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August 13, 2017

The Hero’s Journey in the Age of Trump.

In order to navigate the current national landscape being created by those in power, I have had to take on a more mythological view.

A myth is a teaching tale designed to point us toward a spiritual awakening or personal initiation. And the absurdity playing out in our society today seems to carry a mythic invitation to wake up from a deep slumber, like the Buddha beneath the bodhi tree.

The daily news clearly illustrates how truly insane our political structures have become. The bar of normalcy has never been lower in my lifetime. And I have been feeling the need to galvanize myself for some type of hero’s journey, an epic tale of transformation.

If I were narrating my own mythological tale within the context of what’s happening today, these would be my opening lines: a powerful and contracted energy has appeared among the people, fanning the flames of their most angry and fearful selves. Many are being called to awaken, to consciously evolve into their greatest self in order to thwart this most dangerous threat.

The primary antagonist of the tale would be The Trickster.

The Trickster is one of the more skillful and cunning archetypical figures. She or he purposefully disregards the standards of conventional society and civilized behavior in order to create the chaos out of which great change can occur. And today, chaos rules the day.

Things were relatively easy during the tenure of our previous national leaders. There was a trust that reasonable people were steering our country and making sure we were safe. We could focus on the more mundane aspects of life. That ease is gone. Chaos is becoming commonplace. The Trickster is ferociously stirring the pot. The demand to call up the most powerful version of ourselves has never been greater.

Institutions that we have relied on are being attacked and demolished. Isolationism and nationalism are becoming glorified while our American privilege continues to strain the backs of the world’s resources. And, as our climate undergoes radical changes that are threatening our very existence, the brightest minds among us are being muzzled and castigated as elitist. It is apparent that the more ignorant, xenophobic, misogynistic, and terrified parts of ourselves are coming into their own. Darkness seems to cover the land.

But this is just the beginning of the hero’s journey, the mythic tale of awakening. And, in spite of the darkness, I am feeling optimistic. Many of us are hearing the call now. And every day, more answer.

Another aspect of a more mythological approach is seeing the current world situation as a powerful upheaval of labor pains. I am choosing to see the chaos as the birth of a completely different worldview, one that is much more user friendly to the people who share this planetary home. I see the new worldview that is being born as elevating the priorities of easing suffering over generating revenues and making deep connections over dictating separation.

For me, the hero’s journey is about embodying that new worldview today, and being the change. This embodiment is the reason for spiritual practice. And, by engaging in a spiritual practice, such as meditation, yoga, or other mind training technologies, we will begin to cultivate the skill to act in alignment with the greatest good and the powerful, life-affirming forces of change. And we will discover that this alignment is actually our natural state of being, who we have been the whole time beyond our sleeping minds.

During this turbulent time, there is a real chance for an evolutionary growth spurt amongst us humans, a chance to transcend those more limited and ignorant energies. Many of us will step up to answer the call. Many of us will choose to dance the most extraordinary dance of modern times. The stakes couldn’t be higher, nor the potential rewards greater. This could be the wondrous awakening that so many of us have been working toward.

The novelist, Tom Robbins said, “The Trickster’s function is to break taboos, create mischief, and stir things up. In the end, The Trickster gives people what they really want, some sort of freedom.” The current times of chaos are forcing us out of our complacency. We are awakening to the need to take greater responsibility for our world and each other. We are awakening to the flow of evolutionary expansion, which is the flow of life itself! And we are learning to act from that ferocious and inspired place. We understand that we need to make use of the touchstones of compassion and love, because that is who we truly are underneath all the crap.

If we don’t take a radical responsibility for our planetary home and all the beings we share it with, then the next generation, the little ones that we are raising today, will not do well. And they will curse our inaction. But we are waking up, leaving the shade of the bodhi tree and stepping onto the path. We are learning to act skillfully toward life-affirming change. We are beginning to understand what true freedom means—the freedom to create a world that puts people over profit and love over fear.

And how mythic is that?
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Author: Tod Evans 
Image: Hayley Gilmore
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron

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