The Myth We're In
Looking at the current political situation from a mythic point of view
December 17, 2017
It's the middle of December 2017. We've had almost a year of this administration, and many of us feel that the imperfect, yearning fabric of our culture and the very earth we stand upon are under assault. We're facing a generational challenge to preserve what we hold dear about how we treat each other, and to steady a world that sometimes seems to be shaking itself apart. Our traditions ask us how we'll respond to such a time, and our traumatized hearts ask how we'll cope.
March 1, 2018
In Part One of this essay, I suggested that our current president brings to mind a buddhist asura, a relentlessly angry anti-god. Asuras cast a powerful spell of paralysis and division, but we can break the spell and become what the asura president refuses to be : protectors. Once we've found a myth that's helpful in describing a disastrous situation and suggesting a response, we can, blessedly, redirect our attention towards the longer-form work of asking how we got here, and how we might heal.
August 29, 2018
In this second year of the reign of the asuras, I notice the stirrings of a shift of attention, as though we’re shaking off some of the shock and feeling a weariness we’ve come by honestly. Enough already, no? But many people can’t turn away, because of the stakes for our own lives and the lives of those we care about, human and otherwise. And many people are just not willing to yield the field to the fire-setters and the shoulder-shruggers. It’s our field, too, after all. If we’re going to stay in, we’ll be staying in not only on the levels of politics and culture : For many of us, this time puts us right up against some of the most ancient and intimate struggles about what it means to have a human life.