Since Trump’s election, the majority of my clients feel agitated, hopeless or haunted by a fuzzy, low-grade anxiety. To say that’s understandable is a whopping understatement.
My initial response: “Turn off, tune out and drop in.” This is a distorted variation of Timothy Leary‘s defining counterculture-era phrase from the 60s: “Turn on, tune in, drop out”
And here’s what I mean:
I no longer hound dog the news, not because I’m in denial, but the ongoing clusterfuck is too incestuous, too convoluted to unravel amidst the coming-at-you-every-five-minutes barrage of infoglut. It would take every iota of my psychic force to gain a sliver of objective truth — and I’ve other shit I want to do.
But this obsessive entanglement is what ensnares most folks: Once online their nervous system is tweaked, twanged and poked — like a cyber-driven form of Chinese water torture. And there’s a method to the madness.
Big media is complicit with Trump in myriad tacit ways. Trump is the grift that keeps on giving. As some internet advertising maven said once: “Anger makes people click.” Within our carnival culture, clicking means money.
Trump is one of the angriest human beings on earth (natal Mars in Leo is conjunct a Leo ascendant — translated: righteous anger stoked by entitlement and a hybrid form of narcissism that has yet to be properly diagnosed).
And Americans are some of the angriest people on the planet. They are also — in the era of the homogenous online ‘hive mind’ — desperate for acknowledgment, for some sense of being a unique individual — so it’s a great match. People get the president they deserve or at the very least the president that mirrors their shadow.
My favorite form of self-torture is to trawl the comments section of any article I come across online. This is akin to flipping the lid up on the American Id.
Should the comments sections be uncensored, like, on Youtube, then — OMG — turn back! Or brace to be soaked in our culture’s kookoo watering hole. The Internet has unleashed a Pandora’s pox of rage and spread it virally into everyone’s home (and head). Historically this is unprecedented. But take heart. Amidst the horrors there are opportunities. Attached to ‘full exposure’ is the potential for full illumination.
I do occasionally check in with three websites. Democracy Now, The Intercept (though I wish Glenn Greenwald had a mean editor) and a new site I’m loving, The Outline (kind of like a non-puerile Gawker with political undertones and smart sardonic reporting). Those three sites give me enough info to have a cursory idea of the State of the Nation.
And then I get on with living.
The Shadow Knows
The mechanism of psychological projection works like this: The unconscious conjures an image related to some unsavory quality within the self and projects that image onto someone (or some condition, political party or ethnic group.) An adversarial relationship is established. The only way free from this position is through recollection. Reabsorption of the projection.
Projections are weird because usually — intermixed with the projection — is a lot of energy, passion and force. So when that’s blasted out and lands on someone or something outside, a huge chunk of one’s vitality is lost too.
Self-inquiry facilitates dissolving — the realization that the projection is coming from inside one’s own home.
After that insight, you can go to work on recollecting. Owning the projection to regain access to the psychic force that went missing. This is what maturation is all about. But with a Trickster like Trump at the helm, it’s doubly difficult to pause, evaluate and reclaim. But this is a necessary discipline should you wish to drop in on what you’re interested in creating in life.
Which is really the point of this post. If you feel you want to do something more than react, rant and re-post articles from the New York Times about Trump’s latest outrage, well, start recollecting. That method allows you to turn off and tune out. You’ve made a clean break. Now you can DROP IN.
When a projection is owned, the rearrangement within the psyche creates a blank spot or hole within the fabric of one’s familiar sense of self. This hole can act as a sort of portal into whatever you’re wishing to align with or do or create in your life.
The quirky thing about projections: Not only does the projection rob you of vital force it acts as a distraction — a way to avoid engaging with life because, well, “I’ve got so many fucking things I want to complain about!”
When the complaining stops what do you do?
Drop into the hole and see where the portal leads you. If you need assistance book a session with me and we’ll work it through.
You don’t need to have all the specifics about what it is you’ll be involved with (or maybe you do — maybe you want to take to the streets and protest, run for political office or just clean out your garage — it doesn’t matter.) What matters is that you’ve regained the drive for doing whatever. You’ve dropped into your life and out of the swirling, distracting miasma of Trumplandia.
Yesterday public television in SeattleÂ celebrated their decade-long relationship with the just-deceased self-help writer Wayne Dyer, and to honor the author the station was replaying one of his final talks.
The theme of his presentation alludes me; it was something about Five Steps to Something or Other, the secrets of which were contained in his new book, which was touted tastefully throughout his talk.
