One New Thought Response to Darth Vader Moves
In his thought provoking article, New Thought’s Darth Vader Move, Harv Bishop highlights the idea that the Alt-Right credits positive thinking for the election of Donald Trump. I suspect that many metaphysicians are not alone in their surprise at the upward rise of the Alt-Right within the US political consciousness. However, the topic itself is very a very complex one.
While I suspect that many New Thought metaphysicians believe in a God that is the totality of real things, and that within each human is a Spiritual Mind that connects all as one, the fundamental practical element of the New Thought spiritual belief system is this; thought and feeling can change your life, for the better, or for the worse. The general school of New Thought is that by focusing on your thoughts as a divine force for good we can heal our lives.
“Where do you think I got the idea for the Force from?”
The added effect of referencing Darth Vader reminded me of what could well be an urban legend. The story goes that a New Thought Minister once asked George Lucas about a copy of one of the most influential New Thought books, the Science of Mind, that was spotted behind him during an interview in his library. Lucas was reported to have replied, “Where do you think I got the idea for the Force from?”
As both a fan of Star Wars and a New Thought Minister, I’ve been fascinated with George Lucas’ genre-defining space opera. I consider Yoda to be one of my great inspirations. I see the story of Darth Vader as a powerful representation of the misuse of the creative power of thought, and feeling, by the ego mind. Anakin’s fall to the dark side was after all primarily a manipulation of his feelings for Padme.
In Star Wars, not only did Lucas beautifully capture archetypal concepts such as the Hero’s Journey, made famous through Joseph Campbell’s powerful work, he also described the Force as, “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
All a New Thought metaphysician need do is to remove the idea that the Jedi are the great exceptions to reveal a story that is overflowing with relevant New Thought references. And through it all, Darth Vader, along with the Emperor, are the quintessential paragons of the misuse of the power of thought and the Force.
And so while some New Thought metaphysicians might not recognize the connection between their belief system and Donald Trump, once one understands some important spiritual concepts it all becomes blindingly clear. The good news though is, like the checks and balances in the US constitution to prevent corruption of governance, the Universe has the Infinite Intelligence to ensure there are checks and balances to all use of thought. I don’t have to be concerned with ignoring the misuse of thinking at my peril. God has that covered. Only my ego mind would arrogantly try to convince me otherwise.
New Thought, Ancient Wisdom
It takes little effort in a bookstore to stumble across the self-help section. And perhaps a moderate effort will discover books that offer advice on how to use your thinking and feelings to change your life. Certainly, New Thought self-advertises this particular focus as a keystone to its structure of beliefs, but the reality is that the concepts behind New Thought are actually ancient wisdom.
The concept of using your thoughts and feelings to manifest the life you want have been known for far longer than most people realize. The idea that Trump visualized himself as the President of the United States makes a lot of sense given what he has manifested. After all, he is now President of the United States. But then, I’ve witnessed Olympic coaches and successful business leaders speaking to similar techniques resulting in amazing results.
However, I do not believe that Trump’s improbable rise is explained by his visualization alone. I actually believe that this is an incredibly complex issue. Some fundamental paradigms, institutions and belief systems are crumbling before our very eyes. For example, globalized capitalism led to the greatest robbery in US history. US Supreme Court decisions in 1971 and 1976 resulted in money having the right to speech and Corporations being people. All of a sudden corporations could use money to purchase influence with politicians. Since 1976, even though worker productivity in the US has steadily climbed, the average wage has remained static. This robbery has, so far, seen an estimated $12 trillion being shifted from the middle classes to the top 1%.
How have the masses around the world reacted to the situation they now find themselves in? If you’ve got authoritarian tendencies and consider yourself more right-leaning politically, then fascism is the result. The fallout from this failed experiment in global capitalism is not limited to the US. Brexit heralded a challenge to Neoliberal plans for globalization. France could seriously see an Alt-Right President in Marine Le Pen before long. And even Chancellor Merkel of Germany is under threat from nationalist fervor. This is indeed ironic since it was the desperate financial conditions following World War I that allowed for Hitler’s improbable rise to power.
Why then would a New Thought Minister delve to such a tangent? After all, don’t we teach, use your thinking to change your feelings and change your life? The answer comes with understanding that we are actually co-creating the world we see.
I can only imagine the emotional energy that is unleashed in the minds and hearts of those subscribing to a metaphysical belief system “based in class, racial privilege, secret teachings and initiation.” And it is this concept of emotional energy in the creative process that I want to expand upon.
I’ve spent a fair bit of time using the Science of Mind to prepare for Sunday messages, or what I call encouragements, as a New Thought Minister. I can only find a couple of quotes that get into emotion. Having spent over 8 years of study to become a Minister I can report that in my experience the coverage of emotion is very limited in most New Thought books and classes.
