Friday, September 22nd 2017

The karma of Barack Obama versus Hillary Clinton

The “bitter” quote? The elitist rap? The Democratic primary is a proxy war between a low-chakra candidate (with beer below) and a high-chakra one

hillary-beer-drinking.jpgBY PAUL KAIHLA —  John McCain argued that Barack Obama’s reading of blue-collar voters in Pennsylvannia is “elitist,” and represents a “fundamental contradiction of what I believe America’s all about.”

At the umpteenth Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton said Obama is “elitist, out of touch and, frankly, patronizing.”

In the argot of public relations firms, those were killer ‘key messages’ to put Obama in a reactive mode for his candor at a San Francisco fundraiser on April 6 (listen to the recording). But if you pull the camera back for a moment, Obama’s take on Reagan Democrats who go right-wing on social issues exquisitely mirrors the received wisdom among leading figures in transpersonal psychology and the spiritual self-help movement.

As Obama was tipping off a campaign volunteer about the mood on the street before she parachuted into Pennsylvannia ahead of the state’s April 22 primary, here is his “bitter” quote:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment, as a way to explain their frustrations.

The economist Richard Florida has brilliantly broken down the U.S. labor market into three broad tiers: blue-collar, service-sector and so-called “creative class” workers. The latter are the engineers, scientists, media types, artists, teachers and healers who occupy roughly the top third of America’s 140-million-strong workforce.

Some of you will see this as a stretch but you can make an analogy between the have and have-nots in the labor market, and the hierarchy represented by the human chakra system.

Indian and Chinese models of spirituality and medicine have long held that we are essentially electro-magnetic beings, and Hindu tradition in particular correlates our biology and biography to energy centers in the spine located at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull.

A notion among many depth-psychology therapists and followers of mysticism is that frustrated, downwardly-mobile workers (along with megalo-millionaire Larry Ellison types) are stuck in their 1st and 2nd chakras — the ‘energy anatomy’ rooted in survival and sexuality — and attendant emotions of fear, anger, jealousy, and material fixation.

Lord knows, we all channel that shadow stuff. But the second leg of the argument goes that creative class types — whether they’re software writers at Apple in Cupertino, CA or a music professor at a university in Boston — have had more success (and interest) in opening up their higher chakras, especially the ones associated with intellectual awareness, imagination and inspiration.

Caroline Myss, the author of a cross-over hit called Sacred Contracts, is fun to hear on this tipping point in personal growth. Her starting point: people who seek a safety net in tribal structures like family, a company, or a community are unconsciously leaching their personal power — or in this site’s language, planting bugs in their individual soul’s code. The reason: those traditional tribes can no longer uphold their end of the contract . . .

If I asked you, ‘What tribal rules are you plugged into?’ Could you answer me? Have you ever even thought about it? Your first chakra requires that you plug yourself into a tribal structure that nurtures you, that you feel safe in. We are essentially communcal creatures . . .

Your first chakra is your expression of whether you expect society to be there to take care of you. Your personality can say, ‘No, I don’t’. But if I sat down with you and said, ‘Oh ya? What do you expect from your boss? What do you expect from a place that you work for?’ . . .

Whether its General Motors, Dupont or little companies, the universal phenomenon that’s going on is that no tribal system is able to take care of its own. The tribal archetype is changing.

Isn’t that the vibe that Obama is picking up in the rust-belt? The more that ‘have-not’ tribes are challenged by a labor market that’s no longer local but global, the more people who operate out of a lower-chakra consciousness are programmed to go to a rearguard group-hug around in-your-face tropes like guns and bible-thumping.

We all know an Ex who acts out an F-You attitude because he or she thinks they’ve been robbed, and the world owes them a favor. A victim identity is low-chakra, the visionary identity resides in the 5th and 6th Myss again:

The thought, ‘We create our own reality’ stands in direct opposition to the perception of the victim. What being a victim gives you permission to do is engage in self-pity, and blame others for your circumstances.

As the economist Florida says, Obama is the candidate of America’s “Have” workers because he’s a conduit for the aspirations of the creative class. Just because he dared to point out a psycho-dynamic among “have-nots” isn’t a proof that he’s more patronizing than sympathizing. Rather than being “out of touch,” as both Obama’s Democratic and Republican accusers claim, he seems to be multi-dimensionally in touch.

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