As the story goes, Lucifer was God’s brightest star—literally, the morning star, Venus. As the brightest light, Lucifer could see into God’s plan: to incarnate in human form. Lucifer could not bear the painful vision of pure spirit incarnating in animal body, saddled with the suffering of life and death, a virtual crucifixion of the spirit.
With this piercing light of awareness, Lucifer refused God’s plan, bypassing the wounding of his innocence via incarnation in the flesh. Lucifer broke away from God and, along with other “fallen angels,” sought refuge in his own hell. Thus this brightest of stars is actually the patron saint of protecting innocence from the trauma of incarnate life, that is, life in the body.
In psychological terms, protection from life in this world is called dissociation. In dissociation, wounded innocence is swept away from life, deeply shielded from consciousness, relationship, or experiences in this world that could further injure and soil the purity of its innocent soul.
How can we argue the absolute necessity for such a splitting, fragmenting defense? Without it, the innocent soul would indeed be completely destroyed in its repeated encounters with trauma. However, what is the fate of the soul that is kept from its intended incarnation in this world?
Innocence is protected in dissociation, but ultimately innocence kept from life is innocence kept in bondage, in its own private hell. What makes it suffer is the frustration of its longing for life in the body, genuine connection in the world, its rightful journey.
What once served as an angel of protection soon becomes the devil border guard that dissuades any trespass into dangerous life, that is, any attempts at bringing innocence back into the physical world.
The border guard is negative, critical, and nihilistic. Its intent, at heart, is pure protection, but its refusal to allow entry into life extends beyond its protective reach to become the critic that freezes all sparks of potential life.
Ultimately, that which once was a lifesaver becomes the prison guard that must be defeated to allow innocence its rightful journey in this world. The truth is, however, as Lucifer rightly saw, to incarnate in this world is to indeed suffer a crucifixion. The ego must be willing to suffer the wounding of innocence, stay present to the traumatic experiences that once caused fragmentation, healing the split, and help innocence to live in a world where it will suffer both the joys and pains of incarnate life.
Only when the ego, or adult self, is ready to take the full journey to recover its lost innocence—as well as stay present with it, as together innocence and ego navigate a dangerous world—is it time to take on these deeply protectionist defenses. If the ego is not ready for that level of responsibility, it is perhaps more appropriate to leave its vulnerable self in the protective hands of its Luciferian defenses, as it survives in its more manageable hell of a defense.
On the world stage, America finds itself struggling with this dilemma as it struggles to protect itself yet continue to live and be part of the world community in the wake of growing terrorist threat.
America is, historically, notoriously protectionist in its isolationism, hence Luciferian defense, in the presence of world threat. The current drive to seal up the borders and keep the dangerous world at bay sweeps the nation. Yes, we must protect our vulnerable innocence and yet, as John McCain states: “all children are God’s children.”
McCain, as one who has suffered incarceration in war, knows that protectionism that cuts us off from deep love and compassion is a hell we don’t want to live in. And yes, to fully enter life, to incarnate, we will suffer.
To allow refugees into our homeland is offering life to all of God’s children. But it requires a maturity that America is now challenged to rise to. This is the maturity Stephen LaBerge speaks to when he states, ” I don’t need to see your reality papers before I act with love.”
Of course, we must be sensible and cautious as to whom we let in, but we must also be willing to suffer potential danger to allow life to live, and that includes ourselves. If we arbitrarily seal the borders we sentence ourselves to hell and world condemnation, as we shirk our responsibility of leadership in a world on the brink of madness.
We must arrive at responsible compassion that allows us to navigate the perils of current danger. This is the collective maturity mirrored in the individual ego’s journey to rescue and bring into life its own lost soul. If we live without our soul, as individuals or as a nation, we merely exist to smolder in our own private hells.
While fully appreciating Lucifer’s insight, and at times necessary intervention, we must turn our gaze from this bright morning star to that of the full sun, which enlightens us to the fuller picture and nurtures all of life regardless of race, religion, or gender—all of God’s children.
I wish to thank Donald Kalsched whose work has stirred my imagination.