Long before Donald Trump became president (Aug. 2016), I was working on a meme project on Instagram, combining quotes from "New Age" memes with images of The Donald. My motivation to create the series was truly personal but the message was universal.
There's a real potent archetype in the political zeitgeist right now that falls under the separation/tribalism/scapegoating umbrella. The way to power right now is to atomize us into small groups that have unified opinions and identify with their causes. I thought it was interesting to find this sentiment in a ton of New Age inspirational quotes. A lot of yoga and supposedly enlightened inspirational personalities encourage selfishness, leaving people "toxic" people behind, cutting friendships off, cleansing your relationships, etc. Of course this sort of strategy makes sense when there is emotional or physical abuse involved, but the context seemed to be advocating abandonment as the first step of crisis resolution. Which is the platform that the political Right ran on, this election: Building walls.
I found it interesting when I combined images of Trump with New Age quotes, the similarities in philosophy. When I started posting them on Instagram, a lot of yoga studios and yoga IG personalities were liking them. I still don't know if I identified this little-known faction of right-wing yoga teachers or it was just their promotional bots, liking anything with a "yoga" tag.
Theres about 30 of them on my Instagram and I put embedded a selection below: