Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.[i]
~C. G. Jung
“George Bush makes Benedict Arnold look like a patriot. He makes Benedict Arnold look like George Washington. I mean that’s what we have─a criminal and traitor sitting in the White House pretending he is a patriot, wrapping himself in the flag.”[ii] (Stanley Hilton, Bob Dole’s former chief of staff and a long-time Republican). The evidence of Bush and Company’s corruptness and duplicity is beyond overwhelming, and it is literally everywhere, staring us in the face. Why are so many people looking away and not noticing?
I find myself no longer interested in trying to convince anyone what a madman, criminal and traitor Bush is, though it’s not for lack of trying. What I find more fruitful is to contemplate why people who are supporting Bush are both unwilling and seemingly unable to see the evil being played out through him, and by extension, themselves as well. People who follow Bush are in denial about something that, to the overwhelming majority of the world, could not be more obvious.
People who support Bush are refusing to look at what is right in front of their eyes, an evil that they themselves are complicit in and participating in by their denial. The denial of people who support Bush is a form of blindness, an acting out of their unconscious─as if they have fallen asleep and are dreaming, entranced by their own projections.
Bush and his followers are doing the very thing they accuse others of doing, an example being when Bush said about the terrorists, ”…they are killers and they will kill innocent people so they can impose their dark vision of the world.” In this comment, Bush is unwittingly describing himself. Bush and his loyalists have become bewitched, as if they have fallen under a spell. They are living in a fantasy world of spin, ignoring and oblivious to any facts contradicting their worldview.
Why would Bush loyalists support a madman for President, except for the fact that they themselves have gone temporarily mad? It is shattering to look in the mirror and see that we, as a people, have gone temporarily mad.
It is of the most profound importance that we notice and understand the psychological nature of the collective malady under which we are suffering. Understanding the psychological nature of our illness gives us insight into how to treat it. Jung said, “…the individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of evil, as it is posed today, has need, first and foremost, of self-knowledge, that is, the utmost possible knowledge of his own wholeness.”[iii] [Emphasis in original]
There is something about the Bush administration’s depth of depravity and corruption, though, that is so dark it induces in some of us a tendency to pretend that it isn’t really happening. It is intolerable to realize the atrocities our government is perpetrating in our name, so the evidence has to be internally denied. The malevolent energy playing itself out through Bush and Co. is very hard to look at, so people look away, as it is too horrific. The intensity of the evil provokes people into rationalizing it, justifying it, explaining it away. It triggers a tendency in people to become unconscious. We like to imagine that people couldn’t be THAT corrupt, THAT two-faced, THAT evil. It is truly appalling to see the depth of depravity into which a human being can fall. It is shocking to the point of being utterly traumatic when we realize that these criminally insane individuals control the most powerful nation on earth.
For people who are not seeing the evil of Bush and Co, Jung would point out that it is not a matter of preaching the light to them, for they are unable to see, as if they are blind. If I see that people supporting Bush are suffering from a form of blindness, why would I attempt to show them the light? Jung commented on this situation when he said, “It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing.”[iv] If I’m trying to “enlighten” Bush supporters, then who is the one not seeing but myself? I’m doing the very thing (being blind) that I see them doing. I am reacting to my own mirrored reflection as though it were separate from myself. “Projections,” Jung said, “change the world into the replica of one’s own unknown face.”[v]
Unless we snap out of the infinite feedback loop of reacting to our own projections, we are just feeding and supporting the unconsciousness in the field. Jung said, “It is, however, true that much of the evil in the world comes from the fact that man in general is hopelessly unconscious, as it is also true that with increasing insight we can combat this evil at its source in ourselves.”[vi]
If I am trying to convince Bush supporters of the error of their ways, I am misusing my energy, as I am then blindly acting out my own unconscious. To do this, Jung said, “…would be about as successful as if the director of a lunatic asylum were to set out to discuss the particular delusions of his patients in the midst of them.”[vii]
If I am trying to enlighten Bush supporters, it is comparable to trying to show a person who is mad how not to be mad, which is a simply mad thing to do. In this case, Bush supporters’ madness triggers my own madness. How can I possibly be helpful to the field when I have fallen into a state of madness?
Ours is a very dangerous time. We, as a species, are desperately in need of vision. Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The affluent who are supporting Bush because he is giving them tax cuts are blind to the fact that the extra money in their pockets will be meaningless if the biosphere of the earth is destroyed.
In order to teach people how to see the evil playing itself out through George Bush and Co, we must come to terms with the darkness inside of ourselves, of which Bush is a reflection. This is where we see our potential for being, unwittingly or otherwise, an instrument of evil ourselves, based on, just like George Bush, our own capacity for self-deception, greed, lust for power, fear, anger, hatred, delusion, ignorance and unconsciousness.
