The Dalai Donald
Updated: Jun 16
The Dalai Donald is the name I have given a duality.
Using these two iconic men, I would like you to imagine that we all have a Dalai Lama nature,
and we all have a Donald Trump nature.
That is to say, we all have a Buddha nature, and we all have a surface ego.
In this way, the Dalai Lama is the Donald. For The Dalai Lama, without his education and training, could have been the biggest, most megalomaniacal, narcissistic, unchecked ego that ever existed.
In this way, the Donald is the Dalai Lama. For Donald Trump, with The Dalai Lama’s education and training, could be a peaceful, joyous, healing epicentre of compassion.
Most of us walk around with no knowledge of our Buddha nature. We have so many things to attend to - making a living, figuring out problems, walking the dog, doing the laundry. So many tasks! All day, everyday.
Few of us westerners have ever been shown examples of any other way to do things. My parents were workhorses. I never saw them experience a moment of quiet contemplation on the mysteries of life. Church was attended, but church wasn’t a source of information to apply within. It was more like a rulebook for how to approach tasks, followed dutifully, and applied without. If contemplation was done, it was to contemplate how to pay the bills, what different neighbourhood they would like to live in, why someone said the thing they did. If they took a moment to rest, they fell asleep.
Without any examples to follow, how can we uncover our core nature of loving kindness?
What makes The Dalai Lama different from The Donald?
Knowledge of our own dual nature has existed since the dawn of history. Egyptian hieroglyphs show humanity’s dual nature and knowledge of the mysteries of life. Buddhist philosophy, what the Dalai Lama learned, has been around for 2500 years, a bit older than Christian theology. Chinese writings mention yin yang around the same time - a concept of light and dark, masculine and feminine, balanced. Nature itself holds keys to duality - day versus night, summer versus winter, masculine versus feminine, life versus death, the one and the many. Freudian and Jungian psychology, about 100 years old, speaks of the outer layers of the self in counterpoint to our inner natures: conscious mind versus subconscious. Even particle physics, the youngest discussion of all, shows us that matter is comprised of mostly empty space, and that things that seem still are full of motion.
Why then, in the face of all this duality, how can it be possible that people never seek or contemplate the other side of their own natures?
There are people who truly believe that easily accessible thoughts, feelings and memories are who they are, without exception. Given the history of all time and all the knowledge that is there for the inhaling, how is it possible that there is anyone on this earth who truly believes that their surface self is all there is? How can anyone believe that they are one dimensional? How can anyone believe that they are only their ego? How can people NOT explore their other side, hidden though it may be?
Let me put that another way:
In the face of all the duality evident across theology, nature, psychology, science - how can we think and act like we are not dual? That we are simplex, not duplex?
Put another way, how can we not see that we all have a Donald nature and we all have a Dalai nature?
I'm very familiar with the Donald Trump side of myself.
I spent the first 35-40 years of my life developing a strong ego. I followed in my parents footsteps. I worked hard, I completed tasks, I solved what problems I could, I thought, I ate,
But there were some problems I could not solve. Bad things kept happening to me. Unfair things, unjust things.
So, I tried to solve those things from my ego - using my surface knowledge, thoughts, feelings.
It didn’t work.
Desperate, I started asking my friends for help. “What would you do in this situation?” I would ask. They were sympathetic, and gave me the best advice they could.
I tried everything my friends and family suggested.
And it didn’t work. The problems kept coming. The situations kept happening. There was no relief to be had.
And then it hit me.
My problems had one thing in common.
That one thing was me.
I was the common denominator in every single situation!
Somehow I was creating my reality.
Somehow I responsible for the bad things that kept happening.
Somehow I was generating the undercurrent of low grade dissatisfaction I had.
I was responsible for my problems!
What a life changer.
I realized that I was the cause of my problems, I was the root of them, but I still didn’t know how to solve them.
So, I sought out a guide. Luckily, I knew someone.
