The Bright Side of the Trump Apocalypse

President Donald J. Trump. Those words bring out a lot of emotions all the way across our political and emotional spectrums. Some liberals view them as Apocalyptic. Some conservatives think they are going to Make America Great Again.

But what if they are both right? What if the Apocalypse can be a good thing?

Most people associate the word Apocalypse with a myth about the total destruction or end of the world. That is what the word has come to mean, but as with many words, like “liberal” or “conservative” or “myth” to just name a few, the word “apocalypse” used to mean something else. And that original meaning is something worth looking at.

There is, of course, a great deal of symbolism implied by the word. In the Bible, the book most often associated with it, the Apocalypse can also be viewed as the total destruction not of the world, but of the ruling paradigm. In other words, Jesus came to change the world, in a sense destroying the old way of being in favor a new one. Hammurabi’s code of “an eye for eye,” for example, became “love thy neighbor as you love yourself.” And, symbolically, a new world was born with the destruction of one paradigm in favor of a new, more evolved world view. In another myth making the same point, the Phoenix rises from the ashes.

However, the origin of the word Apocalypse gives still another meaning.

Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal,’ from apo- ‘un-’ + kaluptein ‘to cover.’

And the election of Donald Trump, no matter where you sit on the political spectrum, has uncovered and revealed a lot of things. Revelations open the door to new possibilities. Could it be that the Trump Apocalypse is opening the door for one or more new paradigms to take the place of old worn out patterns and practices that are no longer helpful?


WYT is a new Podcast. And while we gear up to bring you many guests and fascinating theories in the future, this week kicks off a new regular feature we’re very excited about: Jeff Salzman of the Daily Evolver will be joining Stephen T. Harper for a series of conversations about a variety of topics, viewed from Jeff’s unique perspective and the lens of Integral Theory.

This week we take a look at the bright side of some of the many disturbing things happening in American culture.

Because there is always a bright side. Well… usually.

Who’s talking in the Pre-amble this week? Terence Mckenna, Donald Trump, Terence Mckenna, Donald Trump, Prince Ea









2 thoughts on “The Bright Side of the Trump Apocalypse

  1. I truly wish I could develop the level of unattachment that Jeff displays towards the Traditional Mind Set. As a 65 year old gay man, I have to admit I have tremendous rage towards these people. They actively seek to scapegoat gay people. They actively lobby to have gay rights and gay marriage overthrown. They actively promote GOP religious fanatics who seek to do as much harm to me and my husband of 40 years as possible. How do I purge this hate? They have made my life miserable at times. I ran off to the Castro (gay) area of San Francisco in 1975 to escape them. Yet only 3 years later, one of them (Dan White) killed the progressive mayor and the first gay public official, Harvey Milk. I don’t have to relate all the sins of the mainstream towards gay people. But I cannot feel any sympathy for these bronze age dogma believing people. Moving on, where would you put the NEW AGE movement. I find that so many of these people seem to float in a bubble, terrified of the least “negative” thought and pursuing “ascension” to another dimension. Where do any cults of magical thinking fit? Are they subcatetories of Traditional superstitious thought? Finally, you both claimed that the modernist mindset or post-modernist realizes the futility of war, but what about the mighty Military-Industrial Complex in the USA that makes literally billions of dollars off war and defense contracts? War is a huge business in the USA. Until a war arrives on USA soil and cities are nuked, I do not see any empathy in the modernist consciousness towards third world people. I can’t believe you guys didn’t even mention this. I just urge you to stay grounded to reality in all its forms. Do not romanticise the Traditionalist Mind Set. Do not see the Modernist Mind Set in terms that do not seem reflected anywhere on the world stage in relation to the never ending pursuit of profit via war. Can a person be Integral yet feel rage towards earlier stages? Perhaps their negative impacts are just too personal for me, coming from a very right wing traditionalist family in the Midwest before homosexuality could even be mentioned in polite society. My dad taught me that I committed hundreds of sins between waking up and having breakfast. Who tells this to a 5 year old? These people are a necessary “evil” perhaps in evolution but their power must be thwarted or we will regress. Look at the power of Fox News and Hate Radio and their incessant promotion of Traditionalist Values. This is a war, and for me it is personal because I am not going to give up my equal rights as a citizen or my marriage! Please do not sugarcoat this level.

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, William. You make a lot of very good points. A lot of the topics you bring up would make for great talks in the future. For these conversations – the ones we are are calling “Integral Chats” – we try to limit the discussion by starting with a single question to discuss for about 50 minutes without straying too far afield. So there is room for all of the ideas you’ve mentioned, but probably not all at once. We go where the conversation takes us and in one ‘take’, so I’m sure there are things that don’t get enough attention.

      One of the insights that comes pretty consistently when you contemplate this “integral” spectrum, is one long known in religious thought – that pain and suffering serves a developmental (evolutionary) purpose. For example, one topic I’ve had in the back of my head for a future talk – how much has the world lost and how much has the world gained from the “traditional” viewpoint on homosexuality (which has carried on through the “modern” meme that dominated most of our childhoods as well)? In other words, look at the standard cycle (a stereotype, I know, but for the sake of brevity) of small towns making life very difficult for their gay teenagers only to have many of them find a way to transcend their surroundings, often moving on to a bigger and better environment to become an artist or an entrepreneur, or a leader of some kind. Because who a person is will be expressed. So what does that small community lose by pushing talented and imaginative people out of its small confines into the larger world? Would we (meaning the rest of us) have had Tennessee Williams, or Walt Whitman if it was easier for them to be expressed as homosexuals? If they were more comfortable before the creative explosions that eventually came from them? Or if we did have them still, how would their work have been different if they hadn’t struggled to find a way to be heard or a place to be accepted? If Freddie Mercury had been comfortable writing songs about his sex life, would the world still get “A Night at the Opera?” Or instead maybe Queen would have been cranking out standard and disposable pop songs about sex that few would even remember today. Or maybe he wouldn’t have bothered to be a musician at all. I don’t know, but it’s worth thinking about. Each person’s unique perspective drives them to do whatever it is they are going to do, accomplish what they will accomplish, and in that way, contribute to the growth of everyone they touch. But I do know that the impulse to create a homogenous society has left many small towns with a lot less creativity at the top than they might have had. I don’t say any of this to excuse anybody’s behavior. But it is what it is. There is hardship, there is injustice, and there is transcending these things. The third part, the transcending, is when one person grows a lot, and everybody they influence gets some of what they are giving and grows at least a little. I do hope that talking about these things helps put them in perspective. It does help me.
      And thanks for listening.

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