I said I would post about consciousness and examining our thoughts, and I will. In fact, I want to begin with my own obsessive political thoughts. Even though I know it’s unhealthy and damaging to my spiritual practice to get so wound up about the upcoming US Presidential election, I often cannot control my compulsion to tweet about Trump. I can’t seem to refrain from name calling, basically reverting to his childish behavior, when watching CNN or other news updates. After all, he is all they’ve talked about for the past YEAR!
His obvious manipulation of the media was driving me crazy. Trump was able to garner around 2 BILLION dollars worth of free publicity, thanks to the ratings grab and greed by the network and cable corporate executives. Talk about “quid pro quo” and “pay to play” schemes! Enter my solution: #TeamGov — the Libertarian team of two former governors, Gary Johnson from my state of New Mexico and Bill Weld, the admired former Massachusetts governor. I never thought I would support a Republican, but both guys agree that Libertarian values are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I can go for that. Johnson is less hawkish than Hillary, and light years beyond Trump on every issue.
Best of all, I want to support Gary, and that’s so much better than voting against Trump. That’s how I felt about Bernie Sanders. I admired his honesty and integrity and enjoyed his campaign. I wanted to contribute to Bernie’s cause. I feel the same about Gary Johnson. He is not hypocritical, certainly not racist, and Libertarians are not into controlling our behavior. I fear Trump would impose HIS values on everyone and what could be worse? His values are a confused mess. Hillary and hubby Bill are not much better. There has always been a cloud around them, something that is not the case with Gary. I don’t know much about Bill Weld. I suspect he’s had some personal battles, but who hasn’t?
And that’s a perfect segue to the topic of consciousness. It’s a pretty deep subject to tack on in a paragraph or two, but perhaps I can offer a tease and elaborate next time. The most significant insight Buddha had (under the Bodhi Tree in India 2500 years ago) was how our thoughts rule us. He realized that demons, torments and even pain can be banished by gaining control of our thoughts. We don’t have to be slaves to every crazy, impulse that pops into our head. “Seeing Clearly” is when we realize we are more than our thoughts. My own “ah ha” moment came when I realized meditation is not a technique to purge our thoughts immediately, but rather we start by observing them and finding the gap between them.
It’s enough at first to notice that we are not our thoughts. If we are aware of our own ideas and thoughts, then who is the observer? This is where the discussion can get deep and lengthy. So, this is the place to stop for now and leave you with this: in quiet and stillness (meditation) you become mindful. Mindfulness reveals the way. It’s the same with any practice or trade, in doing you learn. Artists and authors were once dabblers, and professional tradesmen were once tinkerers.
Oh, I didn’t explain the image. Trekkies/ Trekkers will recognize the scene where Frank Gorshin (best known for playing the original Riddler on the TV Batman series) on the left, played the bigoted half-whiteface, half-blackface. The half-whitefaced hated the half-blackfaced. It was satire about left/right political arguments. Enough said 😉
I wrote the above piece the day before the now famous #WhatIsAllepo incident. The truth is Gary was talking to MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew about problems with the 2-party system when out of left field Mike Barnicle (controversial fired-from-Boston Globe journalist) blurts out, “and what would you do about Allepo?” Johnson looks surprised and asks “What’s Allepo?”…. if you care, you’ve seen that clip. NO one has played the clip in context. So, I defended Gary on Twitter.
The next day CNN’s Wolf Blitzer invited Gary on for a lengthy segment on foreign policy so our former Governor could redeem himself. Did he? Not so much. He’s been totally honest– refreshingly so — about his so-called “gaffe” which really was a “gottcha” moment. However, in discussing many policy issues with Wolf, I have to say Gary was not really at his best. I compare this to Tiger Wood’s fall from grace.
Johnson was at the top of his game the day before #AllepoGate, but since then he’s in a Tiger-like slump. He fumbled and today (Saturday morning, Sept 10) he stumbled again on Smerconish (another CNN show.) Again he had a long interview segment, this time accompanied by his VP former Governor Bill Weld (who did great!) He almost had another Rick Perry memory moment but after a long pause he recalled “Khaddafi’s” name. Whew… not sure Gary is ready for Prime Time and that truly saddens me.
I would still like to see #TeamGov in the debates. That would be his final chance for redemption and ONLY chance to step in if the major candidates collapse from their own gaffes, faux pas and in Trump’s case BS.