Election Report from Under the Bus with Obama

I, probably just like you, asked myself “Why did Obama lose all that support in the recent election?” The response was a curious one indeed – it came in the form of a little history lesson.

During the Second World War, when open racial segregation was the rule, battalions of African-American men were sent into combat in some of the most hellish battles in Europe – often those where unacceptably high casualties were expected. They performed admirably, often turning in startling victories.

But, even if you were alive at that time you probably never knew this: as soon as the battle had been won and it was safe, the army brass quickly shipped out the blacks under cover of night, and white troops were shipped in, so that when the reporters and newsreel cameras arrived, they were greeted by the tanks and trucks filled the apparently victorious white faces and freshly dirtied uniforms. And this was not the exception; it was the rule. That was then.

Today’s War
Now the battle is at home, where our country (and the world) has suffered great damage in the wake of a financial crisis that had its very clear roots in the greed, dishonesty and manipulation – in the immense Ponzi scheme that was our economy. It was like a big game of economic musical chairs: you have to risk investment or watch inflation eat your hard-earned retirement capital and everyone knew that it made sense to take out a mortgage on a house – the equity always increases (after all – they are not making any more land!). Then, suddenly, the music stops and you don’t have a chair to sit in, and you are not alone. In fact, there are millions of others who suddenly discovered they had no chair, no job, and no homes.

So here we were, faced with a rapidly collapsing economy, job losses of nearly a million a month, a credit crisis of a degree not seen since 1930, and on the verge of having a nation-wide runs on the banks. To let this continue was definitely a no-win scenario. Essentially every responsible economist counseled the necessity of bailing out the economy to forestall unthinkable disaster – and yet the only way to do this was to take out a big mortgage on the future. Who would want to be responsible?

The deal offered was “No questions asked, just give us the money and we’ll take care of everything and you’re not allowed to sue us or hold us responsible for anything!” We didn’t do exactly that, but we were pretty much forced to do something not too far away from it.
And this was only the first shoe to fall, and we were living underneath a boot-wearing octopus. One after another, the dominoes toppled – bankers voted themselves huge bonuses, credit became unavailable, unemployment insurance had to be extended, the housing market went into a coma . . . the great Colossus became a moribund nation in a moribund planet needing injections of stimulus capital.

Where the Buck Stops
Yes, it was a crisis, one of the biggest battles we’ve ever faced. There was a lot that needed to be done – and it needed to be done quickly. We needed a leader who could act decisively – there was no time for the nation to come to a consensus – or at least that’s what we were led to believe.

Into the breach stepped a new president, Barack Obama, who bravely threw himself into the fray, stemming the loss of jobs and shoring up the financial system. What a fine figure he cut, this young black man, riding in on celestial clouds of hope and change – the nation’s Great White Hope.

Private Ryan could not have more bravely and resolutely thrown himself on the grenade, protecting us from its blast, while blowing his re-election chances to smithereens.
Then, what’s that I hear? I hear a bugle blowing and lo, here comes a battalion of white faces riding in beneath “mad as hell” banners, ready to take credit for our continued existence. Meanwhile, the fellow whose courage may be the most important factor in our continued existence and the stabilized global economy is vilified as a Nazi Socialist Muslim – and who some actually believe to be the anti-Christ!

Why do I have the feeling I’ve seen this movie before?

They say there are just two kinds of people in the world, those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.

As a case in point, the world can be divided into two groups of people: those who see the world as divided neatly into Us vs. Them (Either/Or) – and those who do not.

Those in the camp who do not see the world as Us vs. Them instead see a whole spectrum of information, wisdom, knowledge, and power that comes from the perspective of Both/And.

More specifically, international crises caused by Greece, the banking industry, and BP Oil (to name just a few) have shown us two elemental forces are at work, each represented by its own camp of “true believers.”

