Something is a habit when it is done repeatedly in an unconscious manner. To break a habit requires nerves of steel, not to avoid the habit but to remain conscious of all that you are doing. To remain conscious is warrior training of the highest level. To slip out of consciousness is to lose awareness of what you are doing and thus habits ensue. With nerves of steel remain conscious and aware of all that you do, and then see what happens. That is the warrior’s way.
I observe the spring birds and daffodils arriving too soon, simply following nature’s cues, their inner programs indelible, natural laws that must be obeyed.
In contrast, most conscious humans would delay flight plans if alerted to an as yet unseen arctic nor’easter. How is consciousness not superior to nature’s old ways? This is the argument that elevated reason to chiefdom, to stardom. But reason, in its mental abstractness, has lost contact with its deep chthonic roots, with the power and wisdom of nature itself. Reason can harness the energy of nature, but if it abuses this decision-making ability nature will exact its corrective.
We find ourselves living in a comic book world now. Super villains or, from another perspective, super heroes have taken charge of Gotham City. Like many of Hollywood’s current epics the forces of good and evil are in dire conflict, either pre- or post-apocalypse. Reason has clearly lost its command, but why?
Why have the deep chthonic powers arisen so ardently to topple reason and reinstate an angry god? Was our choice of Obama that one-sided, as we presumed that the world was ready for full inclusion? Wasn’t Hillary reason’s obvious no-brainer for the next step? Why are we where we are now, back in Gotham City?
Perhaps the mistake was presuming that the light and right of consciousness was all that was necessary for wholeness to finally come about, that good will always triumph over evil. In fact, this one-sided hubris constellated the enantiodromia of the blitzkrieg of this dark side we now face. Light and dark, the two sides of God, are the two sides of all of us, and they must each be included lest the jealous, disowned God exact its revenge.
Take the sexual instinct, for example. Consciousness can prescribe the appropriate channels for this instinct, a very logical and ordered program. But beware the ravages of a powerful neglected instinct not properly lived in consciousness. The result, sexual abuse, in every culture, class, and institution around the globe.
What has assumed power is civilization’s disowned shadow, blind instinct wanting and taking. Responsibility for why we are here lies with the people of light, who truly underestimate the power and relevance of the people of the dark, as well as with the people of the dark who have no use for the reason of the people of the light.
With sex you cannot consciously force attraction. You must engage the power of deep instinct to join with conscious love for there to be fulfillment. Conscious love without the juice of attraction is at best a rational partnership, the shadow of which supports the pornography industry.
So how do we arrive at conscious and fulfilling sacred sex? Clearly such a merger must include the heights of spirit light and the depths of dark chthonic instinct. Only an inclusive yin/yang configuration can lead to a balanced whole. If a tree’s branches are to reach heaven, its roots truly must sink into hell.
Consciousness must be restored to its leadership position in our world, but it must become a realistic versus idealistic leader. Nature did advance itself by evolving human consciousness after all. Yes, it is better to be able to delay a flight versus arrive early to sudden death.
On the other hand, consciousness must fully know and embrace its darkness, its deep chthonic roots, and slow its evolution to a reasonable pace that its integrated wholeness can bear.
In consciousness with chthonic roots,
PS: Today is International Women’s Day, a day that many have called for women to give the world the experience of no women in it. That wave of energy may be experienced as what it is like to be in a world of light lacking its deep chthonic roots. Let’s see what happens!!
So, what is an imp? The imp is a little devil from the woods who lives and acts in a most impulsive way! The imp is a spoiler, rarely tells the truth, reverses himself on a dime and can never be held to any agreement. The imp defies all reason and simply cannot be nailed down to anything. The imp is impishly spontaneous, outrageously fiendish, and at times malevolently rageful.
Let’s stop blaming the Russians! This Friday the imp becomes King through democracy’s divine ritual of inauguration. The collective unconscious, Mother Nature herself, has delivered her imp son, Donald Trump, to take over world leadership. Gaia has taken the imp from the woods and installed him to lead the world. Why?
Gaia long ago gave birth to human consciousness. When she bid us eat the apple from the tree of knowledge she bid us take her forward in new and more efficient ways. Since leaving the Garden, human consciousness has mastered technology and increasingly distanced itself from its animal, instinctual roots, from Gaia herself.
