We are often told that we get the leaders we deserve. If one understands the concept of “mentation,” the world as an out-picturing of our own consciousness (and unconsciousness), how could it be otherwise?
And as Bernie Sanders said throughout his presidential campaign, change starts from the bottom up, not the top down. I think that applies to a change in consciousness as well. And, indeed, the consciousness of Western civilization, if we can speak of such a thing, has been on the ascent for millenia.
Part of that ascent has been the idea of self-government. What used to be taken for granted, the rule of kings and queens who ruled by divine right, is no longer acceptable. Democracy or at least a republican democracy has become the order of the day for most of Western civilization.
But democracy requires citizen involvement. And who has the time these days for citizen involvement? We don’t live, for example, in some New England village where decisions can be made in the local town hall by people who you know and who know you.
In Thom Hartmann’s wonderful and comprehensive book, What Would Jefferson Do?, he says: “Up until a century ago, more than half the humans in the world lived in societies that were essentially democratic, and from the dawn of humanity until a thousand years ago, as many as 90 percent of all humans lived in various types of democracies. We just didn’t (and don’t) call them that. We call them tribes.”
Some of those tribes rule by consensus. “Following a tribal tradition that is so ancient its origin is lost in the mists of antiquity, they make decisions by talking around a circular meeting area and if any single member casts a veto, the issue is turned down,” Hartmann says. “In every case, though, this leadership position was considered a burden and an obligation of service, not an opportunity for self-enrichment or lording it over others.”
Hartmann goes on to report that even amongst animals, democracy prevails. When a heard of deer need to decide whether to continue grazing or go to on to another site, they make that decision as a group and when critical mass is achieved (51%), the herd moves on (or stays).
So why have an “alpha” male at all? Hartmann suggests it may be a form of sexual hierarchy, but that when it comes to making decisions outside of sex, he (or she) is just another member of the tribe.
Self-government begins at home. Self-government begins with governing oneself. Making the unconscious conscious. But this cannot be done in a vacuum. It must be done at the same time as one goes about one’s daily life: going to work, being part of a family, being part of a community, being part of a nation and a world in crisis.
“To make spiritual truth an effective force for ordered freedom and common good,” the motto of The Prosperos, must at some point become political, that is, part of the polis or city.
So what about the “alpha” male named Donald Trump? What does his presidential campaign mean as a mentation? Can he ignore the critical mass which has already decided that black lives do matter, that women are equal in law and in fact to men, that gay relationships have as much legitimacy as non-gay relationships, that climate change is a real problem caused by human activity, that the world has become smaller and more democratic through the international use of social media and the internet, and that spirituality comes in many forms none of which includes megalomania or fundamentalism.
I think the herd has decided to move on and, even if elected, “alpha” male Trump will be just another voice in the herd. We are the critical mass we have been waiting for.