A new José Stevens Article

The Pope, Trump, The Refugee Crisis, and Change

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Let’s begin with Pope Francis, an old soul server with sage casting, a goal of acceptance, a pragmatist attitude, emotional centering, with observation mode, and mild self deprecation. Clearly he has a life task to bring back sanity to a church of over a billion and a half people. However, his task is much larger than simply to serve Catholics only. He is the right man in the right place at the right time. He is a voice of integrity in perhaps one of the darkest and shakiest times of human history. His task includes helping prepare the world for the vast changes that are taking place, being a voice of reason and support for adopting a new set of values. His message is clearly diametrically opposed to baby and young souls. Don’t sweat the small stuff, pay attention to the bigger issues, don’t be myopic but look at the bigger structures in place, the economies, the philosophies that are unsustainable and remodel those. Be of service. He successfully models Gandhi’s motto, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Yes, some of his beliefs are not those of old souls because he too has been imprinted by a very conservative traditional religion. Yet his views on many things have changed over time and will change even further as he matures into his life task work. His steady open eye contact is a clear indicator of an older soul.

Let us look at another man making headlines in a very different way, Donald Trump, a seventh level young king in dominance and aggression mode, a realist, moving centered, with obstacles of pronounced Greed and Arrogance. These are not very different from the personality traits of Alexander the Great. Given these traits it is understandable that he would be the front-runner for the Republican parties’ quest for a presidential candidate. Although many people may consider him to be outrageous, he is a very serious contender for president because he has deep level charisma that some people who don’t agree with him don’t quite understand. Being a king with such dominant personality traits he is used to getting what he wants and does not often have to take no for an answer. His life task has to do with getting people to give their highest level performance to meet his standards. He is a very tough task master and expects top level results and successful outcomes. Most young souls are fascists when push comes to shove. It is truly my way or the highway. Being a young soul he acts very much like a young boy.

These are examples of two men in the public eye, one in a world leadership position and the other positioning himself to be in a world leadership position. In a way they are like polar opposites in their leadership styles. On the other hand both men exhibit some similar traits. For example both of them are quite spontaneous in their responses and say what is on their mind without much censorship. Both do not mind saying things that the structures of power do not like. Pope Francis gives little evidence of having any ego. He is clear about who he is and is not afraid to express very strong opinions about the state of the planet. He does not mind taking unpopular positions. As mentioned, he makes excellent eye contact. On the other hand Trump has a huge ego and is outwardly quite narcissistic. He truly believes he is the cat’s meow and has the answers to the countries ills. He basically wants people to believe in him but his eyes do not let others in, rather he uses them to dominate and control. Francis on the other hand wants people to question where their loyalties lie and to look at their way of life. He questions the very things that Trump has spent a lifetime building. They are both on the world stage at the same time in order to highlight their differences.

The refugee crisis

Now let us look at the refugee crisis. There have always been refugee crises on this planet, otherwise people would never have made it over the land bridge to the Western hemisphere. Changing climates, overcrowding, warfare, hunger, and prejudice have moved huge groups of people all over this planet and indeed, where others have already established a beachhead, there is resistance to newcomers. The issue of immigration and vast movements of people is up yet again and bringing with it many considerations. The majority of Syrians are mature souls and find the current regime in Syria untenable. They seek freedom, justice, and the opportunities to live their lives in full expression of who and what they are. They head for Europe because it is the closest place where these values are held. Many Western Europeans are mature souls as well so there is a match. Eastern Europe is a different story and has a good many more baby souls who are more suspicious and intolerant of strangers. Even though Western Europe is quite mature they have become rather rigid over the years and don’t really want to give up their high standard of living to accommodate a ragged and poor mass of refugees. They forget that they are composites of earlier refugees from many other places and that their ancestors too most likely came with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Of course complicating matters is the Muslim question. In Europe of course Europeans are in the majority and most are Christians of various denominations and there is a history of bad blood between the Christians and the Muslims going all the way back to the crusades and the terrible karma produced at that time between the two. Now Europeans are being asked to open their doors to a Muslim people whose values seem so different from their own. This poses a huge challenge to the status quo.

