Excerpt from Awakened by Darkness

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INTRODUCTION

Awakened by Darkness - Cover Image

To cut to the chase and get right to the point, I have had an intimate direct encounter with unmediated, unadulterated archetypal evil that has radically reconfigured both my psyche and my life forever. I am not talking about the personal shadow stuff that we all unconsciously act out in our lives every day, nor am I talking about the relative level of evil that we can easily imagine; I am talking about absolute evil, the dark side of God, the stuff which in-forms and gives shape to mythologies the world over from time immemorial. My saying this is not some sort of literary device or marketing strategy to grab the reader’s attention; on the contrary, it is nothing less than finding the right words to name my experience. The great doctor of the soul C. G. Jung writes that “it is quite within the bounds of possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.” I encountered this face of absolute evil in the form of my very own father and I have been shattered by the experience.

I was in my late teens and early twenties during my “close encounter of the evil kind.” I was an innocent and naïve college kid, completely unprepared for what had come my way; at this point in my life, evil was the last thing on my mind, something I knew nothing about. As contrasted to the relative evil of the human shadow, when we experience absolute evil, there is no one who can tell us otherwise or talk us out of it. Encountering archetypal evil necessitates our full emotional engagement; it is not something we can distance ourselves from through abstract philosophical speculations. Experiencing absolute evil is a self-validating experience that leaves us speechless, takes away our breath, and leaves not the slightest shred of doubt that what we have encountered is none other than what the word “evil” signifies.

No one is able to define what evil is in itself. Jung has a very simple and interesting definition when he writes, “Evil is and always remains the thing one knows one should not do.” The dictionary definition of evil is “morally wrong, harmful, characterized by suffering.” Evil is not something abstract; it is an existential reality that has to be approached and understood in the personal context of the suffering that it induces in those who experience it. And yet, encountering pure evil, once we sufficiently recover from the experience over time─if it’s even possible to speak in terms of “recovery” from such an encounter─we are changed forever, as if we are no longer who we once were. The question then is: who do we become after our close encounter? As if being touched by something from the beyond, encountering evil has a fate-determining quality to it. What do we possibly “do” with what we’ve encountered?

Though there was some physical abuse, the main channel through which the forces of evil intruded themselves into my life was in the realm of psyche. Psychological abuse by its very nature is challenging to verbally describe in a way that gets across to others what actually took place in the intangible realm of psyche. Attempting to elucidate the subtle but very real energetics of so invisible and elusive a process pushes us to the outer envelope of our abilities to express the ungraspable nature of the inner and personal experiences of our own mind. Jung writes, “The internal is invisible and seems always to be impotent. In reality though, it reigns secretly and pervasively and its power is as great as the sun’s.” Psychological trauma is typically outside the realm of normal human perception, like a distant galaxy beyond the reach of even the most powerful telescope. Abuse in the realm of psyche, which always involves unseen forces, places particularly unique demands on us to find our voice, as the abuse invariably severs us from it. Because our body doesn’t turn black and blue from psychological abuse, we typically lack “hard evidence” to prove to other people the truth of our claims. Though emotional abuse is different from physical/sexual abuse, in some way they are similar, as they both can potentially disconnect us from our natural selves in the most unnatural of ways. I am in no way saying one is worse than the other, as they are both experiences off the radar of acceptable human experiences, while at the same time tragically being all too common.

How do I possibly begin telling a story that by its nature is hard to believe, impossible to understand, horrifying and liberating all at the same time? I literally have no idea. And yet, a day has not gone by that I have not imagined trying to creatively tell my story. This book is my attempt at trying to find the words for what is beyond words. Though it has taken me a year to put the words on paper, this book is the fruition of an ordeal that has transpired over 35 years. It is written as one piece that hopefully holds together as a coherent and unified whole. This book is truly my story; it is the story of my life. It is a narrative with many different chapters, written in a fashion that builds on itself as the story unfolds. Each of the chapters fit together in the mosaic of my life, all of the pieces hopefully shedding light upon each other. All of the chapters of this book go together in a way such that an image emerges that I hope is greater than the sum of its parts. The image that crystallizes from this book is, at least in my imagination, something I’ve been thirsting to get across to people for years, make that decades, though it feels like forever.

