Trump and Brexit are choices and changes that present a karmic challenge

December 14, 2016

When we look back on our lives, we sometimes wish we had made different choices. But there are no “good” or “bad” decisions – each choice we make is based on the beliefs we hold about our world and our lives in that moment, and each brings a different set of life experiences and life lessons, however pleasant or painful.

For example, some key decisions made by the George W Bush administration triggered a whole series of events that shaped the world we live in today. These have led to new awareness, and debates, and they have raised the global collective consciousness, which might not otherwise have happened.

I was thinking of this when the results of the recent US presidential election came in and Donald Trump was declared the 45th President. While the vote was certainly not predicted, it means that Americans are on a new karmic journey. For some that will look enticing, for others it brings anxiety and fear.

It is very hard to say whether America and the world will be better or worse for this collective decision, and there will be a series of consequences, negative and positive. Choice and change are intertwined.

As Franz Kafka said: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

In the UK, the Brexit vote has created much the same karmic journey. It is bringing huge change, whether we like it or not. I am one of those who has worried about the uncertainty, but could these alterations in our world path be blessings in disguise?

Understandably, these two historic events have created division but also brought like-minded people together to create change.

As for me, I am starting to appreciate and consider democracy differently, and the questions it poses. Everyone needs to have a say in their future, but is it possible for everyone to make informed and rational choices? How do we sort through the conflicting information, some of it deliberately confusing and manipulative? For those who are disenfranchised or disappointed, can they be blamed for making their choices in anger and protest? And is this the best way to respond to the past?

When one is not in survival mode, it is easier to uphold higher principles and have hope. It is easier to maintain a faith in the future and present establishments. It is the uncertainty of the future and the loss of a grounding in history that bring out dormant prejudice and a fear of survival.

Our natural response is to reject and resist the “undesirable “changes. But karma is about cause and effect, and about accepting the present in order to make changes for the future.

The ability to shape the future still lies in our hands, and that is what matters.

Bruno Wang, founder of the Pureland Foundation