As we ponder the startling adolescent fulminations of North Korea’s latest little Hitler, here’s a perspective that resonates point by point, with my own.
Please read or re-read my astrology piece for April 9-20 to see just how crucial the sharing of Love during these 12 days. We’re halfway through. So far so good!
Spring always brings a sharp edge with it, hitting the ethers with a loud bang of Aries energy. After winter’s long sleep, that kind of enthusiastic fire has a tendency to rub a little raw against those seeking a gentle passage. The youngsters, on the other hand, spring out of bed with a whoop, chomping at the bit to get going, and annoying many less-driven souls around them. I mean, seriously! Here I am, drinking my morning coffee and reading the news to find some guy threatening to nuke me as punishment for my imperialism.
North Korea’s L’il Kim III — Kim Jong-Un — is one of those youngsters. He’s anxious to solidify his leadership abilities and prove himself worthy of the silly haircut his revered grandfather, Kim II-Sung, preferred. The youngest of Kim Jong-II’s three boys, Un had all the right stuff, apparently, beating out his playboy brother Nam and his timid, supposedly “effeminate” brother Chul to inherit one of the cruelest dictatorships on the planet.
What a Machiavellian storyline, pitting brother against brother, at least in terms of how they developed their personalities to please Daddy. It appears that Un avoided his siblings’ pitfalls to win Daddy’s approval. It would be interesting to know how deliberately he did so, given that the gilded cage provided Dear Leader’s boys is still a cage.
Few people have been allowed entry into North Korea for firsthand reports on the lifestyle there, but what little we’ve seen has stood our hair on end. Those in the cities live in a collective bubble of nationalism, embracing the hive consciousness that can’t be escaped if one is to survive. Screens in every flat deliver fresh propaganda from the single television channel, starting the day and finishing it with large doses of extreme nationalistic rhetoric and anti-American paranoia. Everything belongs to the state, including the people who reside within it, and the state, for the last eighteen months or so, has been defined in the singular person of chubby, enigmatic and markedly militaristic Kim III.
As Eric pointed out in Friday’s piece, there is question about Un’s age but by any standard of leadership, he’s young. It’s apparent that he has little leadership skill other than the militarism expected of him. He was made a four-star general prior to his father’s death, embraced by the military big-wigs as the successor to Dear Leader (who died unexpectedly of a heart attack while having a snit over what he considered shoddy workmanship at a dam project.) Kim II had been slowly grooming Un to take his place, assigning his sister, Kim Kyong-hui and her husband Jang Sung-taek, both in their mid-60s, to help consolidate the young one’s leadership authority. The three are often seen at official occasions to prove the dynasty remains intact. It also proves that Un isn’t winging it, he has “handlers,” which makes one wonder who’s actually in charge.
North Korea is a sad little place, much like Cuba in that electricity, goods and services are all meagerly rationed. The façade of a high-stepping totalitarianism can’t hide all that’s wrong in this (darkened) spot on the map. To say that North Korea is food-insecure is an understatement. No one who has seen smuggled-out photos of children with swollen bellies and stick-thin limbs can question the deprivation.
For generations, this little nation-state has been largely unwilling to divert funds from militarization to expand agriculture in order to provide for its citizens. In the 1990s, the death tolls from famine were so high that trucks were reportedly searching neighborhoods each morning, picking up the dead for mass burial. In 2010, the last real efforts to provide food at a national level behind them, Pyongyang directed the population to forage for “wild food,” which turned out to be tree bark, toxic grass, and often-poisonous mushrooms. Hundreds of thousands died from famine that year, perhaps as many as a million. They joined the millions who had quietly starved in years gone by, and continue to do so.
You’d never know it to see their soldiers strut. Living in the quintessential PR bubble, how things appear seems to have little validity in fact. According to U.S. News and World Report, “One study shows that the average North Korea soldier is 10 inches shorter than those in the South Korean military – a sign of chronic acute malnutrition affecting an entire generation of young North Koreans.” Meanwhile, these short — and whip thin — soldiers comprise the fourth largest standing army in the world, and Un has made it a priority to increase their number since his Daddy made transition; that’s who he understands himself to be.
Recent weather events in North Korea– everywhere, frankly — have created worrisome predictions for the minimal agriculture grown in the Northern countryside this year. Despite continuing assistance from China, famine is worsening and that traditionally means that the regime must manufacture some crisis to divert attention from deprivation and suffering, and keep the population focused. The one thing North Korea has plenty of is nationalism. I’m not sure how that quiets an empty belly, but the expectation prevails that it not only must but will; it’s always worked in the past. In this dire circumstance, the newest leader of North Korea must make his mark and prove his mettle, navigate the unsure waters of the 21st century while “coming of age” and — oh yes, by the way — he may or may not have nukes with an adequate delivery system.
To be sure, this kind of international bluff has worked in the past, but you’ve got to wonder if this young man has a clue how deeply dangerous his rhetoric is, how intolerant the rest of the world has become with threats of terrorism. Un told Dennis Rodman recently that he really didn’t want to “do war” with Obama, and wanted that message passed along. Do war? That’s the statement of a clueless child, unaware that he could be swatted like a fly. In a recentTelegraph article, John Avlon called this dust-up a “chess match with a dim-wit.”
