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The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis
Bush’s sickness is our own.
Bush's malady is quite different from schizophrenia, for example, in which all the different parts of the personality are fragmented and not connected to each other, resulting in a state of internal chaos. As compared to the disorder of the schizophrenic, Bush can sound quite coherent and can appear like such a "regular," normal guy, which makes the syndrome he is suffering from very hard to recognize. This is because the healthy parts of his personality have been co-opted by the pathological aspect, which drafts them into its service. Because of the way the personality self-organizes an outer display of coherence around a pathogenic core, I would like to name Bush's illness ‘malignant egophrenic (as compared to schizophrenic) disease,’ or ‘ME disorder,’ for short. If ME disorder goes unrecognized and is not contained, it can be very destructive, particularly if the person is in a position of power.
In much the same way that a child's psychology cannot be understood without looking at the family system he or she is a part of, George Bush does not exist in isolation. We can view Bush and his entire Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, etc), as well as the corporate, military industrial complex that they are co-dependently enmeshed with, the media that they control, the voters that support them, and ourselves as well, as interconnected parts of a whole system, or a "field." Instead of relating to any part of this field as an isolated entity, it’s important to contemplate the entire interdependent field as the ‘medium’ though which malignant egophrenia manifests and propagates itself. ME disease is a field phenomenon, and needs to be contemplated as such. Bush's sickness is our own.
THE DISEASE IS NON-LOCALBeing a field phenomenon, malignant egophrenia is non-local in nature, which means that it is not bound by the limitations of time or space. Being non-local, this disease pervades and underlies the entire field and can therefore manifest anywhere, through anyone and at any moment. The disease's non-local nature makes the question of who has the disease irrelevant, as we all have it in potential. It is more a question of whether or not we are aware of our susceptibility to fall prey to the disease. This awareness itself serves as an immunization that protects us from the pernicious effects of the illness, thereby allowing us to be of genuine help to others.
Bush, like all of us, is both a manifestation of this deeper field and simultaneously an agent effecting this field. He’s become so fully taken over by the disease, all the while not suspecting a thing, that he’s become a "carrier" for this deadly disease, thus infecting the field around him. He’s become a portal through which the field around him "warps" in such a way as to feed and support his pathogenic process. A non-local, reciprocally co-arising and interdependent field of unconscious denial and cover-up gets constellated around Bush to enable and protect his pathology. People who support Bush are actually complicit with and enabling Bush’s madness in a co-dependent, self-reinforcing feedback loop that is ‘closed,’ which is to say it is insular and not open to any feedback from the ‘real’ world.
Bush supporters are not merely disinterested in seeing that they are in denial of reality; on the contrary, they actively don’t want to look at this, which is to say they resist self-reflection at all costs. Bush and his supporters perversely interpret any feedback from the real world which reflects back their unconsciousness as itself evidence that proves the rightness of their viewpoint. All of Bush’s supporters mutually reinforce each other’s unconscious resistance to such a degree that a collective, interdependent field of impenetrability gets collectively conjured up by them that literally resists consciousness.
People who don't recognize Bush's illness and support him are unconsciously colluding with and enabling in the co-creation of the pathological field that is incarnating itself into the human family. People who support Bush become unwitting agents through which this non-local disease feeds and replicates itself. By supporting Bush they are collaborating with and becoming parts of the greater, interconnected and self-organizing field of the disease.
ANALAGOUS TO GERMANS IN THE TIME OF HITLERThe situation is very analogous to when seemingly good, normal, loving Germans supported Hitler, believing he was a good leader trying to help them. The German people didn't realize that the virulent pathogen malignant egophrenia had taken possession of Hitler and was incarnating itself through him. By not seeing this and supporting Hitler, they became agents used by this non-local, deadly disease to propagate itself. This was a collective psychosis, and this is what is taking place in our country right now.
This is exactly what C. G. Jung, one of the greatest psychologists of the twentieth century, was warning us about when he said "The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several millions of human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche."