I imagine this book will trigger just about everyone in one way or another. I ask one thing from the reader: if you are to read this book, please read the whole thing from beginning to end rather than skipping around, reading bits and pieces here and there. Why I ask this is that it’s easy for me to imagine someone jumping around and reading certain parts of this book and being left with questions, judgments or concerns that might have been allayed from what I say in other sections. Of course, this is an expression of my concern that in making myself so vulnerable by sharing what really goes on for me, I will be misunderstood, judged and pathologized, which would simply be a recreation of the very trauma from which I’m trying to heal. In telling my story I am trying to heal from “the trauma of being misunderstood,” and then being judged based on that misunderstanding.

There are certain key characters who played prominent roles in what became practically a theater of the absurd; the two most prominent figures being my father and the psychiatric system. In telling my story, it is impossible to talk about one without the other, as if the roles that my father and psychiatry played in my life were interwoven and quantum entangled in such a way so as to become indistinguishably inter-related. The evil that came through both my father and psychiatry wasn’t limited in scope nor contained within their limited sphere of influence, however, but like deadly nuclear radiation that rippled out and poisoned the surrounding environment, created immense collateral damage as it destroyed my relationship with my beloved mother, the rest of my family, and my closest friends.

Though his malady wasn’t recognized by mainstream psychiatry, my father was an extremely sick man. Though he died in 2002, his sickness left an on-going legacy. The abuse I received from his psychic hands was the reason why I was in the psychiatric system in the first place. In addition to being in recovery from a psychopathic father, I am also a survivor of severe psychiatric abuse. This abuse isn’t only something that happened over thirty years ago when I was in the midst of a potentially life-transforming spiritual awakening and was locked up in psychiatric hospitals, mis-diagnosed and medicated out of my mind. It is something that is happening current day, with real people involved, and not just in my imagination (thought it’s happening there, too). The present day enactment of psychiatric abuse has been the very catalyst for igniting an (al)chemical reaction within myself that has resulted in me going over my edge and, after years of imagining and dreaming about writing this book, finally doing so.

At a certain point, the abuse from my father and the abuse from the psychiatric system become so inextricably entangled that they seem to be threads woven on the same loom, as if they are manifestations of the same underlying pathology. The abuse from my father and psychiatry are both iterations of the same deeper fractal, simultaneously complementing and shedding light on each other’s madness. Just like a unique image becomes visible in a hologram when it is held at a particular angle, a deeper underlying madness that informed both my father and psychiatry, not to mention myself as well as the collective human psyche, becomes visible when this situation is contemplated in certain ways.

I like to think that this is not the typical book about abuse that someone has suffered, but maybe I’m just dreaming. What I’ve gone through is initiatory and revelatory, and I am of the opinion that if I am up to the task of translating what I’ve experienced into communicable language, it can be helpful to other people, for so many others have experienced something similar, each in their own way. I’ve felt a responsibility and had a knowingness for a long time that one day before I died I would have to put all of this down in writing as my personal testament. I always envisioned writing this book in the future; that future is now. I don’t want my story to be lost; my dream is for it to be instructive and helpful for others.

It is an interesting—and integrating—process to take a psychic inventory and recapitulate events that have happened in one’s life. Writing about these experiences has been quite an illuminating experience for me. One of the things that I’m struck with as I reflect upon what happened in my life is how absolutely UNNECESSARY the abuse actually was; it was truly “senseless violence.” Telling the story about what I’ve been forced to endure has even more brought home to me how innocent and undeserving I was of such abuse, mirroring, I suspect, the situation of a substantial number of readers of this book.

The evil that came through both my father and psychiatry crossed over the line of the unthinkable, and was truly “unspeakable.” The word “unspeakable” does not just refer to the impossibility of being expressed in words, but it also means the “inexpressibly bad.” We tread on the realm of the unspeakable when we encounter the void, a void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said. “One of the awful facts of our age,” monk and author Thomas Merton writes, is that “it is stricken indeed, stricken to the very core of its being by the presence of the Unspeakable.” Evil, or what the British writer Ian McEwan calls a “malign principle, a force in human affairs that periodically advances to dominate and destroy the lives of individuals or nations, then retreats to await the next occasion,” has become an inescapable problem. We all experience its effects, but our culture doesn’t supply the adequate vocabulary necessary to describe, express and thereby expose it. It is as if evil has dumbed us down, as we no longer seem able to talk intelligently about the subject.

