Tag Archives: inflation

Chuck’s Place: The Great Ego Reformation

The birth of “I,” nature’s seedling of evolutionary advance, finds itself now on the brink of a great correction, the positive outcome of destruction. And what is it that needs reformation in nature’s great experiment, the ego? The answer lies in its reorientation.

Time to return to the Tao... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time to return to the Tao…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Ego had its traumatic birth as it was cast from the Garden to find its own way. Estranged from the immediate guidance of the great archetypes—instinctual ways of successfully living through millennia—it was forced instead to chart its own course, a mighty tall order indeed for such an inexperienced infant.

Ego, in its infancy, has no choice but to inflate itself: “I can handle this. I am equal to the situation. I can figure out a better way.” These were the attitudes ego had access to, lacking the old automatic connection to all-knowing nature. Ego had to pretend or, with science, definitively believe that it could unlock and direct the mysteries and treasures of nature to better advantage. How better illustrated is the culmination of this ego inflation than the party of little Nero’s we see strutting their stuff in the current political circus? Unfortunately they only mirror the true state of the collective world ego that tends to project its shadow onto those who willingly parade as fools.

We all share in this ego dilemma and this is our advantage: as within, so without. We, each and every one of us, share in this inflated ego dilemma and, therefore, are all equally able to participate in the great ego reformation that will accompany our deeply transforming planet into new life.

So what is needed for this reformation?

We may be the “brains” of the planet, but we certainly have not acted with much intelligence. Our orientation has primarily been narcissistic and dissociated; narcissistic in our tribal self-centeredness and dissociated from the greater body that supports us: Planet Earth.

As the brains of the operation, we must first re-associate with the rest of the greater physical body of earth and accept that we are in and part of that body. The Hindus and the shamans agree: until we die, our subtle energy body—the brain or spirit—is inseparable from the physical body. Though we certainly can journey beyond the body while in this life, it is only in death that we truly do part. Consequently, our intelligence must be focused on the needs of the body, individual and worldly, while we are here. Actions and decisions must be in conformity with the true needs of the body and not separate from it.

This is the essence of Taoism: actions that flow with the natural course of the river. Spirited attempts to change the course of a river for private enterprise violate the needs of the greater whole and represent the actions of an inflated, dissociated ego.

In the river of Tao... as within, so without - Photo by Jan Ketchel
In the river of Tao… as within, so without
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Reconnection to the deepest rivers of the archetypes—the instinctual ways—ready to once again serve the true needs of the greater, full Self, is the new orientation that collective ego is flowing towards, albeit through Mother Earth’s initiation of environmental upheaval. Surrendering to the truth is the only intelligent option, and it is the option survival is moving us towards.

We are all participants in this great ego reformation every day, in every decision we make. This is true democracy. Every life counts, every decision counts. Every right action, however minute, accrues in the world bank of survival and transformation. All donations greatly appreciated.

On my way to the bank,

#724 Chuck’s Place: “Seeing” with Jung: Prelude to Encounter

When the seers of ancient Mexico scanned the human body with their “seeing eye” they saw thousands of vortexes of twirling energy.* From this vantage point they discovered that we humans are physically comprised of countless individualistic energy fields functioning as an integrated unit.

Carl Jung discovered that the human psyche is similarly comprised of many complexes: segregated, individualistic sub-personalities, many of whom, though they co-exist in the psyche, remain unaware of the existence of each other. For Jung the dominant problem for modern Western civilization is its near total reliance on one complex within the psyche, that is, the ego complex. In fact, the rationally dominated modern ego complex dismisses, denies, and remains deeply alienated from the greater part of the psyche, appropriately called the unconscious. The vast majority of mental illness and world strife can be traced to this imbalanced condition within the human psyche.

The seers of ancient Mexico saw death as the unifying moment when all separate energy fields of the body become one energy. Jung discovered a method he termed individuation, that enabled the ego to embark on a journey of interaction and synthesis with all its opposing parts, to arrive at a place of psychic wholeness and equilibrium.

