Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Obama and the Palin Effect (Part 2)

posted by dchopra

My post a few weeks ago on Sarah Palin acting as Barack Obama’s psychological shadow triggered a lot of people. I thought it would be worthwhile to talk about how one deals with the shadow once it breaks out and begins to disrupt things. But first a short recap: The emergence of Gov. Palin wasn’t simply startling — it was inexplicable. How could 20% of women voters suddenly turn toward her when Palin stands for erasing forty years of feminism? How could the mentality of a small-town mayor morph into a potential President making global decisions? To explain her meteoric rise, I offered the idea that each of us harbors a shadow, a place where our hidden impulses live. By appealing to fear, resentment, hostility to change, suspicion of “the other,” and similar dark impulses, the Republicans have been the shadow’s party for a long time. Sarah Palin put a smiling face on feelings that normally we feel ashamed of.
The shadow is irrational; it thrives on gut emotions. (A recent Fox News poll ran with the headline, “In their gut, independents choose McCain.”) Bringing the 2008 campaign down to the gut level means bringing it down to the level of the shadow. Instead of listening to an intelligent, persuasive, charismatic man with one African-American parent, people get to say, “I just don’t like blacks. They’re scary; they’re not like me. It’s a gut thing.” Only it’s not. It’s a shadow thing that each of us, not just the right wing, must deal with. Reacting to Palin with fear, confusion, panic, and lashing out also comes from the shadow.
People who were shocked and dismayed by the Palin effect generally don’t know how to handle shadow energies. Here are a few salient points:
1. Don’t panic — The shadow is built into your psyche, and when it brings fear, hostility, and resentment to the surface, those feelings want to get out. They cause disruption, but your panic only makes them stick around longer.
2. Try not to be overwhelmed — Eruptions from the shadow are transitory. If you don’t encourage them, these energies dissipate naturally. If you are overwhelmed, however, the net result is exhaustion and loss of energy.
3. Remind yourself who you really are — You are much more than your shadow, because your aspirations, hopes, and dreams keep advancing despite the shadow’s apparent power. Pay the least attention to these disruptions as you need to calm down and no more.
4. Keep a clear focus — The shadow creates disorder and runaway emotions. If you focus on your purpose and remain rational, you will anchor yourself to a more stable reality.
5. Don’t fight fire with fire — If you sink to the level of dark energies, you will be fighting on their terms, and the likelihood is that you will lose.
If we translate these points into current politics, they are clearly applicable. The Democrats were triggered by Palin because they fear losing and that fear runs deep. The bogeymen that frighten us the most come from a primitive level; they stir a sense of childish helplessness. But your mature self, like Obama’s campaign organization, is coherent and knows how to carry out its purpose. Realize that American politics has been dominated by shadow issues for decades, so it’s only natural they still have claws and teeth. But their game has gotten old and tired. If you are able to see past the appeal to fear and resentment, have trust that other people can, too.
The bottom line is that the 2008 election isn’t about change versus experience or a noble candidate who may lose to one who plays dirty. This election is about consciousness. Since the Reagan revolution, consciousness has been sleepy and dull in politics; ideals have been tarnished by cynicism; inner decay has sapped the party in power of its original purpose, leaving only a pointless morass of defensiveness that expresses itself in negativity. If the majority of the electorate wakes up and feels inspired to turn the page, that will happen. Obama has sounded the call; few people missed the message. Now it’s a matter of dealing with a phase of fear and resistance before we discover if stuck consciousness is ready to move ahead.
Visit www.intent.com to read more from Deepak Chopra and other prominent voices.