Why would this be? I believe a part of the reason for this is that when Ernest Holmes was writing the Science of Mind and talking about its concepts from the 1920s through to the 60s that feelings, or emotions, were a scarcely understood idea. It took the birth of robust Psychology to actually expand our collective understanding of what emotions and feelings are. I suspect that the audience during the earlier half of the last century had nowhere near the understanding of emotions and feelings as the audiences of this century. And thus the earlier, founding New Thought teachings do not delve too deeply into concepts such as the Emotional Guidance System.
Authoritarianism and The Strong
When I read about Alt-Right icon, Richard Spencer’s video of his Trump celebration rally I was reminded yet again of the power of feeling. Certainly, the words of willing “Donald Trump into office” echo the New Thought principles of using your thinking. But one only has to observe the emotional energy with which those of like-mind celebrated with him.
For you see, anyone who truly understands that thought plus feeling equals manifestation will crack the code of creation on this plane. And I believe that Trump and his circle of ingenious influencers have used their understanding of the power of thought and feeling to tap into a lot of emotional energy within those who have suffered as a result of the failed experiment of global capitalism.
At the heart of authoritarianism is the idea that the strong (man) will come in and save the day. Not only that, but I believe that Trump represents the collective unconsciousness of humanity, or as Jung would put it, the collective shadow. I believe that this grand projection of the ego mind has come to a head. A dangerous game is being played by the powers that be. One only has to study the fall of the Roman Empire, it’s politics and corruption, to see that the US is facing some remarkable parallels. And here we have Trump exemplifying the most insane beliefs of separation. He is so deeply conditioned by his ego mind that he truly has no idea what he is doing.
My New Thought Response
I am called to see Trump as Christ would. I choose to see beyond his body, beyond his words, beyond his reprehensible actions, to the light of Christ within him. I do not condone his actions. But I see beyond his actions to the truth as Jesus came to show us all.
For those New Thought Metaphysicians suddenly experiencing an emotional trigger at my reference to Jesus, I’d remind you Jesus is mentioned at least 69 times in the Science of Mind and happens to have a very sizable chapter dedicated to his teachings.
In the coming decades much will more will be realized. The surfacing of this collective shadow is stirring people. For too many years the pillars of conditioning (education, media, politics and religion) have been training people to believe that power resides in someone else. Millions have been conditioned into authoritarian beliefs. And this conditioning has been taking place over millennia.
The greatest misinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus was this — that we were born sinners, that we need to look to someone, or something, outside of ourselves. Many of those that voted for Trump voted upon conditioned authoritarian beliefs that they needed someone to protect them, to flex their muscles, and make decisions for them. Trump is such a grotesque outplaying of this belief system that he will soon galvanize a massive awakening for humanity. In witnessing the numerous protests of millions in his first few weeks of office I sense this is but a taste of what is to come.
It just so happens that a co-creative perfect storm has manifested Trump. I’m grateful that my belief in the Law of Cause and Effect includes a realization that each eternal soul will have to experience the suffering they’ve inflicted on others in one lifetime or another in the flesh. I feel deep compassion for Trump, and every Alt-Right’er that wants to oppress, for I know that they have no idea what they’re doing to themselves on their eternal journey.
In other words, my beliefs allow me to set down panic and judgment around Trump, fascism and the Alt-Right because I know that God has it covered. But more importantly, what I’ve come to realize is that training people to focus “on the positive” is actually a part of the problem for New Thought. There is indeed “something very, very dark swimming in the zeitgeist.” It’s the product of all the choices made lacking in love that have settled in the individual and collective ego mind.
This is the response I’ve developed to Trump’s New Thought Darth Vader Move as a New Thought Minister. My belief is that I am sacred, and that every living being I behold is sacred. If I feel negative emotions I engage with those feelings. I don’t spiritually bypass my feelings on a quest for the Holy Grail of positive thinking. I spend time in meditation to work out what message those negative feelings is bringing me.
Only when I believe that Trump is all that the Alt-Right claim him to be do I miss the mark. Seeing the world through the eyes of Christ is what allows me to truly forgive (by the way I define forgiveness as remembering we are all one). The final words of Jesus on the cross were profound. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Jesus saw everyone that harmed him in any way as a Child of God, and he knew they were out of their spiritual mind. He knew they were lost in the ego mind.
This co-creative plane will have many Darth Vaders to come. But Lucas offered us a brilliant teaching at the end of Return of the Jedi. In spite of what Yoda and Obi-Wan believed and counselled, that Vader was lost, Luke Skywalker sensed the good in his Father and saved him anyway. And that, I believe, is really the response that matters most.