Jung himself undertook an intensive journey of self-discovery with his inner complexes or parts, as documented in the recently published primary source: The Red Book. Jung recorded the dialogue between his ego or conscious personality with complexes or characters within his psyche who spoke back to him autonomously with their own voices. Jung later termed this technique active imagination.

Through these dialogues, some of which were intense confrontations, Jung learned many things. He discovered that we have complexes inside our psyches that we acquire during our lifetime as well as complexes that we inherit. In his dialogues Jung spoke to figures from the Middle Ages who possessed ancient knowledge and wisdom and spoke in the vernacular of that time. From these experiences Jung determined that the unconscious was both personal and collective, of this life and beyond.

Jung also discovered that some complexes are quite powerful and can exert a strong effect on the ego. For instance, one complex with a female voice repeatedly attempted to seductively convince Jung that he was a great artist. Jung sternly refused this suggestion, stating in return that his use of art was part of his process of self-discovery. Jung realized how easy it could be for the naive, insecure ego to come under the sway of complexes with their own agendas, attempting to commandeer the ego through bolstering its self-importance. This became the basis of his understanding conditions such as psychic inflation and deflation, or in their extremes, mania and depression.

Inflation is a condition where the ego identifies with a complex, becomes greater than it truly is, and embarks on behaviors driven by the interests of the complex. In deflation the ego feels utterly diminished by an encounter with a complex, shrinking into powerlessness and depression.

Jung realized that his ego had to maintain control as he encountered these powerful complexes or sub-personalities within himself. To do this his ego had to be receptive to listening to points of view and potential truths that challenged completely his conscious attitude. He committed to honest reflection upon these views and submitted to change when he discovered his ego attitude to be limited. However, he refused to automatically accept any new truth without a scrutinous conscious processing.

Ultimately, Jung’s encounters with the perspectives of different complexes modified his personality in a new synthesis with a vastly broadened awareness. This enlarged consciousness was not an inflation, that is, an ego identification with a sub-personality. To the contrary, this new synthesis represents a reconciliation of many opposing parts of the self. The ego, in this new synthesis, accepts its relative but important place as the center of consciousness but not the center of the personality. The ego accepts its role as mediator of the greater forces of the self, with definite challenges to take on in this life. The ego acknowledges that it is not lord and master of the personality but, as a complex with consciousness, is charged with learning the truths of the self and acquiescing to the appropriate needs and expectations of the total self.

In a future blog I will explore in more detail the technique of active imagination. The necessary prerequisites to its practice are to be gleaned from Jung’s personal journey. Engaging directly the unknown self, or the unknown not-self, requires definite safety precautions.

1. The ego self must be ready to engage in dialogue with an entity or a complex within the self that is not part of the ego. Don’t underestimate how tightly the ego holds to the security of seeing itself as the whole personality. We must be ready to accept and make room for the Not I.

2. The ego must stay present and insist on consciousness remaining in control during interactions with other parts of the self. Sub-personalities are allowed a voice, but not a take-over coup of the personality.

3. The ego, with its growing knowledge and awareness, must not identify with any entity; that is, it must not see itself bigger than its humble ego self because of its ability to have contact with other entities or their influences. This would be inflation. Nor must it allow itself to turn over power and guidance of the personality to any entity, no matter how benevolent or helpful. The ego must ultimately take personal responsibility for all decisions. We are in this life to live it, grow from it, and learn from it. We are not here to turn our life over to another. This is an evasion of responsibility and ultimately a predatory arrangement, no matter who the entity is. In contrast, acquiescing to the higher power of the self, or spirit, is a decision rooted in consciousness, a decision based upon the resonance the ego feels in its encounter with spirit. This is not an evasion of responsibility but an acceptance of the appropriate ego position in relation to spirit. In simple terms, this is the ego assuming its proper role in alignment with the total personality versus going off on its own agenda or turning its life over to the control of another.

With these prerequisites in place we are ready to journey deeper into self and beyond, in interactions with infinity.

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,

* Paraphrased from Carlos Castaneda’s Magical Passes, page 91.

NOTE: Books mentioned in this blog are available in our Store.