Saturday, September 3, 2016

Defeat, disappointment, disillusion and devastation

I have been following and posting about on the Conserpiracy forum the political campaign of would-be US senator Augustus Sol Invictus for some months now.

His recent defeat in the Libertarian primary election in Florida has stirred up some very painful memories; I have seen something like this campaign before. It is a very different story involving very different people, but there are a few familiar elements. There is also a big coincidence in the case.

I was involved with an Islamic political opposition movement a while back. I remember that the leaders referred to themselves by the titles they hoped to attain once they had overthrown an oppressive regime; they behaved as though they already occupied the positions that they were campaigning to achieve.

I remember the excitement when the main leader started to levitate; the members, supporters and followers were uplifted too. They felt part of something big and inspiring; they had goals and a mission to work for. The members called each other brother and sister.

The mood was very positive, euphoric even; victory seemed just around the corner. I remember the press releases, the statements, the attention, the publicity, the interviews and articles, the committees, the meetings and the conferences and speeches.  I remember the demonstrations in various capital cities and the concerts with famous artists, all very colourful with flags, flowers and stirring music… volunteers worked round the clock getting it all organised.

At the time, it seemed like the start of something very big. Looking back, I can see that the first year of campaigning was as good as it got.

Many peripheral supporters expected immediate and dramatic results; when this did not happen, they lost interest, energy and enthusiasm, drifted away and got on with their lives instead. The organisation became cult-like; ideology was more important than efficiency; people were expected to obey the leaders’ orders without question: even very constructive criticism that would have helped the cause was considered a crime. The members were continually told, “We must make sacrifices.”  Many of the best people became disillusioned and left; others gave their lives for nothing.

This opposition movement is dying a very slow, lingering death. That is a whole other story though.

I slowly detached myself by degrees once I realised that the organisation was not what I had believed it was and that the leaders were their own worst enemies.  I also received some crushing blows and felt betrayed by people I had trusted, people I expected to look after my interests.

To get back to Augustus Invictus, while a defeat at the start of one person’s political career may be more of a small setback or minor molehill than a major disaster, it can certainly feel like one. Defeat can be devastating if victory had seemed certain. It is all very well for Rudyard Kipling to say that triumph and disaster are imposters who should be treated just the same: this is much easier said than done.

In black, paranoid moments, I wonder whether there might be something to the theory that sinister forces are at work in our lives, implanting ideas and arranging events to build us up and raise false hopes, only to make it all come crashing down so that they can feed off the resulting negative emotions. I have written about such scenarios and how to deal with them in a long article about injury and revenge.

Another paranoid proposition is that by wanting something very much, you activate forces that stop you getting it.

While looking for more relevant images and information about Sol Invictus, sun worship, lions, sunbursts etc. for my thread on the Conserpiracy site, I saw something that made me realise that the name and designation of one of the opposition leaders have sun worshipping associations. There is also a lion and a sunburst in the case. What a coincidence; at the time I knew almost nothing about such things.

Everything is connected and unseen influences really are at work in our lives.