She exuded peace, calm, connectedness, joy. Qualities that people use to describe The Dalai Lama.
Her name is Alexandra.
Alexandra, without once using the words “dual nature” taught me about my dual nature!!
I realized that I had spent my entire life on the ego level, ignorant of the fact that there is a huge underground part of me. A part that has nothing to do with my easily accessible thoughts, feelings, and memories. I now walk this earth with the beautiful knowledge that I am duplex, not simplex, to quote Jung. The part of myself that is not easily accessible is the most fascinating part of me. It is the part where all concepts vanish, where thoughts cease, where stillness resides, where joy, love, wisdom, truth and compassion burble and I am completely surrendered. Awareness of this part of myself gives me the ability to see this part of Donald Trump, for if he had a guide like I did, he would be a different person. It is this part of me that has compassion for Donald Trump, for maybe he might never know that there is more to him than his ego. This part of me that is my own Buddha nature. This part of me knows that Donald Trump has seen glimpses of grace and has experienced love. Your Buddha nature knows this too. If you allow your ego to relax, and feel into it, you KNOW he’s not a monster. His children love him. Like Luke Skywalker sensed in his father Darth Vader, deep down, you can feel that there is good in him.
My ego, your ego, and everyone else’s ego allowed Donald Trump to be voted to power. It is our collective simplistic ego judgement of him as wrong that created him!
If you and I weren’t part of the problem, when he made his first misogynistic comment, no one would have laughed at his bold effrontery. Instead he would have been held accountable to investigate where in his being these predatory thoughts, feelings and words came from. None of us would have tuned in to watch a TV show called The Apprentice, where he was rude to others, flinging his opinion around like it was truth. No one would have had business dealings with a man that displayed his level of disconnection, his ruthlessness. And when his name showed up on a ballot, we would have not known who he was.
But that’s not what happened, because we all watched him. We all supported him. We all voted for him, even those who chose Hillary. How? By watching the spectacle. By participating in it. By deriding him. By hating him. In short, we collectively voted him to power by believing that our surface ego and opinion is all there is and not investigating deeper.
We watched Donald Trump disrespect our sisters and eviscerate our brothers, while we stood by and disrespected and eviscerated him. Trump reviles women, Mexicans, foreign trade. Then we revile his behaviour. He wants to build a wall. We want to wall him off. How can we not see we are the same as him? How can we think we are different? In reviling him, flippantly, without introspection, we create a world where reviling others is acceptable. In this way, we dodge responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings and actions. He reviles. We revile. We implicitly support his behaviour, for our behaviour is identical to his. If no one stops and takes responsibility for their own revulsion, the cycle continues.
What is the antidote to this? How do we break the cycle of hate?
Turn inward. Start by looking at the hidden side of your nature and wonder - hmmm… where did this hatred come from? What in me wants to feel hatred for this man? What in me likes wallowing in this revulsion? What in me loves hating him? What in me hates? What in me reviles? Where did I learn this hate? When did this hate begin?
In Donald Trump we see our own uninvestigated hatred, rage, fear, and nastiness reflected. He is the collection of all our egos personified. When Trump (or ANYTHING) "makes you grumpy" or you feel any negative emotion, that means there is something in your dual nature that is calling to you, pleading for attention. Your hatred, your rage, your fears, your depression are like a boil that needs lancing. The pain and suffering caused by the boil block you from feeling peace, love, joy, kindness, generosity and compassion. You are like a wounded animal, attacking others from a place of pain.
And so is Donald Trump.
If you feel any kind of judgement for Donald Trump - revulsion, disdain, disgust - look to your own Donald Trump within.
Seek out why you hate him. Investigate your pain.
Use Donald Trump as a tool to investigate yourself. Information abounds on how to perform this investigation. Entire millennia of data exist with direction on how to connect to the non-ego side of yourself.
Explore the flip side.
It’s what the Dalai Lama would do.