A Response to the US Election

comments 36
Course Ideas

I’ll keep the post here short since I’m providing a link to a short article I wrote in response to the election for a newsletter named “The Embrace,” which is circulated by the publisher of A Course of Love. I do think it is hard to understand the overall implications of what is happening in this election, and the world at large, and my sense is there is a great deal here that is not exactly as it seems.

The Election: Moving from Shock to Love

“Voting this year felt like trying to distill years of carefully-gathered hope and passion into a single, oval-shaped grunt. It was like trying to create a landscape painting with a single prick of ink. It’s not all that satisfying, really, to speak in grunts, but that’s how the final accounting is made. You have to hope the universe is listening. You have to hope it understands…” [Cont’d here]

36 Comments

  1. beautiful essay, Michael!
    for me helps cut through
    the illusions of where we
    thought we are
    and lovingly prods us
    into overcoming hatred, fear & despair,
    that we fulfill a noble destiny,
    overcoming a most classic
    cabinet of angry looking men 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, David. It can be a great challenge to fulfill a noble destiny, but also it is inevitable, so that is good. Ha! I like what you said about the illusion of where we thought we are, as it is true, we often grab hold of a particular phenomena in the present and claim it as evidence of what we desire. It has a strange way of both bringing that desire closer, even as it makes it fragile. The miracle I think we all seek is one in which what we see aligns with what is in our hearts, and we’ll have to move into our hearts fully to realize this possibility I think.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for a very unique and refreshing view of our current situation with the elections and all the energies it has stirred up. I really like the teachings from the Course of Love that you’ve shared. What do you suggest as the best way to explore the teachings? Book, website, FB, blog?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Brad,

      If you’re drawn to it I would probably buy the book. I don’t think anything replaces the process of moving through the material from start-to-finish. The good news is it is written for the heart, and it reads very easily. If you don’t wish to buy the book, I would recommend reading some of the individual chapters that are offered on the Course of Love website.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. footloosedon says

    In reading your thoughtful commentary on the way things appear to be right now following the U.S. election, I was reminded of something Alison has been telling me for the past couple of weeks: ‘Things are not getting worse. They are getting uncovered.’ Looking outward for answers will only result in more outward “solutions” to our apparent problems, that are based upon old mind sets. Thank you for your clear exposition. To paraphrase the old proverb “May we live in exciting times!”

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi Don,

      I think Alison is spot on. It’s very hard for some to step back and to look at the moment “abstractly” enough to see that things aren’t getting worse, but only revealing more accurately what they’ve been, but I think this is so. I almost liken the moment to the ideas of evolution, where crisis is the catalyst to novelty. It’s not perhaps as linear as that right now, but I do feel in the movement of things the activity of a deep-lying natural order or process…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. i think you article expresses a right, sober attitude toward the election. On the one hand, it expresses shock and on the other, provides encouragement and hope for the future. Yes, we will be okay!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, DP! Much appreciated and I agree. All our feelings are valid right now, in a sense. They are passing through like a storm almost and allowing us to realize as well where the center is… We not only will be okay; we are okay.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wonderful article Michael, thank you so much for sharing. I agree with the comment above – ‘Things are not getting worse. They are getting uncovered.’ This is the turning point and I believe humans will choose love. ❤ Aleya

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me, too, Aleya. I thought that was a beautifully succinct way of stating it. I enjoyed your article as well. These are indeed exciting times!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Michael for this thoughtful post.
    The universe is always listening. It is the source of it all.
    As attuned humans, we must let go of attachment, judgments and aversions to what we perceive … and trust that there is something much more that is finding its way into alignment. This past week has shown how attached I had been to a specific outcome. Yet it isn’t to be.
    Things are getting uncovered. We must be alert and aware for what comes next. xo

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, Val, I agree. When I said the universe isn’t listening it was mostly to express the feeling of being attached and seeing the object of our attachment blow away. There is an emotional response to it many have had and are still having. All of which is to say I agree completely with what you’ve said here. We have to let go of attachment to thinking we know what is “right,” and be alert, and recognize “there is something much more that is finding its way into alignment.” Beautifully said…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Nicely written, Michael. “A tickle of exhilaration”, I agree, it is perhaps what we feel when we fully accept challenges as what simply is. I really like the quotes you had chosen, I will reread them often.

