Tag Archives: Sandy Hook

Chuck’s Place: Innocence On The Altar

Winter Solstice

A tragedy of unfathomable proportions has seized our nation, if not the world, as we arrive at the threshold of a new era on this Solstice day. We are all charged to take this journey with lost, sacrificed innocence and correct the course of human affairs.

What could it mean that a psychotic young man kills his mother and then so many young children? I suggest that this young man concretized and acted out, in a delusional way, an archetypal motif of individuation. I further suggest that this misapplied motif must be addressed on a mass human level, as well as on an individual level, in each and every one of us.

Every human is challenged to transition from childhood to adulthood, from the egocentric entitled stage of immaturity to adult responsibility. This is the Hero’s Journey, filled with many challenges.

One of the greatest challenges of the Hero’s Journey is to defeat childish dependence on the mother. Though many myths depict this as slaying the dragon or defeating the wicked witch, the core of this battle lies within the individual. At some point in our lives we must all ask the same question: Can I take adult responsibility for my life or am I caught in my childish dependency and entitlement demands to be taken care of?

The hero’s task is to slay his own childish dependency—NOT HIS MOTHER, NOT THE CHILD! The hero’s task is to become the adult parent to himself, and set firm but loving boundaries around the child within who is taken forward into adult life—NOT KILLED OFF!

The archetypes worm through us all…

The Newtown tragedy has mobilized tremendous energy to address the gun laws in our country. Too long has a greedy industry been allowed to fill its entitled pockets under the guise of protection and the Second Amendment. The truth is, these policies have been dictated by immature adults, who refuse adult responsibility. It’s time for adult boundaries to be set around the demands of an industry allowed to function with no limitations, like out-of-control children playing with guns.

We approach a fiscal cliff with similar concerns. The greed of undisciplined children not wanting to part with their toys—some of their wealth—can no longer rule. We need adult leadership, adult responsibility in all paying their fair share.

New York and California are poised to approve fracking. Even these bluest of blue states are willing to cave to the greed of the energy industry. Would adults allow toxic poisons to be poured into their bodies? Are we really going to allow our precious Earth to be poisoned this way, for the sake of insatiable greed for more money, cheaper energy? We need adult control. Children’s entitlement in control cannot sustain our environment.

The Holocaust had to be answered in a firm commitment: the rebirth of the State of Israel. However, this resolution, despite its many transformations, is frozen in structures impervious to a necessary two state solution. Once again, we find a child’s entitlement in control of policy as construction plans for new settlements are being made on disputed lands, in the midst of peace negotiations no less! Where is the adult in the house?

Moslem insistence on ancient practice, guarded in warlike fierceness, must soften to allow for change and evolution. How can the feminine, the source of renewal and rebirth, be so restricted in the modern world? Nonetheless, when we see the outcome of casualness toward our instinctive animal selves in our modern world, even in such institutions as Penn State, the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, and most recently in the Jewish Orthodoxy, we have to question humanity’s management of its instinctive nature and appreciate the intensity of restriction in the Moslem religion to regulate it. Violence, however, begets violence. We must find a new path of reconciliation.

We must all face our darkness…

Humankind must face the power of the forces that inhabit the darkness of our souls. Each individual must take the journey through the underground of their own deep unconscious. The instinctive forces that tragically erupt daily around the world are active in each and every one of us. Newtown must be answered by a commitment to take the inward journey, to recapitulate the hidden truths of our souls and revamp our instinctive energies to flow safely and responsibly into this new era now upon us.

Innocence has been sacrificed on the altar of this Solstice. Our nation is plunged into the abyss of mourning, soulfully seeking its lost innocence. We must journey now into the darkness and face the truths that have stolen away our innocence. May those innocent ones be the beacons, the light bearers that show us the way as we journey into our darkness, lighting the way into a new era for all of us.

Wishing for Peace on Earth and extending good will to all,

A Day in a Life: A Journey Of The Utmost Importance

Who are we at our core?

