To be elevated or lowered in thought and emotion is generally the consequence of identification with a power other than the self. There are many not-I influences that, unknowingly to consciousness, usurp identity, mental processes, moods, and actions.
On a collective level, we are in the midst of a world rapidly seized by a contagion of beliefs and intense emotions sparking heated rhetoric and threatening behavior. On one level this is the consequence of archetypal projections upon leadership.
The ruler of the personality is predisposed to absorb and mirror the attitudes of outer rulers, be they royalty, presidents, or popes. Even personalities that reject identification with leadership figures are not immune to infection, as they find themselves obsessed with revolutionary, depressed, or helpless overreactions.
Within the personality, beyond the I of the known self, are layers of influence that emanate from genetic predisposition, karma, and the collective unconscious, replete with its powerful archetypes seeking to infiltrate daily life. Contrary to the gods of yesteryear, who were housed on some faraway mountain, these archetypes quake from within, generating anxiety, terror, rage, and euphoria.
We might, for instance, awaken with a questioning thought about the meaning of the words another person had spoken in an encounter the day before. Subtly and suddenly, the thought mushrooms into a powerful conspiracy that ignites tremendous emotions of anger, fear, and protest. The ego then becomes intensely focused on plans to survive, attack, or circumvent the imagined onslaught.
In fact, the ego might find itself under the spell of an inner archetype that has dressed outer reality in the garments of the drama it seeks to enact. And what role will ego be assigned, victim or hero?
If we have the presence of mind to not get overly entranced by the lure of the drama, and revisit its status later in the day, we might find ourselves exclaiming, “What could have possessed me to see it that way? Wow, did I blow that out of proportion!”
In this case, the ego, by not succumbing to the coup of the archetype, retains its energy for reflection, differentiation, and control of the personality. Though impulse might at times save the day, it often masks the will of not-I influences that are seeking a play in human life.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico characterize these extraneous energies as entities, who feast upon the high frequency energy of human emotion. They counsel that entities have largely only the power to infiltrate thought and perception, which may indeed generate intense fear, but have no real power to harm.
Whether seen as activated archetypes or actual entities, the guidance to the ego is the same: stay sober and grounded. Archetypes and entities seek our energy, our life force. They are merchants of exaggeration who cater to our boredom and our weaknesses. Refuse their offerings, shoo them away, turn in another direction, breathe, use dialogue to affirm the self.
Address boredom by aligning with your own personal Spirit: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Practice bringing ego to the guidance of the heart center. There it will be energized by its true path of heart.
Our weaknesses are demonstrated to us by the archetypes and entities that play and prey upon us. Archetypes offer to solve human dilemmas when ego is at an impasse, or is simply in a lackadaisical state. Entities, as well, can only hook our attention where there is a gap in our adaptation, its opening to enter and play upon our fears and wants.
Refuse the archetypes, refuse the entities, but do have gratitude for being shown by them what needs to be addressed.
When we shore up our weaknesses, through the guidance of our true spirit, we are freed to journey, weightlessly, on a most fulfilling journey in this life, in this world, and beyond.