What the underlying military-industrial-financial crime syndicate that controls our government is doing, both domestically and internationally, is so horrifying (please see my article Homeland Insecurity) that it is literally traumatizing to consciously bear witness to it, to experience it. When we become traumatized, we become stuck, literally “frozen in time,” as our ability to creatively respond and mobilize ourselves in the present moment into effective action in the world becomes in-operative. When we become overwhelmed by trauma, we are not able to creatively express our internal experience in a way that dis-charges what has been triggered in us. We feel impotent. We are unable to give voice to our experience, as our power to be ourselves has become foreign to us. We become mute. When we become traumatized, we lose touch with our inner voice, which is our guiding spirit, our true genius.
Bush and his regime could only be getting away with the atrocities they are perpetrating not only because there are an insufficient number of people who see what they are doing, but because there are enough people who see what is happening and remain silent (please see my article Breaking the Vow of Silence). To quote Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Abuse, “The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.” When our nation is seen as a family system composed of interrelated roles that do not exist in isolation from each other but rather in co-relation to one another, the people in the role of the abuser, Bush and his regime, depend upon the tendency for most people to split-off from and deny the horror of the atrocities they are perpetrating to be able to get away with them. When we deny what is happening, we are not able to speak about it, for to speak about what is happening is to invest our experience with a living reality, which is the very thing our denial ensures doesn’t happen.
As perpetrators of the abuse, the Bush regime will do everything in their power to promote our denial, pretense, and silence. Our becoming silent is the very thing which allows them to literally get away with murder. They need to induce our denial, which is an internal cover-up, as a necessary requirement for them to act out their role as “perpetraitor.” Denial is an integral dynamic which sustains the pathology of the victim-perpetrator collusion. The abuser’s refusal to hear the voices of those they are exploiting is crucial to their continued domination.
When the abuse is so horrific, it forcibly overwhelms the human psyche so as to split the psyche from itself and shatter its wholeness, which is the very root of trauma. When the atrocity is so inhumane, we dis-associate from the experience, creating a self-protective amnesia for ourselves. An (arche)typical response to trauma is to simply “forget about it” and try to go on with our life. Like Bush himself counseled us after 9/11, we should just continue shopping. It is the strangest experience to walk around town and see so many people just going about their day, drinking their cup of coffee in their favorite café and reading the sports page as if nothing out of the ordinary is happening, while in the same moment on another part of the planet bombs are being dropped on innocent people with our names on them. A more perfect image of collective denial is hard to imagine. “Hey, did you hear the Yankees took two yesterday?”
To be in denial is both an unconscious, primitive, and magical defense, as well as on some level also being a conscious choice. There is a collective denial that most of us support by acting out our own personal denial in our individual lives, which in turn simply feeds into our collective madness. To the extent that we aren’t completely outraged with what our government is doing, we are in denial, for what could we possibly be thinking? To the degree we are in denial about the horror that is playing out in our world, we are, to that extent, complicit.
When the abuse is so overwhelming, we become numbed, desensitized, and anesthetized, as if a psychological “operation” (psy-ops) is being done on us (please see my article The War on Consciousness). Instead of being enlivened by the abuse, we become “deadened,” as if we have become dehumanized. Devalued, we become incapable of “feeling.” In this covert operation, our ability to respond creatively and responsibly becomes disabled. We can become incapacitated with inexpressible rage, hopeless despair and a feeling of worthlessness. The worst of the abuse isn’t even so much what the external abuse actually is, but what it creates in us internally.
When we are overwhelmed by abuse, we are literally coerced to disavow our perceptions, which is to betray ourselves. To quote the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “At some point, silence before a lie becomes betrayal.” Betraying ourselves, we become a stranger to ourselves, forgetting who we are. We become disoriented, as our bedrock connection between psyche and reality has been severed. Moment by moment we insist on building a wall between our inner selves and the outer world. Splitting off from the abuse, we invariably internalize the abuser and police ourselves. We lose our connection with our inner nature, as well as with nature itself. Our sense of meaning, and our identity as sovereign meaning-generators, becomes scrambled. When the nightmare that is playing out is so horrible, we marginalize and deny our very experience itself, as we literally “split” (which means both “in two,” and “leave” – i.e., go far away from the present, as well as from our true selves). A part of us pretends that what is happening is not really happening.