“In the shamanic world, what you went through is preparation for living a different kind of life, and that kind of life can be had when one is ready to view one’s life as a journey of the utmost importance.”

Chuck spoke these words to me when I was in the midst of recapitulating my childhood sexual abuse. They were transformative words, words of light in the midst of deep personal agony, for they focused me on the intent of my journey through this life. Why am I here? What am I supposed to learn about myself? What is the greater meaning of all that happens in this world? Once again, these words rang through me as I contemplated what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

I believe that we are all on journeys of the utmost importance, whether our lives are long and fulfilling or cut short. So, what are we to make of the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook? What meaning can we find in that tragedy, in the deaths of so many young children and the educators who dedicated their lives to engaging and teaching the youngest members of our society, a most important job?

We must face ourselves. We must face the world we have created. We must take this senseless act as a final wake up call and we must not go back to sleep. We must all take a journey of the utmost importance now and change ourselves and our country.

We must allow ourselves to feel every aspect of this most horrific act of violence, really feel it, and be guided now along a new path. We must all partake in creating a new society, not one based on fear as we did after 9/11, but one based on compassion and caring for all living things.

We must not wipe the tears from our eyes and then go out and buy more guns to protect ourselves, arm teachers and bus drivers, as has been suggested. Had I been a gun owner I would have wept and then immediately destroyed my guns. Why is this not happening? Why do we still contend that to be armed is our right and our need? It’s not a need at all, it’s a contention based on fear. And so we must ask ourselves what we fear and why?

In countries where there are few guns, in places where even the police don’t carry guns, there are few shooting deaths as well. It’s a no-brainer. But here, in a society rampant with greed, we have become like complacent animals. Locked in our cages, we are fed more pills, more food, more poisons, than we can possibly need. So drugged are we by the ideas that we need more things, more protection, more guns, that our brains have numbed. We are no longer capable of independent thinking, feeling, and action. We are mere cattle crowded into feedlots, long ago having forgotten that we are free beings, on journeys of the utmost importance.

In the wake of this tragedy, it’s time to wake up and stay awake, to take up not guns but a new weapon called compassionate change that is based on what is universally right for all living beings. Are we a nation of killers, or are we a nation of good, of kindness, compassion, and love?

Change happens slowly and it also happens in an instant, as the shootings at Sandy Hook show us so clearly. If we are truly on journeys of the utmost importance, it’s up to each one of us to take up the cause of personal change now—right now—to instantly turn away from violence, hatred, fear, and instead become truly caring beings. But we can only do this by facing our own deepest fears, by challenging ourselves to stay awake and really confront what lies at our deepest core, to question what is holding us back from becoming the truly amazing and loving beings that we are meant to be.

The shots at Sandy Hook were heard around the world. And now the rest of the world is waiting to see what we will do in the wake of so many truths so loudly declared, that is: that guns kill; that we had regressed into an angry, entitled, fearful nation; that we are no longer the shining star to look up to for guidance. How many times must we make the same mistakes? How many wake up calls do we need?

We must all face what we have become and take full responsibility for not only where we now find ourselves—those overfed cattle in the feedlots—but for our own thoughts, actions, and deeds as well. In our complacency we’ve let a lot of things happen, but now we are being rallied to really change, and to change drastically. If we are truthful, we will look at our world with open eyes and truly see that there is so much that is going in the wrong direction, and that each one of us has a duty to get on the bandwagon of change, in whatever way we can, and turn it in a new direction. But first, as I said, we must begin by changing ourselves. We must investigate our own attitudes, fears, and prejudices by asking ourselves why we feel so entitled, and why we continue to fear, judge, and criticize others rather than face ourselves.

Do we have to face yet more jolting wake up calls? Or can we take up a new cause now and take our journeys of the utmost importance in a new direction, to a higher level of conscious awareness and action so that those who died last week—those who gave us this most frightening wake up call—will not have died in vain. Let their journeys be considered journeys of the utmost importance by truly taking action to change ourselves and our country, and show the world that what lies in our hearts is what now leads us forward.

In sympathy,