The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Mammal Brain Can Beat the Reptile Brain!

Wonderful article by Matthew Fox on the US presidential election. Fox is one of my favorite theologians. His book Original Blessing had a big impact on me about 18 years ago when I was coming out of college. I haven't engaged with his writings much since then until I met him at the Wild Goose Festival this past summer and participated in his Cosmic Mass.


My take: This presidential election is a tug-of-war for the soul of America. Which will win--the reptilian or mammalian brain? Sometimes I think we are doomed to fall victim to the reptile and have few defenses against the onslaught of the media marketing machine--but something very encouraging is happening this election cycle.

Trump is treating this election like a reality show, and Clinton is treating this election like a marketing campaign. Each has a different style, but they are both working on the voters at the same level of consciousness: It's about branding, "other"-ing, divisions, distractions, trying to control the narrative with buzzwords. It's all fear, fear, FEAR!! Trump supporters are motivated by fear of Clinton, and Clinton supporters are motivated by fear of Trump. Step back a minute and you may see some astonishing similarities. It's as if America is one big reality TV show, where your votes don't matter and people are kept poorly informed and easy to manipulate. Policy is very rarely discussed--it's buried on their respective websites, somewhere.

I see in Sanders, Stein (and possibly others on the conservative/libertarian side who I'm not as familiar with?) an attempt to awaken the population and use the upper level of our brains. Let's talk principles, ideas, our greater good. Let's have actual debate with a back-and-forth of complex ideas. Let's find a way to build compassion into the infrastructure of our society. Let's listen to the concerns of others. Let's lead with passion, integrity and ideas rather than cheap shots and all manner of crazy making diversion and denial tactics. Is this a hopeless venture?

Those media manipulation tactics only work when a population is asleep. The Clinton marketing tactics during the primary--which may have worked during previous elections--largely fell on deaf ears with the majority of Sanders supporters. The fact that Sanders supporters are still not just falling in line with the party line is very refreshing to me. It means that once a population has been awakened, there is no going back. We are not doomed to fall victim to the near-steady brainwashing of the propaganda machine, which is running in overdrive right now.

It doesn't look like Sanders is going to win, but he came very close. He came close enough to convince me what's possible.

It's still an enormous task to live out of a higher consciousness. But at least there's hope that it is possible.

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