Evil’s inability to be languaged—for years it left me practically speechless—is one of the things that allows evil to get away with the murder it does. Psychological violence, by its very nature, is very challenging to describe in words; it doesn’t easily lend itself to language. The rules of narrative do not apply well to describing ruptures of the moral order or radical breaks in the shared social consensus; experiences of evil destroy the threads of narrative the moment we try to weave them. Experiences of unmediated evil are different in kind, as if from a different order of the universe from all other experiences. Whenever I’ve tried to communicate the utter perversity that my father or psychiatry acted out, words fail in their function to transmit meaning. This very ineffability in translating my experience invariably leads to the trauma of potentially being further misunderstood. The sight of evil literally takes away our words, as if our words are suctioned out of our mouth, falling flat on the floor, obscuring and distorting rather than illuminating what we are trying to say. The subject of evil is like a black hole, in that every written or spoken word about it is drawn into its gravitational collapse. No matter which words I choose, there seems to be an elusive and never-ending disparity between my experience of evil and my persistent attempts to describe and fully comprehend it; the phenomenon of evil eludes, transcends and ruptures our categories of understanding. Evil, like quicksilver, slips away as soon as we try to grasp it in language.

As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein points out, the limits of language are the limits of reality; this implies that if we want to understand and illumine whatever reality is—and whether what we call reality includes the reality or unreality of evil—we have to find and/or create some form of language to reference and represent it. The writer Julian Jaynes once remarked that language is “an organ of perception, not simply a means of communication.” Trying to language evil involves confronting again and again the limits of language to create meaning out of the incomprehensible. Not only does evil take our ability to language our experience away from us, it also seems to have a magic power that insures that whatever words we do use will be psychic flypaper for projections and endless misunderstandings, particularly from people who have not had any comparable direct personal encounters with archetypal evil, as well as with some who have.

The evil that played out is hard to language not only because it is so horrible, but also because it’s been so mind-blowingly “trippy”─a word that has unfortunate drug connotations, but rightfully brings to mind a psychedelic “trip” or shamanic journey. Encountering such profound evil has initiated an incredible voyage within me; it has not only been a ride beyond belief, but beyond the need to believe. What I have been forced to endure has been so intense that it has snapped me out of the consensus trance, which from my vantage point appears to be nothing other than a collectively agreed-upon hallucination—a mass hypnosis or brainwashing akin to a collective psychosis. The majority of our species is asleep and imagines—as if dreaming—that they are awake; it is as if we have fallen under the insidious spell of a malevolent wizard, fallen prey to a sinister form of collective mind-control. It is easy for me to feel isolated and alone. Thankfully, there are many other people—many of whom also marginalized by consensus reality—who are waking up from the “spell of normalcy” with whom, over the years I’ve been fortunate to connect. I see us as being called to be true “anti-psychotic” agents in the greater body politic. It is helpful to remember that the part of us that sees the madness, be it in the outside world or within ourselves, is the part of us that is sane.

“Evil” is a charged word with many associations. Some people object to the term because it defies precise definition and tends to be subjective, tied to the supernatural and laden with religious dogma; organized religions are surely the worst offenders when it comes to the ignorant misuse of the word evil. Others get triggered by the mere usage of the word and want me to use another, less controversial word. It makes me think of a dream I once had in which I had attained a degree of lucidity and was telling my other dream characters that they were dreaming. One of them responded by asking me to use a different word other than the word “dream,” for he couldn’t relate to this word, as it had all of these associations that came along with it. What could I say to that? Sometimes I feel similarly when people ask me to use a different word than “evil.” But from my point of view there is no better or more accurate word. Evil is not just a useful metaphor, it is a metaphor upon which the health of our world depends.

Some people get upset because, out of fear, they don’t want to place any of their attention on the idea of evil, as if the mere contemplation of evil evokes its effects. I would point out, however, that it is our looking away from what evil is activating within ourselves that ultimately strengthens and supports it. I am of the opinion that in certain situations there is no more perfect word whose reverberations evoke the degree of extreme transgression and cruel and destructive behavior that produces intense suffering than the word “evil.” The idea of avoiding the word reflects, in my opinion, a misguided view of what we require of language. Sometimes healing requires us to find the right word, the proper name for our experience. One of the moral needs of our species is calling things by their proper names. Knowing and naming evil, paradoxically, helps us to even more know, and establish ourselves, in “the good.”

