Archive | May 2017

Politicians Try to Play It Cool, Take off the Masks of Your Fake Humanity!

 

Republican Greg Gianforte, on the eve of the election for the lone congressional seat in Montana, broke the law by “body-slamming” a reporter who asked a question about the new, Republican-driven, Health Care Law; the assault was witnessed by other journalists, who said Gianforte grabbed the journalist by the neck and threw him to the ground, injuring his arm.

 

“Gianforte had been silent in the wake of the allegations, with his campaign only releasing a statement claiming that The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs had been the aggressor. But speaking at his victory party in Bozeman shortly after the race was called, Gianforte admitted he was in the wrong and offered an apology to Jacobs.”

 

“[Wednesday] night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can’t take back, and I’m not proud of what happened,” Gianforte said. “I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I’m sorry.

 

“I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that, I’m sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs,” the congressman-elect continued. “That’s not the person I am, and that’s not the way I’ll lead in this state.” (NPR, Jessica Taylor, Republican Gianforte Wins Montana House Race Amid Assault Charge, May 26, 201712:45 AM ET)

 

Now, here’s a real problem.  Gianforte is a politician but he’s also a human being; each human being has a “light” side of good, healthy qualities & attributes.  We also have a shadow-side which usually is the part of ourselves we deny or disown.  As a result, our shadow can sneak up on us, catching us off-guard.

 

Gianforte’s shadow-side was behind him, and not out in front where he could see it, and possibly head-off potential problems.  Yes, Mr. Gianforte, this is the person you really are, so I suggest that you find a way to see why you’re wearing this mask.  Stop rationalizing, and using excuses to defend yourself.  See it for what it is, and keep your eye on it.

 

All politicians need to shift in this way if they want to continue growing and improving as a human being.  If they want to be effective in elected office; if someone says or does something clearly dysfunctional, as Gianforte did, maybe they’re in the wrong line of work?  But an occupational or geographical change won’t necessarily be the solution-violence and assault are in the hearts of human beings, so that’s where change must start.

 

-Secondly, this incident indicates the stress & “driven-ness” that the Republicans feel to pass a new Health Care law.  It’s a fundamentalist, antithetical statement against former President Obama.  Republicans are known for their “crazy-making” actions, “grandiose claims minus facts,” competitiveness, and ignorance of the genuine needs of their constituency.

 

The face of the Republican Party has shifted like a huge leisure-ship, like the Queen Mary, under the sway of Donald Trump.  Trump’s political rhetoric has “made it OK” to strike out, and to repudiate the non-white citizens of the U.S.  This mixture of racist & non-factual statements is now what fuels many Republican politicians and supporters.

 

So, body-slamming a reporter whose questions you don’t like, is now OK, right? After all, Trump’s statements about wishing he could punch someone in the face, his offer to pay the legal fees for supporters who assaulted someone during the campaign, and his racist invectives, seemingly now “down-lowed” due to being President.

 

You can’t change or erase the spots of a leopard-Trump’s internal racism is there in his silent-breathing consciousness.  Don’t be duped by his wealth, his power, and his rhetoric.  What you see & hear is now hazily behind a smokescreen.  But if you look hard & critically, you see the layers of gray frosted smoke behind the screen.

 

©Christopher Bear-Beam May 26, 2017

 

Cool Loneliness

As I age, I’ve found that my mind’s proclivity is to attach to loneliness; in earlier times in my life, I thought I had no problem with it-but it’s different during my eldering sage-ing years.

When I was involved in meditation much more than I am now, I prided myself on having the attribute of understanding aloneness, and loneliness, didn’t present a problem to me.  Pride, self-centeredness, and self-conceit are opponents to spiritual growth & understanding, but Ego loves to present that these qualities are only about self-interest, not self-conceit, i.e., Greed is good.  Or Pride is OK.

In The Pocket Pema Chodron [(2008). Boston: Shambhala Publications], a Buddhist teacher & writer, writes about loneliness in the sixty-fourth reading, the following:

“When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cool loneliness (my emphasis) that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down” (p. 106)

So, what’s cool loneliness, I wondered?  The first given that came to mind is that it’s cool to be lonely.  If one is lonely, pause, be with that feeling, and then let it go; that’s one thing that appears to have a good outcome, because we can be open to all of life, not just what we define as the good parts.  Extrapolating, it’s cool to be angry, greedy, ignorant-it doesn’t mean that you are those things, rather they’re simply your emotions running through your mind like the current of a river.

If cool loneliness is cool, then it presents us with a counter-cultural axiom.  In other words, if we think of coolness (as described in the previous paragraph) as something positive, then it can meet something called heat, and come out on top, right?  Empirically, heat should trump (pardon my innuendo) cold, but in a spiritualized realm, cool loneliness replaces uncool loneliness as an attachment that, say Buddhists, is something we can use as an antidote to uncool loneliness that may become an attachment or addiction.

Another popular usage of “cool” is used when we say to someone, “Will you just cool it?”  Here, “cool” means moving to a more stable and less hot-headed way of doing things.  Couldn’t cool loneliness be looked at and used in this way?  “Hey, just pause & relax.  Take it easy.  Be cool.”  An admonition to be more balanced and less off-the-chain hyper.

Pema writes about a “relaxing and cooling loneliness;” Think of a very hot day wherever you live, and both your car AC and home AC are broken: feeling a cool breeze would make your day, right?  Refresh you, right?  Or, say, it’s about one-hundred degrees’ temperature outside, and you drink some ice-cold water-ah, the pause is refreshing!

This positive “loneliness” or “aloneness” gives us pause to sit with our feelings of pain because we’re alone, our feelings of fear because we’re alone, and possibly memories of early-childhood experiences of loneliness.  Anytime we pause and breathe like this, we allow our unconscious to float to the top of our minds; we note it, and let it go.  Our noticing perhaps grooves a place or track in our consciousness, so that now what’s bubbled up can be looked at in our lives.

This is a kind of cool loneliness, because it’s not hot with resistance, inner commentaries, or denial.  There’s a welcoming & inviting “coolness” without the stressful pressures that heat up in our minds as fixations or obsessions.

So, don’t judge yourself-love yourself and invite in your guest-Ms. Or Mr. Cool Loneliness!

©Christopher Bear-Beam May 18, 2017