Aug 082016

An update and commentary of the Growth-Pragmatist-Aggression Year of 2016

“Between love and madness…lies pragmatism.”
Samantha Bee –Host of Full Frontal

2016, so far, has been one of the more hostile, and sometimes violent years in the U.S. since the Civil Rights era, and before that the Civil War. Interestingly enough much of it has been deemed “legal” or at least non-indictable. Many news organization regularly ignore what comprises some of the more ugly happenings on the world stage, at large. But everyone feels it instinctively and is edgy with grating worry, at various levels of intensity, about topic that have to fast-speed-blurdo mostly with security and identity; and they are pissed as hell about it. The Emotional Center driving Aggression, steered by Pragmatism’s “lowest common denominator” dogmatic thinking; have produced a barrage of Intellectual-part rationalizations that are utterly dumbfounding and decimating to Idealists of any progressive/creative types. All of it presented in a “news cycle” at a blisteringly rapid Frequency of 89. It passes in front of ones’ eyes in a blur with scarcely enough time to process any of it. And, it is already August! This is the synopsis of the Overleaves produced by Michael’s Consortium for 2016 back in December, 2015.

The thrust of the Artisan/Warrior cast Masculine energy seeks to install new possibilities and assert a new direction for the world following the Feminine Assimilative energy of 2015. The divisions between Mature Soul and Baby Soul paradigms are revealed in their most stark public forms. Currently, the negative poles of almost all of this year’s Overleaves have appeared more influential than the positive. The tearing down and tearing apart of traditions terrifies those clinging to the past. Some efforts to assert change were exemplified by the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and those voted for Brexit, as ways of overturning the Young Soul status quo, as owned by the 1% and neo-liberal financial economic structures which preserve them. But a large portion of the working US population, fearing even more loss of status and income security, crouch into a warrior’s posture droning chants of “Make American Great Again” that a return to dogmatic application of capitalism, nationalism, frontier individualism (guns), and the right to discriminate what are labeled as “lesser races”. Those so tainted by racist slurs are Blacks, Mexicans, and Muslims; while in Europe the Middle Easterner’s and North Africans; – and in Israel, the Palestinians. All are the convenient scapegoats of a Martyred victimization morphed into an Impatiently vicious hate mongering. This variety of Masculine energy coupled with Aggression Mode has produced hyperbole from various quarters. Donald Trump himself and a portion of his supporters have gone so far as to publicly call for “shooting Hillary Clinton.” Charges of lack of ethics, criminality, and even treason are tossed back and forth between candidates like hot potatoes or hand grenades. With the liberals and conservatives alike waving flags and either cheering or jeering for a legal conviction to happen, the emotions running the show is a massive dose of anger resulting from a betrayal and crumbling faith in the American system, even democracy itself.

Negative pole Artisan energy has lept to new heights of public distortion with portrayal of images that so remove any real issues from the public eye, thus simplistically illustrate and hasten a descent into childish name calling. With the Warrior tint on this Masculine energy Artisan, the two candidates are not actually in a contest but pseudo combat. Mitosis-Soul-Age-SplitThe degradation of issues away from fact and to a “how you feel about the state of the country” no matter how skewed or ill-informed those feelings might be, reveals a bitter divide in perception and a polarization that resembles a single cell splitting in two during mitosis. (see illustration). The great divide is one of Mature Souls pushing for more inclusion, rebelling against Young Soul hegemony. But the great fear mongering is happening at the Baby Soul level, who are terrified (and rightfully so) by their experience of disintegrating economic security. But instead of going after the power class who has wreaked havoc upon them, Baby Souls, like little children everywhere flee to their “big daddy” to save them and beat up anyone they conclude is a threat. Enter Donald Trump!

The Democrats showed their own version of Pragmatism by engaging in systematic take down of the idealistic campaign of Bernie Sanders. No one disputed the bias of WikiLeaks emails, yet they exposed enough evidence to verify the willingness to engage in questionable tactics witnessed in many precincts during the primary election. The Dem’s had to go for Hillary and they used tactics justified by the meme “he can’t win.” And, in Young Soul fashion, they justified the tactics as necessary for a Democratic Party victory. Now, on the larger scale of American politics, yet another Pragmatic meme is tossed about in the electoral contest; where both the main candidates are viewed no better than “lesser of two evils”. Yet, just as Pragmatically motivated, many angst filled Bernie supporters, realizing what they perceive as a far worse alternative in Mr. Trump, have jumped onto Mrs. Clinton’s bangwagon with a fervor that virtually erased all the misgivings they shouted about her during the primaries.