Encountering evil can be likened to the polar opposite—the mirror image—of when someone has a personal encounter with the Most-High God or divine presence. And yet, similar to what I imagine happens when one experiences deity, encountering evil is a “conversion” experience, in that in both experiences─high and low─we potentially become radically transformed. Jung writes that “the horrified perception of the reality of evil has led to at least as many conversions as the experience of the good.” Psychologist William James also recognized the importance of the experience of evil in religious conversion; he realized in many cases it is evil itself which brings a person’s attention to a false attitude towards the world, God or themselves.

The abuse from my father literally drove me crazy. To say my experience with evil drove me out of my mind is not an understatement; this is when I encountered psychiatry, which diabolically only further served to push me off the cliff into an even deeper abyss than I was already in due to the abuse from my father. Instead of helping me, psychiatry unwittingly became evil’s accomplice. My encounter with evil, through both my father and the psychiatric system, nearly killed me. It did kill a part of me. I feel thrashed and wounded beyond belief. My encounter made me feel broken, crippling me to the point where I inwardly feel, outer appearances to the contrary, like I am operating at less than 1% of my full capacity. It has radically deformed and reconfigured my entire life. I remember thinking that 99% of other people probably would have just killed themselves; whether this is merely my own self-deluded narcissism or not, only the shadow knows.

Directly encountering evil can be beyond catastrophic—it can ruin lives, families, communities, nations, world-systems; and yet, if we are able to take into ourselves and digest, metabolize and integrate what we have experienced, we become changed, trans-figured human beings, almost as if we have become a new species. I would not recommend seeking out this experience to anyone; it is only when the experience seeks us out that we need to come to terms with it. And yet, in a very real sense, evil is more and more insinuating itself into the greater body politic of humanity, which is to say that we will all have to come to terms with it within ourselves and our world, whatever that ultimately means.

Here’s what I wrote about evil in my recent book, Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil:

When I talk about evil, I am talking about the psychological reality of evil, whose effects are all around us. I am not making a theological statement having to do with the metaphysical reality of evil, as I am not qualified to do so. Evil is, psychologically speaking, terribly real. Today as never before it is important that we not overlook the danger of the potential evil lurking within us. One must be positively blind to not see the colossal role that evil plays in the modern world. To quote Jung, “Only an infantile person can pretend that evil is not at work everywhere, and the more unconscious he is, the more the devil drives him.” Evil today has become a visible Great Power. Its effects do not diminish in the slightest by being hushed up as a nonreality. Evil is not something that, ostrich-like, we can just turn our back on or a blind eye toward. Our denial of evil is itself a manifestation of the very evil we are denying, while at the same time, our denial engenders the very evil of which our denial is an expression. Disowned and unacknowledged evil becomes inhuman, monstrous, and sadistic. We must learn how to handle evil, since it certainly appears as if it is here to stay. We are clearly being asked—make that demanded—by the universe to come to terms with evil; our very survival as a species depends upon it.

I had an interesting experience while writing this book. Every morning there was a guy who began coming to the café where I wrote this book, and after a few weeks we began saying “hi” to each other. He seemed like a really nice guy, and at a certain point we realized that we were both writers. I offered to give him a copy of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil, but only if he was interested enough to read it. He assured me he was, so the next day I brought a copy to the café. Right as I was about to give it to him, he said to me, “I have to warn you, I don’t believe in evil.” I responded by saying this was no problem, and gave him the book. From that day on, however, the energy between us has been kind of weird, a bit uncomfortable. The sense is that he hasn’t picked up the book, and my imagination is that he’s triggered by the mere notion of evil, and doesn’t want to read a book about dispelling something that he doesn’t think exists in the first place.

I’ve imagined sharing with him that it looks like he’s playing out the very thing I’m writing about in the book (how evil feeds off of our unconscious reactions against it). I’ve also imagined sharing with him that I’m pointing out in the book that evil, ultimately speaking, has no intrinsic, independent existence, and yet, it can destroy our species. Of course, this realization requires a higher form of logic than the typical Aristotelian two-valued logic basic to Western analytical thought—where things either exist or don’t exist. I am familiar with what I imagine to be his point of view—that to contemplate the notion of evil invests it, being non-existent, with an unwarranted reality that it doesn’t deserve. He, therefore, doesn’t want to give evil the time of day, so to speak. There is some degree of wisdom to this perspective, for to think of evil as real is to literally invest it with reality. Yet, if we just ignore it—turning a blind eye towards it—we are unwittingly giving it power over us. For example, to think there is no such thing as cholera is the best means to cause a worldwide epidemic. In coming to terms with evil and its paradoxical nature, we inevitably find ourselves in a seemingly unsolvable dilemma, which simultaneously provides us with potentially useful information about evil and its underlying logic, as well as showing us something fundamental about our true nature as well.