Today a majority of humans live online. Facebook gives us the news and organizes our memories. We text, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. We romance on Match. Soon cars will drive themselves, as drones deliver our goods. We have become beings of mind, of reason, of the rational, logical, technical with nary a spiritual thought or experience. Our god is Google. Our ego consciousness, Gaia’s hopeful gift to us, has so dissociated itself from the Garden and enthroned itself as creator that the planet that births and feeds us has become a rapidly metastasizing cancerous tumor.
Gaia has pulled the imp from the woods to level our God of Mind and bring us back down to true mindfulness that incorporates all that we all are, nature in all its forms. Our mind has become too high and mighty, our dissociation from and disregard for nature without and nature within has constellated the impish destroyer. He simply defies all reason. He typifies the world’s most exaggerated ego. Here Gaia is presenting us with the homeopathic cure. In homeopathy like cures like by intensifying the symptoms of a disease to activate its necessary cure. Trump is both the homeopathic agent of exaggerated ego and at the same time the imp from the woods who defies all reason. He comes in the archetypal line of the savior.
Dionysus was such a savior in antiquity, a spring god who broke through all the dams of civilized order to fertilize the earth with orgiastic fervor. Christ was another such savior who came to tone down the instinctual bloodlust and orgy of that same Dionysian fervor through a ritual of communion, accenting instead the ascension of spirit, which in human terms facilitates the dominance of mental control. Unfortunately, the mental plane of humanity has grown to deify itself today, with mind our god, completely overpowering and dissociating itself from its instinctive nature. We are disembodied humans who live in our heads.
Donald, the “new savior,” is indeed a primitive, dangerous nature spirit that threatens world survival. His installation is bound to unleash the pent up instinctual energies of the collective unconscious in an orgiastic outbreak of unbridled lusts for all kinds of power and grab. Then there’s the danger of the autocrat, a la the Hitler variety. We must learn from history. A charismatic king can unleash a collective fervor that infects the populace at the expense of individual reflection and integrity. That was how Hitler mesmerized a nation to follow his will.
Mother Nature has gone to such a drastic measure to level the deified ego of reason, which has disregarded its irrational core, nature itself. That’s how dangerous our dissociated ego has become to the survival of the planet. Mother Nature has brought in a bombastic, dangerous imp to check the overgrown God of Mind at all costs. The question is, how much destruction will be necessary before a new guiding principle emerges?
Mind is critical, but it becomes irrelevant and useless if it deifies itself and does not include nature in its identity and care. Until that happens we will be at the mercy of nature’s impish destroyer, who seems quite content to bring down the God of Mind along with civilization itself!
Realize, with the installation of the imp outwardly, we are subject inwardly as well to the imp’s control, within the Self. We are all living cells of Gaia, all in this together, and therein lies our opportunity. If we can bring our mind down to embrace our earthy substance, and move toward necessary balance in our bodily home, we remove the imp from power within because we voluntarily humble ourselves to our true needs. If enough individuals, as conscious cells of Gaia, take up this challenge we offer the healing potion so badly needed, and the imp might all the more quickly be returned to the woods.
Begin to unplug the self from virtual life and plug into what’s really all around you. Bring life out of the head and back into the body at the rhythm of the heartbeat. Sleep well and listen to nature’s guidance in your dreams. Be in solitude. Be in real human interaction and communion. Embrace your inner imp by paying heed to your spontaneous impulses and find a way to live them in right balance. Allow your mind to be challenged by your disavowed needs, embrace the fullness of your nature. Nature abhors too much order, it’s simply unnatural. So, allow for some form of chaos to bring renewal to too ordered a life.
For better or worse, we enter now the time of the Reign of the Imp King. Trust that, as in all things, nature will only let things go so far, but be empowered within yourself. Nature once gave us the gift of consciousness. If we learn to use it in her service now, we are sure to be restored all the sooner.
“I remember the moment in my recapitulation when I realized that the story I’d always told myself about my life was utterly false. That’s the shattering moment of surrender to the truth.” Quote from Jan Ketchel during a recent morning discussion.
We are a story loving species. Can’t get enough of a good story. Our days are spun into archetypal dramas that draw us like moths to a flame. And when we encounter the unknown in our daily lives, our thoughts rapidly fill in the blanks, hand us a plausible explanation, a reality to uphold, the fictional novel of our life and times.
In 1931, in one of his Vision Seminars, Jung described a patient’s vision: “I looked into his eyes and saw therein a great river full of writhing bodies. A few men stood upon the bank and called with a loud voice to the struggling masses in the rushing water. The water cast a few souls upon the bank. Then the men who stood there lifted them up and showed them a star and a sun. This I saw in the eyes of the old man. The old man said: “You have perceived” and he sank into the earth.”
