If we are truly to understand where we are, we must face the fact that the ego, with its capacity for reason, is the reigning god of now. The notion of an all-powerful god behind the scenes may still hold a sentimental attachment, a hope or belief, but reason reigns as that which gives order to life and the world. I pass no judgment nor support for this fact, I simply state the obvious.
The Christian notion of an all-loving god is the precursor to this god of reason. An all-loving god suggested a fair god, a reasonable god, a forgiving god, a god of order. And though this loving god still embraced the irrational—spirit life—it shed its dark side. Older notions of god, such as Yahweh or Allah, depict a far more bipolar god, a god of love but also a god of rage, a god of chaos. This god showed his dark side, torturing Job and drowning all who missed Noah’s boat.
The current god of reason has lost this ancient bipolar quality. I would submit that the current world crisis reflects the return of the disowned dark side of god, which is now in power, leveling the playing field of reason and order. We are currently facing chaos and the exercise of evil in control.
What I suggest here is that life is bipolar. We are both good and evil. Evil is not simply the absence of good, evil is part of the essence of everything. America has always stood for the highest values of goodness and caring, the most reasonable values on earth. But in so being, as we set out to save the world, we disowned our dark side, which has now visited itself upon us, and the rest of the world, in a caricature of abuse of power, an infantile, instinctual ego lacking reason.
Nonetheless, this startling state of affairs is so attractive and refreshing to the suppressed shadow, or inherent dark side of the populace, that it is lavishly having its day with all its drama and danger. This is the law of compensation: if we embrace one pole of our bipolar being too rigidly, the repressed side will eventually return with a vengeance.
This vengeance of the dark side is so intense that it threatens, like Noah’s flood, to wipe out all the goodness of civilization, in fact all of life itself. This instinctually driven, dominating power drive is completely self-serving, incapable of reasonable sacrifice to ensure a future beyond itself.
Yes, we must judge it; we must attempt to forestall its shortsighted, narcissistic stance that invites apocalypse, but we must also address the issue at its core: reconciling our bipolar being. We are all a composition of light and dark, good and evil, male and female. We must know all sides of ourselves; we must live all sides of ourselves. If we cling to a one-sided ideal of reason, we end up overturned by the irrational, chaotic side of our nature.
When I suggest that love is all, I mean that love includes evil, the dark side. Love can love its evil side. When the Dalai Lama states that yes, he could kill to defend his life, this does not make him hate his attacker. To the contrary, love reigns in that moment for he who must be killed. With the decision to kill, the Dalai Lama reconciles his instinctual, killing, “evil” nature with loving acceptance of all that is, even the ruthless, even the psychopathic.
Our evolving god image, that which we model ourselves upon, must return to its bipolar roots. That is where we are being led now. This is not merely an aberration being acted out on the world stage. That perspective is a hold out of the god of reason. No, what is being abundantly lived now is the breadth and potential of the dark side of humanity.
Of course, we hope that reason and the light side will prevail, but this can only happen if we embrace and find a place for the irrational, instinctual dark side of our beings. This is how each individual currently walking upon this earth is challenged and empowered to steer the course of our world.
Face your dark side, learn to love it. To love does not mean to give it free reign but to respect its knowledge and contribution to our wholeness. To acknowledge and accept our own darkness is the love that will ensure our survival and evolution upon this planet.
We are all responsible for the world dream. We are all empowered to steer it to safety. Like the minutest slices of a hologram, we all encapsulate, within the borders of our individual selves, all the energies manifesting in the world.
Like the Taoist rainmaker—who, sealed in his hut alone, brought forth the rains to the parched world when he calmed the energetic drought within himself, returning himself to the tao, to oneness with the natural world—we individually can calm the warring energies without ourselves, whereby delivering peace and calm to the world.
The shamans call it intent, Abraham calls it the Law of Attraction and C. G. Jung called it synchronicity. No matter what you call it, the technique is the same: build a wall around the self, be with the facts of the self, achieve order within the self and thus manifest stability without.
The outer world currently mirrors our personal inner struggle. We seek safety, we want to be saved. In early societies the tribe would turn to the medicine man for cure. In our time the medicine man we manifested is Trump. Assigned the role of savior, the medicine man is granted far-reaching power and this can be dangerous for the tribe. Thus, in early societies there was dual leadership, a chief and a medicine man. The chief was the worldly leader, the medicine man the spiritual leader.
Jung viewed Hitler, in 1939, as a medicine man, looked upon by the German people as a savior. When posed the question by a reporter—what would happen if Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were locked together in a room for one week with only one loaf of bread and one pitcher of water?—Jung replied that Hitler would likely pout in the corner and refuse to eat while Stalin and Mussolini fought over the food and water. Incidentally, he felt that ultimately Stalin would win, the Russians having the strongest power motive. Gives one pause, with Mr. Putin in charge today!
The current outer manifestation of our psychic inner reality shows a child ego state seeking a world savior to deliver it from danger and provide the elixir to paradise on Earth. The medicine man thus manifested offers instinctive strong medicine, a cure-all to cure all. Meanwhile, the medicine man truly is not a chief, yet he is enjoying unprecedented power.
Meanwhile, beneath the surface are a couple of well-organized power drives, biding their time, awaiting their opportunity to seize control of the collective psyche. In a nutshell, a combination of bad medicine and partisan leadership that, in fact, unabashedly reveal our true shadow, the dark side, which everyone has. This shadow has covertly been in control, while on the surface it presents golden values and intentions. Perhaps the medicine man is outing the shadow? Which is good. However, should the shadow be the chief?
Bringing this discussion back to the individual—the slice of the hologram that we each are—we must first face our own child ego state, the part of us that wants to be rescued, protected, and made to feel secure. What medicines do we turn to? Substances, relationships, obsessions, making money, hoarding, etc., to rescue us from our fears? How attached are we to these medicines provided to us by our inner medicine man/woman? Are we willing to refuse the seductive trance of this inner figure and take responsibility for where we are, why we suffer, and what we really need to do?
Addressing this level of inner truth, we can face more honestly the hidden power drives that seek to rule the personality. If we look to the outer mirror, at the chiefs in the world, we see the motives of greed and dominance. These are the shadow ego states of the child ego state currently running the show.
In chakra terms, these impassioned shadow ego states are busily battling for control at the level of the solar plexus, the third chakra, the place of power and will. If we can identify these power drives, within the self, and bring stability to the personal psyche through achieving calm in the body, i.e. through conscious meditation breath, we become freed of the states of possession where these drives do nothing but feast for themselves. In effect, we tame the power drives within to serve the real needs of the self. This consolidates and raises an adult ego state to the status of chief of the personality.
Through dreams and active imagination our adult ego state gets to know, value, confront, and find the rightful place for all these characters within us, as they constantly vie to take control of the personality at the expense of a harmonized individuation, that is, becoming who we truly are.
These processes, of looking inwardly and taking responsibility for all that is there, reshape our slice of the hologram and impact the entire world hologram, life as we know it, the dream that we all uphold.
Look no further than looking in, for this is the source of our real power. Failure to look in will always manifest a world where, indeed, we must lookout!
“When you have the right relationship to yourself, that means freedom.” *
Working on it,
* -Catherine Rush Cabot’s note from a session with Jung, December 1939 from Jung, My Mother and I edited by Jane Cabot Reid