In my new book, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis, I point out that the underlying dynamic that is in-forming events in our world is to be found within the human psyche. As more of us are able to illumine, recognize and articulate the nature and dynamics of the deeper psychological process that is creating our experience in the world, the more effectively we become able to deal with our world crisis. As more of us awaken to the deeper, underlying psychological process which animates events in our world, the more we will be able to consciously connect with each other in increasingly more creative ways so as to transform this process, both within ourselves, as well as in the outside world. Seeing the nature of the deeper psychological process that is playing out in our world is to find its “name,” which is to get a “handle” on it, so to speak. This is the power of the Word, the Logos. Just like in mythology, when we know the “demon’s” name, we strip it of its power. To differentiate ourselves from a process that we are unconsciously acting out compulsively, is to separate from it and see it “objectively,” which is to simultaneously be liberated from it, and hence, free from its harmful effects. Finding the name of the deeper process that is revealing itself in, as and through our world is to shed light on the darkness that is wreaking havoc in our world. Shedding light on darkness is a genuine illumination, a birthing of consciousness. Once illumined, the darkness can no longer act itself out (destructively) through our unconscious. Adding consciousness to the mix changes everything.
Jung was well aware that the greatest danger facing our species is to fall into our unconscious together and become collectively mad; he never tired of warning about this. Our species has undoubtedly fallen into the very collective psychosis that Jung was warning us about (the fact that we are destroying the biosphere, the very life support system of the planet, being one “small” example). Very few people seem to have noticed that we are a species gone mad (it is certainly not part of our planetary dialogue), which itself is an expression of the extent of the collective insanity we have fallen into. Our madness has become normalized, as it is so pervasive we have become habituated to it.
I would like to name the underlying psychological “dynamic” that is one of the main foundations and causes of the malevolence that is playing out in our world “Aparticipatory Delusional Syndrome,” or ADS for short. ADS is based on the deluded assumption that we are separate from and not participating in helping to create the very situation we find ourselves in. Existing deep within the collective unconscious of humanity, ADS is a timeless, archetypal process that has continually re-iterated itself in and over time through countless manifestations in our world. ADS is at the heart of creating the illusion that we are separate from the very universe in which we live.
An example: Due to my wound, I feel separate from and unavailable to my girlfriend. Of course, she feels our lack of connection, and this activates her deepest fears and wounds. She then unconsciously acts out her wound in a way that is truly ugly to look at, and I feel repulsed. This just furthers my justification for why I should withdraw, which in turn constellates her wound, ad infinitum. In this self-created feedback loop, I am reacting to the mirrored reflection of my own inner disassociation, woundedness and shadow.
All the while, I am convinced I am reacting to an objective fact, (i.e., my girlfriend being just so wounded), as I have all the “evidence” I need of the seemingly objective existence of my perception. I don’t realize, however, the role that I am playing in her manifesting in this way. I am asleep to my participation in how my girlfriend is “showing up.” I am unaware that my girlfriend exists in “co-relation” to myself, instead imagining that she exists in a void, separate from myself. To have ADS is to react to how we ourselves are evoking our world as if it objectively exists and is separate from ourselves. To have ADS is to not recognize the role that we are playing in dreaming up what we are reacting to.
Any of us, at any moment, to the extent we fall into our unconscious and become entranced by the reality-creating function of our own mind, become bewitched by our own projections and the meanings we imbue them with and fall prey to ADS. Who among us can honestly say that we have never fallen into our unconscious and reacted against our own reflection as it appears in the outside world? Pervading the entire field of consciousness, ADS exists within each one of us in potential at any moment. To the extent that we don’t realize our complicity in what is playing out in our world, we have fallen prey to ADS. The realization of our susceptibility to this psychic malady is, paradoxically, the very awareness that immunizes us from it.
Like a self-replicating fractal, ADS is playing itself out in multiple dimensions simultaneously, which is to say it expresses itself on the personal, as well as the collective level. Both individuals, such as President Bush, and nations (take your pick), can be so fully taken over by ADS that they can be said to be embodying and incarnating this syndrome. This underlying psychological syndrome, a malady existing within the very depths of the psyche, is revealing itself in the outside world for all who have eyes to see, through those it takes over to be its instruments.
ADS is very seductive, as it is not that what we are seeing when we have ADS is not true, for the universe sends forth all of the evidence we need to convince us of the seemingly “objective” truth of our perception. What we are seeing IS really happening. The only problem is that we are placing a false meaning upon what is happening to us. When we have ADS, we are mis-interpreting the nature of our experience. Thus, ADS is a “semantic syndrome” which subtly but significantly alters the way our mind gives meaning to and contextualizes our experience of the universe. When we are stricken with ADS, we react to our perceptions and interpretations as if they exist inherently and independently in the object (the world), instead of realizing they are revealing the subject (ourselves).