In the negative pole of Pragmatism the preferred thought process is the method called reductionism. Factor out all unwanted or complex aspects of an argument and anyone can arrive at an overly-simplistic, but viscerally appealing statement: like “Make America Great Again.” Creating emotional phantoms of people’s Instinctive fears is easy. Distorting ideas in an environment of already dizzying amounts of information and disinformation that are pumped out by vast array of media outlets, corporate enterprises, and government agencies alike; it overwhelms the mind and leaves it gasping for a life line of some stable data, while it drowns in a roiling ocean of emotion.

Angry-Father-Sub-PersonalityIn the 2016 Overview, we mentioned that the Sub-Personality of the “Angry Father” would be on display and in front
of everyone to reject or reconcile. Culturally there have been two pre-eminent versions of this persona in the US. The first Bernie Sanders, the Hero version of this Sub whose “I’m as mad as hell and we have to take back our power, now,” reflects the potent sublimation of anger and a call for dynamic engagement. Then on the other side, is Donald Trump whose hostile version of this Sub represents the punishing, shaming, blaming aspect of the abuser. His King sized belligerence sounds like a clarion call to those of fear and hopeless. They believe they have a spokesman whose voice speaks for them and in doing so grants them permission to levy their own threatening cynicism at others. Have you heard his rhetoric or seen the behavior at his rallies? It’s Dad, the fomenter and bully. Better to get behind him than in his way!

The internal manifestation of this Sub, for all soul ages, is to look at your own perceptions about where Masculine power and authority is used, abused, or abdicated in your own life. Find the constructive uses of this archetype’s potency within yourself, particularly becoming aware of exercising (or failure) your right to stand-your-ground and defend those boundaries. Or do you lash out at another and destroy theirs? Baby and Young Souls supporters of Trump revel in the idea of doing that, since their fears-of-change tell them others are enemies and it is better to fight. But in the works, behind the scenes, the forces of karmic restitution operate on a personal level between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. It is to thrust a woman into the most powerful office in the world and to compel a nation to take a hard look at its own internal sexual polarization and hypocrisy. Not just at the level of discrimination against women, but also the gender schism in the American psyche. But Aggressive-Masculine energy spawns more than the racist rhetoric coming from every global quarter, even when it is countered-by anti-racism statements of more tolerant groups worldwide; one background “ism” is surging forward once again: anti-female sexism. (Yes, there are places where women are favored, like child custody, but they are few.)

All one has to do is step back to hear how much (not so) veiled criticism of Hillary Clinton, or the women standing against Fox New’s Roger Ailes, or those women now suing Bill Cosby after years of fearing reprisal and disbelief, is due to this sexism. We saw it again, although backfired, in the controversy with Melania Trump. And then who got the blame for the plagiarized speech? Another woman! More historically common situations where macho or paternalistic male narratives have exerted control over women are these. Silence in the report of rape or demonization of the rape victim; this alongside the attempts to eliminate women’s sexual health and reproductive choices. Then there is the overwhelming hypocrisy of highly titillating sexual innuendo in advertising, and yet Being-male-Vin-Deiselaversion to actual nudity in film. And the open vilification and denunciation of pornography by those loudest antagonists who are often caught with it on their computers. Claiming that “blood and guts” killing or slaughter on the screen is less suggestive or detrimental than watching a couple having sex. Unless of course, that sex act is combined with a horrific act of violence against a women; then in some unfathomable calculus, it is not quite so objectionable. And, isn’t it bizarre that humans are the only mammal on the planet which attacks members of its owns species for breastfeeding its offspring in public? And yet, it consider’s itself the most advanced? While negative Artisan energy does creates, its capacity for self-delusion is epitomized by the conflicts just mentioned, in growth – contradictory and confusing. Be aware that a year like this you will be shoved to confront your assumptions about males and females, and inwardly how your regard or condemn your own masculine and feminine sides.