Each of these two camps is fueled by a deeper guide/pilot. In Our Culture On the Couch: Seven Steps to Global Healing , I have referred to the side that sees only differentiation, opposites, fragmentation, prejudice, conflict and dis-integration as Violence (with a capital V), and the other side, the one that sees and favors unification, similarities, wholeness, tolerance, cooperation and integration as Love (with a capital L).

The epic struggle between these two elemental forces can be seen everywhere, from the Monsanto brouhaha and the oil spill tragedy in the Gulf ( see the spill superimposed on your city , to that between Israel and the Arab world, to that between the Far Left and the Far Right in our country.

The Far Right tells us this is a world of great danger, that we need to be stern, and to use deadly force and extreme rendition in order to get what we, the “In Crowd,” want, no matter how extravagant, how wasteful, how unfair and unequal. The Far Left often threatens to be foolishly naïve, economically irrespsonsible, tolerant of civil chaos, and would politically empower people in the underclasses, minorities, and welfare queens.

Each has its power base and wages war on the other. The confrontations are often violent, even at the highest levels of government, religion, business and media. (here RFK Jr. speaks to the death of democracy at the hands of media)

This Struggle Is Within Each of Us As Well

We can easily see these forces at war on the global stage, but if we look within, we discover the same conflict within each of us.

This then, is a philosophical struggle, a war of basic beliefs as to the nature of the world. Most of us fail to see the struggle within ourselves, because we have been hypnotized by the media to think that someone else is to blame – that the problem is out there. We have been trained to believe we are helpless as individuals. We have been so brainwashed that we do not even see that we have the ability to change the belief that we are helpless.

Our beliefs are behaviors, just like our thoughts and our emotions. And the truth is if we want to, we can change our beliefs. We don’t have to continue to believe and act according to some outside authority that is telling us to believe and do things that go against the common good. We don’t have to believe that it is OK to be a racist, sexist, and/or a religious bigot. We don’t have to suppress, torture, or even kill those who  have been labeled “Other.”

We can – if we want to – approach others with respect, acknowledgement and willingness to look for mutual values. Moreover, we can work together toward common goals and visions.

In one side of our hearts, we find a distinct set of emotions that are arousing, negative and intense in valence – anxiety, fear, greed, anger – in short, Violence. In this worldview, we see the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual violence that fills our news reports from locally and around the world. This serves to reinforce the Either/Or core belief.

On the other side of our hearts, if we look within, we see the world through the Both/And perspective that always seeks to open the door to the possibility of tolerance, acceptance and respect. This door leads to the ability to create peace, balance, a profound sense of oneness, and even Love.

The only kind of peace present in the Either/Or paradigm is the temporary calm between wars, arguments and conflicts.  True peace is only achievable when we embrace the Both/And paradigm (which, somewhat paradoxically includes Either/Or). Peace will only happen when we, in my nomenclature, embrace Love (as I have defined it in my book).


Interestingly, those individuals who model this attitude and perspective of Love are those individuals who have devoted some part of their time to meditation, contemplation and more enlightened thought.

They include current-day teachers and masters as well as those we know through the sacred teachings of the major religions – Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna and others. (Of course, I am careful to point out the dramatic difference between their lifestyles and their words – and reject the distortions promulgated by so many of the religious cults that have disgraced and betrayed their prophets).

It’s the System, Stupid

Unfortunately, it appears that most of the world is choosing to ignore or misinterpret these teachings. Everywhere we see lies and polarization, abuse and Violence. We keep looking for that person or group to blame, but we always fail. This is because the illness we want to cure is systemic – the bad guy is not a person, but the System as a whole – the Matrix.

The shenanigans that took place when we tried to find the cause of the BP oil spill provided a demonstration that would have been laughable, if it were not being played out in terms of the human and environmental suffering the spill is creating in towns along the Gulf Coast. First we are told that 5,000 gallons per day are leaking out. Then a week later that it is actually 10, 000 gallons, then 20,000, and now 60,000 per day!

And who is at fault? BP said it was not their fault, because they had hired the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and crew, and it was they who screwed up. Deepwater in turn said it was Halliburton that was last working on sealing the well when it blew.

