Friday, October 17, 2008

Mr. Brooks Gets A Clue

Pretty Lady occasionally hesitates to disclose her real opinion, on the subject that is uppermost in so many of our minds. She has already experienced the dangers of Getting Political, much less the minefield that is Mixing Spirituality and Politics. But her inner impressions are so strong now as to be unavoidable; moreover, even a prominent conservative seems to agree with her.

Obama...grew up with an absent father and a peripatetic mother. “I learned long ago to distrust my childhood,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.” This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds.

But over the past two years, Obama has never shown evidence of that. Instead, he has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day.

There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil. It’s not willpower or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious. Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.
Pretty Lady, in great trepidation, and with the full understanding that she might be wrong, dares to give a name to this 'deep-bottom-up process': transcending the ego. In other words, she believes that Mr. Obama demonstrates a greater level of spiritual maturity than the vast majority of human beings.

She is fully aware that you are all sick of hearing about this from her.

She suspects, however, that few of you have yet grasped what she is saying, so doggedly she repeats herself. Transcending the ego is not the same as denying the ego; it is not about self-effacement, self-abnegation, or climbing a mountain and meditating alone for the rest of one's life. It is perfectly possible, though not at all common, for a person to transcend his or her ego, enter politics, and become one of the most powerful people in the world. It is possible because this 'transcending' process, this seemingly ethereal, esoteric, annoyingly New-Agey sounding thing is, in reality, a process for facilitating the flow of energy.

In other words, it creates astonishing power. Power greater by far than simple brutal self-aggrandizement. The key thing about this sort of power, moreover, is that its very essence is disarming and harmonizing, not destructive, because it derives from a source much greater than any individual perspective can contain.

Look, darlings, at the salient characteristics of Mr. Obama's temperament, as elucidated by Mr. Brooks. Equanimity: check. Ability to see the Big Picture: check. Detachment from personal attacks: check. Non-neediness: check.

These are all signs of a mind that has ceased to wholly identify with its small-s self, and become aware of the tranquil, timeless, indestructible, universal Self. It is impervious to personal attacks because it is not That Person. It is capable of listening deeply and sincerely to others, because it acknowledges those others as an integral part of itself, not as a threat. It can grasp the Big Picture, because it IS the Big Picture.

Pretty Lady is certain that there are many of you who will claim that she is going Too Far; there are more of you who will claim that a liberal socialist cannot possibly have transcended anything, because liberal socialism is the philosophy of the Devil. She would endeavor to pre-address these arguments, but she is looking forward to a fun discussion, so instead she invites you to have at it.


Anonymous said...

yes, it is Bliss..

Anonymous said...

Pretty Lady

Trepidation is always warranted when undertaking to formulate equations where human beings are concerned. You may or may not be right in your expectations re Senator Obama. Whatever the outcome, it will have little to do with your theory and correspondent checks.

I see much of this very same thing in professional sports. Theories abound, all an admixture of the hard and soft sciences. All in the hope of evaluating young talent and whether said talent will be worthy of obscene amounts of money to hit, catch, throw, etc. - consistently and under pressure - and there's the rub - UNDER PRESSURE.

The numbers have always accurately predicted athleticism. Mental tests, however, are as accurate as a coin toss in determining an athlete's capacity to take in the incredibly detailed and subtle aspects of any single moment of a situation. When these measures and tests are then used to extrapolate action "under pressure", they are more than useless. May as well call in astrologers, phrenologists, tea leaves and palm readers.

The bottom line in all such endeavors, athletic and all the others, comes down to this: you pay the money and you take your chances.

Pretty Lady said...

George, if running a two-year Presidential campaign during two wars and the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression isn't 'pressure,' just what DOES constitute pressure, in your estimation? I mean, George W. has remained quite calm, even fey, during the last several years, but that derives more from a lack of imagination and an ironclad sense of self-righteousness than any genuine fitness for the job.

And I am not aware of having communicated expectations of Mr. Obama, merely observations, and concomitant theories of cause and effect. There are never any guarantees. I myself certainly know the pain, chaos and confusion that stems from having been in a state of grace, and then tumbling out of it. Spiritual maturation is an ongoing process, not a destination.

Chris Rywalt said...

I love the image that's been going around showing Barry Obama with the legend, "EVERYONE CHILL THE FUCK OUT. I GOT THIS."

I really think that when Obama's supporters hear him speak, what they're hearing is, "I GOT THIS." Over and over.

Meanwhile when Obama's detractors hear him speak, they're hearing, "I'M GONNA DESTROY YOUR COUNTRY."

