The epidemic.

I was conscripted into the Rhodesian bush war at eighteen. I was part of a special forces helicopter and airborne assault squad. When I joined I believed I was protecting my family and neighbours from communism. Then I began to realise it was just more western imperialist expansion, and finally that I was just a wind up doll in somebody else’s violent fantasy.

Most of my guys were killed. The unit was disbanded because there just weren’t enough of us left alive. The rest were mostly destroyed by their own darkened consciences, because they could not square what they knew of themselves with what they had done/endured. Accidents, addictions, suicides.

Swallowed up from within…

I wound up in hospital myself,

opiated fractures and torrential rain..

An accident.

You could call it karma. I prefer to think of it as Conscience, but in the way you might think about an actual person who was mad at you.

The philosophers of ancient times called themselves philosophers because that’s what best described them. They were lovers of Wisdom/Sophia, philo-Sophia. It was a relationship with the unseen.

Conscience is the same.

Freud had the idea that Conscience was simply the internalisation of cultural mores. The Super-ego. A derivative structure.

Its understandable. Conscience is part of the Principle of Relatedness or if you like, the instinct for social co-operation which many branches of science prefer to ignore. It conflicts somewhat with the tooth and claw/ survival of the fittest/linear progression of consciousness to our-fantastic-selves model.

So we can’t consider the a priori nature of structures like Conscience without having to re-think a lot of other stuff.

The fact remains that Conscience is way more than a guilty reflex.  It is a semi-autonomous archetypal complex that we’d do better to treat as we would anyone else who actually came and knocked on the door. My men did not destroy themselves out of guilt or remorse. It was precisely the opposite. It was because they refused to heed Conscience. And so she drove them to drink, broke their bodies and blew their heads off.

‘Unlived life does not sit idly on the shelf. It will turn round and bite you.’ ML von Franz

In Western Civilisation, Conscience as knowledge-within-oneself was originally embodied by Sophia/Hokmah. When Solomon consulted his Wisdom it was not just some ethical part of himself. He would confer/pray for divine inspiration. The church fathers dumbed down the story just by writing her name with a small w to big up their man Solomon, a ruse entirely foiled by Psalms 3;

14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.…”

The notion that consciousness simply evolves means not only that we are readily seduced into beleiving that we can do no wrong, it means that we can’t find our psychological bums with our own hands and so our fate has to come to us from ‘outside’.

”To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several million human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche.” CG Jung
These psychic epidemics are a form of possession from within. Whatever we repress in the Unconscious grows horns and a tail. So we have the eternal battle with Islam which is this millenial representation of our conflict with the Dark Brother…
But it worse than that…
The deposed Goddess hasn’t gone quietly. Though its true that from the earliest  beginnings the church fathers have done their level best to write her out of the literature entirely she has a way of cropping up precisely because you can’t heave a divine being out of your pantheon without consequences.
Right from the word go she’s there in the story as lilith, Adam’s first wife who leaves him because he won’t acknowledge their equal status. A little parallel process perhaps…
then she appears as the serpent in the way that things that cannot come in by the door will come in by the window….
In some ancient sects incantation bowls were unearthed that had been buried beneath the foundations of people’s houses asking her please to leave them alone…
I adjure you by the Strong One of Abraham, to turn away from this Rashnoi b. M. and from Geyonai b. M. her husband. [Here is] your divorce and writ and letter of separation, sent through holy angels. Amen, Amen, Selah, (Wiki Lilith).
We may chuckle at such ‘superstition’, but actually its a really healthy piece of psychological hygiene. The ritual containment of archetypal forces grown angry is conditional upon acknowledging them in the first place. But this impinges on our fine assumptions about our marvellous sophistication. So we make a little snort..
and take a little snort
and go back to our cocktails on the lawn.
or whatever ratrace we’re in that holds that up as the prize…

”We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about”. Joseph Campbell

This rapture begins with the humble acknowledgment that we are not masters of our own houses, that Conscience has her own life, and that any fine ideal we might manage to live out, any conviction we might have about our being at the pinnacle of anything when its all on the back of third world subjugation, sweat shops and the effective enslavement of millions is not just deluded, its part of the epidemic.

 

 

Published by

andywhite

Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, 'Going Mad to Stay Sane', a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition. Soon to be printed for the first time, 'Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery', described by activist Satish Kumar as, ' A Tao of the Soul'. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way. In the meantime..... Narcissisim is the issue of our age. This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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