It was yet another tumultuous and contentious week filled with hate-talk from Donald Trump – replete with a call to arms for his gun-toting supporters to essentially assassinate Hillary Clinton. After having read and listened to various journalists dissect the continuing unhinged behavior of this corporate psychopath – cut from the same cloth as Patrick Bateman – the words of one particular pundit hit home for me.
Esquire's Charlie Pierce, speaking on MSNBC, described the recent phenomena in the Republican party, leading up to Trump's rise, as a "free-floating dark energy" which had essentially been looking for a host and found one in the flamboyant and frightening businessman-turned-presidential-candidate [paraphrasing].
The idea that Trump has been giving his base crowd (a double ententre!) exactly what it was asking for is perhaps nothing new. Certainly it's a well-known trait of psychopaths – or, people with psychopathic tendencies – to mimic those around them so they can seamlessly blend in. But viewing the penultimate act of this year's political theatre in energetic form is particularly nuanced and spiritual sophisticated for a mainstream news pundit.
One need only squint one's eyes, and let go of analytical frameworks, to feel the underlying vortex of angry energy that's been brewing in the crowds. And frankly when one sees it this way – perhaps in sci-fi terms for the spiritually ill-adept – one might almost feels sorry for the weak and insecure Trump.. taking that whole black swirling mass of energy in. But he's arguably done so willingly as their voluntary invective-spewing emissary.
Hatred and fury are energies drawn to spiritual vacuums. Where there is an emptiness, bereft of joy, wholeness, balance, fulfillment and yes, love, diseases take hold – be they literal or be they maladies of the soul. And we live in times when brands pretend to care, blind sycophants worship at the altar of Apple or whatever tech products they're enamored with, and capitalism has essentially taken the place of community or religion in society.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not espousing organized religion – but rather some higher purpose (be it caring for the downtrodden, connecting with others or feeling a sense of one's life calling). Some find this through spirituality and faith (organized or disorganized) while others may find it through nature and the ecology. It's that ethereal 'thing' underpinning all that we do, the top of Ambraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. And it doesn't come from playing Pokemon go or buying a new sports car.
I don't believe there's a Devil – in the sense outlined in Christian ideology – but I do believe that Evil as a (low) energetic configuration exists. And like a meme, it seeks to propagate – perhaps not consciously in the way that humans do via analytical faculties, but consciously the way a disease seeks to spread. And like disease, it thrives when its host is depleted and weak (sleep-deprived, stressed out, depressed, in other words not mentally or physically healthy).
What does this remind me of? That fateful day at Altamont Speedway Festival in California, immortalized in the 1970 rock documentary Gimme Shelter, in which a feeble Mick Jagger attempts to calm a boisterous and unruly crowd which clashes with the Hell's Angels stationed at the concert to oversee security for The Rollings Stones and other bands. Ironically, he couldn't make it through 'Sympathy for the Devil' without another melé starting up. This incident resulted in the death by stabbing of an audience member... and is poignantly remembered – along with the Charles Manson murders – as having signaled the death of the peace, love and flower power decade.
Now, the noughties were hardly pace, love and flower power – they started with September 11th, continued with the Iraq War, overseas they were followed by 7-7 and the London Riots and numerous terrorist attacks and gun violence from Florida to France. So it's impossible to claim complete parity between them.
What we can learn from watching episodes of violence at Trump rallies alongside those final minutes of Gimme Shelter is that dark energy is some powerful stuff and it is infectious when left unattended or allowed to roam indignant and wild. Jagger wasn't channeling the rage of his crowd as Trump has been doing with his hordes; if anything the former was fearfully trying to reign the bad vibes in and get on with things as they were – "Why are we fighting?" he repeated, almost unconvinced by his own words.
So how does one reign in the anger that's permeating the masses and throbbing like a feverish boil? It starts with a single person and moves on to a single relationship, a single family, a single community. Positive energy also spreads and it's many times more powerful than the darkness. Of course there's always a bit of Yin-Yang involved, and a largely positive energy sometimes needs contrast, some 'bite,' something to 'fight for' — obviously within reason.
When I lived in New York, I observed a fascinating phenomenon of energy permeating the city in the course of a few hours. You could literally feel it. First you'd hear arguing in the streets — a bagel vendor and an angry patron, a couple getting into an argument, and the like — and by the end of the day it would be a full on bad vibe fest. Likewise, good energy, a single act of kindness goes a long way in a densely populated, highly foot-trafficked city like Manhattan, where the good vibes can be 'paid forward' on a given day.
NYC is just a microcosm of this energy and a good example because it's a city full of passionate, intense people and as mentioned, its populace is confined and packed onto the small island. But this energy growth naturally occurs in other milieus and it's important to remind ourselves of this every day as we watch the (bad) news. To be a receptacle for the free-floating light energy out there, we have to be welcoming hosts – complete in ourselves, emotionally healthy, already fulfilled with what we have and full of faith.