My brother wrote an excellent article this morning after Trump’s win. It can be found at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/3358 :“Of silver tongues and silver linings:Trump’s Presidency, the Demise of the Major Parties, and the Need for a New Progressive Movement”. He and I are very different. He is a fine journalist, whereas I am a poet, Jungian dream worker and shamanic practitioner. Here is what I wrote back to him after reading his article:
I of course have a slightly different approach to trying to process what is happening inside and out. This might not make sense to you, but this time, this moment in time, is very, very pregnant. In the old days, ancient and not so ancient times, they would have consulted oracles at a time like this, because the “veil is thin” and they would want to hear from the ancestors. I stayed up last night until I knew that Trump clinched it, then I got 5 hours sleep. I woke up in a kind of daze, trying to imagine a way forward. Then I had an idea . . . I used to do this when I was a little younger, when I was studying the I Ching, and Jung’s principle of Synchronicity etc. I used the books of great and creative minds as oracles. Here is how:
You get yourself centered, come up with a question to ask, hold the book to your heart and ask your question. Open the book randomly and point to a passage and that’s your answer. One question, one answer.
This time I felt I wanted more than just one great mind’s wisdom and I wanted to ask more than one question. SO I went up to my library and I pulled Jung, Denise Levertov, Whitman, Terry Hauptmann (an ecstatic poet), Thoreau, John O’ Donohue and Rumi. I asked: “What is happening?” I wrote down their responses. Then I asked: “Where now? What now?” Again, I wrote down their responses. I’m going to write this up as a blog entry. One of the most interesting responses was from Jung. He “gave” me Trump’s psychological type based on his (Jung’s) Psychological Types (which constitutes one of the chunkiest volumes of his Collected Works, Vol. 6, and provides the basis for the Briggs / Myers test). It was very enlightening and helped me understand Trump much better.
(Still to Dave:) I don’t expect you to respect the “objectivity” of this whole exercise, but it isn’t hocus pocus and it makes no claim to objectivity anyway. It is based on the principle of synchronicity which is what brought Pauli, the great Swiss quantum physicist and Jung together and was what kept Dad’s mind busy until the day he died. (See our father’s, David Lindorff (Sr.’s) book: Pauli and Jung: The Meeting of Two Great Minds.)
Now I will share what I learned from these 7 great minds in order of the two questions I put to them:
Question One: “What is happening?”
Jung (from The Portable Jung, A Penguin Book, 1971, p 205):
Note: This quote requires a little gloss: I will highlight the exact phrase I pointed to.
Jung warns of the second-hand or second-rate nature of thinking that is “repressed by a conscious attitude”. He explains this kind of thinking as unconscious or projected thinking, a narrow kind of “nothing but” thinking.
Denise Levertov (from Sands of the Well, A New Directions Book, 1996, p 55):
(from her poem: “The News and a Green Moon” )
“ . . . Slowly, one speck
to a square meter, cometary dust, continually as if from an inexhaustible
talcum shaker, falls unseen, adding century by century its increment
to Earth’s burden. Covered in that unseen dust I’m peering up to see
the haze of green radiance the moon gives off this night, this one quick
breath of time. No lunamancy tells me its significance, if it has one.
It is beautiful, a beryl, a disk of soft jade melting
into its own light. So silent.
And earth’s cries of anguish almost inaudible.”
Walt Whitman: (from Leaves of Grass, Rhinehart & Company, 1958, p 193):
“For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings,
We must bear the brunt of the danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!”
Terry Hauptman: (from On Hearing Thunder, North Star Press, 2004, p 41):
“To be lost in the desert
Is to find one’s way to G-d.”
Desert Songs like desert seeds
Parched to bloom
Echo the dust.”
John O’ Donohue: (from Anam Cara, Cliff Street Books, 1997, p 69):
“The world of thought resides in the air . . . Inspiration can never be programmed. You can prepare, making yourself ready to be inspired, yet it is spontaneous and unpredictable. It breaks the patterns of repetition and expectation. Inspiration is always a surprising visitor.”
Henry David Thoreau: (from The Viking Portable Library, 1977, p 231):
(From his poem: “Lately, alas, I knew a gentle boy”)
“On every side he open was as day,
That you might see no lack of strength within,
For walls and ports do only serve always
For pretense to feebleness and sin.”
Rumi / (transl. Coleman Barks): (from The Essential Rumi, Castle Books, 1997, p 107):
From his poem: “Someone digging in the ground”:
“A lover is always accused of something.
But when he finds his love, whatever was lost
in the looking comes back completely changed.”
Question Two: “Where now? What now?”
Jung: (p 257): Jung is discussing the introverted sensation type based on his Psychological Types, (quoted in this Penguin edition from his Collected Works, Vol. 6) Note: I assume here he is referring to Trump’s psychological type, because it sounds so much like Trump, so I quote more extensively.
“Introverted Sensation: The predominance of introverted sensation produces a definite type, which is characterized by certain peculiarities. It is an irrational type, because it is oriented amid the flux of events, not be rational judgment but simply by what happens . . . Actually he lives in a mythological world, where men, animals, locomotives, houses, rivers and mountains appear either as benevolent deities or as malevolent demons. He judges and acts as though he had such powers to deal with, but this begins to strike him only when he discovers that his sensations are totally different from reality . . . if he remains faithful to his irrationality and is ready to grant his sensations reality value, the objective world will appear a mere make-believe and a comedy.”
Levertov: (p 47):
From her poem, “Meeting the Ferret”:
“. . . But named, petted,
consenting to walk on a leash,
this ferret out for a stroll
in the public park of a small town
somewhere in America,
came to my hands as if smiling . . .
I’ve never felt fur cloud-softer. I envied
The boy it lived with . . .
It seemed neither owned nor tamed
But a creature willing to try out
the Peaceable Kingdom: to just
begin it without waiting.”
Whitman: (p 229):
From his poem, “To a President”:
“All you are doing and saying is to America dangled mirages,
You have not learn ‘d of Nature – of the politics of Nature you have not
Learn’d the great amplitude, rectitude, impartiality,
You have not seen that only such as they are these States,
And that what is less than they must sooner or later lift off from these States.”
Terry Hauptman: (p 43):
“The Serpent Mounds (built by the Adena Tribe 100 BC and 700 AD) consist of an effigy mound and three burial mounds. The serpentine effigy nearly a quarter mile long represents a gigantic serpent in the act of uncoiling. . .”
John O’ Donohue: ( p 65):
“The loving eye can even coax pain, hurt and violence toward transfiguration and renewal. The loving eye is bright because it is autonomous and free. It can look lovingly upon anything. The loving vision does not become entangled in the agenda of power, seduction, opposition, or complicity . . .”
Thoreau (p 283):
“From the hearth the field is a great distance. It would be well, perhaps, if we were to spend more of our days and nights without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies, if the poet did not speak so much from under a roof, or the saint dwell there so long. Birds do not sing in caves . . .”
Rumi (p 75):
“You own two shops,
And you run back and forth.
Try to close the one that’s a fearful trap,
getting always smaller. Checkmate,
this way. Checkmate that.
Keep open the shop
where you’re not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free-swimming fish.”
Final note to the reader: I realize this may be useful and interesting and even healing to some and not at all to others. As I explain to my brother above, I do not regard these lines as random but to have oracular value and relevance to the questions I asked in the aftermath of the election and Trump’s rise to power. To appreciate how this may be explained in terms of the principle of synchronicity, I refer the reader to Richard Wilhelm’s translation of The I Ching, specifically Jung’s Foreword and to Jung’s Collected Works, Vol. 8.