Human beings need monsters. We have always needed monsters.
From our ancestors living on the plains of Africa, to our modern day religious beliefs and our interconnected, convoluted conspiracy theories – monsters have and always will exist – deep inside our human imagination.
In the earliest days of consciousness, our ancestors found ways to explain scary things. Bizarre and super extraordinary ways to explain everything from natural disasters, to changes in weather patterns, to sexual desire, to birth, death, love.
We especially hate feeling powerless and helpless over our circumstances - so we make up stories. They make us feel like we can exert some kind of control over the external world.
President Elect Donald Trump tapped into and spoke to that deep sense of feeling lost, hopeless, fearful and uncertain.
And our country continues to divided between two principles. Principle one is that of openness. It’s the idea that the future will be better than today, and that the world is always progressing towards better things. That we can feel safe in our future.
The other principal is that of closed. Closed minds. Closed borders. Closed sexual access. Closed, cultish ideals. That the world is an endless life and death struggle with the devil and evil, right and wrong.
And we have the gift of human imagination. Yet we are functionally illiterate when it come to determining the difference between what we imagine and what is real. There’s even a kind of religious fervor around this idea. “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.”
Fortunately we live in a world that doesn’t actually work that way. Fortunately there are lots of things I can imagine that can’t and never will happen in reality. So we run around trying to explain our deep inner feelings of helplessness, anxiety and insecurity by pointing to a monster out there.
And unexpectedly, like some kind of inevitable lurking time bomb, this election showed us that fear is a monster lurking deep inside the imaginations of privileged, educated and uneducated white males.
Changes are happening, and the most privileged of this country are unconsciously scared. This election cycle illustrates exactly who the monster “out there” is: angry brown people and powerful women. These two distinctions of people are making the white males feel deep fear, insecurity and uncertainty. What will happen to them? Who is looking out for the disenfranchised white guy?
Donald Trump became a living expression of that terrified voice of brown monsters, lurking inside, just around the corner, inside the minds of the white males who can’t seem to decode changes happening right before his eyes.
White guys who believe life owes them something. Because they have been brainwashed into high self esteem and sense of strong self deserved privilege. And now they have the chance to roll back time. To “Make America Great, Again,” which basically means “Make America Safe for White Males Again.”
White males have been feeling undermined and under attack for decades now. And they don’t know how to make sense of life, work, sex and women.
So they long for a nostalgic time, which never existed in 3D reality, when white men ruled the earth like the now extinct dinosaurs.
White men, with their sense of self importance and privilege, handing out trite drivel about "not having a racist bone in my body,” or “I’m all about a ‘hand up’ but NOT about a hand out,” or how poor people arejust don’t
White males who surround themselves with people who look them, think like them, “the right way" and are scared like they are.
And I wish it was only in the red states. Frankly, Santa Monica can be just as bad - if not worse - because it looks like paleo fitness guru diets and yoga bliss, hand churned ice-cream with organic lavender picked by non-gmo-mexicans.
It looks progressive, but it’s as progressive as saying, “Oh, yeah, I have lots of Mexican friends,” meaning day laborers, cleaning people, landscapers who they pay to do work and pay to say hi to me.
And the real problem, is that we can’t tell the difference between what we think and believe, and reality.
This is a major limitation of the human mind.
Now I’m about to take you on a journey, so I invite you to stay with me. It may sound a little outlandish, but if you follow me, it may bring you some clarity as to how we have arrived where we are with Trump, the abusive parent, the entitled white male, who will be leading our country as the 45th President of the United States.
The first thing to understand is that Trump won this election by stoking the fear and anxiety of a white male who is afraid of being displaced.
That fear is the same fear that we have all been indoctrinated into; the fear of God. The fear of moral repercussions for any and every decision we make.
If you’re a human being, and you are alive you have been indoctrinated into black and white religious thinking, even if you were not born religious.
We live in a religious society. A Christian society. A God fearing society. A society struggling with the definitions of good and evil. Right and wrong.
The seeds of the answers to these questions have been implanted in you since you were an infant.
And unfortunately, regardless of being told by religion that these points are black-and-white, the fact of the matter is we live in a world where life is anything but black-and-white. If we live in reality, we are faced with murky decisions, cloudy decisions, gray decisions, constantly.
