A friend from yoga started following my blog recently, and yesterday we were chatting about it before yoga class. I was surprised by his statement that he always understood the Christian message to be that humanity was the focus of healing in the world, rather than a virus to spread corruption. I was about to ask him about the source of his understanding when a stranger interjected and began to tell me that I was wrong. He kept at it, point by point, until I got frustrated and told him, “Look, I am doing the work.”
This was the framing for Rachel Maddow’s profile of Steve Bannon’s career as a video producer. His recent work includes a metaphor on global warming – a crazed scientist locks a bunch of steamy bodies in a sauna and slowly raises the temperature, causing an unnecessary panic.
In the context of this blog, the more outrageous offering is a reality series that recasts the male protagonist of Duck Dynasty as the prophet of the Second Coming. Some would be outraged by this travesty, others would be frightened, but I see it as an opportunity.
Bannon, like many in the media industry, understands the power of dreams. Shared ideas are spiritual points of contact that link a target community. Seeding people with phrases and images allows other kinds of thoughts to be projected into their souls. This is something that I trained my sons to resist. When they complained that an unsettling thought wouldn’t leave them alone, I offered “Close your eyes, calm your thoughts, and form this question in your mind: ‘Where is this coming from?’ Now tell me whose face you see.”
Bannon has co-opted the conservative message with his alt-right media machine. People that celebrate freedom and independence now subscribe – sometimes violently – to his program that seeks to deny those rights to minorities. It appears that he now wishes to do the same to Christianity, whose political messaging is currently diffused across competing denominations.
But as one among a growing number that believes that Revelation teaches that the returned Christ is already at work among us, I must consider how much Bannon’s power play will affect that process of manifestation. I am happy to share that I have powerful reasons for believing that it will further it.
You see, people may subscribe to an illusion such as the one that Bannon is constructing, but ultimately their concern is for the actual conditions of their life. This is the huge difference between Christ and illusionists such as Bannon: Christ actually loves his community, and is invested in their strength. This means that the community builds strength through relation with Christ, rather than losing it.
But how does Christ break through the barrier of illusion spun by Bannon and others? Because his investment in truth gives him focus and strength that the illusionists cannot rival. Illusionists are lazy people, seeking to take power without giving anything in return. Christ focuses only on service to his community, and so disciplines himself to act in a way consistent with their benefit. There is no pause in his determination, no rest until he has manifested his will for service to them.
What killed him made him stronger.
So all that Bannon will succeed in doing is to create a nexus in spirit that will allow Christ to send fulfillment all the more rapidly to those that are held captive by illusion. Once that message is received, Bannon will lose his power over his captives, and be cast aside as irrelevant.
This is just a specific example of a greater principle: spiritual power is conscious and intelligent. It seeks conditions under which it can anchor and spread. That means that it must work in concert with truth, for without truth its anchor will not be firm. Truth is perceived fully only by those that love unconditionally – that is to say, without thought of personal reward. For, if we think of personal reward when seeking the truth, people will seek to protect themselves from our appropriations by hiding from us.
This then, is what makes Christ inevitably the most powerful person on earth: power seeks truth through love. As the avatar of unconditional love, eventually all power will accrue to him.