I’ve imagined trying to dialogue with this guy about this process—I’ve even imagined showing him the previous two paragraphs—but I intuitively feel that this wouldn’t be a good idea. I find myself imagining that he feels threatened by my viewpoint that evil is something we have to come to terms with, and that he would feel like I’m trying to talk him out of something—his fixed position that there is no such thing as evil—that he holds dear. Holding the viewpoint that evil doesn’t exist can easily shield him from dealing with the darkness within himself, as after all, from his point of view there’s no such thing as evil. Of course, the insight that this very perspective is itself the workings and camouflage of evil has seemingly never occurred to him, or so I imagine. In turning a blind eye towards evil, he’s falling under the spell of the very thing he thinks doesn’t exist, unwittingly enabling evil in the process.

Paradoxically, if I play the role of trying to introduce him to the notion that evil needs to be dealt with, I imagine he would then see me as being evil. For me to try and talk with him about any of this could easily turn into a re-enactment of my abuse, as once again I’m trying to point out someone’s unconscious shadow; I easily imagine, instead of my reflections being received, it would create further separation and misunderstanding. It makes me think how Dispelling Wetiko must be a really powerful book, in the sense that merely giving it to someone (without them even having to read it) might be ruining a budding friendship. In any case, I see him as a living, fully embodied representative—a living, breathing symbol in human form—of a perspective that exists within the collective psyche of humanity. Seen as a dream, he is a dream character, an aspect of a voice inside of my own head.

As a result of my direct and unmediated encounter with evil, I feel like I have been abducted by aliens and brought to a foreign universe that looks just like our ordinary world except for the fact that it couldn’t be more different; the entire experience has been some sort of nightmare that seems to have encoded within it a revelation of something which I evidently couldn’t have realized any other way. There is much that I want to get off my chest; interestingly, the original meaning of the word “nightmare” is a demon that sits on the chest of those who are asleep, influencing their dreams. The only thing I know to do to make sense of and redeem my experience is to try to find the language so as communicate to others what I have experienced; hence, this book.

No words─malignant narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, criminal, morally insane, predator, evil, vampire, etc.─can adequately describe the utter depravity that had taken over my father’s soul. My father suffered from an undiagnosed “psychosis” in the true sense of the word—a disease of the soul in which he was living a lie. I’ve literally had to create and introduce new words to fully do justice to the extent of evil that came through him, phrases such as “psycho-sociopath” (I like the “sound” of this, a sociopath gone “psycho”), and “wetiko” (a Native American term that simply connotes “psychic cannibalism” as well as “the spirit of evil”). Simply put, wetiko is the source of humanity’s continual and repeated “inhumanity” to ourselves and others; my father was one of its “reps” in human form. The word “inhuman” connotes the brutality that arises from the lack of natural human sympathy and feeling, which is a state where we are cut off and disconnected from not only our heart, but the shared heart of humanity as well; this accurately describes the perverse state my father had fallen into.

During my decades-long ordeal with evil as it came through both my father and psychiatry, I was taking notes and mapping this new terrain I had fallen into, actually writing a book about what I was discovering—Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil. Having the father I did “authorized” me to author a book on the darkest evil imaginable; I never would have been able to write about evil in the in-depth way I have without my own “close encounter” with it. Embodying wetiko disease in his life, my father unwittingly served as the inspiration for me to create a body of work devoted to illuminating this malady. He provided a treasure trove of endless data for teaching me through myriad direct experiences, about this virulent sickness of the soul in action. Like Don Juan counsels Carlos in the Castaneda books, the greatest gift for a would-be warrior is to find what he calls a “petty tyrant,” which I had certainly found—in spades—in my father.