A specific example of denial in our current day and age are people’s reactions to 9/11. The most superficial inquiry into the facts reveals that there is no doubt whatsoever that the government’s official story about 9/11, a crazy conspiracy theory if there ever was one, is not only not true, but is covering up what really happened. Who knows what really happened on 9/11, but when the evidence is studied, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that the same criminal enterprise that has infiltrated the highest levels of our government also had its hands in creating 9/11. The underlying military-industrial-financial crime syndicate was the only organization that had the motive and the ability to pull-off, cover-up and capitalize on the “opportunity” of 9/11. To go down this rabbit hole and see what the criminal forces that have taken over and control our government are capable of is to unravel and shatter many of our naïve illusions, which is why many of us deny and simply refuse to look at the evidence.
It is clear that the same underlying criminal syndicate that was behind 9/11 is using 9/11 as a catapult to further expand its domination and extend its tentacles to the furthest reaches of not just the planet, but space itself. If you think I am exaggerating or being paranoid when I point this out, I would respond by simply inviting you to open your eyes and explore the ample evidence, which is readily available and overwhelmingly convincing (see www.911truth.org). Besides being utterly traumatic to realize, another reason the truth behind 9/11 is so hard to see is because it is everywhere we look, literally staring us in the face. If we don’t realize the truth behind 9/11, it is because we are in denial.
When we realize that 9/11 was an “inside job” perpetrated by our own government against us, we step out of denying what deep down we know to be true. 9/11 was a wake up call for the American people and the world at large, and it has the potentiality of snapping us out of our spell so that we can begin to see what is actually happening in our world. Looking beneath the superficial “official” explanation for 9/11 begins an initiatory process of reconsidering the way the power structure of our nation and the world operates. People who have woken up to the truth behind 9/11 are very much like people who have had a kind of spiritual awakening, in that having snapped out of the consensus trance, they are recognizing a deeper, more fundamental process that is in-forming and giving shape to events in our world. Like a person who has had a spiritual awakening, people who have realized the truth about 9/11 have stepped out of their denial and snapped out of an illusion.
When we are in denial, we avert our gaze, which is a reactive form of psychic blindness. When we get stuck in and embody the madness of denial, we become psychologically deaf, as we are not able to hear any “informing” influences from the outside world which reflect back to us our unconscious state. Falling into denial, we become psychologically deaf, dumb and blind. We see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.
When we are riddled by denial, we hold contradictory viewpoints simultaneously, while splitting off from the underlying contradiction, which is a self-induced, trance-like dissociated state, in which we have fixated our attention, restricted our own awareness and hypnotized ourselves. When groups of people (or a nation) collectively fall into a mass en-trance-ment together, they reinforce each other’s unconscious denial, which feeds the zombie-like madness of the group. The name of this phenomenon is “collective psychosis,” and this is what is presently happening in the United States of America (please see my book The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis).
The underlying culture and field in which and from which we dissociate conspires with us in our betrayal of ourselves. We are in-formed by and receive feedback from the abusive family system, in this case, our nation, that it is not OK and actually quite dangerous to be ourselves, which only reinforces the trauma, ad infinitum. Part of the abuse in our country is that, like an unrestrained malignant narcissist, the criminal enterprise that controls our government has let it be known that it will destroy anyone who tries to stand up to it (please see my article George Bush is a Malignant Narcissist). This threat itself is a form of terrorism, as it creates terror in US. As a result, for the ordinary person, the utter evil of what is playing out in our country is better left unsaid, so as to not cause trouble or rock the boat, which, Titanic-like, is sinking due to our passivity and silence.
When the horror is so overwhelming, we become alien to ourselves and deny our own experience. We then deny our denial and fall into the depraved state of lying and actually believing our own lies. This is a state of complete and utter self-deception. When we are in denial, we are in the perverse state of fooling ourselves, while pretending we are not fooling ourselves. This is to have fallen into a diabolically self-perpetuating feedback loop, an infinite regression in which we deny that we are denying and then we deny that, and on and on, ad infinitum. This is called “the state of being in denial,” which is the 51st state in the US.
Once we fall into the state of denial, we become invested in not only keeping ourselves asleep but we also seek out others in the same state of denial with whom to join forces. Once our mass unconsciousness gains enough self-generating momentum, our denial has an inductive, magnetic effect of entraining others into a similar state of unconsciousness as our own. Our somnambulism has a bewitching effect on others, while at the same time their unconsciousness strengthens our denial, in a self-reinforcing web of mutual conditioning. Falling into and supporting each other’s collective denial, we become infected by, while concurrently infecting the field around us with a self-created, but very contagious, psychological “virus.”
This is an immaterial, psychic “bug” that insinuates itself into and operates through the psyche by distorting and manipulating our perceptions so as to feed itself, while at the same time veiling that it is doing this so as to keep itself invisible. Jung never tired of warning us that psychic epidemics such as this, which spread and replicate themselves through our unconscious blind spots, were the greatest danger facing humanity. In a crazy-making loop that both produces and is an expression of madness, the denial in the underlying field feeds our denial, while at the same time our denial feeds the denial in the underlying field.
