In my article entitled “The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,” I point out that in the figure of George Bush we have collaboratively dreamed up a full-bodied reflection of the mad part of all of us. The psychic disease that has taken over Bush is a higher-dimensional virus that articulates itself non-locally (i.e., not limited by time or space) as a field phenomenon, and it needs to be contemplated as such. For example, if we don’t recognize the deadly disease that has infected the field and that Bush has fallen prey to and we support and follow him, then we become the unwitting agents through which this non-local disease propagates itself. I am calling this illness which pervades the field and exists deep within the soul of all of humanity malignant egophrenia. Currently, malignant egophrenia is manifesting as a collective psychosis that is causing endless destruction on a global scale.
The article I wrote about Bush’s madness and our collective psychosis came out of a deep personal tragedy. Malignant egophrenia, like some sort of deadly, other-worldly virus, incarnated itself through my father and took him over so fully that he never even suspected what was happening. Like George Bush, the healthy parts of my father’s psyche were co-opted by a pathological aspect, which drafted them into its service. Very bright, and on the surface apparently very loving, my father, like George Bush, could appear to be a regular, normal guy. This makes the malady he was stricken with difficult to recognize.
Because my father was so taken over by malignant egophrenia, he became an embodiment and carrier of the disease. He was a portal through which the field around him ‘warped’ in such a way so as to feed and support his pathogenic process. Just like with George Bush, a non-local field of denial and cover-up that resisted the light of consciousness was conjured up around my father so as to protect him. This is (arche)typical of how family systems configure themselves around a situation of abuse.
The one and only time in my life any family member talked to me honestly about my father’s pathology was a phone conversation I had with my Aunt Helen, my father’s only sibling. She shared with me that she thought that the root of my father’s problem was the overwhelming guilt he must’ve unconsciously felt over, in her words “the horrible, terrible thing” he did when he was younger. What he did was “so horrible and so terrible that she would never, ever tell me what it was,” however. She said that their parents died broken-hearted because of this “horrible, terrible thing” my father did. As soon as she finished telling me this, Aunt Helen snapped back into her habitual role of telling me that the problem that I had with my father was because I was sick, as if it was too much for her to stand in the truth of what she had just shared. Aunt Helen died a month after my father did, and she took the family secret to the grave with her.
My father was unable and unwilling to experience his sense of guilt, shame, or sin for whatever this “horrible, terrible thing” was. This unwillingness to experience his own darkness led to a process of lying, hiding, and covering-up in which my father came to believe his own lies. He resisted self-reflection at all costs, falling into a completely dissociated state of denying his own denial and hiding from himself. He then became attached, and addicted to his role of power over others, as this ensured he would never have to be vulnerable. Other people in his sphere of influence became objects or pawns to feed and support his inflated, narcissistic, and pathological image of himself. This abuse of power became a self-generating, vicious cycle which developed an autonomous life of its own. In other words, this habit of hiding from his own darkness literally took over and ‘possessed’ my father. He then compulsively acted out and embodied this process by projecting his own shadow outside of himself and trying to destroy it. By doing this he became possessed by the very shadow he was trying to destroy, which is a state of complete and utter madness. In this state of madness, my father, by abusing his power over others, literally terrorized the field around him. Like George Bush, this process of shadow projection opened up the door for malignant egophrenia to incarnate itself through my father and make him one of its instruments.
My entire family, my closest friends, and even the mental health system itself, got ‘drafted’ into my father’s illness in such a way that they colluded with and enabled him in his illness. By not recognizing the malevolent nature of my father’s illness, the mental health community, whose job and responsibility it is to deal with pathological situations such as this, became the very agents themselves that fed and supported the disease. It was as if other people, to the extent that they were not aware of the deadly, non-local, and contagious nature of the disease, got hooked through their unconscious blind spots and became unwitting conduits through which the disease replicated itself.
My father’s madness was an expression or a manifestation of a deeper sickness that pervades the field. Everyone in the field played a role in giving shape and form to this madness. As if divinely choreographed, people in the field who fell prey to this non-local psychic disease co-related and unwittingly conspired with each other so as to mutually support and feed into each other’s unconscious madness. People who became infected by this bug saw each other as perfectly sane and projected their own insanity, their own shadow, onto others.
As if in a sci-fi nightmare, any attempt I made to shed light on the madness that had infected my family would get distorted and turned against me. I was seen to be the one who was sick, both by my family and by the mental health system. I was holding the collective shadow, and became what is called the ‘identified patient.’ It was a completely crazy-making situation that in 1981 culminated in my having a complete break with consensus reality. As a result I was hospitalized a number of times during that next year and was continually pathologized and misdiagnosed by the psychiatric community.
Much to my horror, I began to recognize that the shadow that my father was unconsciously possessed by was the exact same shadow that the psychiatric community, to the extent that it was not self-reflecting, projected outside of itself. To the extent that the psychiatric community was not owning its shadow it unconsciously acted it out and abused its power just like my father had. Anyone who reflected back to the psychiatric community that it was abusing its power was pathologized. Which itself WAS the very act of abusing its power which was being reflected back to it in the first place. This unconscious abuse of power is the root cause for a diabolical feedback loop that is destructively playing itself out in the world, be it on the individual or collective level.