THE LIEIt is not that the threat of terrorism is not real, but that Bush's policies in dealing with terrorism are actually fueling the fire. The way Bush is fighting terrorism is actually the very act which is invoking and creating more of it in the first place. It is as if he is fighting against his own shadow, which is a battle that can never be won. Bush is so dissociated from the darkness within himself that he splits off from it and tries to destroy it. Bush’s inner process, because of the position of power he finds himself in, is getting dreamed up and played out on the world stage.ME disease is unique in that it collapses the boundary between inner and outer. Egophrenia is an inner disease of the soul that expresses itself via the medium of the outside world. We could even say that the inner core of egophrenia actually in-forms and gives shape to the outer universe so as to express itself.
By creating more of the very thing he is fighting against, Bush is enacting the repetition compulsion of the traumatized soul. In Bush’s case, it is the repetition compulsion gone awry, to daemonic proportions, getting acted out on the world stage. To quote noted psychologist Rollo May, the daemonic is "any natural function which has the power to take over the whole person [or whole nation].....the daemonic can be either creative or destructive [i.e, demonic].....violence is the daemonic gone awry."
The daemonic aspect of the disease develops a certain autonomy and literally possesses the person or group, as it is self-generating, self-perpetuating and self-organizing in nature, like a closed and negative feedback loop. The person who is taken over doesn't suspect a thing, as the field secretly conspires and colludes with and enables their psychosis. For example, Bush, in his delusion, imagines he is divinely guided. His supporters want to believe this to feed their own adolescent fantasies of wanting to have a divinely inspired leader to take care of and protect them. Because of this need they invest, so to speak, in Bush’s delusion, which just confirms to Bush all the more that he indeed is God’s instrument. Bush and his followers are co-dependently and reciprocally feeding and supporting each other’s unconscious narcissistic needs in a truly pathological, and ultimately self-destructive co-dependent relationship.
At the root of Bush's pathology is a deep dissociation. Like the terrorists, he has split-off from his own darker half, projecting the shadow ‘out there,’ and then tries to destroy this dis-owned shadow. By projecting the shadow onto each other, Bush and the terrorists are each seeing their own shadow reflected in the other. They see each other as criminals, as the incarnation of evil. By projecting the shadow like this, they locate the evil ‘out there,’ which insures that they don't have to recognize the evil within themselves. It's interesting to note that the inner meaning of the word 'mirror' is ’shadow holder.’ Ironically, by fighting against their own shadow in this way, they become possessed by the very thing they are trying to destroy, thereby perpetuating a never-ending cycle of violence. To quote Jung, "The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided [not in touch with both the light AND dark parts of themselves] and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves."
Jung simply refers to projecting the shadow as “the lie." It’s interesting to note that one of the inner meanings of the word Devil is ‘the liar.’ Projecting the shadow, to quote Jung, "deprives us of the capacity to deal with evil." Jung stresses the importance of consciously developing what he calls our "imagination for evil," which is to consciously recognize our potential for evil. This recognition means embracing and integrating our dark side into our wholeness, which is made up of both light and dark. If we have no imagination for evil, to quote Jung, "evil has us in its grip.......for only the fool can permanently disregard the conditions of his own nature. In fact, this negligence is the best means of making him an instrument of evil."
By projecting the shadow, Bush is unwittingly being a conduit for the deepest, archetypal evil to possess him from behind, beneath his conscious awareness, and to act itself out through him. At the same time, ironically enough, he identifies with the light and imagines that he is divinely inspired. To quote Jung, a person in a position of power who has become dissociated like Bush “even runs the grave risk of believing he has a Messianic mission, and forces tyrannous doctrines upon his fellow-beings.” He then believes that any action he desires is justified in the name of God, as he can rationalize it as being God's will. Unable to self-reflect, he is convinced of the rightness of his viewpoint, which he considers non-negotiable. This is a very dangerous situation, as Bush has become unconsciously identified with and possessed by the hero, or savior archetype. This figure is religious in nature, as it derives from the transpersonal, archetypal dimension of the collective unconscious. Being inflated with the hero archetype, he (archetypically) wants to save the world from evil and to liberate the planet.