    As someone who had witnessed one system crumble back in 1989, with that tickle of exhilaration, and saw the new one being built from the ashes, virtually to replicate what was, same illusion there, same illusion here, I agree, that the loop, the pattern cannot be broken unless we look for the truth within, beyond illusions.

    I was very fortunate to listen to a great online Education conference while the election was culminating all around us. In this conference, about 25 leaders of education (not in traditional sense) and discussed some new generation, grassroots ideas. It reminded me, that the power comes from within, from us, working moment to moment within the only framework that virtually never fails – Love.

    This quote from a gentleman in Indiana, Chris Smith, written long before this election unfolded, is a good reminder, that by attaching ourselves to any leader, any outcome, any team – we greatly disempower ourselves:

    “Modern approaches to reimagining or transforming the world tend to be ‘trickle-down’ strategies. These methods work from the conviction that if we can develop a perfect socioeconomic philosophy that is relevant to the most powerful parts of the world–if not the entire world–everything else will fall into place within the system. This tendency is perhaps best illustrated most vividly in a presidential election year, when the public conversation is dominated by the quest for the Oval Office. Our obsession with presidential politics unmasks our conviction that many of our problems will be solved if only we could get the right person into office. Unfortunately, such approaches consistently fail because–given the finitude of human reasoning–they inevitably oversimplify the world. No perfect candidates exist, and we cannot develop a perfect political or economic system. We will inevitably misrepresent the world. Our theories cannot adequately represent all people and places within it. Instead we should try to grapple with and reimagine the world from the grassroots up–expanding outward from the particular places and communities in which we live and work.”

    Expanding right from ourselves outward, I would add.

    May us all walk and work towards the Light, as you do, Michael, and so many others, as Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says in her essay: http://www.grahameb.com/pinkola_estes.htm

    “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.”

    Peace and Love
    Kristina

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kristina, for such a thoughtful reply! I think the quote from Chris Smith is great because he does summarize a misconception we carry without even realizing it. I would argue the same misconception holds in other areas, such as medicine and healing, economics, science in general, etc. There is this idea that if get the right theory, we’ll be able to “fix it.” Whatever “it” is…

      I think the passage from A Course of Love resonates strongly with this quote, and together they really make this idea clear. Our whole concept of what is happening, and what it means to fix or correct it, is untenable… It’s scary, a little, because what lies beyond our admission that we don’t understand what is happening? At least not in a way that will lead to “control” over it?

      I also loved the essay from Dr. Estes, and the closing lines of her essay I thought were awesome. She said, “When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.” I think that tickle of exhilaration I felt was the feeling of setting sail…

      And thank you also for sharing your experience of seeing an entire form of social and political organization disintegrate, be built anew, and still fail to deliver on its promises… I think this is powerful medicine for us to understand. Here is a short passage from Edwin Markham, an American poet from the early 20th century:

      “We all are blind until we see
      That in the human plan
      Nothing is worth the making if
      It does not make the man.
      Why build these cities glorious
      If man unbuilded goes?
      In vain we build the world, unless
      The builder also grows.”

      Our systems are meaningless if the people within them are not growing and transforming their values into those that support mutual respect, freedom, non-judgment, etc.

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you for this piece, Michael. It made sense to me and gave me comfort. Have to reach hearts in order to plant seeds of unity and start that healing process whether related to the election or something else, I think, and your thoughts did just that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kelly,

      I’m glad. We do have to reach hearts to plant those seeds, beginning with our own I think. I am grateful to have made this connection.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. more words of wisdom from you my friend, I even made it through the whole thing and understood so much of what you said. I thought I’d feel fear when I heard the news, after the mouth dropping “what?” shock wore off, I remained calm. I am not fearful as I know this world is moving forward with love and hope still, a lot don’t realize it yet because they have things so compartmentalized in boxes with labels….I believe in constant change and reaching for what is necessary, love and light and I think we will get there. We just need to be the change, each of us to carry a momentum forward of all things good 🙂 it is always preferably to hate and anger ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Kim,

