Most simply defined, the quality of our mental health reflects the degree of continuity we can maintain as our known selves, the familiar, separate human beings that we are. Familiarity rests upon a predictable world and a predictable self that interacts with that world. When our normal expectations of ourselves and the world are disrupted, our security and sanity are threatened, as reflected in psychiatric symptoms in response to this break in continuity.
Our notion of ourselves as separate beings traces back to the birth of consciousness, or the coming online of our ego. In biblical terms, this was the moment we were separated from the Garden of undifferentiated wholeness, Eden, and were cast into the world as separate, thinking beings, capable of our own decision making.
Alienated from our true energetic oneness with everything, where knowledge of what was right to do came as unthinking knowing—what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call silent knowledge—our orphaned separate selves were challenged to find a way to successfully navigate life.
Thus began our history as thinking human beings, alienated from our original connection to direct silent knowledge. Knowledge obtained through thinking is grounded in rational cause and effect, observation and interpretation. Direct knowledge is channeled from the source through our greater energetic self, whom we lived more fully and intimately before the fall.
Ego, as a defined separate self, creates boundaries to ensure its unique integrity. These boundaries have the secondary effect of severing the ego’s connection to its greater energetic self, which lacks such defined boundaries. As a separate self, ego is constantly focused on its own importance as the means to maintain its integrity as a functional unit.
Nonetheless, the cynic in all of us sees through the falseness and limitations of the persona, or mask, that ego presents to the world. Underneath it all, ego is a fragile, inadequate part of the self, trying to hold its own in the world. Hence, its constant obsession with self-worth, self-esteem, and the positive attention of others, in order to bolster its fragile existence.
Our evolutionary destiny is driving us to regain our wholeness, the energetic self we left in the garden. To get there, we must break from our obsession with maintaining the self-important defense of our ego as a superior separate entity. In essence, we are all being called now to break the continuity of our ego’s stand as the one and only self.
Trauma could be defined as a break in the ego’s continuity, which forces it to confront the irrationality of power exercised beyond a rational world. Trauma levels ego; ego is completely humbled by a rupture that transcends its ability to assimilate. Lucky are those who have had the opportunity that trauma affords! And yet, we are all confronting the trauma of now!
The full assimilation of traumatic experience requires fluidity, the ability to go with the flow of what is or was, not the limits of what the ego expects the world to be. Healing, for the ego, requires an expanded ability to acknowledge power and forces that exist beyond its rational expectations.
Achievement of this expanded ego state is fundamental to ego discovering its true home, as an energetic being, first, and as a separate solid being, second. Ego is then positioned to accompany its energetic foundation on journeys in this world, and beyond, with access to the full library of silent knowledge.
Our time might be defined as a major break in continuity. Our world leaders are tricksters, who are unapologetically rupturing our expectations, throwing us into the thrill and the chaos of a tidal wave of unpredictability. From this perspective, they function like teacher shamans, recklessly opening a door, exposing us to our fuller energetic reality.
At the same time, they threaten the stability of mental health, which is dependent on a predictable world. And we see the casualties of this break in continuity in the shootings that abound daily. We are confronted with a collective PTSD of a world ego under fire. Nonetheless, healing can only be achieved by ego achieving the fluidity needed to navigate the greater energetic world that transcends rationality.
Our trickster leaders, ironically, mirror our greatest stumbling block to achieving that needed fluidity: self-importance. In fact, world leadership boldly embodies its separatist self-important superiority, ego’s greatest defense. We could say, that our leaders both deliver the punch and mirror the culprit that must be transcended if our ego is to truly find its way back to the garden of its energetic oneness with everything.
We have no choice now but to ride this train of break in continuity, as that train has already left the station without brakes. Change the metaphor, to that of the Tao, of the river that flows. Rather than try to push the river, as the ego used to do, become a riverwalker, one who knowingly walks with the flow.