“All politics is local.”
Tip O’Neil – Former Speaker of the House of Representatives

How many of you have found yourself in uncomfortable situations speaking with other’s whose perceptions of the world create a strain, nervousness, even outright fear, just being in their presence? How about Facebook where the political divide appears in cyberspace? Have any “Friends” blocked your posts, or you theirs? Families and workplaces have not been immune to these Impatience/Martyrdom produced sentiments which sometimes have ignited a divisiveness which led to blows. The idea that America is failing its citizens. While in the Europe Union they have been made the victims of some “conspiracy” to give jobs to immigrants and globalization thus fanning the fires of resentment. Framing these phenomenon within the discussion of opposing Soul Ages (world views), is to remind you that humanity is still (for about 100 years now) see-sawing back and forth to emerge from the Young Soul paradigm of status and privilege which has a distinctly Darwinian bent to it; into a shared responsibility ethos of what, in our Teachings, we constitute as the Mature Soul paradigm.

It is a transition that can only occur with a consciousness raising, requiring mutual participation, support, and even sacrifice for a greater good. Americans knew this during WWII. This message is still known in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada, and some South American countries; the predominant ethos of the United States, Russia, and China are built upon a “winner take all” ideology based on a “survival of the fittest” premise which sanctifies greed and promotes power acquisition. It maintains a foothold nationally because of the promise of American Dream has been artfully (or artificially) fused with the archetype of the rugged individualist – the winner! Yet, a growing failure of the Young Soul acquisition paradigm becomes more evident to all, every day. Yet, marketing that message is more saturated and exaggerated than ever to convince people it is real.

aggression-downThe Conventions and the Candidates

As a user of the Michael Motivation Cards™, I often sample them when a query requires a simple feedback. This year’s conventions were so vastly different in tone and message that I consulted the deck at the completion of each spectacle following the acceptance speech of the nominated candidates. When a card was chosen for Republican National Convention after Donald Trump’s speech, it was– Aggression Mode (Card 32), in the negative pole of Belligerence. Interestingly that energy coincides with the climate of 2016’s Mode. But more to the point, the Modes group of Overleaves represent a style or tactic, not a policy, let alone a principle or direction.

Mature Soul Card - Michael Motivation CardsContrast this with the card that literally fell out of the deck while shuffling it at the conclusion of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic National Convention acceptance speech. The Card that landed face-up and upright was a Maturity (Card 74) of the Soul Age Cycle Group portraying the Mature Soul stage. The positive pole of Involvement signifies the inclusive intention and theme within this concept. And how interesting that the image on the card looked remarkably like the Democratic Convention delegates: women and persons of color. And the message on their placards waived by on the convention “stronger together” is completely congruent with the flavor of the Maturity Card. Contrasting the Mode card drawn for the Republican Convention, to the Soul Age Card.  The first is just a modus-operandi of a Young Soul King espousing his chest beating stance. The latter is a global mind set and way of being,  In other words, the scope and milieu is his “me” vs. her “We.” We will see.

Well, What’s Next?

2016-Election-symbolEvolution! Whether Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump wins in November, it will not delay nor prevent any dis-integration of existing social structures, but it will determine the method and rate of their transformation or demise. Both candidacies are versions 2016’s motivating the Goal of Growth, either to: elect the first woman President or the first (actual) non-politician President. While some will argue that either candidate reflects negative pole expressions creating Confusion, we would say that designation belongs predominantly to Mr. Trump; though Mrs. Clinton (and her party) can be characterized as having engaging in occasion subterfuge (Artisan energy). Mr. Trump’s desire for the office is based entirely on a personal need; not to govern, but to simply win and aggrandize his own Ego as a Young Soul King. Mrs. Clinton’s Early Mature Warrior policies if seriously implemented, and if the Rep’s lose either the House or Senate, then forward motion toward more equitable, but incremental, structural change will begin. And, whichever party appoints the next two Supreme Court Justices, will set the direction of the American high court for the next generation to come. Regardless who wins, mending the fester wounds in the community of US Baby Souls (and the world at large like: ISIS, Syria, Brazil, Africa, and Palestine), who’s often paranoid and reductionist views of Heart of the angry Baby Soul male“freedom” (see State of Jefferson), will be paramount. It will require great effort on the part of Mature Souls to mend fences and invite them into a coalition. Otherwise, many predominately Baby groups will continue to act-up with tantrums using grown-up methods like intimidation (Remember the Bundy’s Stand-off in Oregon?) and grown-up toys: like guns! Organized Baby Soul (usually male) groups largely behind Mr. Trump, include: the NRA, former Tea Party members, Evangelical Christians, KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, rural poor whites, formerly-employed urban dwellers, and women who reject an equal role with men. Each of these groups, feeling: alienated, disaffected, insecure, righteous, and experiencing it all as existential threat; will have to be confronted, reassured, and assuaged. If not, there will be outright conflict or attempts at suppression, instead. When people are terrified, reason is the last thing they respond to!