      Being aware that change is constant certainly helps. Also realizing how little we’ve understood about things that are occurring on scales, of both time and space, that are difficult for our minds to accurately grasp. I’m not sure any of us actually knows the whole thing. But the whole thing still exists…

      Yes! to being the change. Within.
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Michael! I can remember thinking before the election that no matter what happened, just as in life, we would have the fortitude to walk through it and know that everything happened exactly as it was supposed to happen for us to learn and to grow. And I still believe that…deep down…I really do. But sometimes knowing is one thing and being faced with very clear realities of so many things that are diametrically opposed to what you feel in your soul can be so hard to deal with! I know you read my first post in my series today and as the posts will reveal I am coming to a sense of healing. But I can’t lie, Michael…this is a time that is proving so very hard for me as it seems inconceivable that so many people voted the way they did.
    But don’t worry, my friend. I know that everything your article led us to is truth and while I may need a little prodding from time to time, I am with you as the words you speak and the words the Course speak come from LOVE!!
    Blessitude ♡

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Lorrie,

      Thanks for sharing this full picture of your thoughts and feelings on this one. I can completely relate. I think it’s perfectly okay to feel how we feel, and still to move towards wholehearted expression in our lives. In A Course of Love Jesus tells us we have so little understanding of our feelings, and that they ALL begin in love. The question, he says, is how do we respond? It is okay to feel angry, confused, disheartened, worried, excited, relieved–any of it– about the election. It is of course just one moment in time. But to the deeper point, it is how we work with our feelings and thoughts, and respond to what is given, that we discover who we are in a deeper way I think.

      I wonder sometimes, though, about the idea that everything is happening like it is supposed to, because I think Creation is very much open-ended. There is that really cool dichotomy isn’t there!? There’s the feeling in our heart of perfection–everything is known, observed, witnessed, held, “as it should be”– and the feeling of excitement at entering the unknown too. So which is it? I think it’s both… And when we realize the changeless, always “known” part is the content of our being, and that it is the forms and expressions that continuously change and evolve, I think it helps put things in perspective…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Things are not getting worse. They are getting unveiled. I share your excitement. This will lead to change. The old ways are crumbling. Trump is just one of the lead players in a divine drama.
    Alison xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alison! I love that perspective, and agree with it. It feels like a great unearthing. Trump is like a pivot point for such a panorama of forces–that divine drama as you said. May we recognize the opportunity to heal that such times afford us…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Yes…you and the comments have confirmed my own process of not only accepting reality, but becoming excited about responding to new challenges and shaking off the apathy that some of the new obstacles of aging have caused me lately. Thank you. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that, Eileen! That is such a beautiful development, and shows the power of heart-sharing, even in this virtual form. I think the little community that participates here has so much goodness and healing capability to offer. You, too!

      Blessings to you as well,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article. Much wisdom in it.
    I do see that things are being unveiled. I still feel the punch in the gut. All kinds of feelings coming up inside me, as well as those around me. I feel deeply that more than ever we are called to come from a place of heart, a place of Love and of Namaste. I don’t feel the excitement that you feel. I am happy that you do. So many values that I have held dear, and worked for my whole life have been stomped on, torn apart, ridiculed. What little protection we had in place for the Earth, has been thrown aside as unimportant. I know she can fend for Herself, but I feel ashamed to be human right now, appalled at what we have done, and clearly wish to continue. I know we are all creating all of this together. I know I will rise to the occasion, but for now, I am being authentic with my feelings, and trying not to white wash anything, so that whatever healing needs to take place will be unveiled.
    I love all the comments here, and love seeing all of us deepen and come together.
    Peace
    Mary

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Mary,

      These are hard times. So much that we do not desire seems as though it is suddenly out of the box. I wouldn’t have you change your feelings for anything. I don’t feel the equations we are living through are something any one of us can solve on our own, and there isn’t any pixie dust wisdom to just sprinkle on our hearts and make them okay. I think we’re all part of the solution–feeling what we feel and responding to it in ways that are appropriate to each. The beauty of this moment for me is that we’re all processing our piece of it, and all of our individual processing of it matters. We need all the ways, all the feelings, all the wisdom we can gather.