The Republicans say it was Obama’s fault for not being “on the job.” The Democrats say it was the result of Bush Cheney & Co. and their cozy relationship with the oil companies. And defying all logic, Rush Limbaugh blames the environmentalists . Meanwhile, the environmentalists blame us all for the expensive, energy intensive lifestyle we are living.

While finger-pointing and blaming are the staple of the Either/Or Us. vs. Them faction, the reality is that we are all to blame because we are all part of the System.

Partisan Wrangling

Do people really think they are helping anyone but themselves and their special interest group by perpetuating partisan wrangling?

We see the truth. All that saber rattling and foot dragging is just the floor show designed to keep us hypnotized and distracted while the treasury is looted and the middle class is liquidated to the profit of the few and the misery of the many.

Do they think we are blind to the Violence induced by the behaviors of our supposed leaders? How much clearer an example do we need?

One of the clearest examples is the series of events that have culminated in death threats and bricks being thrown through the windows of Congressional Representatives and Senators. Politicians, talk show hosts and insurance company executives may not personally chuck the bricks and make the threatening phone calls, but they are a vital part of the system that is responsible. Yet we seem incapable of seeing this or doing anything about this systemic problem.

History provides an excellent teaching moment. In 1170, Thomas Beckett, archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by four of King Henry’s knights. Beckett had been in ideological conflict with Henry II, whose frustration reached a climax when he yelled out in fury, “Who will free me from this turbulent priest?”

The knights answered him by their action. Clearly, Henry II never struck a blow or thrust a knife, yet it is clear that he was directly responsible.

How then can we conceptualize, and assign blame, when the bricks and death threats follow closely on the heels of a major politician publishing a map on her website with the hometowns of these members of Congress branded with rifle crosshairs, accompanied by a speech exhorting, “Don’t retreat, reload”? Immediately following her implicit call to Violence, there appeared another webpage urging people to toss bricks through their living room windows. ( click here to learn more )

This is a classic example of the systemic problem that arises strictly from the Us vs. Them paradigm we are using – it is systemic, and it seems no one is willing to take responsibility for it. The politician did not throw bricks. The fellow who put up the Facebook page never, himself, threw any bricks. Those individuals who threw the bricks are unknown. A perfect storm. Terrorism without a perpetrator.

These false prophets and false leaders can remain in power only as long as we are willing to let them. We need to find – and become – leaders who can see and seek wholeness and healing. And we must always be wary of those whose primary agenda is based on making us afraid and polarized. We are all in this boat together – and poking holes in our adversaries’ end of the boat will sink us too.

Change Begins Within

As usual, the changes start within. How well are you doing with avoiding unnecessary judgment, criticism, blame and anger – both toward yourself and toward others?

How can you express more Love in how you treat yourself, your environment, and those in your family, community and workplace? What candidates will you support or vote for? Which corporations will you buy products from?

What you learn from your own personal shift to Love will enable you to better recognize those candidates for leadership who are able to step back from the fray and see the system as a whole.

Only when we elect and become those leaders can we bring forth the creativity – and courage – we need to truly solve our national and global problems. We must not only do this for ourselves, but for the generations to follow.

We have been misled, and now it is time to look within, as presented in Awakening the Leader Within . Helpful in this process is the CD program, Abolish Anxiety Now! , because it is through anxiety and the temporary solutions we are offered that we are controlled by the System. we need to let go the anxiety so we can find the courage to face our problems, not deny them. The skills offered on The Serenity Prayer are useful in learning the balance we need to choose well.

Juan Enriquez: Beyond the crisis…

Juan Enriquez: Beyond the crisis, mindboggling science and the arrival of Homo evolutis

About this Talk: Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to
come. But don’t look for it on your ballot — or in the stock exchange.
It’ll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds.
Our kids are going to be … different.

About Juan Enriques : Juan Enriquez thinks and writes
about the profound changes that genomics and other life sciences will
cause in business, technology, politics and society.

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