This vision reveals the possibility of true perception, simply what is beyond the veils of our stories. Jung interpreted the river of writhing bodies as, “Like the wheel in Buddhistic philosophy, death and rebirth, the curse of that eternal illusory meaningless existence. In this vision we find the same principle as in Buddhism, the consciousness of what is happening as a redeeming principle.”
Jung goes on to say: “…that river only makes sense if a few escape and become conscious, that the purpose of existence is that one should become conscious. Consciousness redeems one from the curse of that eternal flowing on in the river of unconsciousness.”
Jan’s opening quote about her detachment from the novel of her life, as it devolved into the collapse of the world she had always known, landed her into the bowels of truth that ultimately released her from the current of unconsciousness, spitting her out upon the shore to become a riverwalker, one who walks along the river’s edge consciously grounded in the truth.
Consciousness is pure perception. Consciousness is life outside the story. Total acceptance of what is, of what was, is the bridge beyond the confines even of the story of time. Timelessness is infinity, and freedom from story releases us to perceive all that is beyond story time. In Buddhism this state is known as diamond mind, the true nature of mind.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico called this state inner silence, the springboard to infinity. For them the storyteller within is the incessant internal dialogue that interprets, that is, puts into story format all that we encounter. Freedom from the mesmerizing spells of the internal dialogue is both simple and the hardest thing to achieve.
Suspend judgment, the Shamans recommend. You don’t have to stop the story, but with consciousness you simply acknowledge what it is—a story—and cease to give it attention. You step outside the river, the current of thought, label it for what it is, and like Buddha, don’t attach. Simply perceive what is, beyond story.
In the night, the world loses definition as all merges in the darkness of oneness. Sleep brings death to waking consciousness as Ego’s grip loosens and it falls into dormancy. Many are terrified to drop into sleep where the great wall of focused consciousness collapses in dreams.
In dreaming, Self plays all the edited footage of life’s events and reveals many characters in the depths of the psyche who react to Ego’s decisions made in space-time. Dreaming, with all its close encounters of the non-rational kind, also opens the portals to worlds beyond space-time.
Though the reign of Ego is overthrown by the night its awareness is often present in dreams, comparable to the light of the moon. The moon does not overwhelm the dark, even in its fullness, as it cycles monthly through its various stages of light and presence. Nighttime awareness must always share the stage with independent others who show up unannounced, far beyond Ego’s ability to control. In fact, the dreams and journeys of night are orchestrated by a Self far more sophisticated than Ego’s limited intelligence.
Ego may rule the day, but Self rules the night. And Self cannot be stopped from imposing its agenda, ready or not. If we refuse the needs of the greater Self too much by day then we are sure to be clobbered by night when Self cannot be restrained or diverted by reason.
The morning, however, with its dawn of light, is the time of the rebirth of Ego. Immediately, the vagaries of the dark and the night, snippets of dreams and journeys taken, vanish as Ego once again springs to life and defines its world. Quickly, Ego brings online its greatest tool, the will, which decides and acts in the service of its ruler, Ego. In the day, Ego decides how to advance creation. Ego consolidates its power, decides when to get up, when to shower, what and when to eat, etc. The day is largely a succession of decisions and actions set in motion by the mind of Ego, enacted by its faithful servant, the body.
It was Jung’s contention that the central myth of our time concerns Ego’s management of the daytime world we are all living in. The Christian myth divorced us from our animal, instinctive selves, making Ego master of the physical body and physical world. Ego, in turn, was subject to the higher law of the masculine God as defined by this myth.
In today’s largely secular world, Ego and its physical counterpart the brain are truly regarded as the higher powers. Homage may be paid to some ethereal Godhead but, secretly, reason, the ruling order, has no attachment to irrational spirit. Reason has indeed become the daytime God. But, back to Jung’s point, just how well is it doing with its reign?
Given the state of the world today, a radical shift of attitude is critical for survival. The promptings for that shift are largely the stuff of the night. The dreams and messages from the night, where Ego is a minor player, are intent upon educating Ego to become the kind of leader Self envisaged when consciousness was granted to its child, Ego, and it was sent to live and grow in a time-limited existence in this world.
While appreciating Ego’s ability to enlighten the day, may Ego also be made humble and wise by its nightly encounters to bring true enlightenment into its decisions and actions by day.