“Fanaticism consists of redoublng your effort when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Santayana
In the book Opening the Heart of Compassion, we explore different levels that the ego sustains, which in turn creates our suffering. The six realms described include:
1. the Animal realm – territory, danger and the desire for laziness
2. the Hell realm – righteousness and anger and victimization
3. the Hungry Ghost realm – what is lacking, comparing to the past or others
4. the Titan realm – envy for others, frustrated entitlement
5. the God realm – self infatuation and indifference for others
6. the Human realm – efforts to possess experience, to find certainty in meaning and to control the future
In my practice recently I’ve been focusing on how I embody the Titan realm and sometimes the God realm. “When we live in the Titan realm we want to prove that we deserve to be respected, to be honored, to be loved, to be secure, and to be treated justly.” – Opening the Heart of Compassion
One of my habits that creates separation is to mentally (and sometimes verbally) judge my child’s father for how he does not show me respect or honor. It is the fastest button pusher I have in his presence. I can mentally tear apart some of his cherished beliefs and fantasize about what it would be like if people could see how unjustly he treats me.
When I noticed that in myself, next I went into what are considered the conceits of this particular realm . There is a superiority conceit, in which you view another person as worse than yourself. Or an inferiority conceit, whereby you see yourself as worse than the other. Sometimes we use an equality conceit, which says I am just as bad as you are. I tend to move between all three of those when I notice my ego doing its thing.
Othe times, I like to judge my child’s father for any discomfort he causes me. I complain about how he does not recognize my value, or how he becomes a burden when I interact with him.
“In the God Realm, we admire ourselves and we are seduced by the comfort and joy that results from this admiration. We want to surround ourselves with only those people and things that support our well-being, our self-esteem, or enjoyment, and our happiness. We are able to achieve and manifest our unlimited potential through our unlimited personal power. We are concerned with acquiring things not to prove anything, but to experience the joy of what they bring. We are preoccupied with the feelings that are produced as we fixate on our emotional states of well-being.” – Opening the Heart of Compassion
So why do I say there is a little Donald Trump in each of us? The Buddhist tradition says that we move through and experience the emotions of the six Realms every day. We may find ourselves in a particular pattern that is consistent with the spiritual work that we’ve been doing but we sometimes will move back and forth. When I study all of the realms, I see actions from Donald Trump that look like each of them. But more importantly, I see myself in all six realms as well.
Well I certainly do not want Trump to be a world leader, I think it is interesting that he has emerged at a time where our conscious awareness is moving to higher levels of compassion. We have global views and connections to other people in other countries and begin to see them as more like ourselves. The discomfort that Trump has elicited in our society may actually be just what is necessary to continue us forward on our spiritual path as a planet.