The Associated Press reports today that Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan “says presidential candidate Barack Obama represents hope that the United States will change for the better.”
Seems a neutral enough statement. Farrakhan, 74 years old and recovering from prostate cancer, said he wasn’t telling anyone who to vote for, but “praised Obama and took small jabs at his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a speech Sunday”.
Minister Farrakhan’s keynote address in Chicago culminated a 3 day event geared toward unifying “Nation of Islam” followers…. a group of mostly blacks who, amongst other things, have often preached separatism of black and non-black cultures, and who have a humanitarian arm to help the poor.
But Minister Farrakhan’s endorsement aside, in the US, a political endorsement of one candidate over another, is understood, by some, as an absolute command… for the ‘congregation’ to vote for the endorsee
…. rather than just a prominent person simply saying, “This is what I personally think.”
Endorsements are still seen as tribal exhortations to the masses. And perhaps they are, often enough.
Though some pundits will try to marginalize such endorsement, and others try to make some big fat frakas over Minister Farrakhan’s so called endorsement, and some will say Oh pshaw, he and his group are irrelevant in our time, I think that all likely overlooks ‘the youngest son’ syndrome’ that often enough, historically overrides even the most august endorsements…
The one who shall be king next, after the old regime has worn down, in mythos, is often the youngest.
This is an old old story, the restoration of the withered kingdom, and who shall prevail to become king.
In mythos, it is often not the eldest son or brother, daughter or sister, nor the eldest advisor, that revives and raises up the faltering kingdom.
It is often the youngest, freshest, strongest one.
In our family is told an old tale called, “The Quest and The Question,” wherein the old king looks over his kingdom which has suffered ‘a gray famine.’ The kingdom is just now trying to recover from that long travail.
The old king, knowing new blood for the kingdom is needed in leadership, sends his three sons in search of ‘the most precious and irreplaceable thing.
Whomsoever comes back with this boon, will be deemed the most visionary, and that one will be awarded the entire kingdom.
The eldest son misunderstands the quest, and brings back a glittering gold and gem-encrusted object of great material but perishable value. The old king regretfully shakes his head, no.
The second eldest son brings back an equally beautiful object of great value which is also of limited life. The old king shakes his head: No, that does not fulfill the quest either.
But the young son brings back nothing. Empty-handed, he appears before his father.
The youngest son says: Father, I have found on my journey not a material thing that can approach what you asked to be brought to you. But I have brought something invisible that does fulfill “‘the most precious and irreplaceable thing,’…
that ‘thing’ father, is my soul … which has now traveled so far and seen so much. I now understand exactly what the kingdom has need for: A most precious and irreplaceable Vision. Through the eyes of the soul. That is the irreplaceable and precious thing.
And the old king cries out that this is exactly the answer, the very thing that –with the energy of youth– will bring the kingdom back to green and good again.
And as we say in our old country, immigrant family, which specializes in semi-elaborate endings to tales:
And thus it was all greened and good again in that land, and thus it stays in that land, still… while we all back here in this dear world are still on the quest, still asking the question, still seeking the boon that will re-green our kingdom….
In depth psychology, the different aspects of a psychological legend, such as the old king, and all three sons, are seen as being components of a single psyche. They could as easily be Queen and daughters, or a mixture; the gender may be less important than the processes followed in these ancient tales which are teaching stories about inner life.
The exegesis of such tales sometimes reveals a psychological process that can be copied in reality, from unconsciousness and ego sight only, to a better, wider, deeper consciousness that has farther-seeing…
New sight is needed for a change or transformation that lasts… not forever, for there is no forever regarding ‘change, else it wouldn’t be called change,’ and there is no transformation that doesn’t eventually wear down and need renewal…but one to last for a long time.
In any grand round of old monarchical leader to a new one, notice is cried out: God save the King; then, The King has Died; then Long live the (New) King. In symbolic thought, this can mean that the psyche of the culture, of the individual will often strive hard to keep the old way/ thought system/ paradigm alive.
Often much and many resources will be used to keep trying to revive the old paradigm even as it ails more and more (runs out of fresh sight and ideas, energy, narrows life). But ultimately the time will come for dying to the old way. Then, ideally, the best of the old will be carried forward, but will no longer dominate. Ultimately a new way, thought system/ paradigm will rise up:
Consider Cuba, Minister Farrakhan, Rev. Falwell’s old empire, James Dobson, current administrators, death of an elder in our own families, a deadened creative function in the individual psyche … Regardless, at least two things are most often sure; the wisdom of the elder is much needed; the long view. The energy and reach of the young is needed: the fresh view. Putting these two together mysteriously creates a third thing: transformation.
THus, in predicting politics and policies, despite the condition of the old king and his withered kingdom, look to which of the young has leaderly instincts. It is that one, who is most often, listening to the elders, and waiting for the opportunity to go on the quest… to be worthy to take up repair of the ailing kingdom.
If that younger one does not squander the opportunity, “that youngest son” may step right in to the ready-made heroic hollow left as the elder moves laterally… and often, in some kind of communion between younger and elder, a withered kingdom will accelerate re-greening the land for its citizenry.
As my old country father used to say: “You see, de yunkist son in de schtory, vas green (roll the r’s heavily). Sometimes, de green (inexperienced but soul-smart) yunkist vun… knows best how to make de gray vorld green again.”
It is well known that some of the elders do not always easily cede to the younger when it is time… for it takes a heart-wise and insightful king to do that.
But in tales of redemption and restoration of a withered kingdom, the wise elder and the wise younger soul need each other, are foils for one another, admire and find each other venerable, travel together, intervene as needed, are not enemies, not insulters of one another.
Instead, both the elder and the younger are both teachers of one another…both learning new and anew. And carrying both these aspects of psyche, is the crux for maturity in a visionary soul.
This kind of aware ‘knowing’ amongst elders…. and among those younger…. this kind of complementary and healthy symbiotic relationship between young and elder, may be in our times, a most precious and irreplaceable thing. The ultimate endorsement. Regardless of any other kind of endorsement from whomever, or why.