This is the height of irony since, in reality, Bush is acting as an unwitting conduit for evil by instigating wars and taking away people's freedoms. This incongruity brings into bold relief the severe schizoid split that characterizes Bush's condition. His inflation blinds him to the real consequences of his actions and is one of the easier-to-recognize aspects of his pathology. Being inflated due to an unconscious identification with an archetype is, in essence, an expression of having forfeited one's humanity, a state in which humility becomes impossible.
Bush has fallen into a state that is the embodiment of arrogance. Succumbing to the temptation of power, Bush has become corrupt, which is the inevitable consequence when one prefers power over truth. He has fallen into a vicious cycle where he has become addicted to power. Bush and his regime are compulsively driven to do everything and anything they can to hold onto the position of power they find themselves in. Not only do they not see the depraved nature of the situation they have fallen into, they don't want to see it. Being in the role of having power, there is a counter-incentive to self-reflect, which just reinforces the strength of the pathogen.
The inner name of ME disease is ‘Mad Emperor’ disease, as it is what happens when a person in a position of power falls prey to and become seduced by that power. As Al Gore points out, people who are after dominance and power “satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens--sooner or later--to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul.”
At the root of Bush’s process is an unwillingness and seeming inability to experience his own sense of sin, guilt and shame, as if he is afraid of being exposed, of being found out. He’s clearly unable to feel any remorse and experience his own weakness and vulnerability, his own sense of failure. This threatens his narcissism too much. One aspect of Bush’s pathology is ‘malignant narcissism,’ as he reacts sadistically to others who mirror back his guilt and don’t support and enable his narcissism.
This inability to experience his shame and guilt sets in motion a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, cover-up and projecting the shadow, all of which are based on a lie. Bush then falls into an endless loop of hiding from his own lie, which is to say, from himself. This process allows Bush to become a conduit for egophrenia to take him over and incarnate its malignant aspect through him.
Jung comments on this resistance to self-reflection and endless cycle of self- deception by saying "Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists."
Falling victim to one's own deception as Bush has can have a very mesmerizing and gripping effect on others, as he appears so convinced of what he is saying and is able to project this conviction. To quote Jung, "Nothing has such a convincing effect as a lie one invents and believes oneself, or an evil deed or intention whose righteousness one regards as self-evident.....things only become dangerous when the pathological liar is taken seriously by a wider public. Like Faust, he is bound to make a pact with the devil and thus slips off the straight path.” Bush has the seductive coherence of someone who is fanatically identified, like the typical fundamentalist, with only one side of an inherently two-sided polarity. Thomas Merton, commenting on the case of the obviously demented Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, points out "One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane."
A key feature of malignant egophrenia is that it is very hard to recognize when someone is a carrier, because the person can seem so normal and even endearing. The person afflicted can be very ‘charming’ and have a certain type of charisma that can entrance those who don't see through their subterfuge. Concerned about nothing other than himself, a person stricken with egophrenia is in reality indifferent to other people’s suffering, all the while professing his compassion, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Just like Hitler struck a chord deep in the German unconscious, Bush is touching something very deep in the American psyche. Bush is acting out on the world stage an under-developed psychological process that deals simplistically with issues such as good and evil. It’s as if he hasn't grown out of and fully differentiated from the realm of mythic, archetypal fantasy that is typical of early adolescence. This immature aspect of Bush's process speaks to and resonates with those voters who support him, as it is a reflection of their own under-developed inner process.