An example: With regards to the recent war in the middle east between Israel and its neighbors, it is not that what Israel’s supporters are seeing is not true. Yes, Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. And yes, there are many of Israel’s neighbors that want it destroyed. And yes, rockets are being fired into Israel’s cities, killing and terrorizing innocent civilians. These are facts that can’t be argued with. The seemingly objective nature of what they are seeing makes supporters of Israel fall under a self-generated spell, however. They don’t understand that, yes, the evidence they are using for their justification to wage war against their neighbors is true, but it doesn’t mean what they think it means. Israel’s faithful supporters are entranced by their own perceptions and under a spell of their own making if they fail to recognize the role that Israel is playing in evoking the very situation that it is violently reacting to. Due to their psychic blindness, Israel’s supporters are not recognizing how, by its years-long over the top military abuses of its power, Israel is evoking the very figures that want to destroy it. By its actions, Israel is complicit and playing a participatory role in calling forth the very crisis it is reacting against. It is as if Israel is suffering a collective form of trauma that it is acting out on the world stage.
Israel is an example of a nation that collectively has ADS (except of course, the Israelis who realize the madness of what their country is acting out on the world stage). Seen as a nation-state taken over by ADS, could it not be more obvious that as Israel acts out this malady, it makes itself more vulnerable and hurts itself (as well as its neighbors)? How ironic, in its fear of its neighbors wanting to destroy it, Israel might be destroying itself, unwittingly creating a fear-based self-fulfilling prophecy. The similarity to what America, led by George Bush in his “war on terror,” is playing out on the world stage immediately comes to mind.
Of course, the “terrorists” who are reacting against Israel (or America) are just as much infected by ADS- (please see my article “Middle East Madness,” available on my website www.awakeninthedream.com). The question does arise, however, who is the real terrorist? (The answer goes something like this: the terrorist is a role in the field, which means it exists deep inside of everyone in potential. At different moments each party in the conflict plays this role).
Inherent in having ADS is “not knowing” we have it, as it always works through our unconscious. ADS insinuates itself through our perceptions of both ourselves and the world in such a way that it hides itself from being discovered. Just like with a vampire, when we add consciousness to ADS and “see” it, however, we take away its power over us.
When we have ADS, we don’t realize that we ourselves are “doing” something which is helping to generate the very thing which we are reacting against. (Interestingly, the inner meaning of the word “karma” is one’s own “doing”). When we have ADS we experience ourselves as passive observers of the universe, cut off from our genuine power. Lacking insight into our own creative power invariably constellates our own power to turn against us, whether within ourselves or from the seemingly outside world.
As quantum physics has pointed out, the power of our consciousness to participate in the moment to moment materialization of the stuff of this universe is primary. In ADS, we are unconsciously using our divine power of creating our world in a way that is not only not serving us, but is destroying ourselves. Left untreated, ADS is ultimately self-destructive, as it destroys all of its “members,” as well as those under its sphere of influence (which in this case, is all of us).
ADS effectively immobilizes and renders inoperative our ability to self-reflect, as it relates to the world through the fixed and non-negotiable lens of assumptions that the world “objectively” exists in a certain way, independent of ourselves. Anyone who sees differently than the person/group/nation stricken with ADS is concretized as wrong, seen as a threat and demonized. ADS stunts our consciousness to such a degree that we develop a rigid and inflexible worldview that can only “object” to it’s solidified “objectifications” with frustration, narcissistic rage, and feelings of injustice and victimization.
ADS is an expression of a disease of consciousness itself, an illness that exists deep within the collective unconscious soul of humanity which is crippling our ability to evolve as a species. Being a disease of consciousness, ADS can only be healed through the agency of consciousness itself. This is to say that ADS can only be cured through the expansion of consciousness that it is demanding of us by its revelation.
When we have ADS, we feel ourselves to be the passive victims of our universe. Instead of being in touch with how we are helping to conjure up and are complicit in the problematic nature of our situation, we always see the cause of our problems as being outside of ourselves. In an unconscious “reflex,” we then try to “attack” the problem from the wrong point of view (externally), instead of approaching its source, which is within ourselves. When we react out of such inverted, Orwellian logic, we are secretly playing the role of the victimizer disguised as the victim, as we unconsciously act out our unhealed abuse onto others. It goes without saying that when we fall into this infinite regression, we invariably wind up terrorizing others, as well as ourselves. ADS is thus one of the fundamental processes that feeds, supports, evokes, and literally creates terrorism.