I decided to give the show a try, despite the fact that I’ve a strong aversion to listening to other people talk or write about â€˜howâ€™ life should be lived or experienced.
Prior to the advent of the Internet, this phenomenon of people giving advice about living was always buzzing in the background of life, but not in the omnipresent way it does now.
The Net has mutated what used to be a semi-contained industry (the self-help, how-to world) into a bacchanalia of yapping gurus andÂ guides — billions of bromides pinging back and forth across blogs, YouTube and social media every hour.
The world, as the Net depicts it, is divided into distinct camps: Those with electronic devices doing nothing. And those doing nothing but writing or talking about doing stuff and then selling that information on an electronic device to people that aren’t doing anything.
Read this entire post here.
When you’re a writer Facebook becomes a peculiar problem.
Famous writer Zadie Smith, in her list of 10 rules for writers, says that working on a computer without wi-fi is essential. I guess she was tempted, while writing, to make too many visits to The New York Review of Books and start grazing.
In this post, I’m using the word peculiar to evoke its deeper etymology. Peculiar’s Late Middle English usage was to indicate: “Belonging to one person.” But even more peculiar (and further back in time) is the word’s Latin origin and usage, which is related to cattle and how those cattle belonged to you, were your property.
The Latin etymological tree goes like this:
pecu (cattle) > peculium (property) > peculiaris (of private property) > peculiar (particular, special).
So this is good to note, because you need to guard your stock when you’re working on your own creative stuff; to keep your words in your own writing stockade — rather than let them roam too much within the Facebook dream field. Grazing.
Secrets, Tips and Suggestions
Over the years, as a writer and incessant Facebooker, I’ve found that I can use Facebook to my own advantage, and so can you:
â€¢ The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
â€¢ Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara
â€¢ How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
â€¢ The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscopeâ€™s 12th House
â€¢ Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
â€¢ How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
â€¢ Depression and the Solar Consciousness
â€¢ Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
â€¢ Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
â€¢ Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
â€¢ Death is the New Black
â€¢ How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
â€¢ Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
â€¢ Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square
“What people today do of fear of irrational elements in themselves and in other people is to put tools and mechanisms between themselves and the unconscious world.
This protects them from being grasped by the the frightening and threatening aspects of irrational experience.
I am saying nothing whatever, I am sure it will be understood, against technology or mechanics in themselves.
What I am saying is that danger always exists that our technology will serve as a buffer between us and nature, a block between us and the deeper dimensions of our experience.
Tools and techniques ought to be an extension of consciousness, but they can just as easily be a protection against consciousness. This means that technology can be clung to, believed in, and depended on far beyond its legitimate sphere, since it also serves as a defense against our fears of irrational phenomena.
Thus the very success of technological creativity … is a threat to its own existence.”
â€œLife itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back.â€ –Colin Wilson
A fellow Cancerian, Colin Wilson‘s seminal book The Outsider aggravated a place in my soul that eventually became my salvo against the confines of consensus reality.
Meaning, his close examination of individuals who lived as poets or artists or occultists or just peculiar mutations within our species — the unclassifiables — got under my skin when I was a teenager and helped forge my path forward as an adult — with courage and enthusiasm — to explore astrology, art, poetry, metaphysics and the teachings of Gurdjieff.
Years later he recounted: â€œAs a young man I was scornful about the supernatural but as I have got older, the sharp line that divided the credible from the incredible has tended to blur; I am aware that the whole world is slightly incredible.â€
His claim that the “mark of greatness is always intuition, not logic” supported my own instincts and goaded, in a way, my disinterest in hard science, with its over-emphasis on materialism and chilly all-or-nothing proclamations about reality. Which, if you study enough science, you soon discover are made defunct decades later by a new brood of giant-headed blowhards declaring the latest explanations for everything.
Wilson always wrote from a wild mixture of wonder, awe, strict discipline (his output was beyond prolific) and the impulse to explore every possible facet of any given subject, especially if it involved the otherworldly. The weirder, the better. Even lurid subjects like crime, murder and perversion benefited from his unflinching eye and inquiry, driving my Moon and Saturn in Scorpio into rapt attention that bordered on obsession.
There will be lots of homages to read online today, better and more comprehensively written than mine. Find them and then begin your own journey into Wilson’s wondrous worlds. Start with The Outsider. A rite of passage for every human being.
But I wanted to post my shock and sadness and sense of loss upon hearing the news this morning that Colin had died. I don’t like the feeling of being on the planet without him around — as corny as that sounds; but it’s a testament to how thoroughly his essence intertwined with and impacted my path.
It’s like I’ve lost a soul brother.