9/11 A Moment of Silence (by Mallika Chopra)

posted by Mallika Chopra

I was just watching a report about the children of the victims on 9/11 reading the names of those who died on that terrible day. I was so impressed that they were so poignant – a boy who looked about 8 years old, saying that even though my father is gone, he is ever present with me.
I remember my own emotions that day when our family thought for about 1 hour that my brother could be on the first plane, and watching the second, third and fourth ones fall. I remember being 5 months pregnant and feeling the light movements of my daughter inside me. Thinking about the world she would enter and fearing what the future held for her and those like her.
The children I watched today reminded me that the future is bright, and hopeful, and poised, and confident, and capable. They are truly a light in the darkness of the past.
Several moments of silence were observed today: 8:46 am, 9:30am, 9:59 am, 10:29 am. To honor those who died and the loved ones they left behind, I ask you to take a moment just now and tap into that silence.
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Deepak Chopra: The Face of the ‘New World’

posted by akornfeld

Sitting with my American-Chinese-Indian grandson I realized he is the face of the “new world.” We are going through a wonderful transition and going beyond our narrow ethnic and nationalistic boundaries.

Why Obama Needs to Reach Deeper

posted by dchopra

The race has changed, now what? All reports indicate that the Obama camp is rife with confusion about where they stand in the face of the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin and John McCain’s ability to bring the Republican Party together. Neither one was remotely anticipated. This is more than a bump. I think Obama needs to recognize that the tide has decisively turned in McCain’s favor. Palin is shooting down the turnpike, and unless Obama puts up a big hand to stop her, McCain is going to ride her coattails to the White House. The tire is deflating on the Democrats, and once enthusiastic supporters are becoming disheartened.
Right now, complacency is the enemy. The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate have been quiescent for more than a year, on the assumption that letting George Bush hang himself would be enough. It wasn’t, and as a result public disapproval of Congress is as high or higher, than disapproval of the President. Obama can’t afford to rest on his past message. Right-thinking Democrats view Palin as absurd and obnoxious, but she isn’t going to hang herself, anymore than Bush did. Kerry showed himself to be sorely lacking at just this juncture in the 2004 campaign. He had every reason to win, but he didn’t find the means to turn those reasons into a win. He wasn’t alert and flexible in the face of change, and he acted like Gentleman Jim in the face of Swift-boating instead of fighting back with honest outrage.
McCain made two brilliant changes at the convention. He energized the radical right, knowing that he couldn’t win without them. Palin isn’t a joke to a sizable swath of the electorate; she’s a champ. Second, he pretended to repudiate Republican corruption, in essence slapping the party in the face. Everyone with an ounce of sense knows that they deserved it, so in one stroke McCain appeared more honest; he signalled that integrity trumped party loyalty. Independents liked that, and now they are trending toward him.
From the beginning, Obama has had two prongs to his campaign strategy. The first was change, the second was throwing out the scoundrels. McCain has undercut both quite effectively. Therefore, Obama is unlikely to win by repeating the same message, that McCain is basically a third term for Bush, since Independents don’t yet trust Obama to be their alternative to Bush. Obama has to be as flexible in his message as McCain has been.
He needs to show genuine outrage at the Republican smear campaign and call McCain to task personally for allowing it.
He has to unleash a woman like Hillary Clinton to attack Palin as a huge step backward for women. The Hillary camp needs a strong motivation to back Obama, not a grudging one.
He or Joe Biden must forcefully make Palin look extremist.
He needs to run on more than vague optimism. I don’t think that means handing out policy statements, which are as bloodless as planks in the party platform. It means more emotion and visceral opposition to everything Bush stands for.
The bottom line is that for America to turn the page, Obama has to turn the page on his campaign first. As a general call to the troops, asking for change worked in the primaries; it woke people up. But Hillary Clinton’s momentum in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia showed that a more visceral appeal was needed, and will work. At this moment McCain looks plausibly like a change candidate, and so Obama must fight against him and look like he’s fighting. The essential problem which runs deep, is that Republicans operate on the assumption that Democrats will lose, while Democrats operate on the fear that Republicans can’t be beaten. That has to turn around or we will be handed a self-fulfilling prophecy in November.
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