Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year. At a certain level they are all interchangeable synonyms of the same event: return of the light. These events symbolize bringing forth new life, and in one form or another the human species is transported, by such events, to the experience of awe. These events create a natural bridge to the magical side of life.
The polar opposite of awe, and the human being’s greatest achievement, has been its ability to fixate upon reason, the main pillar of modern civilization. Reason breaks down the world into units that defy awe. With pure reason there’s no such thing as magic. Without magic, however, humanity loses its soul. Modern humans are truly beings in search of their soul.
The appeal of modern charismatic world leaders is their messianic capacity to channel awe. Anger that knows no limits is one ticket to infinity. The appeal of the energetic thrill of the shrill has swept the world. Reason shrinks in its ability to shield one from the draw of such passion. Even the most reasonable beings are unwittingly drawn into the madness of their passionate defense of reason.
Starved for immersion in the ocean of awe, humanity is currently gripped in a tidal wave of emotion. Tidal waves are unstoppable forces of nature, but, like wildfires that require fresh wood to continue their passionate burn, their time is truly limited, though there may be much destruction in the interim. All things do pass.
Currently, reason has become the fuel of awe. The irrational dominates the rational, the time of darkening of the light. In the time of darkening of the light, the guidance is to shield and tend the small candlelight of reason in the safe cave of the heart. In the time of the return of the light, the guidance is to be patient; the return of the light is inevitable.
The magic of this moment is awe inspired by the light of consciousness. Reason and awe needn’t be strange bedfellows. We are in an evolutionary advance now, charged to become more fully our magical energetic selves, with the light of consciousness as our guiding light, charged to explore beyond the limits of reason, yet with reason at our side.
May reason embark upon the dance of true fulfillment with us all. May awe be navigated by reason. Wishing all a safe, ecstatic, and fulfilling return of the light.
Reason is the dominant tool of the first attention, what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call everyday life. Beyond the first attention is the second attention, the world of energetic life, which is replete with all things irrational.
The Hindus note, for instance, that the emotional body component of the energy body, which is the home of powerful emotions and passions, is a prominent feature of the second attention.
Jung calls the second attention the collective unconscious, which lacking consciousness to guide volition, operates through the activation of powerful archetypes that can overwhelm the reasonable ego of the first attention, causing it to perform outrageous acts. To preserve the order and decency of normalcy, Jung asserts that these deeper dimensions of the psyche are repressed and housed in what he called the shadow, a component of the second attention.
Reason and shadow are mortal enemies, hence the natural tendency to keep them separated. Reason insists upon the rules of logic and fairness for decision making. Shadow insists upon the release of intense emotions and passions as its modus operandi, reason be dammed. Reason, in its own condescension, snubs the irrational shadow, misjudging the power of the repressed.
The history of humankind reflects the occasional reckoning of these two dominants in the clashes of world wars. Our current world predicament is a prime example of reason clashing with the formidable energy of the irrational. The world is rapidly disintegrating into such a primal clash at this very moment.
At a fundamental level the worlds of the first and second attention are layers of the same onion. As humans we are both consciously reasonable, solid beings, as well as irrational, energetic spirit beings. The totality of ourselves requires that we integrate these worlds despite their inherent opposition. Evolution is absolutely requiring such an advance at this time. How can we achieve this integration without the ultimate disintegration, Armageddon?
To begin, reason must address the limitations of its own belief system: “Things aren’t that bad… no one would let thathappen…” In fact, the shadow thrives on letting anything happen that offers it powerful release.
Next, reason must recognize that shadow is a dimension of its own self. Reason often doubts this, despite the many addictions or obsessions that it notices in its own functioning. Does it also notice its fascination and vicarious excitement with the emotional outbursts of now? Reason always believes that it has things under control, or that things are, ultimately, under control.
Reason must accept responsibility in developing a relationship with the energetic world of the second attention. When people discover the out-of-body world, they are often at first driven by insatiable desires, repressed in the first attention of everyday life. Maintaining the operation of reason, with the intents available in the second attention, is critical for deep responsible exploration.
I strongly recommend Robert Monroe’s three books, which detail his own journeys into the second attention with the evolving accompaniment of his first attention, reason. With his success and guidance, he is truly deserving of the title of American Shaman.
Exploration and reconciliation with the deeper dimensions of the self offer a playing field of deep soulful satisfaction, which checks the tendency of the shadow to need to project itself upon habits and outer events that mesmerize the ego and take over consciousness.
Ego must humble itself to the existence of energies within the self that are far more powerful than ego itself. Ego has reason, but that’s no match for the irrational. Ego, in its humble smallness, can say no however. What change would happen overnight in the world if all individuals just said no, not driving today, not consuming today? Such a world strike of no would force a different relationship with power.