As mentioned in previous articles, the Mature Soul paradigm will proceed regardless of the victor. Generally, the rallying ideals or beliefs in cultural factions tend to run parallel to the predominant Soul Age membership. Young Souls are concerned about their wealth and position. Baby Souls around their primacy of shared beliefs and identified groups. While Mature Souls desires equitable and common purpose, reducing society polarization and restoring balance. Then as Old Souls know, they want to share what they know; but then duck out of the way of negative feedback. Old Souls have the answers, but are seldom consulted. More assertion is required for this Soul Age’s perceptions to be held in forming narratives. However, elders have a predilection for eclectic interests and will probably have commentary on each of the previous soul age concerned mentioned.

One negative pole expression of the Mature Soul value and desire for an inclusive “we” stance is to mistakenly regress back to “us vs. them” Baby Soul mentality; where people instinctively huddle together for a sense of mutual identity and protection. It is a defensive posture which slides back to a bygone days to fight off those they consider threatening. Instead, the forward movement into a positive pole iteration would be an attitude to find mutual principles and goals, and embrace a community of equal participants. The Mature Soul era has pockets expressing its’ positive poles, but are still just surfacing into mainstream thought.

The collective spiritual evolution of the humankind need not be violent, environmentally cataclysmic, nor devolve first into some dystopian nightmare before resurrection; as have previous Soul Age evolutionary leaps. Yet, we must acknowledge those methods have instinctive historical precedence in the animal Dominance-Aggression paradigm, embedded into DNA by the TAO. They are by intended design and program both automatic and unconscious. In discussion, people cast these constants as “God’s will” or “Nature of the beast”; and in some ways, both are correct. Until recently, these have been the driving force/compulsion of evolution. Yet the accumulated wisdom of human questioning and the advent of greater inward comprehension of those forces, humanity has raised them into light of a new Conscious-Awareness paradigm. Knowing those mechanisms remove them from automatic reactions thus making their controls available to the user. Availing the person of a choice to determine for themselves, any less number destructive ways of shaping their future, with creative invention instead of reflexive defense strategies.

climate change and extinctionThere is still much that can be done to revitalize the planet’s environment despite the inevitability of the current “sixth extinction event” that mankind is responsible for setting into motion. But this will only happen as people join together into proactive, rather than reactive, movements. The idea, that “we are stronger together” may be a political slogan, but it is one that acknowledges that all living beings are in this together! In any case, the future is created by the prevailing mindset directing, or allowing for, transformation. As the Young Soul model of “competition for personal gain” has failed a majority of individuals, instead of producing striving, the “victors” have stranded the “defeated” making them subservient to a systematized form of neo-slavery; either conditioned by wage dependence or debt incursion. In some cases, it can also appear under the guise of compelled consumption: e.g. reliance on cell phones, pay TV, internet access, greater reliance on credit, and a reduction of public services handed over to paid private sector subscriptions. (When was the last time you saw a pay phone?)