I'm not sure why this is. I keep hearing "I GOT THIS." But when McCain speaks, all I hear is "I WANNA BE PRESIDENT. REALLY BAD."

David said...

I love that poster. Thanks. I admire Pretty Lady's finely tuned sense of quality. Her analysis of Obama as transcending the self aligns with my own, but I describe it using another word - compassion. He's an imperfect man, as he says often himself, and he could screw up once in office, but a political leader with a developed sense of compassion, or selflessness, is a welcome prospect. It's the change we need. I was also surprised by Brook's piece on Obama and take it as a sign that O really does "got it", as the poster says. There is still much evil abroad out there and the race is looking more and more like a good vs. evil morality play. The power of his compassion, and his political chops, bode well for the man who's primary task will be to right 8 years of bone-headed divisiveness, destruction and waste.

Chris Rywalt said...

Although Jimmy Carter had compassion, and I understand he was a lousy president. I don't know enough to make a judgment myself, honestly, but this is what I hear.

Anonymous said...

Pretty Lady

I adduced that you had expectations that Obama would make a good leader/president based on your theory about transcending the ego, et al. I alluded to your trepidation and understanding that you could be wrong and understand you were not proffering some fool proof method of determining c from the values of a and b. You say there are never any guarantees and I go all the way and say there is no value in such an exercise at all.


“if running a two-year Presidential campaign during two wars and the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression isn't 'pressure,' just what DOES constitute pressure”

Being president.

David said...

Donna Brazile at the New Yorker festival on what this political race should be about.

Anonymous said...

Well, okay. In the interests of Getting It Right, let's treat it formally...

Given a politician with 'gaping personal needs and hidden wounds', what are the chances of him being able to successfully conceal them and their effects in his public appearances? What are the chances of him being able to repair them, as is claimed? Which is easier? How can they be distinguished, from publicly available data and media experiences?

"Transcending the ego" is identified with a number of positive attributes, including greater spiritual maturity. What other explanations would fit the data, if we assume that we do not have his complete psych' profile to hand? That is, what explanations require the observed attributes, plus one or two that are unobserved?

Given that the Lady's analysis is correct, is it a useful attribute for the leader of a top-down structure to have? To what degree is his ability to govern and manage a country influenced by his personal ability to facilitate the flow of energy?

We can presume that his ability to facilitate energy flow is primarily useful in Getting Things Done. If so, can we also presume that this effect is fairly tightly restricted to his vicinity, in communications and in time? That is, when he talks to you, the Get-Things-Done factor in you and your vicinity spikes, and remains high while he is nearby or still talking to you; it then trails off as time advances without his presence.

Given that such a person with such an effect is at the head of a government, and given that such an effect is extraordinarily rare, is it a good thing to have 'unenlightened' people sharing in the benefits of the Get-Things-Done effect? How likely are they, not he, to abuse such an effect?

Given that such a person with such an effect is at the head of a government, we can safely say that efficiency demands the concentration of power in his hands. Given that the concentration of power tends to create a monoculture that may have hidden flaws, is this a safe precedent for later Presidents? For his Vice President, in the event of the President's death?

Sorry, didn't mean for that to be so long. I look forward to reading your reply, as well as any rebuttals to my probably presumptive comments.

Anonymous said...

Treacher Raps Obama

Well! My! Name is Barack and I'm gonna raise your taxes
Intimidated media won't tell ya what the facts is

That plumber was a bummer when his question caused a schism
'Tween the folks who like their paychecks and the fans of socialism

I hung out with a terrorist for 10 or 20 years
But don't you bring it up, or I'll holla "Fight the Smears!"

You racists try to stop me with your bigotry and hate
Just because my bestest buddies used to laugh at Sharon Tate

I've spent a half a billion on an advertising blitz
But according to the polls I worship, it ain't doin' $#!+

My campaign calls your house all day and bugs you while you're eatin'
And ACORN ain't about to stop the unrepentant cheatin'

I smirk, I'm a jerk, and I work within the system
To bring about a class war that will crush capitalism

You disagree with me and I'll vet ya till you're quiet
And if I'm not elected, then there's gonna be a riot

Anonymous said...

You racists try to stop me with your bigotry and hate
Just because my bestest buddies used to laugh at Sharon Tate

Does this mean you think the Weather Underground is the same as the Manson family?


Do some self-educatin before you start hatin

And you better get some teachin before you start preachin.


CAP said...

Julie Takacs said...

I loved this post.