“Useful Idiots”

saul-alinskyA slight departure now from our customary Chrysalis-focused writings with but a single purpose in mind; namely to shed light on the agitating racket and disharmony as the inauguration of Donald Trump approaches.

As I’ve written before, the world is experiencing the birth throes of a new paradigm. This truism has been proclaimed far and wide for many years; it has been anticipated by those with “eyes to see and ears to hear.” A search for “paradigm shift” on Google returns over 8-million hits.

It remains to be seen if the new paradigm is born healthy. If so, her birth will herald a new Golden Age. If not, the pain we will inflict upon ourselves depends upon how hard we as a species – and particularly as a nation – push back against the inevitable winds of change. Clearly, even those with stunted spiritual antennae accept that humanity’s present course – the status quo – is unsustainable.

Since the politics of the day is incendiary, I shall reflect on the politics of the past to make needed points. This is where the somewhat sinister looking character pictured above assumes center stage. He is Saul Alinsky, who died back in 1972 at age 63. As spiritual symmetries and synchronicities would have it, Alinsky’s story includes intriguing parallels to today’s perturbed political landscape. Synchronicity should always inform us as well as entertain us. It’s more than meaningful coincidence. It’s backward causation through time.

Alinsky was born in Chicago in 1909 to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Wikipedia calls him an “American community organizer and writer.” He wrote a book in 1971 titled, Rules for Radicals, which is considered the Bible for community organizing. William Buckley called him an “organizational genius.” Alinsky is not the villain here, only the foil.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley on Alinsky, but let’s not entwine ourselves in that political kudzu. Instead, we’ll just recount a few of Alinsky’s ideas he termed “power tactics,” as outlined in his Rules for Radicals and draw our own conclusions.

I’ll pick and choose 5 from his list of 13 (the emphasis is mine):

  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  • A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
  • Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
  • The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
  • Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Alternatively, perhaps it’s better simply to accept legitimate change, adapt and move on. America, by the way, also has a Bible, along with a few rules for being a “good American.” It’s known as the Constitution. Dissent and civil disobedience are Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights we all cherish. Wanton disrespect and lawlessness, not so much.

16-kaliWe live in the Age of Kali, whose ongoing cosmic mission is change via creative destruction. “May you live in interesting times,” the sages say. Chrysalis Tarot fans are intimately familiar with Kali, even if they sometimes don’t fully understand her intent or immediately spot her spiritual footprint.

For those who are unfamiliar with her, Kali is an archetype. Chrysalis Tarot is first and foremost “archetypal psychology” designed to increase self-awareness and, therefore, consciousness (symbolized by Kali’s chain of skulls).

The “tower” in the image symbolizes the human ego, which is in constant tension with the Higher Self. As ego decreases, Higher Self is able to increase. This can be described as spiritual growth or enlightenment, which are essential to seeing things clearly – to think clearly and critically.

Since the word Bible came up a couple of times in this stream of consciousness post, it calls to mind the theological doctrine of eschatology. In metaphysics, as opposed to religious dogma, this doctrine simply refers to the study of, and the reasons for, profound change that precedes evolution of consciousness; you cannot separate eschatology from paradigm shifts and evolution of consciousness. Eschatology is, therefore, a macrocosmic absolute that informs microcosmic religious dogma, which is fluid.

Two thousand years ago there was another birth – another paradigm shift – that gave name to what we call the “common era (CE).” Back then, before the present era was common, the eschatology of John the Baptist, a Jewish prophet, was apocalyptic. The eschatology of Jesus, also a Jewish prophet, was the coming of a New Kingdom (new paradigm) – a new Golden Age, as it were. Paradigm shifts will always reconcile and reset the tension of opposites. “A tension of opposites is like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.” ~ Morrie Schwartz.

It is not my intention to parrot some facile Christian Sunday School lesson with references to John and his cousin Jesus – I’m a spiritual naturalist, after all. I simply wish to remind the reader that at its core, the situation in America and the world today is spiritual in nature and far more complex than tedious left vs. right politics or sectarian religious zeal might have you believe. This brings me to the title of this blog: What on Earth is a “Useful Idiot?” Well, these hive-minded folks abound and abide and are “having a ball.”

“In political jargon, useful idiot is a term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.” ~ Wikipedia

In other words, a useful idiot is a tool for Kali.

© Toney Brooks