Whereas Hitler’s evil was more overt in its cruelty and sadism, Bush’s dark side is much more hidden and disguised, which makes it particularly dangerous. People who voted for Bush are somehow blind to what is very obvious to others. It’s as if they’ve become hypnotized and fallen under the spell that Bush is casting. Why would people vote for someone stricken with malignant egophrenia? People who support Bush are suggestible and susceptible to the same malady that Bush is embodying, as if they have a predisposition for it (based on their own trauma, dissociated psyche and tendency to project the shadow). Supporting Bush is a sign that a person not only doesn't see the deadly illness that is incarnating itself through Bush, but is an expression that this disease has taken up residence in their being and is using them to do its bidding.
A COLLECTIVE PSYCHOSISIt is a very dangerous situation we are in--because of the position of power Bush and the religious right find themselves in, they can literally dream up and create the very apocalypse that they are imagining is prophesized, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a perversely self-reinforcing feedback-loop, the more death and destruction happens, the more this confirms to them the truth that their deluded end-time scenario is actually happening as prophesized. In a diabolical self-validating vicious cycle, Bush and the religious right are ignoring the role they are playing in creating exactly what they are using as evidence to prove the rightness of their viewpoint. ME disease is a world where up is down, as its flawless illogic is convoluted and inverted at its core.
Malignant egophrenia is crazy-making. It induces a very hard-to-recognize form of insanity. When we fall prey to egophrenia, we are unable to recognize that we are taken over, as we become bewitched by our own projections, accusing other people of doing what we ourselves are doing. For example, Bush is talking about himself when he accuses Saddam Hussein of being “a man who has defied the world,” and “a man who has made the United Nations look foolish.” Part of the disease is that when we point at it and call it by its true name--as being a form of insanity called ignorance--people who are stricken with the disease will see us as the ones who are crazy. Unless we recognize the insidious nature of this disease, there is a crazy-making field around it that will make us a part of itself. Collective psychosis is like that.
There is only one reason why the mainstream psychiatric community is not studying this contagious psychosis as it spreads through Bush, his regime, and the surrounding field. They are not studying this disease because they haven't yet recognized that the disease even exists. To the extent that any of us are unaware that this non-local pathogen pervades the field we become hooked by it through our own unconscious blind-spot. By not recognizing the nature of the disease, the mental health community becomes its unwitting agents, helping the disease to propagate. What clearer sign do we need of a collective psychosis than when our mental health system itself, whose job it is to monitor such phenomena, not only doesn't recognize that there is a collective psychosis running rampant in our society, but are themselves infected with it?
The DSM-IV, the psychiatric diagnostic manual, is continually expanding and including new diagnoses as we deepen our understanding of and map the contours of the human psyche. The problem is that the DSM-IV is an expression of an ‘old paradigm’ way of thinking in that it looks at mental illness as it exists in individuals, regarding the individual as an object existing separate from the field around them. This is based on an illusion, for the individual is embedded in the greater field (family system, society, and planetary culture) and is an expression of this multi-textured field. The individual and the field around them interpenetrate and condition each other so fully that they can't even be regarded as two separate aspects that have become joined together, but rather must be seen as inseparable parts of a greater whole. Egophrenia expresses itself non-locally throughout the entire field. Consequently, instead of being viewed through the lens of the fragmented, separate self, it requires a more holistic vision that recognizes the existence of the interdependently co-arising field. It’s not a question of integrating ME disease into the existing DSM-IV, but instead of radically expanding, up-leveling and re-visioning our understanding of the nature of illness itself.
It is profoundly important that the mental health community at large recognize this age-old disease with which we are all afflicted. Doing this changes this community from being part of the problem to part of the solution. The disease literally feeds on our unawareness of it. The recognition of the disease is itself the beginning of the cure. By recognizing the nature of this collective psychosis, we snap out of being part of it. Malignant egophrenia, unrecognized and misdiagnosed until now, has wreaked havoc all throughout human history, and is at the very root of our current world crisis. To the extent we are unaware of the nature of this collective psychosis, it has us in its grips and will unconsciously get acted out through us in a destructive manner. The choice is truly ours.