Archetypal evil is a power, or a principality existing within God’s totality, which is to say, ourselves. Archetypal evil is something of which we are all capable. It is an awe-full, shocking and humbling experience to look into the dark side of our nature, to see the monstrousness of our totality, to see of what we are capable. In order to teach people how to see, we must be able to see ourselves.
It is important to make a distinction here: George Bush is merely a deluded and ignorant human being in a position of power who is himself being manipulated like a puppet on a string. Bush, because of his own ignorance, is unwittingly allowing himself to be used as an instrument for not just personal evil but “archetypal evil” to incarnate in our world. However, if we concretize Bush as evil and react with righteous indignation and anger, we are guilty of the very same demonizing and projecting of the shadow of which we are accusing him. This is exceedingly important to understand: if we solidify Bush as being evil, we then secretly collude with the very evil we see reflected in Bush.
There is no need to solidify Bush as evil, for he is merely getting dreamed up to pick up and play out a very unpopular role in a deeper mythic, archetypal drama. We have all dreamed up George Bush and Co. to take on these very roles they are playing and incarnate them in full-bodied, living color, so that we can see and integrate these sick, traumatized, dissociated, and fear-ridden parts of ourselves. Speaking of the unconscious, Jung commented that, “By making it conscious I separate myself from it, and by so objectifying it [i.e., dreaming it up] I can integrate it consciously.”[viii]
George Bush is what the quality of ignorance would look like if it had a body. We have dreamed up George Bush so as to see and consciously integrate our own ignorance.
Jung said, “…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.”[ix] It is a “rare and shattering” experience:
- to see through our illusions and realize that people are not who we thought they were, that the world is not how we imagined it to be.
- to realize that Bush and his regime, who are supposed to be serving and protecting us, are, on the contrary, the ones from whom we need protecting.
- to see through our projections and realize that not only does our leader not have our best interests in mind, but that he is actually a madman, a criminal, and a traitor all wrapped up in one (the unholy trinity).
- to see how any of us could be so asleep so as to fall for the posturing of a lunatic such as Bush.
- to realize that we are all complicit in the evil playing itself out through Bush and Co. by allowing it to happen!
To name evil when we see it is to de-potentiate it, this is the power of the Word, the logos. The truth will set us free. When we no longer look away from evil and “split,” but look into the mirror and see our darkest shadow as reflected through the Bush regime, we know its name. When we know a demon’s name, it no longer has power over us.
“W,” as in George W. Bush, stands for “Wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Bush is not who he pretends to be. We either see this or we deny it and look away. If we see it, we are part of the solution. If we look away, we are actually colluding with and becoming seduced by the evil, which we are feeding by our denial. We are then lying to ourselves and believing our own lies, which is to have hypnotized ourselves into being asleep. We are then moment by moment casting a spell upon ourselves.
Malignant egophrenia is what results when we unconsciously fall prey to our potential to deceive and entrance ourselves. In this somnambulistic state, we fall into the trap of identifying with, grasping at, protecting and defending a “me” that doesn’t even exist in the way we imagine it does. By not knowing our own true nature, we misapprehend the nature of outer reality, thinking it exists separate from ourselves. Imagining our world as being separate just confirms and further concretizes our delusion of a “me” that we are clinging to, in a self-reinforcing feedback loop. By falling into our unconscious so deeply, we unwittingly become an agent that supports and feeds the ignorance in the field. When we have ME disease, our identification with an imaginary “me” separate from the rest of the universe is itself the root of the problem. It should be noted that this insight is what the Buddha found to be the very cause of human suffering.
The underlying process that is playing itself out on our planet originates in the psyche. This is to say that the “curse” of ME disease that has befallen our planet is a product of consciousness. What this means is that what is in fact demanded by the dream-like nature of our situation is that we become conscious of the dream-like nature of our situation. ME disease is potentially a revelation which includes within itself the key to its own transformation and liberation. All we have to do to see is to open our eyes and look. Simply recognize what is in fact actually happening. What a radical idea.
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
[i] Jung, Letters, vol. 1, p. 237.
[ii] Remarks by Stanley Hilton made in an interview on the Alex Jones radio show, September 10, 2004.
[iii] Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 330.
[iv] Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, par. 14.
[v] Jung, Aion, CW 9ii, par. 17.
[vi] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 166.
[vii] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1302.
[viii] Jung, Letters, vol. 2, p. 57.
[ix] Jung, Aion, CW 9ii, par. 19.