Un was born into a tradition of belligerency and aggression, his nation’s fits of pique bought off in the past, like distracting a toddler in a tantrum with candy. But this time, things aren’t so clear cut. We don’t have a history with this tantrum-thrower, nobody knows what he might do next to prove himself, and few have his ear who might warn against an actual war with neighboring South Korea, and perhaps larger targets. The pressure on him from the international community is huge, not to mention the expectation from his captive audience and adoring public, ready for another “dear leader” to deify (and depend upon.)
Here’s a nature/nurture question. Who is Kim Jong-Un? What independent thought did his schooling in Switzerland provide him? How did his father and grandfather imprint his expectation of himself? How did his culture — one that refuses to allow its citizens to speak to outsiders or wear jeans (a forbidden American symbol), that maintains gulags where hundreds of thousands, including entire generations of people, are worked to death and starved, where some have never tasted any meat except rat — how did his culture mold him? How could one who has been raised up to take the reins of such a brutal regime know anything about who he is and what he really wants?
Are we really just a product of our environment? Listen to this voice, the first man ever to have been born into a North Korean gulag and escape:
‘Because I am surrounded by good people, I try to do what good people do. But it is very difficult. It does not flow from me naturally. . . I am evolving from being an animal. But it is going very, very slowly.”
It’s a great sorrow to still suffer the kind of circumstances in this century that would bring a person to such a statement. It’s a great challenge to pull ourselves up into the Light that would heal such sorrows, and create determination to change such conditions. Hating the L’il Kims for perpetuating this horror won’t change anything; perhaps loving them will.
The amazing astrology of this moment has given us — each of us — a very clear message, an echo from scholars, artists and philosophers over the centuries: know thyself. Discovering who we are, why we do what we do, is painstaking work, requiring us to drop the false-self, face our authenticity without flinching, and surrender the rationales that hinder our acceptance of our stumbles into inhumanity as well as our divinely-inspired humanity.
We must learn to hear our false-voice when we speak, and silence it. We must discern the sacred qualities and responsibilities of beginning a sentence with the words, “I AM.” We must discover our deepest center, where peace prevails and the voice of our Higher Angel whispers to us. And each day that we make that our mission, the closer we come to meeting our true self, to releasing a need for competition and strife, to leaving the fear of life — and death — behind.
Some of us are closer to making that happen than others. What is spiritual rises like cream, separating from confusion and allowing us a context to overcome the black/white rigors of 3D life. Growing our spiritual understanding allows us to tap into eternal truths, timeless wisdom and an unhurried calm that puts threats like those issued by errant brothers, like Kim Jong-Un, into perspective.
Some spiritual practice tells us that projecting love out into the world is one way to lift the vibration and lessen the danger of any given moment. Others tell us that when we send one another Light — prayers for peace and mastery and healing — we’re banishing darkness, sponsoring clearer understanding and illuminating thought for the recipient. If that’s so, then we’d all better be sending Light to this third-generation Kim, born and bred in brutality and terrorism, who has fallen heir to an entire country of mind-fucked, suffering and fear-driven residents, ready to march to the sea like lemmings should their newest Dear Leader demand it of them.
I remember being very reluctant to pray for George Bush, back in the day. It was difficult for me to forgive him his excess, let alone send energy to lighten his load, but I knew I had to do it. It breached the divide between the two of us, banished the fear that kept our common humanity from being connected as one; and so we were. So are those of you reading this, connected. This is our collective, collaborate world we’re co-creating together with every thought, word, action; each one of those qualifies as a kind of “prayer” sent out to be made manifest.
Some of us, like Un, are doing what we were expected to do, becoming what our circumstances molded us to be, fulfilling someone else’s prophesy, realizing someone else’s dream. Others of us are struggling to awaken to more of our own truth, trying to get comfortable in our own skin, making courageous changes that reflect our desires rather than our socialization or environmental and/or parental programming.
Kim Jong-Un and his repressive little dictatorship is the perfect example of illusion, of a Potemkin village offered to a world that can see clearly what those deluded souls who inhabit it cannot. Choices went into its making, over the years. People had opportunities to stop the Kim family from dominating their every act in a repeat of Stalinism, Korean-style. Perhaps some took those opportunities and died; perhaps more didn’t, and became the living-dead, their dreams so long lost they don’t even remember them. I can’t say which is worse.
But this we know. Everything can change, when WE do. When we approach our lives as if they were happening TO us, we find conflict and competition. When we discover that, instead, we’re happening to life — choosing our experiences and selecting our responses — we can let collaboration and cooperation bloom. As Neale Donald Walsch asks, “Who do I now choose to be? This is the only question that matters, and this is what your soul is using your life to decide, every moment. Life is not a process of discovery; it is a process of creation.”
We create with prayer and meditation and the extension of Light — with thought, word, deed — and I invite you to join me in covering young Kim III in enLightenment this week, along with his people and the nuclear situation (which the channelers insist the Space Brothers will defuse.) Kim’s ability to change depends on us: how we perceive him, how we manage his adolescent demands. We must love our enemies out of darkness, if we (and they) are to evolve, much as we must find the ability to love ourselves before we can offer love to another. Even for so dark a corner of the world as North Korea, love must lead the way.