Some people feel right at home in this conditioned comfort, especially if they have the financial means to sustain it. But it is a system whose fruits of greater prosperity are borne disproportionally. Incentives are more apt to feel like the burdens of quotas, obligations, longer hours, and greater distractions; all compiling greater stress and exhaustion. It is oppression in the form of taking on – if not mandatory excess, then culturally compelled obligations: health care, car insurance, required utilities or taxes, higher priced homes with higher mortgages – leading to more people force into higher rents instead. But a harbinger of the downside technological “efficiency” is that more often than not, you have reduced interaction with an institutions “customer service” since automation replaces human employees. Mature and Old Souls, like anyone else, do also enjoy the convenience of nice things. But they have concerns for fairness  and human welfare issues that can cause them to chafe internally with cognitive dissonance when they know that the real costs of luxury are borne by the poor, other species, and the environment itself. It is that discomfort that is more likely to motivate actual involvement, rather than some vague promise of some idealized, just-around-the-corner-nirvana to be magically delivered by some higher-stop-waiting-for-the-rapturebeing; one that is just waiting in the cosmic wings for just the right moment. And hey, New-Ager’s, don’t be too smug about the Age of Aquarius, either. Folks of the old-ways had a similar idea for it, they called it the Rapture. Such notions of mass transformation from “on-high” are all forms of avoidance of spiritual responsibility. They are both zebras with the same stripes of denial, just by a different name. Creating joy, hope, and solving problems are ongoing tasks. It is only the desperate whisperings of an Idealistic -Martyrdom that holds out for some fantasy rescue or rescuer. You do it individually and together, but the TAO does not do if for you.

The next two decades portend shifts in the way humans must reorganize. By the 2030’s some changes will be drastic; while others, like alterations in what people consider necessary, will be fluid and adaptive as generational demographics shift to Gen Y and the Millennials. Their habits and outlook, shaped by technology and what they will say is the failed and selfish views of their parents and grandparents, will force a slowing of the production-consumption cycle. That is of course, the Young Soul foundation upon which capitalistic economics is predicated. But the reality that money always seeks to be guaranteed by tangible property, will eventually overwhelm the pretentious basis for currencies and obliterate the fantasy value of paper or computer digits; commencing a race for land, water, food, and territory; when reality comes home to roost.

Climate Change, both inevitable and unstoppable, will compel a shift to realism which the Baby Boomer Idealists and Gen X Skeptics are libel to decry with suspicion at least, or with cynicism at worst. However, these descendant generations, chocked full with a batch of Old Souls called Indigo and Crystals Kids, will begin to hit their stride. Much of what they do will seem drastic, perhaps even ruthless. Because you have handed them a mess caused by over-consumption, unsustainable resource exploitation, and poor management. They have witnessed your current era’s shenanigans justified by a mentality of sell-it with feel good deception using embellishment marketing. That ethos will be demolished like an old high-rise building to find a way to reveal and restore the mountain beneath it. They will be striving to produce things that are less opulent, but more in alignment with natural processes, materials and aesthetics. They do not have the time or resources to waste; both of which you will have left them in short-supply. But they will have ingenuity! Institutions once deliberately made complicated to dissuade use, will necessarily be directed to generate a more instinctively stable feltsense. These alterations will appeal even to Infant and Baby Souls whose innate need is system stability. Young Soul “cultural creatives” will swarm it as a new frontier of exploration, with an entrepreneurial promise for innovation and stylizing.

easily-offended-easily-manipulatedIn the interregnum, know that it will take courage, and the flavor of an Ordinal year would require personal interaction to persuade anyone that they are both necessary in this election, but also their society at large. As Martyrdom continues to creep into the hearts of many, those who have not jumped to Impatience but have moved closer to collapse, will fall into the isolated hopelessness of Self-Destruction. To have an impact, and not merely give into the Old Soul desire to stay-out-of-the-way or below-the-onslaught-of-negativity, is to exert Masculine energy with a high degree personal discipline. While these traits are also not natural to the Elder Soul, seeking more spiritual retirement than personal growth and engagement; slide to Perseverance to strengthen all of the Ordinal centers, your: emotional sensitivity, intellectual precision, and physical endurance. Each shapes and hones the Artisan Self by engaging the innovator within. But it too, helps to answer your inner Warrior call to live empowered by duty and honor.

The remainder of 2016 will be trying and in some cases even terrifying. Acknowledge the fear, but surf on top of it. Do not dive deeply into it and drown. Reach out and connect with those who are part of your tribe, and ride out the storms together. If shame, guilt or anger over a past indiscretion blocks the way, forgive them or ask for forgiveness from them; but make the connection. You are stronger together. The more, the merrier!

© 2016 by Stephen Cocconi

Note: Michael Channels often receive varying Overleaves for a Year’s forecast. If these descriptions conflict with information you have received from sources, I remind you that you are always at choice to disregard them. Yet, if you find congruity between this commentary and your won perceptions, then use it as a means for fortifying yourself.

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