Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How the elements cope with responsibility

Having written about the Wood element in positions of power in my last blog (posted 5 December), I feel I should turn my attention to the other elements.    Most obvious of all is a very clear representative of the Metal element, Barack Obama (with, standing at his shoulder, one of the greatest statesmen of them all, Nelson Mandela).  I can think of no greater antithesis to Donald Trump than Obama.  Where Trump is impulsive, given to displays of unco-ordinated thought and action, we have in Obama the very epitome of the opposite, somebody who thinks things through carefully, utters no unconsidered word or action, stands back, observes and only then acts or speaks. Trump’s impulsive tweeting would be anathema to Metal.

So I am left to consider the remaining three elements, Fire, Earth and Water.  As those who have read my Keepers of the Soul  (Chapter 6) already know, over the years I have always used Tony Blair as an excellent example of one aspect of the Fire element, Inner Fire (Small Intestine).   This side of Fire has a toughness coming from its need to sort things appropriately for the Heart, and will feel that it must refuse to do what it does not consider right to do, and force through what it thinks right.  Whatever our opinion of Tony Blair’s decision about the Iraq war, he was convinced, and is still convinced, that this was necessary, and would not allow public opinion, so vehemently against him at the time, to sway him.  There was, too the added pressure exerted upon him from his association with George Bush (another Wood leader to go with Donald Trump and Theresa May), who drew Tony Blair in his wake.

I think that the other side of Fire, Outer Fire, is well represented by two flamboyant politicians, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, both able to attract supporters by acting the clown and making them laugh, a very different Fire quality to that of Tony Blair.

Fire and Wood are the two strong yang, outward facing elements keen to push themselves forward.  We can contrast that here with Obama’s Metal, with its inward-turning yin qualities.

We are now left with the last two elements, Earth and Water.  Interestingly, what I consider to be the most powerful element of all, Water, does not like to push itself too strongly into the limelight, as befits its deeply yin nature, making it the most hidden of all elements, as it works away in the dark.  The most obvious politician I can think of to show Water’s characteristics is Gordon Brown, briefly a Prime Minister, and yet somebody who for many years attempted to undermine Tony Blair and usurp his position.  When faced with the first opportunity to challenge Blair, though, he hesitated and retreated, only becoming Prime Minister once Tony Blair had resigned.  And as Prime Minister, despite so desperately wanting this position for so many years, he was surprisingly hesitant and uneasy in the limelight.

Finally, Earth, for which, David Cameron, our former Prime Minister, is a good example.  Here is a man at ease with himself, and easy in the company of others, with one of those soothing Earth voices.  Once having made the fatal decision to hold the referendum, he was unable to deal with its consequences, resigning immediately rather than facing them.  Powerful when surrounded by others in power (the yang aspect of Earth), Earth’s yielding yin aspect came to the fore when he lost the referendum, and like Gordon Brown, but for other reasons, he retreated rapidly into the background.  In the last glimpse of him on the Downing Street doorstep he was, appropriately for Earth, closely surrounded by his family.

Some people reading these thoughts of mine will disagree with my conclusions, but I hope what I have written has at least made them think a little more about how the elements, in shaping all of us, shape our politicians in very specific ways.  These may often be disturbing ways, but equally often, I hope, positive ones, too.  After all, South Africa would still be under the thrall of apartheid if there had been no Nelson Mandela.  I hold fast to my thoughts of him as a good antidote to fearing what Trump may unleash upon the world.

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