When we live in the state of denial, we are investing all of our psychic energy into a lie to protect ourselves from the awful shock of stepping out of our denial and consciously experiencing both the lie that we have been living and the reality we have been avoiding. Once our denial becomes invested with enough energy, a counter-incentive to step out of our denial arises, as we become highly motivated in sustaining the lie that is fundamental to our denial, for the trauma of consciously realizing the perverse state we have fallen into is too much for us to bear. Once our denial solidifies its reign, it literally rules over us, as we become obedient to it, as if we are its slaves and it is our master. When we repress something from our consciousness, we unwittingly invest it with power over us. Once we become sufficiently corrupted by our denial, we become dedicated to preserving it at all costs. Once we become tied, attached and bound to our denial, our entire modus operandi is to do whatever it takes to continue the charade of hiding from ourselves.
At a certain point, we literally become taken over, as if possessed, by our compulsion to avoid relationship with ourselves. We are then not able to help ourselves from compulsively acting out our unconscious denial, a perverse state for which we are ultimately responsible. Being in the state of denial, we are not in our right mind, and we are not even home in our own bodies. In this state, we can be of no help to either ourselves or to others, as we ourselves are the ones increasingly in need of help. Having fallen into a truly pathological state, we have become addicted to our denial, which we then embody and act out in our lives, as our denial continually in-forms us. Once this pathological process develops a sufficient inner sovereignty, it “colonizes” our psyche and we fall into becoming an unwitting instrument for what is called “evil” to act itself out in our world.
We have then attained what political philosopher Hannah Arendt saw as the fundamental characteristic of evil: the incapacity for thought. When we are in denial, the primary thought we can’t think about is ourselves, which is to say we are incapable of self-reflection, as if we are not able to bend around backwards and see our reflection in the mirror of life. When we are in the state of denial, we are “not ourselves,” but rather, are “beside ourselves.” Instead of associating with all of our-selves, we imagine that we exist separately from the world out there, of which we are desperately afraid. This is an outer reflection of the inner process of being terrified of a part of ourselves, which is the dynamic which precipitated our denial in the first place.
As this inner pathological state takes us over, it develops a seemingly autonomous life of its own, animating and playing itself out in the most unconscious, and hence, destructive of ways, creating violence, abuse, and terror, whether it be within ourselves or in the outside world. Anyone who points out or reflects back the pathology is demonized, pathologized, criminalized, and seen as the enemy. People in denial react violently when they see someone who does not share their denial, as it secretly reminds them of how sick they are.
When we are in the state of denial, we lose our ability to discern what is really going on. For example, when we are in denial, we are unable to discern whether or not others are in denial. When other people are actually in denial, it has a resonance with our own denial and, insanely, we see them as expressing the truth and being enlightened. At the same time, people who aren’t in denial we see as being crazy. When we are in denial, we live in an inverted world, blindly imagining others to be the ones who are blind. We project the face of our own unconscious onto the world, which simply mirrors it back to us, confirming our delusion.
To step out of our denial is the scariest thing imaginable to the part of us that is in denial. To snap out of our denial is a form of “death,” as it is to “die” to the fantasy world in which we imagined we lived. This is why people will “defend” their denial to the point of death, often in the most aggressively “offensive” of ways. People in denial will actually create “explosions” in the outside world as distractions so as to protect themselves from inwardly “imploding” at the sight of themselves. People cherish their illusions, which they hold dear to themselves, as if their illusions are their most sacred possession. To be in denial is to live in an illusion, and the system which produced this pathological state is only too happy to configure itself to support the abuse by supplying all the evidence needed to strengthen the denial and confirm the illusion. Our denial allows the abuse to continue to be perpetrated and perpetuate itself, while at the same time the abuse facilitates our denial in a reciprocally co-arising, circular (as compared to linear) and self-generating feedback loop that is truly pathological. When we are in denial, the system which precipitated our denial gets dreamed up to collude with, nourish, nurture and justify our denial, creating a psychological black hole: a true dis-ease of the psyche, in which no light escapes or is emitted.