To pass judgment is easy but to understand the complexity is much more difficult. What if you were the leader of a foreign nation and were faced with hoards of refugees pouring through your borders and what if you knew that a few of these refugees were terrorists, embedded to infiltrate your country and commit atrocities. This would be tantamount to allowing in a group of people inside who among them were a few with the Ebola virus. Should you let them all in? You have a duty to protect your own citizens from such dangers and at the same time you have a duty to your fellow man to feed them and provide them shelter. What is the right thing to do when you have conflicting values? The leaders of some Eastern European countries are faced with just such conflicts. They know that most of the refugees are innocent but some are not. Some are the enemy bent on destroying their country.

In the end the refugees will be accepted and will become part of life in the future of Europe. Some of these Syrian refugees and the refugees from Northern Africa will become the scientists, the technology geniuses, the artistic giants of the future. Some will change the world. Some will become political leaders and others will become common criminals, spies, terrorists, drug dealers, or hopeless dependents on the dole. They will be like everyone else and yes many of them will remain Muslim. In the future the look of a Frenchman, German, Swede, or Dutchwoman will change and perhaps look a little more ethnic. So what? In the United States the look of the people will continue to change and many will bear a distinct Latino look, like me for example. Is the United States a worse place because I am in it. I don’t think so. I believe it is better off.

The United States is more concerned with the refugees from Mexico and Central America, many of whom are fleeing for their lives from drug cartels that are killing and raping them to bring them under their control. These people are desperate in their desire to escape and will risk practically anything to do so. Conservative forces in the USA do not want them and have placed enormous pressure on the federal government to turn them back and that is exactly what is happening in a way that is unprecedented. Many millions of taxpayer dollars are being paid to the Mexican government to make it impossible for refugees from Honduras, El Salvador and other untenable countries from making their way north. Their plight is becoming worse each day. In this way the USA does not have to turn them away personally because they are already being turned away further south and Mexico takes the heat for us. This policy makes it appear that fewer refugees are applying for asylum but it is just a ruse. The pressure is greater than ever. For the most part these refugees are mature souls who want no part of violence and corruption. They are actually a very desirable group of people, talented, ambitious, and hardworking. They are running from the control of very young souls involved in the drug trade, hatched in Southern California.

The reasons conservative forces give for discouraging immigration is that they take jobs but these conservative forces are the very ones that eliminate jobs right and left for the sake of higher profits so it is simply not true that they take necessary jobs. In fact they cheerfully take jobs that no one else want to do.

People think it matters what color or what ethnicity immigrants are bringing to the game but this is of little consequence. The real question is what is the soul age of the people coming in. The United States has a reputation of being a place where anyone can become a millionaire or a billionaire. This attracts many young souls to the United States and it is true they either bring or create a great deal of wealth while here. The questions are, do they share it? Do they help others become equally successful? Do they have compassion? Do they create opportunities for others? Are they mature or old souls who come with a suitcase full of wisdom, love, talent, and cooperative spirit? If they are baby souls then will they immediately become addicted to the government tit and refuse to make a contribution? In the end soul age is what truly matters when you are considering who your new neighbors will be. There is a place for everyone. However there has to be a balance and it is true that highly complex, technological oriented societies like the United States and some European countries are not good places for baby souls who fall apart when faced with complexity. They need quiet back water countries where a simple lifestyle awaits them and keeps them relatively comfortable.

These are enormously complex questions and there are no simple answers. However the more we know about soul age and people’s needs at the different stages of development the better we can serve their needs and support good decision making that will provide for each in turn.

Finally we find ourselves in world where discoveries are being made fast and furiously to the degree that our entire view of history and what has happened on this planet is being called into question in a serious way. This is further undermining a sense of stability for so many people. Populations are shifting, political parties are unpredictable, economies are on the move, and technologies are changing our lives faster than at any time before. One day Volkswagon is the ascendant car company perched on the edge of becoming the biggest in the world and the next day it might go out of business as a result of scandal. That is the world that greets us daily. Change is upon us and it will not slow down or stop for anyone. The only solution is to face the challenges and problems that change brings and then embrace the changes that are healthy and reject the ones that promise ruin for the planet. That is a difficult challenge in itself because everyone has different ideas about what is healthy and what is disastrous. Happy trails.

 

 

 

José Stevens

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.