The book is Integral Life Practice (Wilber et al, 2008, Integral Books), Chapter 4: The Shadow Module, page 51-52, Gold Star Practice, The 3-2-1 Shadow Process. The assignment is to pick a “difficult person” by whom you are repelled or disturbed: makes you easily triggered, reactive, irritated, angry or upset; or may keep coming up as an emotional tone or mood that pervades your life. Then follow three steps: 3-Face It; 2-Talk to It; and 3-Be It. The person chosen is Donald J. Trump and he has occupied the Office of the President of the United States since January 21, 2017.
3-Face It: Describe the person, situation, image in vivid detail using 3rd person pronouns. What is it that disturbs you?
A few of the words that describe this person, who is unqualified to serve as President, are angry, mean, liar, racist, insults, exaggerates, provokes, ignorant, attached to Self, psychotic, spins, deceptions, puts out what he receives back, jealous, envious, disparaging, name calling, sexist, misogynist, sarcastic, game player, tantrums, childish, circus ring-leader, deflector, flypaper for attention, egotistic, narcissist, attention wanting, divisive, polarizing, tribal, identity seeker, loud, rude, outrageous, phony, blames, refuses to accept responsibility, confrontational, weak, cantankerous, badgering, threatening, law breaking, like gum on the bottom of a shoe, dictator, deconstructs constitutional, legal, government and political norms, selfish, demagogue, cruel, short-sighted, repulsive, loathed, moral failure, criminal, corrupt, celebrity and right, wrong, should, and ought for you, not me. Thoughts then wander to the Access Hollywood Tape, 12 women with sexual harassment claims, pay-offs to Stormy Daniels and Karen MacDougal; southern border immigration disasters; Mueller Report (Russian interference in 2016 election; obstruction of justice; Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Carter Page and Michael Flynn in prison); impeachment fiasco, quid pro quo with Ukraine; COVID-19 pandemic leadership and management is an absolute chaotic disaster costing American lives; recent disastrous leadership and management of racism demonstrations in the country, to include use of Federal forces to push peaceful protestors away to permit him to have a personal photo opportunity holding a Bible upside down; indiscriminate, self-serving sales of weapons to Saudis; and refusal to change the Confederate commander names of 10 military bases and remove Confederate artifacts that remind of slavery. Moreover, we are witness to a Commander-in-Chief who chooses not to champion those in uniform and respect the core values of the military: 1) does not set a good example; 2) lies to self-serve; 3) dismissed as headaches the blast exposure soldiers received from a 2020 Iranian missile attack; 4) in three plus years he has made only three visits to soldiers in war zones; 5) has referred to military leaders as “dopes and babies” when being briefed about the value of allies and overseas commitments; 6) reversed punishments or convictions for troops accused or convicted of war crimes; 7) has excoriated soldiers who have irritated him: Senator John McCain, a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for more than five years; Defense Secretary James Mattis: “…the world’s most over-rated general…”; and combat-wounded Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was “very insubordinate” and fired from the White House for testifying at Donald Trump’s impeachment. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to America.
2-Talk to It
John: Tell me about your childhood.
Don: It was tough. Never saw or talked to Mom. Dad was always working; and when I saw him, he was always wanting to know what I was doing to pull my share of the load. Folks offer that he left me a lot of money. However, not true.
John: Where did you go to school?
Don: Went to grade school and high school in Queens. Then off to a military prep school and Penn State, Wharton. Grades were always A’s.
John: Who were your friends growing up?
Don: Did not have any. Pretty much did my own thing.
John: Tell me about your family life and kids.
Don: Three wives. Not much to report other than great sex. Have five kids: Don, Jr., Eric, Ivanka, my favorite, Tiffany; and Baron. They are highly successful and work for me in my business.
John: Describe a situation where you helped someone solve a difficult problem.
Don: Filed a lawsuit in Scotland to have windmills removed from the views of my golf course.
John: What do you expect from persons who work for you?
Don: Yes, sir. No, sir. No excuse, sir. Lie, cheat, steal…whatever is necessary to win. Win at all cost. Absolute loyalty. Defend me at all cost. I am a genius and know more than all the folks in the world. I am rich. I rule this kingdom. I am tough and have no emotional attachment to anything. Yes, I do relish the position power.
John: What makes you angry?
Don: Any thing that does not go my way or is contrary to my beliefs.
John: What do you do in your spare time?
Don: Watch television, play golf, eat, go to Mar-a-Lago and be with friends, and I just love to be with groups of followers and rally to them.
John: Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.
Don: Being President and rich.
John: What do you like most about being President?
Don: The power of the position.
John: What do you dislike most about being President?
Don: Pretending to hear what others have to offer to solve problems. I can solve all problems in less time and with less effort.
John: Tell me about your greatest disappointment.
Don: Not able to have my own kingdom.
John: What is your greatest strength?
John: What is your greatest weakness?
Don: I do not have any. Just ask my kids, wives or those who work for me.
John: Describe a situation in which you failed.
Don: I have never failed.
John: Tell me about your favorite courses in school.
Don: I do not like to study and read.
John: Discuss a person who you admire.
Don: I want all folks to be like me.
John Discuss your biggest mistake in dealing with people.
Don: I do the right thing with all folks.
I am too self-serving, over my head and not qualified for the job of President, simply lost and in need of integral therapy. My base folks need help, too. Please help them. I am too self-centered and just not emotionally connected to learning, sitting in pain, being honest, horror, the absurdity of America’s history and to the humanity of those who dared stand against the system. Ain’t no friends here. Four-hundred years is too long; and the opportunity to begin to unite the country is staring at us. Political party sorted Democrats and Republicans need to remove the ego disguises and provide a welcoming, inclusive environment. Quickly change the symbolic reminders of slavery by changing the names of the 10 military bases and removing Confederate flags, statuary, and artifacts. Let us put together game plans to transcend and include others: heal others, build up others; strengthen trust within coalitions; extend forgiveness; become an active listener; and inspire greatness in others. I am proud to serve alongside each person as we pursue excellence while at the same time respecting the dignity of teammates. Together, we can confront and solve problems with efficient, effective, and compassionate dialogue that seeks solutions rather than sowing seeds of division and disunity.