It was as if the same underlying pathogen, a kind of psychic germ, was shape-shifting and expressing itself through different channels, be it my father, the family system around him, the mental health community, or the world at large. A deeper, pathological process was fractally explicating itself through multiple dimensions, non-locally articulating itself as a collective psychosis that pervades the field. A higher-dimensional process was materializing itself through the field by drafting people into its service. Through this ordeal it has become clear to me that a deeper process was making itself known to me and was using my family system as its canvas.
My break with consensus reality was in actuality the start of a life-transforming spiritual awakening which simultaneously broke apart my family. I had fallen through the rabbit’s hole, as what was playing out in my personal life with my family was a doorway into a deeper, mythic, archetypal drama. I began to realize that the madness and the abuse of power happening in the outer field through my father, the psychiatric community, or George Bush, was an expression of an unconscious, archetypal process happening deep inside not only myself, but the collective unconscious of all of humanity.
I began to recognize that our personal process (the microcosm) and the collective, archetypal mythic process (the macrocosm) are mirrored reflections of each other. I began to understand that the disease which had taken over my family was an inner disease of the human soul which synchronistically expresses itself through the medium of the outer world. As in a dream, the inner is the outer.
It was a living nightmare, however, whenever I tried to express my experience to psychiatrists. In a completely diabolical situation, my expression of what I was realizing just proved to the psychiatrists how crazy I really was. I was mirroring back to them their own unconscious shadow, and they reacted to this reflection, by labeling it as crazy. It was as if they were simultaneously both under and casting a spell, which could be very problematic for those under their influence. It was a completely maddening situation, and I was fortunate to escape with my sanity intact.
This malevolent virus that took over my father also destroyed my beloved mother, breaking up her relationship with me, her only child. Because we had always had a close and loving relationship, this was particularly heart-breaking for the both of us. It was as if a deadly bug had gotten into the petri dish of my family. The sickness in my family infected my mother in such a way that she unconsciously fed into, supported and enabled my father’s madness. My father could never have acted out his madness the way he did without my mother’s complicity.
My father was so unconsciously possessed by a more powerful, archetypal energy that, like a black magician, he had an entrancing effect on others. My mother became so under the spell of my father that she became aligned with and acted as an ally to my father in his projection of the shadow onto me. Before she died, my mother shared with me that all of my talk about teaching, being in private practice, and writing articles, was simply my hallucination. She couldn’t take seriously what I was saying was happening in my life, for if she did, she would then have to look at what I was saying about what was happening in our family. It was much too painful for my mother to look at what I was pointing out about my father, her husband of over forty years. Supported by the authority of the psychiatric community, she avoided looking at what I was reflecting back to her by pathologizing me. Her doing this was another tentacle of the non-local disease replicating itself into, through and as my family.
Tragically, both my parents died thinking I was the crazy one. Since my parent’s death, I have been shunned and ostracized by my remaining family members because of my attempts to shed light on the family illness. There was something in the family system that was not supposed to be talked about, and I was talking about it. The silence about the abuse in a family system is itself a manifestation of the very sickness in the field which the abuse is an expression of.
It is shattering to realize that those who are supposed to be protecting you are the ones you need protection from. I am truly in shock and awe from the utter trauma of what played out in my seemingly good, loving family. As with any overwhelming trauma, I am still not fully able to wrap my mind around what happened. My father’s madness resulted in my banishment and excommunication from my own family, which in indigenous cultures is the worst form of punishment. I have no family left, as this deadly disease has literally consumed them.
I was deeply wounded and traumatized by the effects of what played out in my family, barely escaping with my life. This ordeal that I went through was an encounter with what Jung would call the dark side of the Self (God). As Jung points out, an encounter with the Self, which contains both light and dark aspects, is always a wounding experience. The experience with my father was an experience of the deepest psychic violence imaginable, which I evidently imagined, or dreamed up into materialization so as to give myself the very realization I wrote about in “The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis” article. It is all like some sort of dream.
In the article, I am trying to point out that the same virulent pathogen that destroyed my family is currently incarnating itself in the collective field, in the macrocosm, in the world at large. In other words, the personal ordeal I went through with my father had changed channels, and is non-locally expressing itself on the world stage. Just as malignant egophrenia used my father to incarnate itself into my family system, this deadly disease is using George W. Bush as a portal to birth itself into the greater human family.
Something good has come out of the sickness in my family that would not have emerged otherwise. Living through the ravages of this deadly bug was a harrowing experience that has been truly initiatory. The fact that I was able to live through such a completely shattering ordeal has given me insight and authority with reference to the collective madness that pervades the field that I could not have received otherwise.
Recognizing the hidden blessing aspect encoded in the horror of what played out in my family redeems and transforms what happened. It does not bring my mother and father back. However, I am now able to be of help to people in a way I would never have been able to before. Malignant egophrenia was introducing, teaching and awakening me to a more expansive and holistic way of viewing life. This disease catapulted me into the realization that we are all interconnected parts of a greater field, which is to say that we are not separate from each other.
We, each and every one of us, can likewise transform our experience of what is playing out on the world stage so that it unfolds its hidden gifts. George Bush is getting dreamed up by all of us to reflect back to us a mad, ignorant and unconscious part of ourselves. This is to say that George Bush is not separate from ourselves. His sickness is our own.
Is the malignant egophrenia epidemic destroying our species? Or, will malignant egophrenia empower us to connect with our collective, creative genius? This is truly a quantum universe, where the answer depends on how we dream it up in this very moment.
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 email@example.com; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2010