Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Asian mythology there are malevolent beings called "hungry ghosts." Hungry ghosts have huge stomachs, but tiny mouths and throats. As a result, they can never satisfy their immense cravings, and live in continuous torment and rage. 
Monsters and ghosts, of course, are metaphors for aspects of the human condition. The lesson of the hungry ghosts is that constant craving for more and more and more only leads to one's own suffering, as the appetites become insatiable. We see this in the myriad addictions which plague our culture. The hungry ghosts are tragic figures, trapped in their own hell.
Hungry ghosts drain off the chi--the lifeforce--of the living. This is reminiscent of the Greek tragedies, in which flawed human kings and princes committed misdeeds which brought miasma (plague, catastrophe, spiritual retribution) upon the land--often as a result of their own cravings for power or sex or revenge. Ultimately, the miasma could only be discharged via some terrible sacrificial cost.
When I look at Donald Trump, I see a hungry ghost. I see a man who goes out of his way to convince the world that he has it all, but who is suffering intensely because his craving for adulation is never satisfied. And I see a ruler who, as a result of his torment, will likely bring some form of miasma upon the land, with a resultant cost to us all. My prayer for Donald Trump is that he will find peace within himself--for his sake and ours. 


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