One of the signatures of ME disease is that it hooks people through their unconscious blind-spot, so when people are afflicted by this deadly disease they are truly asleep to what is getting acted out through them. Bush himself is being manipulated, used and victimized, like a puppet on a string, by a deeper matrix of cover-up and deceit that has been perpetrated by him and his very regime, and has now taken on an autonomous life of its own. This disease, if it gets out of control, means self-destruction for both victim and perpetrator. There are no winners. The entire interconnected web that supports Bush can be recognized to be tentacles of this virulent, non-local pathogen that, to the extent that it is not seen, is potentially gaining more and more sovereignty. Like a sci-fi movie, we have dreamed up a higher-dimensional Frankenstein monster that has taken on a life of its own and truly threatens all of us.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NAMING THE DISEASEMalignant egophrenia is both an expression of and at the root of the extreme polarization and dissociation in both the human psyche and the world process at large. The disease is archetypal in nature, which is to say that it has eternally re-created itself and played itself out over the course of history. We can even say that it’s the ‘bug’ in the system that has in-formed and given shape to all of the conflict and disharmony of human relationship. ME disease is as old as the human species. However, we’re now at the point in our evolution where we can finally recognize it, see it, give it a name and diagnose it.
Malignant egophrenia is truly diabolical in nature and is what the ancient, indigenous cultures would call a demon. Jung warned us that a difficult task lay ahead of us after the mass insanity of the second World War. He points out that after the ‘demons’ abandoned the German people, these negative energies weren't banished. To quote Jung, "the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey." Projecting the shadow literally opens the door for malignant egophrenia to take up residence in our being.
What the ancient people called 'demons,' Jung calls 'autonomous complexes,' which are split-off parts of the psyche that can possess a person and seemingly develop an independent will and quasi-life of their own. These autonomous complexes can't stand to be seen in much the same way a vampire can't stand the light. Malignant egophrenia will shape-shift and do everything in its power to resist being seen. It’s elusive, mercurial and very much a trickster.The disease obfuscates itself, creating any number of distractions to hide behind, and will even react violently to being seen, for being seen takes away its omnipotence and autonomy.
When we see a demon we know its name. Naming it is exorcistic, as it dis-spells the demon's power over us. To name something is to symbolize it. The word ‘symbolic,’ which meansthat which unites,' is the antidote and antonym to the word ‘diabolic,’ which means that which divides and separates. George Bush claimed to be "a uniter, not a divider." However, he has only united one thing--the entire world against us. To see this diabolical aspect of what is coming through Bush, namely, that he is an instrument that is creating separation, is itself to be seeing with symbolic awareness.
Naming the disease, we are able to (alchemically) contain it, so that it can't possess us from behind and act itself out through us unconsciously. Once the disease is named, it’s anchored to consciousness so that it can't vaporize back into the unconscious. This de-potentiates the disease, beginning the process of re-integrating it back into the profound unity of the psyche. The energy that was bound up in the compulsion to endlessly re-create the disease becomes liberated and available for creative expression. The prescription for this disease is simply for enough of us who see it to connect with each other in lucid awareness so that it can be contained, metabolized and healed. We can put our collective realization together and dream a much more grace-filled universe into incarnation. This is an evolutionary impulse from the universe in which we are invited to participate.
Encoded in the disease is its own medicine. Hidden in the daemonic is our guiding spirit, our true genius and inner voice. This is why Jung calls the daemonic the "not yet made real creative." The fact that such a dark shadow is emerging in our world is an expression that light is nearby, as shadows are themselves an expression of light. Demons are actually blessings in drag. Lucifer is truly the bringer of light.
A MODERN DAY PLAGUE OF EGYPTMalignant egophrenia is manifesting itself, both literally and symbolically, hidden yet visible for all who have eyes to see, simultaneously veiling and revealing itself. Symbolically encoded in egophrenia's literal manifestation is the key to its re-solution. Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol brings together and reconciles two contraries into a greater whole. A symbol reflects and effects a change in and of consciousness itself. A symbol is both the expression of as well as the doorway into a more transcendent, higher-dimensional part of ourselves.
