DONALD TRUMP IS MARA
by Wayne Ren-Cheng
Did that get your attention? Mara whose name means destruction, the personification of the Desire World, the Buddhist demon that represents the cravings and passions that delude us into unwholesome choices has a contemporary avatar in Donald Trump. Mara sought to seduce Siddhartha, the historical Buddha away from awakening. He claimed that the experience of enlightenment belonged only to him. Donald Trump seeks to seduce the American people and their political process. He claims the experience of truth belongs only to him.
Trump is a personification of the Five Hindrances. He pursues sensual desire and encourages others to do the same. His ill will toward others he perceives as not like himself arises in his words and his actions. Trump engages the world with hatred, envy, fear and greed as his motivators and causally conditions his supporters to do the same. Doing this also has the effect of causing the arising of hatred and fear in those who oppose him. His deep level of ignorance about the world around him and how his thoughts and actions affect it is the result of his sloth, torpor and drowsiness. He is too lazy to learn and relies on the same in his supporters. Restlessness will not allow him to stay on message, even an unwholesome one. Worry is revealed in Trump’s thin-skin. Every utterance by another is experienced as a personal attack. Uncertain of his abilities to succeed he promotes skepticism of the system in advance of losing. Trump offers an example of the causal consequences of allowing the five hindrances to dominate a bodymind.
Ronald Reagan was known as the ‘teflon’ president because no scandal or impropriety seemed to stick to him. Watching the debate on Sunday I commented to Mary that unlike Reagan, Trump is the deflection candidate. I said he uses aikido of the ego to redirect controversy. He engages a force of will, of ego to deny, discredit and defame whatever conflict arises. Trump rarely denies his unwholesome thoughts and actions. Instead he redirects the blame for his own misdeeds by accusing others of similar activities. Mary named this amazing ability . . . ego-kido . . . an apt description.
A Buddhist knows that all human beings have Buddha-element. Donald Trump has encased his Buddha-element in a locked silver box, placed that into a locked gold box, surrounded it with a wall of diamond and then stuffed it into a deep whole in his bodymind. Then he shoveled all the negative soil of hatred, greed, envy, and fear over it. Is it possible for him to rediscover it . . . yes. For that reason every Buddhist must experience compassion for Trump the human being. That does not require a VOTE for him.