When we are indoctrinated into a God-fearing universe, we are always looking for the monsters lurking in the darkness - outside of us.
Religion trained us to feel insecure and unsafe at the very core of our being. We are, after all, evil and dirty at our core.
The way we try to control this lack of safety is through creating rigid and laws for our lives and the lives of everybody else around us. If we can create a world where everybody thinks the same way we do, then that will supposedly make us feel safe. Which it never does. The promise is just out of reach.
For example, if somebody is a born-again Christian in New York City or a born-again Christian in The Gambia, the belief is, that at their core, they share the same fundamental ideas about the way the world works. Which makes everybody feel safer.
We can trust people who look and think like us. We can have faith in them because they are like us.
And so we can make up whatever stories we want about race, sex and life. And yet most of the ideas that people believe in don’t actually map with reality. However, they do create powerful neural pathways for made-up belief systems.
For example, almost every major religion has some version of a Pathway To Armageddon and the collapse of society, so evil itself can be cleansed by God.
Those that believe in "the right God" get to live. Those that don’t, get to burn in hell for eternity.
Now you may believe that you are beyond these silly ideals, but I assert to you that the election of Donald Trump implies that a majority of our country still believes in a fundamental struggle of good over evil, right over wrong. And that – most important of all – “white is the way" forward.
Now this is where it gets really strange. All major religions belief they have the right and just way. And they are fighting to save the rest of the people in the world from burning in hell. The angry white man believes "white is right. In other parts of the world, it’s more like, “I’m down with Brown!”
And so these two principles are on, and have been on, a major collision course. However, the reality is, the color of the planet is changing.
Religion teaches us black-and-white thinking. And we apply that to humans. But the human genome has been sequenced for almost 15 years. And you know what we found out? All humans are the same race. We are all descendants of our African ancestors. Who fucked a lot.
Yet we live in a world that pretends that race and skin color and how we have sex is a thing. Like it’s’ the same as the computer I’m writing on. Or the screen you’re reading on.
But race is not a real thing. It’s a social construct that we deeply believe it - like Santa Clause.
God is also not a real thing. But it’s something we deeply believe in. the belief and faith in a God is what opens us up in the first place to believing that humans are the most important creatures in god’s kingdom.
The reality is that, before the cognitive revolution, humans were no more significant than any other animal wandering around the surface of the earth. But with the cognitive revolution, our capacity to imagine and self reflect, came our ability to make stories up to explain the origins of the universe, and then turn around and believe in those made up stories as if they were reality.
Which leads us back to monsters. We believe in monsters. We LOVE monsters. We believe in supernatural events, including the belief in a cataclysmic end to the world.
So on 9/11, when two airplanes slammed into and destroyed the World Trade Centers, the monsters inside of us were awakened – like Godzilla. Only this time, Godzilla was terrorists. Brown people. People who also believed in bat-shit crazy, punishing gods that seemed so different from ours. Brown people who also believed their job was to save the world, just like we have been mandated by the bible to do.
They also believed that their belief in God granted them the rights to kill people in the name of "saving them."
And so came to be 16 years of a war fighting brown skinned monsters. Monsters that could attack anywhere at any time without any warning. Monsters that could shake our very belief in the system of government and democracy that we grew up in.
Monsters that were so powerful that they were effective in getting us devouring our own young to save ourselves. The stable ground that we used to live in prior to 9/11 was ripped away.
That is what terrorism is. It is creating a sense of endless fear, lack of safety, and overall terror that cannot be quenched. When we are afraid of monsters in our minds, and I assert to you that is what the 9/11 attacks did to our imaginations, there is no end to our fear. No amount of walls, borders, controls, guns or system locks can make us feel safe – because the monster already lives inside of us.
As socialized humans, we have been trained for that monster since the beginning of time. And no matter how fast or how hard we run, we can never escape our own psyche.
Donald Trump the voice of the vengeful God who promises to keep us safe. But there is no way to keep us safe from imaginations and our ability to think “anything is possible."
Safety is an inside job. Terrorists do what they do because they feel unsafe. Conspiracy theorists, exacerbated by terrorists, have no firm ground of reality to stand on. Everything is a straw man for something else. Some other agency or secret operation intended to take the white man’s freedoms. Their own government, they have come to believe, is truly out to get them - at any cost and any length. Their own government is conspiring to destroy their “righteous way of life.”