As a way of “fleshing out” the ideas I’ve written about in my previous book about wetiko psychosis, I feel inspired to use a personal example to give the subject matter living form, using myself as my own guinea pig. Though my father was taken over by the mind-virus called wetiko, if I think he has this illness and I don’t, then I am unwittingly becoming an instrument for the further propagation of this contagious psychic disease, which feeds off of polarization and separation. Being nonlocal, wetiko pervades the field of consciousness, which is to say we all have it in potential. Offering myself as my own case study in wetiko disease, I am hoping that this will contribute a personal dimension, adding an element of lived experience to the ideas I speak about in my recent book. I am a living example of how the nonlocal wetiko virus plays out within a person’s mind while simultaneously being mirrored in their outer environment. In talking about myself, I can’t help but to bring into my story the particular family system as well as the human family into which I was born, for none of us exists in isolation, but rather, in relation to the whole field, which is to say the world at large.

Before starting to write this book, I thought that the process of putting down in words what had happened to me wouldn’t change me, as I intimately know all of the stuff I’m writing about all too well. These are experiences I’ve not only lived and lived with, but thought about for decades. As I go through the process of writing this book, however, I am continually amazed at how the very process of creatively telling my story is radically changing me, as if my cellular structure or DNA is becoming transfigured. Writing about my inner process is actually changing the very inner process I am writing about. Writing about my trauma has allowed me to shape it rather than let it shape me. To quote Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, “While trauma keeps us dumbfounded, the path out of it is paved with words, carefully assembled, piece by piece, until the whole story can be revealed.” It is my hope that in carefully piecing together my words I am revealing the whole story of what I’ve been through in a way that is paving the road to healing—truly a “path made by walking” (as well as writing). The strength of the written word requires the writer to stand behind their words—which I do.

After my encounter with “the dark side,” I am fortunate to have been able to creatively express my experience; if I hadn’t been able to find some outlet for what was inside of me, I would have been in deep trouble. The act of finding my words and stepping into my voice makes me think of how artists transform and re-create themselves anew through the process of creating their art. In writing this book, I feel like I am rewriting—and rewiring—myself. The process of writing has hopefully become the hermetically-sealed vessel that is helping me to transmute the dross of my inner process into something of value, to both myself and others. More and more I am not able to differentiate between when I am doing my “spiritual practice” and my writing. Writing this book has become a magical act, inseparable from my spiritual practice, transforming me in my core. Interestingly, the figure of Merlin, the archetypal wizard and magician, has as one of his aspects the role of llyfrawr, a Welsh word for wizard that comes from the Latin librarius, a master of books. Nikolai Tolstoy, a descendent of the great Russian novelist and author of The Quest for Merlin, refers to Merlin as “the patron of writing,” which points to the magical wizardry—and power of enchantment—inherent in the act of getting the right words down on paper. Having felt cursed—under a spell—after my encounter with evil, writing this book is helping me to magically break—“dis-spell”—the curse that I’ve seemingly fallen under.

The act of writing has been an “ecstatic” experience, in that it requires that I step out of the part of me that is in “stasis”—stuck—and connect with the part of me that is “beside myself.” Creating this book has helped me to objectify and externalize my painful experiences into written form such that I can contemplate them from outside myself, which has aided me in distinguishing myself from the trauma. In the process of writing this book, my mind has turned back upon itself, regarding itself in ever-novel ways. Instead of my life being a passive instrument to be “written through” by mere instinct, in finding the words, connecting with my authentic voice and producing this book, I am creatively “writing”—and actively authoring—my life. Of course, this process isn’t limited to writing; any medium—for example, verbally telling our story to someone else who does nothing other than listen—can have a similar liberating effect.

To be honest, whenever I would fantasize about writing this book, I would always imagine myself, as both the writer and topic of my self-contemplation, as being fully healed. Sadly, or more accurately, realistically, this is not the case, as I am still a work-in-progress, licking my wounds, so to speak. I have managed, however, to transform what I’ve gone through into a situation that is hopefully of benefit for others. There are many books written by analysts (which I’m not, though I am a person capable of deep analysis) who use their patients as the case study to illumine a deeper psychological dynamic/theory; I don’t know of any book by a “psychologist” (and by psychologist, I don’t merely mean someone who holds a PhD in psychology, which I don’t, but rather, someone who is a true “student of the psyche,” which I am) who contemplates their own process of abuse and the corresponding mad part of themselves in the way I am about to do. Since I went through my initiation of being wounded, with its corresponding suffering, I’ve been continually looking for a book that would help me to come to terms with the depths of my experience; little did I realize at the time that I would be the one to write it.

Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father will be available in October 2015.

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013), The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis and the soon-to-be-released Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Please visit Paul’s website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul at paul@awakeninthedream.com; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them. Copyright 2015.

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