Nonetheless, ego must not be unreasonable in its demands. The world of the irrational, the world of passion and spirit must be lived. Beyond the shadow of doubt, reason must join with its passionate, spirited, irrational self in deep exploration and life, beyond reason.
Spirit and Matter are the building blocks of humanity. Spirit is invisible, matter is substantial and therefore observable. We infer the existence of spirit by the effects it has on matter. If I decide to stand up and walk to the door, my invisible mind, the spirit dimension of my being, moves my body, the matter or material part of my being.
Thus, spirit begins with the mental plane, which, granted, uses the physical brain but is not identical with it. Consciousness functions outside the human body as an energy body capable of defying the laws of time and space. This dimension of spirit experience, though a latent potential for everyone, usually remains dormant except under extraordinary circumstances like a physical trauma, which shakes the energy body out of the physical body in an OBE. In a generally less uncomfortable way our spirit or energy body separates from the physical body in dreaming every night.
Matter is all of nature. Nature is governed by instincts and inherited programs, which at the human level are called archetypes. Archetypes are nature’s inherited programs that can assume control of human behavior from a deeply unconscious level. For example, many people who were sexually abused in childhood lose conscious memory of their experiences almost immediately after they occur. Certainly this is not a conscious decision. This amnesic reaction is governed by an archetypal program deeply embedded in nature’s program for survival at such a traumatic moment. That program reactivates—generally in midlife, to facilitate the achievement of wholeness at a mature stage of life—as memory in the form of flashbacks, beckoning reconciliation with consciousness.
Consciousness is fixated on rationality as the governing spirit of our time: spirit intellectis. Juan Enriquez, a scientific visionary, has basically stated what most people really believe: that we are God now, that our intellect is God, and that we are completely in charge of our own and the world’s evolution. Certainly the words bellowed from the United Nations General Assembly yesterday reflect such an attitude.
This kind of inflated spirit erupted with Naziism, which had as its god the creation of the perfect superior human. Interestingly, C. G. Jung stated that Naziism was the eruption of the pagan god Wotan, long suppressed in the human psyche through the impact of Christianity, which had served to help humanity advance spirit over the dominance of its nature roots.
When spirit dissociates itself from matter, matter seeks revenge. That’s where we are now: matter is at war with spirit. Matter, as nature, is deemed irrational. Spirit, as mind, is deemed rational. Thus the war is played out as the irrational versus the rational, matter versus spirit.
Nature is dealing deadly blows to humanity at present. Simply view the state of our islands of paradise in the Caribbean. My heart goes out to all my friends there in the front line of nature’s forward march. The Caribbean is at the vanguard of our changing world. This has archetypal underpinnings as a paradise lost, representing a major shift in human consciousness. We can only return to the garden now with a wholly new adaptive attitude, which is already emerging from this precious part of the world as it braces for nature’s next round of energetic impact.
In human form, nature, as the irrational, has seized control of major world leaders, particularly here in America. These untethered spirits are governed by their own whims, which change dramatically, like the wind, day by day, with no rhyme or reason, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
The deeper issue that all these world happenings reflect is the relationship between the irrational and rational within ourselves. Our ego spirit intellectis simply devalues and dismisses all that is matter, and the laws that govern it. Our bodies and our physical world are filled with food stuffs and objects alien to the true needs of the body and the planet. Our ego spirit cares largely about me and mine; let the world community fend for itself. Our ego spirit identifies with reason and so dissociates from or tries to control, for its own gain, the basic instincts.
The war we are in must be fought within individuals, each of us striving to reconcile our own spirit and matter selves. The ego must ground itself in the body and in deeply unconscious nature. This means facing the truths of body ailments that are expressing nature’s resentments and needs. This means facing, feeling, expressing, regulating and integrating nature’s powerful emotions, which express important needs and send archetypal messages that have the potential, if paid attention to, to steer the spirit in consort with material reality and need, that is, the true needs of the body and the planet.
We are all empowered here and now to make the changes in our own lives that are necessary to reconcile with nature. This is not the time to luxuriate in OBEs, dissociated from our body and our nature. The playing field is spirit-in-body now, doing our best to bring this yin and yang of ourselves into working harmony.
Let’s calm nature by listening to her, within and without, acquiescing to the true needs of self and planet. This is the true spirit of the matter. Have love, compassion, and care without, but seek the needed transformation within.
The truth is that our world leadership does not grasp the heart of the matter. Our greatest playing field is restoring the Tao within the self. As within, so without. This is the spirit that really matters now.