Thursday, October 3, 2019

Political mayhem and the Small Intestine

To divert myself a little from the appalling political scene in this country, which mirrors what is happening in the US, I try to hone my five element skills by observing the leaders of the two countries in action on the world stage. I always add a proviso to my thoughts about the elements of famous people that since I don’t know them personally I have to base any tentative diagnosis on observing them at one remove on the TV screen.

The effect they have upon me is surprisingly similar.  They both make me very, very angry.  I am appalled at their behaviour and at their total lack of concern for anybody but themselves – an almost pathological level of selfishness which dumbfounds me.  But despite the obvious similarities between them I do not think they are the same element, and will try and explain why not.  I have blogged before that I think Donald Trump is of the Wood element, but, after observing the effect Boris Johnson has on those around him and on me watching on TV, I think his element is Fire.  Despite myself he makes me laugh, as he deliberately acts the clown.  If you watch the people around Donald Trump, on the other hand, all you can see is apprehension, the fear that an unbalanced Wood can arouse in those around it, with only a strained smile on the faces of his audience.  So I will concentrate in this blog on looking at how I think the Fire element shows itself in Boris Johnson, and dedicate another blog to updating my comments on Donald Trump.

When diagnosing the Fire Element we always have to remember the very real differences there are within this element between its two sides, the one I call Outer Fire, with its Heart Protector and Three Heater officials, and the other, Inner Fire, with its Small Intestine and Heart officials.  Having just held another happy day’s clinical seminar at which we discussed in detail just this question of how to distinguish between the two aspects of Fire, this has made me look more closely again at the kind of Fire which Boris Johnson appears to be showing.

I often gather significant pointers to how the different elements reveal themselves by reading newspaper comments.  Today, for example, I read that Boris Johnson has created an “atmosphere of feuding” within 10 Downing Street.  He is, the article says, “only listening to two voices now”, those of Dominic Cummings and of his partner, Carrie Symonds.  Would Outer Fire be so unconcerned about the atmosphere within its team that it would allow feuding between its members?  I can’t see that it would, for it is the task of its two officials to maintain a safe and comfortable atmosphere, physically through the balanced flow of warm blood round the body, and emotionally through their efforts to protect the actions of the Heart in their midst.  I see no sign that Boris Johnson is concerned with doing this.  Far from it.  He does not seem interested in ensuring the overall well-being of anybody apart from himself, and appears ever more preoccupied with pursuing his own ends without regard for others.  His team are said to be at loggerheads with one another, all but his inner circle of two having been banished to the periphery of decision-making.  And it is one of the characteristics of the Small Intestine that it has to make its mind up quickly in order to ensure that it does not endanger the Heart, its yin official, and quick decisions are more easily made by a few people rather than thrown open to a large group.  This again points to Inner Fire.  

Boris Johnson’s voice, too, reflects what I regard as the hesitancy all Inner Fire people show in speaking, as their minds work hard at sorting out the words to express the complex thoughts they are engaged in.  His speech is certainly not the articulate speech that distinguishes Outer Fire people, who think before they speak, and when they speak do so without hesitancy.  I have always believed that Inner Fire uses the very action of speaking as a way of sorting out its thoughts, as it searches for exactly the right expression to articulate these thoughts.  There is therefore always a kind of “stop and start” feeling about listening to Inner Fire people, as they try to gather their thoughts into exactly the right form to express what they want to say.  Boris Johnson often mumbles or sounds hesitant, interspersing this hesitancy with sudden bursts of bullying, when he talks over the interviewer apparently without listening to what he is being asked and failing to answer directly many of the questions directed at him. Is his “element within” Wood within Fire perhaps?

I have written before that I thought that Tony Blair was also Inner Fire, but a much more balanced expression of the Small Intestine as it takes on the task of sorting the pure from the impure.  During his time as Prime Minister, though, he had in common one characteristic which he shares with Boris Johnson, and that was his reliance upon one or a few people who he allowed to have too much influence upon him.  In Tony Blair’s case it was George Bush.  I still find it disturbing watching the old clips of Tony Blair walking in the woods in America with George Bush, with an almost sycophantic, adoring look on his face.  It was the influence his obvious admiration for George Bush had upon him which I believe led to his decision to follow him into the disastrous war in Iraq.  Similarly, we are at the time of writing this (3 October 2019) watching a somewhat hapless Boris Johnson appearing to be trapped in the coils of a disastrous attachment to his adviser, Dominic Cummings.  The Small Intestine, when out of balance, as Boris Johnson’s so obviously is, can indeed lose its ability to sort the pure from the impure, in the case of both these leaders of this country leading to disastrous consequences.

I am always happy to acknowledge that everybody is free to develop their own personal take on the elements, and should indeed do so.  I am therefore sure that some people reading this may well disagree with my diagnosis.  But since I feel a strong affinity with all other Inner Fire people, having the Small Intestine as my particular guardian official, I am quite happy to express my own very personal understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of living my life under the influence of this particular official, and how my personal understanding may be helping me see signs of this in Boris Johnson.

I also like to think that my writing this will help me let off a bit of the indignant steam I feel rising within me as I watch the political shambles unfolding around me.





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