Yesterday was at once heartening and frightening.
The Women’s March participants refused to Echo, the tragic nymph of the Greek myth who, enchanted with Narcissus’ charm, loses her own voice except to echo Narcissus’ words as Narcissus stares at his own reflection across the pond. Meanwhile, on the same day, Narcissus, despairing of Echo’s recovered independence, went across the river to visit the CIA – the intelligence community he had scorned – in hopes they might become the new reflecting pond and echo that would confirm his claims to singular greatness as the new Commander-in-Chief.
The President is disintegrating before our eyes. Mental health is about integration – the spiritual/psychic process by which a person brings together the disparate parts of the self and the various conflicting sorts of experience into a greater psychic wholeness. This process requires a center that does not depend upon the adulation or negation of others.
Yesterday we saw a lonely, frightened man with neither the Echo nor the reflecting pond into which he stares to be reassured of his real self. He is a sick man deserving of prayers and pity. But when a threatened narcissist has access to the nuclear codes no one else in the world has, prayers for this president become prayers for ourselves and the planet that reflect a greater glory than Narcissus’ reflection.
“The whole Earth is the theater of God’s glory.” – John Calvin.
As a member of the Confirmation Class at First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica in Queens, NY, a young Donald John Trump learned by heart the first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Question: “What is the chief end (i.e. aim or purpose) of man?”
We have need to hope and pray the 70 year-old Donald remembers the antidote to the psychic integration and disintegration of Narcissus:
Answer: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy God forever.”
The Book of Common Worship (1946) in use at the time of the President’s confirmation includes this Election Day:
Almighty God, who dost hold us to account for the use of all our powers and privileges: Guide, we pray Thee, the people of these United States of their rulers and representatives; that by wise legislation and faithful administration of the rights of all may be protected, and our nation be enabled to fulfill Thy purposes. . . . Amen.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, January 22, 2017.