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The “Gut Brain” and the Use and Misuse of God in the Presidential Election

by Ed Bacon

I was struck by these words Thomas Friedman wrote in The New York Times yesterday:

Donald Trump’s meteoric rise is lesson No. 1 on leadership: Most voters do not listen through their ears. They listen through their stomachs. If a leader can connect with them on a gut level, their response is: ‘Don’t bother me with the details. I trust your instincts.’ Many have come to Trump out of a gut feeling that this is a guy who knows their pain, even if he really doesn’t. Many of his supporters are from the #middleagewhitemalesmatter movement…are not interested in Trump’s details. They like his gut.”

James Reese

This weekend’s “Soul and Synapse” retreat with Dr. Dan Siegel, as well as this coming Sunday’s Rector’s Forum, and my sermon Sunday morning all address the phenomenon Thomas Friedman emphasizes.

In past visits to All Saints and in his books on Mindfulness Meditation, Dr. Siegel has noted that we have a “gut brain” as well as a “heart brain” as well as an “enskulled brain.” They are all member parts of the one organ we call “the brain.” That’s why it is important to acknowledge the power of “connecting on the gut level.” What’s more, we can develop “Mindsight,” the ability to ‘see,’ heal, and transform what is going on in our brain.

My theological reflection on all of this is that you and I can cultivate what St. Paul calls “the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5ff). The mind of Christ is the state of mind that is both compassionate, courageous, and contemplative.

I promise you if you come to our retreat with Dr. Siegel on Saturday and Sunday (you can register here), and attend his presentation in the Rector’s Forum Sunday at 10:15 a.m., and worship together at a Eucharist Sunday, that you will take an important stride in cultivating the mind of Christ within your life.

I will be preaching about The Use and Misuse of God in the Presidential Election. Antonio Gallardo will preach at the 1:00 p.m. Spanish service.

It will be an enriching weekend for all parts of our brains, gut included.

If you cannot be with us in person please join us for the Rector’s Forum at 10:15 and for the 11:15 service via our growing online community of live-streamers here

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