People don't see egophrenia because they don't recognize the symbolic dimension of existence, but rather are absorbed in the literal dimension of reality. It is very convincing to (only) take things literally and see these literal facts as "the (one) truth," as events in this world are literally happening. They're as real as real can be. This can be very entrancing, particularly with the evidence right in front of our face. People are dying. Seeing symbolically doesn't negate the literal dimension but instead complements and completes it, as both are true simultaneously. The literal and symbolic dimensions of reality interpenetrate each other so fully that they can't be seen as two separate things that are joined together, but rather are interdependent parts of a greater whole. The birth of symbolic awareness not only more fully completes our picture of the nature of the universe we live in, but gives us access to the way to actually deal with this deadly disease. Egophrenia is truly initiatory, as it is a wake-up call to symbolic awareness, which is a higher dimension of our being. All that is needed for malignant egophrenia to reveal its blessing is for us to recognize its revelatory function.
Jung says, "Everything could be left undisturbed did not the new way demand to be discovered, and did it not visit humanity with all the plagues of Egypt until it finally is discovered." Malignant egophrenia is a modern-day plague of Egypt. If we don't see what it is symbolically revealing to us, malignant egophrenia will destroy us. It's a gesture from the universe, beckoning us, demanding us to integrate it and thereby receive its blessing. By prompting, pressuring and challenging us to come to terms with it and receive its gifts, malignant egophrenia has the potential to awaken us, thereby furthering the evolution of the species.
The fact that malignant egophrenia is manifesting in fully visible form in our world right now is an expression that this particular energy is available for assimilation in a way un-imaginable until now. When an unconscious content is ready to be integrated, it always gets dreamed up into fully materialized form. This is the dimension in which the energy bound up in the infinitely regressing feedback loop of the disease can be accessed and redeemed.
This quantum leap in consciousness that is being offered us by egophrenia is fully imaginable into actualization in this very moment. If we can make use of its lessons, ME disease becomes a portal into a more whole and integrated part of our being, both individually and collectively. Egophrenia is introducing and initiating us into the dreamlike nature of reality, where this universe is like a mass shared dream that we are all collaboratively dreaming up into full-bodied materialization together. This is to have the realization that we are interconnected and not separate from one another, as if we are parts of and contained in a greater being. We wouldn’t be able to have this expansion of consciousness without egophrenia, so therefore egophrenia is a ‘potential’ blessing in a very convincing disguise that it's not.
Being a non-local field phenomenon, the malignant egophrenia epidemic is something all six billion of us are collaboratively creating and dreaming up together. Bush is an embodied, mirrored reflection of a part of ourselves, just like we, reciprocally, are a reflection of a part of him. His disease is our disease. Bush and his regime are a living, full-bodied reflection of our collective shadow, as we are of theirs. We have all dreamed them up to play out these archetypal roles, in full living color, so that we can see and integrate these parts of ourselves. Embracing these parts of ourselves that we see so clearly reflected in Bush and Co. is the first step towards healing the situation. This is because it dispells the polarization and separation, which is the root factor preventing reconciliation. Bush and Co. are playing out roles that exist deep inside the collective psyche of all of humanity. If Bush and Co. weren’t around, there would be someone else sent by ‘central casting’ to pick up and play out these very same archetypal roles. Compassion spontaneously arises when we truly recognize these fear-ridden parts of ourselves.
GENUINE COMPASSION AS ACTIVISMThe malignant egophrenia epidemic is happening right in front of us. It is self-evident for all who have eyes to see. If we don't look at what’s happening, if we turn away, ignore it, and contract against it, we are lying to ourselves. Then we’re colluding with and unknowingly feeding the disease. Our looking away is a form of blindness. Our looking away is a form of ignorance. Our looking away, our contraction, is itself the disease. Our resulting complacency and inaction is, in fact, an expression of our lack of compassion. To quote Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. "One who passively accepts evil [allowing it to happen] is as much involved in it as the one who perpetrates it."
