Disco Fever as Post-Modern Initiation

One of my acquaintances on social media posited the idea that the current situation in the United States is the moment before the traumatic shift in a spiritual awakening, that Donald Trump is a horror but also the pus that draws together psychic disease in one place so the world-body might isolate and expel it. Which could be true. However, it might not be. And we might be better off acting as if it isn’t.

Possibly. The issue with identifying Kuhnian paradigm shifts and other moments when the generally accepted “right and wrong” change is that the degradation and conflict is almost identical that which comes from random stress release; so you only see it after the event.

Could Trump be part of a shamanic aversion experience? Definitely. But for every person who discovers the spirits while in a high fever, hundreds hallucinate, then return to normal life as they defeat the infection.

Perhaps the answer lies not in whether it is or isn’t, but in what changes the odds. Are there common rituals that seem to come before a productive socio-psychic fracture? Are there metaphors we can draw from mystical practices that feature such spiritual awakenings that can guide our behaviour toward achieving positive or avoiding negative outcomes from trauma-induced potentials?

Western Society follows the Cult of Celebrity where tribes followed the Cult of local gods. Perhaps it’s time to burn cigars to invoke Papa Groucho (for what is more powerful a statement of both believing in ones own path and accepting others than “these are my principles; if you don’t like them I have others”), or bake sweet cakes for the Hip King (for what is a better representation of being grateful for our differences than a rock-and-roll sex icon whose gospel is “a’thank you ve’much”).

Whether or not someone was awakening, shaman worked with them. So, perhaps we look to unweave the psychic tangles that make dreams seem nightmares and let the world decide whether it is evolving or not.

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