And of course, need I restate the obvious, another crystal clear example of ADS is the figure of George Bush and the Americans who support him in his deluded worldview. Being a figure who embodies the utterly immoral abuse of power towards anyone who disagrees with or threatens his self-serving agenda, Bush and his gang are dreaming up the rest of the world to be “enemy combatants.” Being in a position of power, Bush is terrorizing the world, which “dreams up” the world to be terrifying, as if he is looking at a mirrored reflection of what he himself is doing. And of course, once he, in his perverse logic, feels justified to terrorize the world because of the terror in the world, the world then instantaneously gets dreamed up to be against him, which just feeds his pathological will to power in an utterly perverse, self-generating, and never-ending feedback loop. This entire process is a reflection of the disassociated state of Bush’s inner psychological landscape being played out on the world stage.
This compulsion to dominate other people allows Bush and Co. to become “instruments” of evil, as they continually breed fear and terror in the greater field, which simultaneously reinforces and feeds their pathology, like a self-replicating, parasitic virus. ADS is one of the core, underlying psychological dynamics that fuels the evil that is spreading in our world like (death-creating) wildfire.
Because of his position of power, Bush is the portal through which darker forces are incarnating themselves in our world. Completely taken over by and therefore fully embodying ADS, Bush is allowing himself to be used, like a puppet on a string, to serve the underlying agenda of the very darker forces he imagines he is trying to destroy. Bush is fighting against his own shadow, which is not only a battle that can never be won, but is a form of madness that invariably leads to self-destruction. By trying to kill the terrorists, Bush has become the world’s greatest terrorist.
ADS is a psychic form of AIDS. Like in AIDS, in ADS, the immune system of, in this case the psyche, in trying to heal itself (by reacting to its own reflections, for example), is actually destroying itself in the process. Just like in auto-immune disease, the immune system of the psyche falls under an illusion, and in its state of confusion, is tricked into creating the very problem it is trying to resolve. In ADS, the immune system of the psyche, in its attempts at protecting itself against attacks, attacks projected aspects of itself which appear to be “other,” invariably leading to the self-destruction of the very life it is trying to protect.
ADS is contagious, and easily spreads within groups of people, or even nations. People who have fallen prey to ADS mutually feed into and off of the unconsciousness in each other. They reciprocally reinforce each others’ mad delusion that they exist separate from the universe and that the problem exists outside of themselves. ADS, when acted out en masse, manifests itself as a collective psychosis, as we are currently witnessing.
When we recognize how ADS is playing out in our world, whether it be in ourselves, or in the world at large, we have added consciousness to an unconscious process that was getting acted out in life. When we connect with each other and recognize ADS’s fingerprints, we become collectively mobilized and empowered so as to not fall prey to its dangers. Like nuclear meta-physicists, we are then able to liberate, unleash and transform the energy that was locked up in our unconscious, compulsive re-creation of ADS into loving, creative energy with which to “engage” (and thereby be in “intimate relationship”) with the world.
We can only recognize ADS when we realize that we are not separate from each other as well as the universe at large, but, as quantum physics points out, we are “active participants” in creating and calling forth the very universe we co-inhabit. We are interconnected creative beings who are actively, whether we realize it or not, co-creating our lives together. When enough of us realize our interdependence, we can “conspire to co-inspire” each other into deeper, more stabile and coherent levels of lucidity in the dream of life. Like T cells uniting to fight a deadly cancer, we can collaboratively come together and connect with each other and help ourselves heal the psychic blindness that has infected our greater body politic and is causing it to turn against itself in tragically destructive ways.
Something is being revealed to us by the madness that we are collectively playing out on the world stage. The “cure” for Aparticipatory Delusional Syndrome is nothing other than the expansion of consciousness which it is propelling us into by its revelation. This is to say that ADS is, in disguised form, a catalyst for human evolution. Hidden in ADS is the revelation of its own re-solution. Everything depends upon our recognizing what ADS is showing us about ourselves. How utterly paradoxical, the very dynamic that is destroying our species is simultaneously (potentially) awakening us to our true nature.
A final clarifying note: As those of you know who have read my book, I am calling the psycho-spiritual “disease” of the soul that is incarnating in our world Malignant Egophrenia, or ME disease for short. ADS is one of the primary, underlying psychological “dynamics” or “engines” that fuels the “malignant” aspect of “malignant egophrenia.”
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