In eastern spiritual traditions, a Tulpa is a thought-form, a physical manifestation of an individual’s will, of their thoughts and desires. A being created and made real through sheer willpower and mental discipline. According to legends, these creations have a way of taking on lives of their own, seeking their own goals, becoming more than their creators ever imagined or wanted.
While I don’t know if such things really exist, I do believe that thoughts have power. That our desires and our focus can affect the world around us, perhaps in ways that we never anticipated.
Which brings me back to Donald Trump. The Donald is our American Tulpa. He’s the monster we’ve been conjuring up all these years. Decades of bigotry, xenophobia, race-baiting, dog-whistle politics, politics of division and fear and hatred of convenient enemies.
For fifty years, American conservatives have been bending their willpower towards the creation of this creature, breathing life into it one hateful, bitter thought at a time. These damned Mexicans, stealing our jobs… ought to just build a wall…welfare queens…lazy immigrants…anchor babies…I don’t want any blacks in this neighborhood…it’s their fault, rather smoke crack and do drive-bys then go out and get a job…damned liberals…socialists…somebody ought to just get rid of them all somehow…
And maybe one by one, these ugly thoughts, released into the world, find each other. Infused with the bitterness and the fear of their creators they coalesce, drawing strength from each other, gaining substance, becoming visible, becoming alive. Until one day, these thoughts become something more than thoughts. They become aware. They become flesh. They become real. They become a living, breathing man with his own thoughts and his own desires and his own agenda.
Of course, in a realistic sense, this is all crazy talk. But on a spiritual level, it’s frighteningly true. I can hardly blame Donald Trump. He’s exactly what we’ve been asking for this whole time. He’s the genie’s wish granted, the one that makes you sorry you ever wished for it in the first place.
He’s our monster, America. He’s doing nothing more than holding up a mirror to our own ugliness. He’s exactly what we wished for. But there’s still time to put the genie back in the bottle. Please.
And if not, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.