I’ve been reading the bible today in order to get inspiration for this week’s talk. As I read the story of Samson, I realized that if I was reading this in order to see how historically our heroes have behaved, I wouldn’t be able to see any good in Samson. He sets people up to fail. He sees himself as deserving of special treatment. He thinks his cool hair makes him special and strong. Whatever, dude.
Luckily, I know better than to read any holy book or wisdom tradition literally. Samson is a lot more than an Old Testament super hero with entitlement issues. His metaphorical and metaphysical story is about entertaining thoughts that either hinder or heal us. Of course, if you want to know more about him, feel free to listen to the recording of the talk from this Sunday.
Spirituality points me beyond the obvious story. Take our election story for 2016. The one everyone loves to hate is Mr. Trump. The established political machine loves to hate him because he’s upending the process, not playing by the rules and refusing to pretend that what we’ve always done is actually in the best interest of the country as a whole. Women love to hate him because he speaks with the voice of the good-ol’-boy system that systemically places women at risk not just of sexual assault but at risk of being blamed if they are victimized. Other billionaires hate him because he is the stereotype of the heartless robber baron.
If I just look at the first level of this story, Mr. Trump is the bad guy. He’s the wolf that threatens the sweet girl with the red cloak. He’s Dr. Evil. Let’s look underneath, though, shall we? I mean, that’s the place where we find spiritual truth, right?
Donald Trump has been a bright light shining in the darkness that many of us would prefer to leave dark. He shows us how we have recreated the civilization of Ancient Rome. I don’t mean the part that created the Senate or spread “civilization” across Europe; I mean the part right before Nero started playing his fiddle. This is the Roman Empire that created bread and circus, which now shows up as reality TV and prescription medication overuse. The Donald holds up a mirror to all that we don’t want to see about ourselves. He’s our shadow side in form. And he’s going to suffer, if he isn’t already suffering, for personifying the worst of who we can be.
In the end, Samson is able to bring down the temple of the false god on all the heathens. Mr. Trump is rocking those temple pillars right now. The question is will we stick with the top level of this story? Will he stay a reality TV star or will we see him for the spiritual gift that he is – the person who was willing to take on our false beliefs so that we could see him clearly.