When father appears in dreams or active imagination, look beyond personal father; look to the rules, judgments, beliefs, and attitudes that inwardly dominate your personality. Though he may bear the image of personal father, we all have an inner father that is our own, separate and distinct from the father of our conception.
Ego self is the child of the father. It remains for the maturing ego to confront the father’s rule. This takes the form of discovering the beliefs, attitudes, and judgments that govern perceptions and rule behaviors. This process can be quite challenging as the edicts of the father may be quite contrary to how the ego views itself and wants to be in the world. The energy and sternness of the inner father may be quite a formidable force and young ego might feel itself quite incapable of taking charge.
Sometimes ego self elects to blindly be ruled by the constraints of the father. Sometimes ego self identifies and emboldens itself with the opinions of father, never daring to discover its own true nature. Sometimes ego self, like a young Nero, assumes the emperor’s throne, assuming power with childlike exuberance and entitlement, becoming a little self-indulgent tyrant. This immature grab for power refuses to encounter and discriminate the wisdom of the fathers before assuming control, an obvious recipe for disaster, like the burning of Rome that ended Nero’s reign. Ultimately, ego self must assume the journey of true self-discovery, the Hero’s Journey, or remain forever a child, governed by the commandments of the almighty father.
Kronos, King of the Titans, ruled the heavens without challenge, as he forced his wife Rhea, to deliver each of their children directly to him upon their births for his consumption. Finally, Rhea, fed up with him—no pun intended—cleverly substituted a stone which she gave to Kronos instead of her next baby who upon birth was named Zeus. Ultimately, Zeus defeated his father and a new era was allowed to be born. Here is the obvious lesson of ego self taking control and ousting the father so that new life may flourish unencumbered.
As the Mayan calendar comes to a close, we too find ourselves on the brink of a new era, where old judgments, attitudes, beliefs, and rules are giving way to a new order. The signs are everywhere. The demise of the old Republican party protecting unbridled greed is one sure sign, as is the truth of global warming coming to the fore, as we face what we humans have done to our planet. In addition, gay marriage is now the law in many states; a Black president has been reelected, his rule no longer an impulsive fluke of the electorate. A woman president is undoubtedly next. These are all outward changes to appropriately wresting power from the domineering father of old and establishing new guidelines for a healthy and fulfilling life.
The Hero’s Journey requires that we venture beyond the father’s reach, that is, go beyond the conventional wisdom we’ve internalized that dictates the conclusions of our mind. We must be ready to accept full responsibility for discovering and taking charge of the truth, inner and outer, becoming like Zeus and defeating Kronos within us. We must also be prepared to accept the shattering that catapults us from the comfortable confines of socialization and the known; the shattering that is inevitable if we are to disengage father from our beings. We are not who we think we are; our minds are not our own until we make them so.
We must take ownership of our inner father, and become like Zeus defeating his father’s vicious entitlement. Ultimately, what that means is that we must confront all the beliefs and attitudes that have comfortably ruled us and protected us from our deeper truths and the greater unknown, both within and without. We must face our own destinies as individuals on our own journeys to fulfillment.
Only through taking the Hero’s journey now, at this most energetic juncture in our lifetimes, can we participate in the world renewal and transformation that is indeed imbued in the energy of 2012. It’s a personal thing as well as a global thing—one massive interdependent whole delivering itself from the anachronistic father, into a new era.