The Trump Era, Month Five

In this podcast we’ve spliced together the audio from three Facebook Live videos I’ve done over the last couple weeks. I’m really liking these quickie videos as they are giving me a chance to comment on current events in real time, which is particularly handy now that the news is coming at us so fast.

Here are the three topics I explore in this podcast:

02:36 Trump is Irredeemably Red

19:18 Loyalty vs Law

37:53 The Uncivil War

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Irritation as a Spiritual Practice – A conversation with Diane Musho Hamilton

Diane Musho Hamilton is at the forefront of one of the most significant spiritual emergents in contemporary culture: the realization of the power of our everyday relationships, even troubled ones, as a means of awakening.

For many progressive spiritual practitioners it no longer feels like enough to merely follow an individual meditation practice, as valuable as that is. We want to apply our enlarged selves, skillfully and in real time, to the circumstances of our complex lives, and particularly to our relationships with others.

The spiritual potency of relationship is a subject Diane Musho Hamilton explores in her new book, The Zen of You and Me: A Guide to Getting Along with Just About Anyone. Diane grounds her teaching in the enduring cosmic polarity between difference and sameness. It is the sameness we share with others that provides comfort and safety, and the differences we have with them that bring liveliness and creativity. As integralists we are called to integrate these polarities into a deeper mutuality.

Diane’s approach is particularly relevant to the contemporary social challenge of relating to our American family as it continues to polarize both culturally and politically.

I always feel a little bit wiser after a conversation with my dear friend Diane. I hope you do too!

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The Shrink & The Pundit

Transforming Trauma Into Power – A two-part conversation with Dr. Keith Witt

Life is wounding. For some of us our wounds are inflicted in the form of major traumas such as a serious injury, painful divorce, career failure or act of abuse or violence. More often, however, we are merely called on to suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life, which can also leave their mark.

Contemporary psychology has revealed two major insights into trauma. One is that trauma is pervasive: two-thirds of Americans report experiencing a major trauma in their lives. The other is that trauma is toxic, often kicking off lifetime patterns of depression, anxiety and addiction. One study showed that people who suffer six or more of ten different categories of adverse events lived on average twenty years less that people who had had experienced none of those categories of adverse events.

Whether large or little, some trauma is inevitable and necessary for healthy development. Shocks and setbacks shape who we are and can provide the opportunity to develop resilience and a larger perspective.

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Can Globalists Be Nationalists? An interview with Steve McIntosh…

In this podcast I ask Integral philosopher Steve McIntosh a question on the mind of many integral practitioners: how do we relate to the nationalist passions that are arising in many developed countries around the globe?

Nationalism is often expressed as “love it or leave it” nativism, or in the case of the election of Donald Trump as a promise to take America back to an era of perceived past greatness.

On the other hand many Green-stage postmodernists reject patriotism entirely. As Steve says, “it is like nails on a chalkboard for people of postmodern consciousness to contemplate the good that America has done in its history.”

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The Bannon Doctrine: Demolition Ahead

Steve Bannon is Donald Trump’s favorite philosopher. Trump sometimes jokes that he doesn't know “whether Bannon is alt-right or alt-left,” but either way Bannon has given voice to the visceral impulse of populist nationalism that Donald Trump has expressed for decades.

So what does Bannon believe? A pillar of his worldview is contained in a school of history called Strauss-Howe generational theory, developed by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which states that human events can be loosely organized in terms of recurring eighty year cycles, or saecula, which unfold in four twenty year turnings.

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Trump: the Anti-Green Backlash Begins – An interview with Ken Wilber

The Trump Presidency is an evolutionary correction for a culture whose leading edge “is in a 50-car pileup.” This is the thesis of Ken Wilber’s excellent new eBook, Trump and a Post-Truth World, and the kickoff point of a wide ranging conversation I had with Ken last week. Here's Ken's argument:

Every now and then, evolution itself has to adjust course, in light of new information on how its path is unfolding, and it starts (apparently spontaneously but with this deeper morphic field actually operating) by making various moves that are, in effect, self-correcting evolutionary realignments. The leading-edge of cultural evolution is today—and has been for four or five decades—the green wave (“green” meaning the basic stage of human development known to various developmental models as pluralistic, postmodern, relativistic, individualistic, beginning self-actualization, human-bond, multicultural, etc.—and generically referred to as “postmodern”).

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The Trump Era: Day 45 – Prepare for Impact

Ok, folks, we’ve had 45 consecutive mornings of waking up and wrapping our heads around the fact that Donald J. Trump is going to be the next president of the United States of America. What do we know now that we didn’t know before? To the degree that we can discern a pattern, we see that Trump will govern the same way he campaigned: as a disrupter. And he is doubling down on that approach with a team and cabinet of disrupters.

What will happen? Here is where I’m grateful for my Buddhist training in “don’t know mind,” a practice of watching one’s mind try to make sense of something that is unknown. The fruit of the practice is the realization that you are more happy and effective, and life is more rich and vivid, when you recognize that every moment is unknowable and thus full of possibility.