There is a great danger when we see evil, though. To quote Jung, "It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our hearts.....the sight of evil kindles evil in the soul." Malignant egophrenia forces upon us the responsibility to come to terms with the evil inside our own hearts. If we solidify Bush as being evil and react with righteous indignation, we are guilty of the very same thing we’re accusing Bush of (i.e, projecting the shadow). We then become a conduit for the very evil we’re reacting to. Who among us has not been guilty of being a channel for ME disease at one time or another? If, when we see this virulent pathogen, we contract against it and react in any way, be it in judgment, hatred, anger or revulsion, we’re helping to perpetuate the diabolical polarization that is the signature of the disease. Our reacting in this way, which is typical of many political activists, is itself an expression that we ourselves have the disease, or to say it more clearly, the disease has us.
This disease literally has the potential to humble us. We may think--not us, we could never catch this disease. However, this very arrogance opens us up to being hooked by the pathogen. We may think--let's step out of our arrogance, for who are we to know anything? Let's be an enlightened bodhisattva and not judge what Bush is doing, for who are we to judge? Or let's be an enlightened psychiatrist and not diagnose, name or pathologize Bush in any way, for we don't want to cast any spells. However, to have these attitudes is to fall under the seductive spell of the bug, causing us to disconnect from and give away our power. In this way, we forsake one of our greatest spiritual treasures, the act of discernment. Being a spiritual warrior embraces and includes the most extreme discernment, which is the ability to differentiate and is a function of seeing clearly. Discernment is different than when we are unconsciously caught in judgement, which is a reaction to and contraction against something. Wielding the wisdom of discernment is an expression of having genuine compassion.
Compassion is sometimes fierce, though. Sometimes it says "no," and sets a boundary. Genuine compassion is not always smiley-faced, otherwise known as "idiot compassion," which just enables and reinforces asleepness. Genuine compassion is not passive. It propels us to act for the benefit of all beings. True compassion demands us to be willing to consciously step into our power, mediated through the heart, and to find the courage to speak our true voice: The malignant egophrenia epidemic has induced a form of criminal insanity in the entire Bush regime that we are all complicit in by allowing it to happen.
With Bush as president it’s as if we’re in a car going over the speed limit being driven by a drunk adolescent who has fallen asleep at the wheel. It’s our responsibility to recognize the extreme danger of our situation and come together to do something about it, whatever that might be. If not, if we continue to passively and helplessly watch what is playing out in front of our very eyes, then we have no one to blame but ourselves. To quote Abraham Lincoln, "We--even we here--hold the power, and bear the responsibility." Now is the time to join together and creatively express our true voice. As the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. says "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Our only limitation is in our own imagination.
Malignant egophrenia is a true ‘reconciling symbol,’ in that it unites the opposites. Malignant egophrenia is both a deadly disease and the highest blessing co-joined in one phenomenon. Is it a wave or a particle? It is a true ‘coincidentia oppositorum,’ a conjunction of opposites, an expression of divinity. The question is, do we recognize what is being symbolically shown to us by egophrenia, or not?
The inner meaning of the word apocalypse is ‘something hidden being revealed.’ Will these apocalyptic end times we are in be an initiation into a more expansive part of our being? Or will it destroy our species? The choice is truly ours. All that is needed is for enough of us to recognize what is being revealed, and to creatively act out of this realization.
Paul Levy, a healer in private practice, is profiled in the book Saints and Madmen: Psychiatry Opens its Doors to Religion. Steeped in and inspired by the work of Swiss-German psychoanalyst C. G. Jung, Levy is an innovator in the field of dreaming. He has had over forty articles published on consciousness, dreaming and spirituality, and has lectured about his work at various universities. A Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over 20 years, he has studied with some of the great masters of Tibet and Burma. Inspired by the Bush Administration, Levy describes himself as "a spiritually-informed political activist." He is currently writing a book about his work. Visit his website at awakeninthedream.com or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. © Copyright 2005 Paul Levy.
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This story was published on January 13, 2005.