyond a tribally based, obsessive narcissism, millions, it seems, have been made vulnerable to occultish manipulation and mass delusion. While complicit themselves, they are taken advantage of by Trump’s psychopathy, by craven politicians, by those peddling conspiracy fetishes, and by media hate mongers, to name some of the primary players feeding off their displaced loyalty.
All of this has delivered a pseudo-culture that is so abstracted from a more profound sense of real, embodied belonging that what is a soulless vacuity is parading as an all-knowing messiah.
This disturbing loss of bearings, when instead we need to know we belong to each other in a vastly complex, ensouled world, has left a mass of the population in a psychotic break from reality. Just at a time, unfortunately, when we need to face hard truths straight on. Instead, encouraged by sociopaths to surf an absurd, alternative universe where lies are truth and truth is lies, our shared, liveable world is being pulled apart and fast destroyed.
This cultivation of hate and delusion is profoundly consequential, not only for society but also for friendships, families, communities, and institutions. We have all likely been impacted by the twisted agenda that has successfully sown a seemingly irreconcilable division through the fraying fault lines of our relationships.
As I write this, I’m struck that while 2020 was an initiatory year through the shadow and its curriculum, 2021 is about applying what we have learned. If we’ve discovered anything, it is that we cannot reach for our evolutionary arch without undoing the foundations of white supremacy, misogyny, and extractive, predator, oligarchic Capitalism.
Neither can we project all our power onto a President, political and religious authorities, or take refuge down some conspiratorial rabbit hole without deadly consequences. In other words, we have to grow up, and roll up our collective sleeves, and do whatever it is our heart is calling us to do to bring that better world into being.
Juxtaposed, as we are, between a flagging empire caught between its own irresolvable ideological tensions and the deep blue sea, there is no Hollywood “save the day” finale here. There is instead hard work ahead informed by sobering lessons from history. Like the fact that Hitler tried a failed coup in 1923. The rest, as is said, is (very bad) history.
Alongside all this, of course, is that other 2020 initiation of Covid-19 where we crawled through a strange time-dissolving birth canal into a “we can’t go back to normal” world. What I’m saying here is we’ve been woken from an illusory American dream into its nightmarish shadow that has been there all along. We shouldn’t really want to go back. Instead, the future invites us to bravely step forward.
The primary task toward a better America has to be a collective reckoning of its violent birth at the hands of white terrorists who enacted a genocide while desecrating the Sacred Hoop of its First Nation and enslaved twelve generations of Africans in the most brutal ways possible. A violence that has now come home to roost, in its own Capitol, from lawless wars and multiple coups around the globe that left millions of lives shattered. Call it karma if you like.
In tandem, perhaps even as a redemptive task, our real challenge ahead is the fight for a good future for all on this exquisite planet. What hands will be guiding American power in this immense struggle? We all matter for the best outcome through our choices and the intentions we make them with. Let’s not undersell our personal and collective power to succeed when so much is on the line. Instead, let’s steady ourselves, set our compass, forge ahead, and make 2021 count.