Most cultures have trickster figures who appear when everyone is confused, when life is in chaos, and everyone is in trouble. The West African trickster God Eshu is famous for the tricks he loves to play on people and the chaos he likes to cause.
There is an old saying I find myself repeating often now, that “it is the same to live in a tragic time as to be in a tragic place." I thought of it again when I heard the news of the tragic shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Although the most common connotation of the word friend might now be “a contact made through social networking,” the older and deeper sense of friend referred to someone who knows your inner-most self and truly cares for your soul.
Practices of golden repair can begin wherever old wounds divide people, wherever the tragedies of violence and suicide leave people broken in spirit and at odds with the underlying beauty of life.
The inner conflicts of Donald Trump, his family and administration keep taking center stage and adding uncertainty and instability, not just to the country, but to the world as well.
It is an old axiom that “the truth can set you free.” And even a Russian proverb argues that it is “better to be slapped with the truth than to be kissed with a lie.”
There are times when the basic human struggle for meaning takes center stage and demands that people see the value of life more clearly.
Folk tales and fables used to be understood as containers for the psychological truths and deeper ideas needed to understand the recurring troubles of this world.
There are stories from many cultures pointing to the dangers of elevating to power those who have a need to appear omnipotent and who exhibit a grandiose sense of self-importance.
Originally, the word inauguration meant: “to install and consecrate under good omens.” The time for an investiture would only be set after an augury or reading of the flight of birds revealed good omens for the occasion.
Since the recent election I have encountered many people, young and old, who feel deeply disheartened by all the resentment, hatred and division that have been stirred up. Many also feel discouraged by all the false promises, “fake news” and betrayals of the public trust.
We now live in a gap of culture with opposing sides that appear to be entrenching ever more deeply. More and more people live in fear of being marginalized, whether on the basis of race or gender, economics or religious belief.
A frequent explanation for the unexpected election result is that this was a “change election” in which a majority of voters wanted some kind of sweeping change at the national level. Disruption is another word being used to explain both the method and the aim of the Trump campaign.
An old idea suggests there are but three kinds of people in this world. The first kind of person tends to be preoccupied with self-interest as everything refers back to “I, me and mine.
Solstice means “sun stands still,” as if the warmth and radiance of life itself hangs in the balance at critical points in the course of planetary existence.
The old Greek word tyrant could be applied to despotic kings, but was also used to describe popular usurpers who arrogate to themselves authority they have no right to use. In modern usage, a tyrant can be any imperious or domineering person who insists on complete obedience from others
The conventions of both major political parties have taken place, not only amidst overheated political rhetoric; but also in the midst of what promises to be the hottest summer in recorded history.
Amidst the speed of changes occurring in both nature and culture it takes very little to tear the skin of civilization and reveal massive and festering emotional wounds full of fear, rage, resentment and vengeance. We are not just in the midst of an unusual election or a surprising political period.
In the modern world the common connotation of the word friend might be “a contact associated with through social media.” Yet, online connections and the use of contemporary verbs friending and liking may have nothing to do with actual friendship.