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Taming the Trump-Tossed Mind

“We can use this situation to ‘know’ our inner voice when it is caught up in drawing conclusions about the future … to learn to stop our conditioned mind in stride as it starts to create negative fantasies … and to laugh at our reactive tendencies to complain, criticize and condemn as our minds are so well trained to do.” -- Bryan Zerr

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The Shrink & The Pundit

Self-Love: Feeling whole in our incompleteness

The Shrink and the Pundit is an ongoing discussion between Jeff and his longtime friend, Dr. Keith Witt, a leading Integral psychotherapist.

In this podcast they explore the topic of self-love. Dr. Keith traces the relationship that each of us has with our own “self-sense” from birth (actually gestation), when we fall from the paradise of the womb and begin the process of growth into ever new worlds of conditional love. That pattern continues until we reach higher stages of development, where a more integrated sense of self is able to love what has previously been in shadow.

Listen in as Jeff and Dr. Keith discuss how to cultivate “a warm sense of oneness with yourself as being good, caring and beautiful.”

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The Trump Era: Day 1 | Three integrally-informed friends attempt to face reality

My colleagues Diane Hamilton and Terry Patten are here at my home, preparing for the Integral Living Room gathering which begins tomorrow. They arrived a day early, yesterday (November 8), so we could celebrate Hillary Clinton's victory together. Ha ha!

Instead we, like millions of people, are trying to come to terms with the victory of Donald Trump. Suddenly we are embarking on a new adventure together -- one that Diane, Terry and I, at least, would never have chosen.

We recorded a conversation of our process to share with you, in case it might help you make sense of things as well.

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Trump the Terrible: an Integral Look at the Boy who Would be King

Defeat Trump! Not because he is a big alpha figure who would bust up the establishment. Not because he's vulgar. Not because lacks a coherent policy vision. Those things can actually be evolutionarily potent in their proper measure. No, the real problem with Donald Trump is that in important lines of development he is arrested at the level of a five-year-old. Keep nukes out of the hands of children. Make sure to vote!

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Our Nutty and Fruitful Election – A conversation with Jeff Salzman, Diane Musho Hamilton & Terry Patten

This episode was recorded on Monday, October 10th, the day after the second Presidential debate (the debate preceded by Trump’s press conference with four women who accuse Bill and Hillary Clinton of abuse). In it Jeff chats with Integral besties Diane Musho Hamilton and Terry Patten and test drives his theory that this campaign, as appalling as it is, is a powerful engine of cultural evolution and is moving us to a more intelligent and humane place.

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Is the System Rigged? Yes, and it’s coming along nicely …

If there's one thing that people on both ends of the political spectrum can agree on, it's this: the system is rigged. But an integral view asks, “which system?” A historical survey reveals that over time humanity has created a series of political/economic systems, each designed to right the wrongs of the previous system. Essentially, the workings of any system is seen as corruption by people at the next stage of development. This bigger “System” of cultural evolution continues to create “systems” that are ever more equitable and humane. In this podcast Jeff explores what corruption looks like now, and how it relates to the US presidential election.

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The Democrats’ Integral Convention — And glimmers of hope on the right

Hey gang, I couldn't stay away another minute. There's just too much happening with this crazy, mixed up election. So here is a new Daily Evolver podcast I recorded over last couple days, to share some of the evolutionary impulses I see arising out of this astonishing play of events.

I focus on a new Integral sensibility that I see emerging among the Democrats. Their convention in Philadelphia was a beautiful example of a Green multicultural gathering, with every creed, color and progressive identity well-represented, including the first woman presidential nominee of a major party. I expected all that. What I didn’t expect was a gathering that was also lit up by Amber traditionalist values, old-fashioned values such as patriotism, humility, faith and optimism. But there they were: the flags, the prayers, and the sense of promise, even progress — all Integrated into a green, postmodern worldview that used to have antibodies to each of these things.

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Can integral theory solve climate change and save democracy? A conversation with Alan Watkins

In "Wicked and Wise", Alan and Ken use climate change as an example of a wicked problem. “Integral coherence”, or applying the integral map in a coherent fashion, is the essence of the solution. In the podcast, Jeff and Alan discuss climate change, the problems of globalization and democracy, getting CEO’s to do the right thing, and even Donald Trump!

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Daily Evolver live

Political correctness and the evolution of culture

There is political correctness, it turns out, at every stage of development, from the capitol crime of blasphemy at the traditional/amber stage to the prejudices and microaggressions you may not even know you’ve inflicted at the postmodern/green stage. Jeff shows how they are pushing humanity into new, ever more humane and compassionate territory. Also, Obama’s last State of the Union address.

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The soul of jazz part 1: The songs

This post is an addendum to The soul of jazz part 1: A conversation with integral music critic Greg Thomas. "Maple Leaf Rag" by Jelly Roll Morton"West End Blues" by Louis Armstrong"Swinging the Blues" by Count Basie Orchestra "Kansas...

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