      When I think we are living in times of great change, times when it is truly possible for us to shift collectively onto a path of peace, I think of how we are potentially healing eons of suffering and difficulty. I don’t think any of us can fathom what must be brought to light in order for such a shift to occur, or that any of us can know the impact of feeling broken, crushed, or ignored–and coming to terms with that experience in our own hearts.

      It isn’t like choosing which meal to order at the drive-thru. It isn’t nearly so easy as calling a number. But I think we shouldn’t forget the place this healing occurs is in individual hearts, and it rests differently in each. This isn’t a time for saying how to carry it, for offering should’s or instructions or platitudes, and that isn’t really my intention at all. But I am willing to conceive of it as a time in which hope lives, and even though I know evidence seems aligned to the contrary, I find there is no peace to be had outside of trusting in what emerges from every feeling out there, from knowing they’re all important somehow, and knowing that in the chaos of countless hurting hearts, Love is what seeps through the cracks.

      I am grateful to share these times with friends like yourself.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

        Thank you, Michael. I didn’t feel at all like you were offering should’s, instructions or platitudes. I loved what you said. Every word, as I love every word of your comment. This sentence is so good -“there is no peace to be had outside of trusting in what emerges from every feeling out there, from knowing they’re all important somehow, and knowing that in the chaos of countless hurting hearts, Love is what seeps through the cracks.” As usual, your words go straight to my heart.
        Much love,
        Mary

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Michael,

    Your response to the election gives me a lot of food for thought. “For there can be no loss, only gain.” I want to believe this, and ultimately, overtime, I believe this will pan out, and there will be gain again. The short term might be a bit uncomfortable. The only hope here is that maybe it won’t be *as uncomfortable* as we *believe* it might be, and for less time than what it feels like. As always, I appreciate reading your thoughts and heart expressions. Thank you for linking to the newsletter. ACIM and A Course in Love is directional, guidance for the times we live.

    Wishing for the best,
    Ka

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ka. Just getting back on-line here after Thanksgiving week, in which I largely hibernated. 🙂

      I did think a lot about the idea of no loss, only gain, however, including a perusal of a video from your friend Matthew Kahn. He talked about trusting that everything happening is the most expedient means possible of helping us move from judgment to gratitude (or from loss to abundance). And in that perspective it makes sense… what we lose are viewpoints that may not have served us, and what we gain is new life.

      I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

      Peace!
      Michael

      Like

  15. I loved your empowering perspective Michael, and particularly these potent reminders:

    “The world will wobble and weave and rattle as the opportunities to choose anew are given, but it never does so to harm, or injure, or betray us. We birth these interpretations and we lend them the power of our belief…

    The deeper view of unity sees not just one man, but a collective process at work. And an even deeper view understands that process as the integral movement of Love.”

    Thank you my friend. May we continue to trust in what is unfolding on the planet as being for the greatest and highest good whether we can yet see it or not.

    Although I have not yet listened to it all, this seems to mirror your perspective in many ways and you may find it interesting to listen to: https://youtu.be/914wnJ9O-wc

    With love and gratitude
    Julia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Julia! Just getting caught up here and it turns out I did watch that video this week, though I am just now getting to your note. I often enjoy Matthew Kahn’s perspectives on things, and I agree there is a lot of overlap there. Listening to Matt even helped me to move deeper into some of the things I wrote. I think it’s a necessary practice this ability to trust in what is happening and to give up on our interpretations of things. Eventually we realize just how much we’ve each been given, and are being given, in every moment…

      Peace and Love,
      Michael

      Like

  16. “my sense is there is a great deal here that is not exactly as it seems.”
    I’m with you, Michael. I usually never comment on blog posts about politics or most other current events, but I find that your article is a refreshing change from the hysteria and division. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Julie. I guess in a way I was trying to keep myself sane. Ha! But I do think it is important for us to try and remain centered in our own hearts and lives and the people around us who we actually come into contact with, and try not to get swept away by the mass rhetoric… It helps when we can anchor that perspective through one another…

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

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