Carry love always in your heart, kindness on your tongue, gentleness in your eyes. Remain committed to a higher self, a higher purpose, and a higher worldview no matter what transpires to make you think any higher intent is impossible. It is not. You have all the tools within you to uphold a higher self and higher goals for all. Do so because it is the right thing to do. Acknowledge the dark but counter it with light. Keep the negative in balance with the positive. And keep anger and hatred in check with gratitude and love. Carry on in this manner and expect always the best.
Our world has many separate parts that interact to maintain our wholeness. The reigning principle that holds us together is homeostasis, a tendency toward balance and stability. When one part of our world becomes extreme other parts of our world become extreme in the opposite direction in a compensatory effort to restore balance.
Currently, our world has devolved into such an extremist state of tenuous balance, with volatile groups expressing deep opposition to one another. The ability to appreciate the needs and perspectives of others in an effort to restore peaceful equilibrium is lost to our current circumstance.
Suspend judgment. In such time of extremism, all cling to the one-sidedness of their individual or group positions. The truth appears radically self-evident; the “other’s” view is clearly distorted and wrong. Emotion intensifies to convince, defend, and attack. Reason is stretched beyond reason. In fact, reason is one side of a pair of opposites, deeply suspect to many.
Realize that all the opposition outside ourselves courses equally through our inner selves. Here we can contribute to our own inner balance, as well as the greater world’s, by inwardly facing the one-sidedness of our own ego positions. Even the most contentious positions encapsulate some grain of truth. Our ego is charged to use its analytic and feeling capacities to find the value and necessary place for all parts of the self and the world.
Outwardly, we do well to not fall prey to blame and hate, as these reactions simply further and intensify the divide. Though we must stand firm to who we truly are, upholding our beliefs and values, we are equally free to feel compassion for all. Compassion is directed love energy, where all are acknowledged as legitimate parts of the whole.
Compassion can be expressed through civility. Regardless of the intensity of our beliefs or feelings we can treat each other with respect. This is an enormous task in these times of extremism where many say and do things that evoke strong visceral reactions within the self. Nonetheless, we can all take up the challenge to resist getting taken over and acting out our rageful impulses, verbally or otherwise. This act of containment keeps ego control above water, not causing further damage. Being civil may not result in a kind response, but it will at least not further inflame.
Next, the responsibility is to care for the self and the intense emotion suppressed within. Allow the self release in total private. A brisk walk, deep breathing and, yes, even throwing stones may be warranted. Once the emotional charge has diminished, reflect deeply on the source of inner activation. Something important is being revealed to the self in the emotional reaction. Know thyself, love thyself.
Love the part of the self that feels victimized, betrayed, or disempowered. Although you may choose to have no relationship or engagement with the triggering “other,” find compassion for them within the self, perhaps simply seeing them as a fellow human being struggling with human life. At that level we are all one.
Upholding civility is the bridge we have now, in these times of raging rivers that threaten to flood our civilization. Join in supporting this bridge, through action with civility.
Though there is darkness there is also light. Though there is sadness there is joy. Though there is despair there is hope. Though there is loneliness there is companionship. Though there is hatred there is love. Wherever there is one thing there is its opposite; can’t have one without the other. The other side of the same coin is always waiting to be discovered. And you have the power to flip the coin and realize that what at first appeared to be dull and lifeless is really golden and meaningful, that all stages of life, like day and night, like the sun and the moon, have their purpose.
Sixty years ago, C. G. Jung predicted: “…The trend of the time is one-sidedness and disagreement, and thus the dissociation and separation of the two worlds will be accomplished. Nothing will prevent this fact. We have no answer yet that would appeal to the general mind, nothing that could function as a bridge.” *
Through her fury now, nature is forging a path of heart to bridge the great divide. Nature’s floods are pressing the human spirit to rise to the oneness of overarching love.
Nature’s strategy is apparent: Saturation. As one storm passes the next will soon arrive. In rapid succession the floodgates are overwhelmed. Human resistance is leveled as nature exacts her toll and reshapes our world.
Ego is slipping in empty rhetoric. Exhaustion and utter necessity are compelling ego to shift from its tales of power to instead see the true needs of the self, the populace, and the world. Survival now requires dedication to the truth.
In truth, nature teaches that a city founded on the principle of unlimited growth, with such an extreme concentration of resources and toxins, is no longer safe.
The time of the metropolis is over. No walls can hold back nature’s guiding imperative. Human ingenuity must learn humility to make peace with nature. This is living in the Tao. In the Tao one recognizes and occupies one’s proper place. To resist what is is merely a sandcastle bridge. Going with nature’s flow is the only way to go.