And suddenly this conspiracy theory sounds like God. God who knows every thing that you are doing. Who is watching every thought, and cares deeply about what you do with your genitals.
Religion, I assert, is a gigantic conspiracy theory, designed to evolve your soul or trick you into going to hell. And that is how we come to be here. Because you believe in this kind of rules and laws god who is compassionate but still tries to trick you and fuck you - that is why Trump won.
Cause Trump knows how to twist the knife of our fear and narcissism. To make us feel like our own evil government is out to get us, kill us, take our land and money.
And when Osama Bin Laden attacked the United States, his intention was to awaken that narcissistic monster of fear inside of each of us, to have it turned against our own people, our own government and force us to spend billions and billions, if not trillions, of dollars in an attempt to make people feel safe by starting fights all over the world. Fights that can’t be won because there is no gigantic conspiracy.
But safety, as I have already said, is an inside game. Safety is created when we stop chasing invisible monsters, stop believing in ill tempered, insecure invisible gods who punish you dearly for the slightest infractions, and in grand government conspiracies.
Which, I assert, is going to take some kind of cultural therapeutic intervention. We have to teach people how to feel safe within themselves. Trump can’t make us safe. Safety is a feeling - not a thing.
The reality is humans are safer and live longer than they ever have in human history. Yet we live as if these are the most dangerous times in America ever. And we believe that by controlling brown skinned people, we will somehow magically feel safer.
But we can’t feel safer. Ever. Because the monster has been awakened inside of each and every one of us and it feels like the terrorists are right around the corner.
I assert that Donald Trump found the buttons and levers that made people feel angry and unsafe. And he rode that juggernaut ice cutting badass machine into the White House. In fact I would argue Donald Trump’s platform rests on the shoulders of the philosophies of Osama Bin Laden. Creation of fear inside of people and they will do anything you say.
There is a relationship between conservative thinking, closed thinking, conspiracy theories, and religion. The story of any God, is at its core, a grand conspiracy plot. Whether it’s Jesus organizing your life, or just the universe, the whole universe is either conspiring to teach you, or conspiring to break you.
The Godzilla God we all believe in, to some degree, lives inside of us all, and he’s scared, destructive, and angry.
So how did Donald Trump win the White House? He won it on a platform of fear, rage and entitlement.
My question to you is this: what would we have to do as a society generally and as individuals specifically, to begin cultivating a sense of safety from deep inside?
That’s where safety lives. We have to create it inside by whatever means necessary.
We have to create safety and kindness inside.
In this sense, the only thing we have to fear is the fact that we can’t determine what is an actual thing to be afraid of vs. the monsters and gods in our heads - which are clouds.
You see, every time you give your rational mind away to a conspiracy theory, you are fundamentally undermining your sense of safety – and you can chalk one up in the win column of Osama Bin Laden.
I would argue that the BEST thing to happen to any terrorist organization is Donald Trump. He will become a platform of recruitment and his own fears and rage will lead him and our incredible country straight into the traps that Osama Bin Laden set two decades earlier.
Yes, Osama is dead, but his ideals and ideology live on.
And they are screaming at you to fear your own government. To mistrust the fraudulent system. They are screaming at you to mistrust everyone and everything. To question everything. To overthrow the “entrenched political systems” in favor of your fears and walls. All of which will cost trillions of dollars in physical, emotional and military resources to fight a monster which looks like a brown man. And the problem is, terrified white guys are already surrounded. The battle has been lost. You just haven’t figured it out yet.
The fight has been over. Brown people will become the majority. Because, at our core, we are actually all BROWN. We all come out of Africa. And we are fighting a race monster that only lives in our minds.
A monster that will never be defeated until we see what the fuck is actually going on. Which is: we live in a world that believes in monsters named gods. And we are in an endless struggle over who believes and follows "the right, sacred and one true" godzilla monster god.
When the reality is – nobody has the right god because there is no such thing. Once you understand this fact, a lot of other things start to make sense.
And until we deal with this reality, that the monsters that we love to hate are embedded inside of us, we are doomed to be stuck in an endless battle of good over evil that may actually end up wiping out the human race all together - eventually.