Deepak Chopra is trying his hand at political commentary. With a metaphysical gloss, of course. Unfortunately he falls flat on his face. I’m kinda sorry about it, too, I thought he was sharper than this.
Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.
She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind.
You’ve missed the mark, Deepak. Way missed. Shadows are psychological projections, not objective fact: Obama is as much Palin’s shadow as she is his.
Holding Palin up as somehow objectively negative–as objectively embodying “anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion,” therefore, does nothing to raise the discourse spiritually. It just feeds into the already half-psychotic partisan frenzy that is distracting so many people from the things that really matter. Roman-style Games, only played out in conversation instead of the arena.
Chopra makes a quick aside to make sure we have no cause to question his own virtue . . .
(Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.)
Got it. You’re not a racist. Check.
He’s just looking out for our greater good:
I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message.
Nope, it’s not the least bit helpful, sorry. It’s a justification for some of the worst impulses poisoning our contemporary political discourse, all dressed up in high-falutin’ pseudo psychology speak, is what it is.
You want to add perspective, Deepak? How about this: we need to start accepting that people on both sides of the political spectrum are equally privy to goodness and understanding and love. That Palin can legitimately embody loyalty, bravery, duty, grace, confidence, tradition, selflessness, strength, optimism — virtues every bit as lofty and admirable as those Chopra projects onto Obama.
Chopra sells books because people believe he has advanced his understanding to a point where he has something to share. That only works if he’s actually, like, “advanced.” This column just makes him look like a Hollywoodized mock-up of “advanced.” Silly man.