Within the self, the fire and fury of the animal disrupts cerebral hegemony. The floods of passion and emotion stir beneath the belt and threaten even the greatest defense, reason. Reason is no match for anxiety and fear. It’s time to bridge the divide within with a sustainable bridge. The ego metropolis is slipping. Time to make way to solid ground.
Would that the fire and fury of aggressive energy could be contained by reason and détente! But the joint rhetoric and escalating nuclear tests join nature’s fury with hair-trigger threat.
The dissociation and separation of worlds that Jung speaks about in the above quotation are the pairs of opposites within the human animal, the inner worlds of the rational ego and the unconscious, nature’s way. Sixty years ago Jung was worried that we would not find our way to reconciliation of these dissociated parts before it was too late. Indeed, the human animal has been neglected for far too long while the ego and reason have ruled. The apocalyptic release of the stored energies of the animal, previously satisfied in the cinema, can no longer be vicariously contained in theatre or fantasy. Nature demands attention.
How can we reckon with nature within our personal hologram?
To begin with, we must claim ownership of our own animal nature. When our boundaries are violated we must recognize the fury of the animal within us. When we are hungry we must recognize the primal hunger of the animal within us that perhaps craves a juicy fat steak on a bone. We must recognize our animal narcissism—me first, I have no interest in sharing. We must acknowledge the depths of our sexual desire, perhaps the most disowned instinct of our modern time. We must acknowledge our insatiable power drive that always wants to dominate, or wants more of something.
If we can acknowledge the passions of the animal within us we can bring it home, as opposed to hating it and projecting it onto those we would like to blame for our woes.
Of course, owning the barbaric, murderous, philandering, self-centered impulses of one’s inner animal creates a tense inner domain when pitted against higher reason and the values of the human spirit. A most tense opposition is sure to arise. But if spirit can suspend judgment and appreciate the instinctual knowledge of its rowdy animal partner, and safely live its needs, an inner bridge of balance might be achieved.
The technology of the Greek and Roman Dionysian festivals, as well as the Christian traditions that followed them, found a way to ritually act out the orgiastic impulses of sexuality, murder, and eating of the flesh and bring them into spiritual harmony with the higher values of the human spirit. Even today, Carneval is still celebrated in many countries. And Mardi Gras, within the boundaries of our own United States, offers the opportunity to bring into balance the desires of the flesh and the desires of the spirit, days or weeks of revelry followed by days or weeks of spiritual contemplation.
Nature now is delivering a barbarous onslaught through floods and rage. The human spirit finds itself communing with nature’s impulses by reacting in loving concern and heroism. Such loving response balances and bridges the divide.
Inwardly, we can personally express the fullness of our passions in our creativity. Perhaps we must allow ourselves to write about or paint the forbidden, the unacceptable. Perhaps we need to commit to the ritual of sacred sex in a contained yet fully lived way. Perhaps we must allow our rageful impulses to be expressed, setting boundaries and allowing our true feelings to be spoken. Perhaps we must devour our food with the frenzy of a wild beast—to hell with civilized decorum! Belches included! Perhaps at least ritually once in a while!
Perhaps, as well, we must learn to sacrifice. Sacrifice is an inherent imperative in our own nature that must also be lived. For parents to let their children go into the world they must sacrifice them to life. Fasting, letting go of something, not acting upon an impulse, acquiescing to the flow of life are all forms of sacrifice. Nature demands limitation and sacrifice of spirit ambition that is not in accordance with her laws.
Through creating personal rituals we can contain our raw impulses until a set-aside sacred time and space, where we can then allow ourselves to live them out in some ritual symbolic way. Spirit containment of animal impulses that joins sacrifice with lived impulse forms a solid bridge to joining spirit and animal in higher communion.
These are tools for the individual to employ to bring animal and spirit into new balance. Though nature has taken the lead in forging a new bridge with spirit through the storms we face, we are all empowered to contribute to this bridge in the privacy of our own lives. Perhaps we can give Jung the answer he longed for, before it’s too late.
Sometimes healing only comes about by oppositional medicine, by that which is considered poisonous to the sick person. Sometimes bitter medicine brings the sweet cure. Sometimes that which is bad brings out the good. Out of the dark of each night comes the light of day, from the darkness emerges the sparkling diamond, and hot mud is a cooling salve. Times of opposition cause the unusual to occur, as the opposite rises up and shows its powers and its healing potions. There is good medicine forming, coming to administer its cure. Trust in that, be part of that, the cure-all that is needed. Even in small doses good medicine too has an effect.