Jan’s book, The Man in the Woods, gives us direct, unfiltered exposure to the collective shadow unleashed upon the innocence of a child. The atrocities of which she speaks are unthinkable, unbelievable, bloodcurdling and yet true. Evil without bounds is indeed an active potential within human nature. How can this be, and what can we do about it?
In her recent blog, Face the Shadow Self, Jan discusses the impact of allowing the truth to remain in the darkness. All that lives in the darkness is free to live and act without scrutiny, without awareness. The more that is pushed into the darkness the greater grows its power, the more distorted and evil it has the opportunity to become. As Jan’s book documents, there simply are no boundaries to the imagination and actions of evil unchecked and disowned by consciousness.
Sexual abuse is a pervasive reality and definite expression of evil actions emanating from the human shadow. What has caused sexuality to be split off and relegated to the darkness, where it has morphed into such grotesque and frightening proportions?
Today, I address not only this question, but I also ask my readers to face the true fact that sexuality is instinct. Instinct comes from our animal nature. We are animals, human animals.
The other day I saw a commercial for a small, safe trimmer to remove all body hair from ears, arms, back, nostrils, etc. to become beautiful, sensuous metro-sexual beings. No! We are animals with hair! If we cut it all off, we stuff the animal into the dark basement. In the basement the animal becomes an angry, ravenous beast, driven to extremes. Once unleashed, that beast will reek havoc upon the innocent.
Human beings have evolved into beings grossly dissociated from their animal nature. Humans have become so attached to and identified with virtual reality that our animal nature has completely slipped into the shadow. On a collective level the human sexual shadow has turned rabid, a predator of mass proportion that seeks to ravage the innocent. A predatory animal of this proportion is a strictly human phenomenon. There is no other animal on earth that tortures and destroys like the human animal.
The daunting challenges of regulating and transforming the instinctive energies of the human animal were once presided over by the priests and shamans of antiquity. Through the practice of initiation rites the human animal instinct was valued, channeled, and transformed into individually fulfilling, relationally fulfilling, and socially supportive avenues that consolidated and preserved our species. In the modern world such initiation has become the provence of the religious institutions.
However, the modern world has increasingly distanced itself from the true animal nature of the human creature. Religious institutions have become such centers of rationality that they’ve lost the ability to value and preside over the transformation of the instinctive energy of the human animal. For the most part, religious rituals serve social and moral channels, but offer little toward meeting the human animal’s need for expression. Unfortunately, this has led to the de-animalization and over-technocratization of the human being, resulting in extreme alienation and dissociation from the instinctive natural self. Uninitiated instinct is left to its own devices to act out deviantly, at all stages of life, be it childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or old age.
The truth is that the problem lies not in the animal sexual instinct of the human species, for if this were the case the Catholic attempts to reign in and strictly regulate that instinct would have led to an evolutionary advance. To the contrary, recent history has brought out of the shadows the rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, those most schooled in regulation of the sexual instinct.
The real problem lies not in the instinct itself, but in the human rejection of it. It’s the discomfort with and rejection of the instinct that leads to its repression in the shadows with evil consequences. If, on the contrary, sexuality is acknowledged and fully integrated into life—allowed to live consciously, in balanced relationship—its expression would find its way into the normalcy of life, passion and love fully entwined in the fullness of human life.
Having been relegated to the shadow self, instinct—our true animal nature—has been demonized rather than consciously and carefully tended to with awareness of its true need to be integrated and given expression. On a species level this disowned instinct creates an enormous collective shadow capable of committing evil without conscience, giving rise to predatory giants destructively compensating for the disowned animal core. Without conscience or regulation, instinct is free to operate unchecked in the darkness.
Such behavior has not only unleashed predatory behavior such as Jan writes about in her book, but it also has led to the refusal to even talk about it, which leaves society’s most innocent, our children, vulnerable. In our denial and refusal to accept the truth of our animal nature we are allowing children to suffer. Can we finally face the shadow we have created and deal with it, as Jan requests in her book? Can we, individually and collectively, responsibly speak out so that our children no longer suffer in silence, made the bearers of our shadow selves, made to carry the consequences of that which must not be spoken about for their entire lives? Can we face what we have truly done, by our denial of our true natures, to those who need our protection the most?
Predators and their predatory acts must be fully outed and held accountable. All predators must be stopped and exposed. However, as a species, we are all responsible for acknowledging and integrating our animal selves. Spirit selves that forget they are also animal selves will become victims of their own disgruntled, rageful animal natures. The ultimate culprit in the etiology of the predator is perhaps the evolution of the human animal gone too far in one direction. We have so disowned and abandoned our animal selves that we’ve created huge predatory monsters that hide so well in the labyrinths of our denial that we can hardly believe they exist at all.
As a species this is where we find ourselves now. In our collective attitude of denial we have created monsters in our midsts, predatory beasts who roam and ravage, plunder and take, safe in the silent darkness of denial. The virtual, bionic fantasy that currently dominates the human race is, in fact, the jailer of the human animal that creates the minotaurs that roam in the maze of our collective shadow with free access to the innocent.