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Archive for November 9th, 2020

For 75 plus million of us, breathing is palpably much easier today. With a decisive ( i.e., not at all close) Biden-Harris victory, we can feel a collective sigh of release, an end to a shared Trump-induced social “ COPD”.

Many, young and old, speak as if rescued from a long, bleak night of suffering a malicious suffocating knee pressed viciously on the “neck of their souls”. Spontaneous dancing in the streets of so many cities is prime evidence. It is a wonderful outpouring of enthusiasm.

America’s majority has de facto chosen rededication to normalcy, education, competence and to achieving a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. The election outcome represents a clear set of fresh choices.

I celebrate just a few: the rule of law vs rampant corruption and norm-busting, order and reason over chaos and impulse, real professional experience over cronyism, servant leadership over narcissism, care of the other vs fear of the other, looking for bridges to build rather than walls to divide, seeking to understand and make decisions on facts and science rather than mischievous Machiavellian subterfuge and slight of hand, restoring strong and respectful global alliances over anachronistic and dangerous nationalism, and dialogue over a perpetual and pernicious soul-shrinking tribal combat.

It is time for the spirit of the Nation to recover its core values of civility, decency, and mutual respect. We can and will disagree but can do so with regard for our shared love of country and a will to truly advance the founding vision of “ E Pluribus Unum.” We get another chance to listen to our better angels.

In the meantime, the next 72 days will predictably be a painful reprise of the last five years on steroids, a contrast of colliding worlds: Trumpism’s love of power secured by deception and chaos vs. the duty to care and commitment to make a real difference for the good of everyone. Trump’s pathology can be expected to reach a peak of unbridled vengefulness and unchecked malice. It has of course already begun.

Our experience of the last 5 years will reach a fever-pitch in the next 72 days. Looked at from a Jungian perspective, we are all witness to the consequences of elevating to the highest office a “ puer aeternus,” or eternal boy. This refers to one ( usually chronologically older) who is forever locked in adolescent revolt against all limits of propriety. The puer sees himself as special, like no other, standing above the usual and customary norms of conduct. Their greatest fear is becoming ordinary.

This condition has also been called the “ Peter Pan” syndrome. Often coupled with a dark narcissism, their need to stand apart leaves them few true friends. They retreat under loss of their adoring minions into silent brooding and act in ways that tend to deliver on their worst fear ( being alone without constant reminder of how special and great they are). Their need for ego stroking can never be satisfied. It is as if today’s applause dissolves quickly away and needs continuous replenishment. They are addicted to attention and getting their own way. The more outrageous they behave the more attention they command.

Such a one should of course never lead others as their need for adulation requires the sacrifice of their supporters’ identities and dignity, well being and independent judgment. Across history, they are plentifully numbered among misguiding cult leaders, despots and the megalomaniacal.

The Nation needs leaders now who call us to a higher sense of duty, service and fellowship. The recovery of the spirit of the country, as conceived by our founders, demands exemplars of kindness and compassion, hospitality and listening to the ideas and experiences of others. May that be so in the years ahead.

There will be many difficult challenges to address ahead and surely vociferous debate, but, hopefully, it will be more often informed by a positive vision of a more perfect union. Spiritually, we need to keep guard as the darkness is forever looking to extinguish the light and distract from the dream.

© The Harried Mystic, 2020 and Br. Anton, TSSF. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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