DENIAL IS ITS OWN MEDICINE
When we are taken over by the pathological state of denial, we embody and incarnate it, becoming agents by which it propagates itself, as we collectively act out our inner, unconscious state of denial on the outer stage of the world. This is to say that the inner state of our unconsciousness is actually being dreamed up into full-bodied form and reflex-ively played out in the theater of the outside world. Just like in a dream – where the outer dreamscape is a reflection of the inner psyche – our unconscious has spilled out from the boundaries of our skull and is materializing itself in, as, and through the seemingly outside world. Not limited by the conventional laws of time and space, our unconscious has changed channels and is nonlocally giving shape and form to itself by synchronistically arranging events in the outside world so as to express and reveal itself to those that have the eyes to see. The fact that there is a synchronistic correlation and correspondence between the unconscious process going on inside of our psyche and what is playing out in the outside world is not an accident, as this mirroring is reflecting something back to us that is most important for us to know. Encoded in the outer manifestation of our unconscious denial is the key to its resolution.
Collective events in our world are the expressions of our inner state of unconsciousness, while simultaneously being the revelation of the very unconsciousness of which they themselves are an expression. What this means is that events in our world, while being manifestations of our unconscious, are at the same time potentially the liberator and liberation of the very unconsciousness of which they themselves are a manifestation.
The malevolent events that are literally being unconsciously acted out on the world stage are at the same time speaking to us symbolically, which is the language of dreams. Seen as symbols that unite the opposites, these events reflect back to us our inner state of unconsciousness, while simultaneously revealing to us, and hence potentially transforming, the very unconsciousness of which they are an unmediated manifestation. Recognizing what is being revealed instantaneously, in no time whatsoever, transforms our unconscious, our experience of our world, and ourselves, which empowers us to be a genuine agent for positive change in the world.
Seen symbolically, events in our world are simultaneously the problem and the solution co-joined in one phenomenon, and how they manifest depends upon how we dream them. Our world crisis is the problem, while at the same time it is the revelation of the solution, as it unveils the unconscious part of ourselves, which is the source of our current world crisis. Once we recognize what is being revealed, our consciousness has expanded itself through this realization, thereby transforming both our unconscious and the world crisis simultaneously. Seen as symbols in a dream, the malevolent events in our world are potentially expanding our consciousness so as to heal the very pathology which is at the root of their malevolence. Something is revealing itself to us as it acts itself out through our unconscious. Recognizing what is being revealed changes everything, for then all bets are off, as anything becomes possible. We only suffer from a failure of imagination. The collective denial and madness that is playing itself out in our world is paradoxically its own medicine.
How the events in our world actually manifest and what effect they have on us, either continuing to traumatize us, or wake us up, depends upon whether or not we recognize what they are revealing to us about ourselves. Events in our world are being dreamed up to reflect back to us that we ourselves are responsible for how we moment by moment collectively dream up our world.
All six and a half billion of us are moment by moment collaboratively dreaming up this universe into materialization, as if we are co-creating a mass, shared dream. Once we realize this, we literally snap out of the illusion of thinking we exist separate from each other, and recognize we are “relational beings,” interdependent parts of one another, which is to say we are “related,” members of a greater family. We are a part of the whole but not “a-part” from the whole. We are interconnected aspects and unique expressions of the whole. To consciously realize our wholeness is to heal our disassociation from each other as well as from ourselves.
Once we snap out of the spell of imagining we are separate from each other, we can get in sync with each other so as to awaken “eros,” which has to do with being able to relate with each other through a deeply shared feeling of the heart called love. Reciprocally co-inspiring each other, we mutually help one another plug into and activate our collective genius, as if collectively awakening a higher strand of our DNA. Once our awakening attains a certain momentum, we become instruments through which something greater than ourselves is able to inform and give shape to our world. We are then able to nonlocally effect the entire universe, which is to say we can literally make a positive difference in the world.
Putting our lucid awareness together, we synergistically activate our inherent God-given power of being able to consciously co-create reality in a way that serves our highest, evolutionary unfoldment. We discover that we can enter into an engaged, intimate, and conscious partnership with each other, as well as with the universe as a whole. Once our intention is to serve what is best for the whole, we become inspired by something greater than our own ego. We become imbued with life, as we become guided and animated by a creative, and whole-making spirit. As compared to the spirit of division and destruction, this is the spirit of integration and creation. This is the point where we are able to join together and, not just in imagination, but in seemingly real time and space, change the collective dream we are having. Instead of destroying ourselves, we can actually create the world in which we want to live.
Recognizing what is being revealed, we become students of history, as we become educated by our experience, learn from our mistakes, and organically grow. Stepping out of our shared delusion that we exist separate from each other, we discover that we can co-operatively help each other to evolve to greater orders of freedom and ever-deepening degrees of compassion. Cultivating our shared awakening, we naturally change the world in the process.
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. Paul is also a visionary artist and a spiritually-informed political activist. He is the author of The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,which is available on his website www.awakeninthedream.com. (See the first chapter, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis). Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2010