A Hip Presidente

You can call the President Barrack Obama but for me today is "Barry" day. I got a look at the guy who did the same thing in politics Mohammed Ali did in boxing. Cassius Clay imagined what he wanted to be and gave it a name and a skill. Boxing, Mohammed Ali said, was to take him to the people. It was his entree. Barry Obama did a similar process of evolving into his own creation. So did Robert Allen Zimmerman, and so did The Singing Detective. In each case there was a process of conscious evolution.

When I was watching Obama talk about his economic team, and explaining what he was doing and why, I thought about Jon Stewart saying he wasn't getting dissonance when Obama talks. His words match up to the body's emotional check, whereas the people who have been in charge of the government provoke an emotional danger signal all the time. The response is containment, which to some people is you can't be too careful, and to others is imprisonment without cause.

As with any ideological container, the problem eventually becomes the double aspect of the container, which is the double aspect of the mother, and an unconscious drive. The container is both safety and it is imprisonment. We've been following people who did not know who their enemies were. This insured that everybody was a potential enemy. The only good thing about this is that such people inevitably end up devouring themselves in some weird uroboric impulse.

The only way people behave generously and with great respect toward those less powerful than they are, is that they learned it by having somebody of higher rank than they were treat them in that way. This respect is the signifier of rank, and the foundation of peaceful commerce, because the consciousness is in service to something besides self enrichment. Obama knows this and he stresses that we have to stop wasting our energy fighting an unknown enemy and look to the future with some vision and intelligence.

The unknown enemy is inside us, projected out onto suspicious persons. As Lenny Bruce pointed out, you can't do that, because to a Jew, who's suspicious is an Irish drunk. You have to operate on evidence, and not just lock up everybody who seems suspicious.

I am always impressed with the balance in this Obama. While I was listening to him I recalled an incident in his book about his father, where there was a dream portending his having to learn to carry a great deal of personal power. And I thought about what I am reading right now, the alchemical underpinnings of King Lear, and how Mercurius is asked if he is really Mercurius or if there is another, to which he replies that yes he is really Mercurius, and yes, there is another.

So as I'm watching Obama I begin to think about his experience with his father, and that I know about that experience because he wrote about it himself. He didn't hire a ghost writer. His father was an African man who was educated at Harvard, and who transcended his environment. His lack of acknowledgement and power in his own time isn't the most important thing in the larger picture of an evolutionary process. I was introduced to the concept of a long body, or multi generational evolutionary process, by Brugh Joy and by Malidoma Patrice Some'.

Some' was born into a traditional African village and nabbed by missionaries, who gave him a western education. He ran away and went back to his tribe where he was initiated as a shaman. Then it was decided that his name contained his destiny. His name meant "becomes friends with the stranger, or enemy." So he went back to the west, earning doctorate degrees from the Sorbonne and Brandeis. In his autobiographical book, "Of Water and the Spirit," Maladoma relates that his father was a necessary bridge in the process, even though he himself did not get the recognition.

Obama is much the same. I believe he has this concept of the long body. His grandmother dying on the eve of his ascent to power was itself an element of a larger story. As an aside, it's interesting that he is feared as a secret Muslim, when the truth is that a huge number of slaves brought from Africa were Muslim, which was reflected in the lodges and rituals many of them depended on to unify them in the face of a foreign religion. Obama might be a mutt but sometimes a mutt doesn't have the problems encountered in purebreds. If you get enough Bushes for example you end up with blue blood and inbred lines (pun intended).

(The reason Maladoma was sent away from his tribe, into the western world, was to teach people that there are two realities. He is one of the rare people who can be conscious in either.)

Not only was there no weird dissonance between Barry's words and his face and body language, but his words were clear and his ideas presented in a logical structure. Because I wasn't dazed and confused by a schizophrenic's special reality, I didn't have the slightest interest in listening to any political pundits talk about what Obama said. I heard what he said and I understood it. I could turn off the television and stop reading analysis.

Free at last; free at last; I thank God I'm free at last from news junk.

This is a remarkable feeling. But the most remarkable feeling was when he ended the news conference and, with an easy gesture of camaraderie he said something like, "Thanks guys," as he departed, his body and suit in cahoots. It was something I recognized as cool behavior, and what hit me with an unexpected shock is that it's okay to be cool again.

How cool is that?

Posted: Mon - November 24, 2008 at 11:46 AM