The Abraham Complex.

Armed with assurances from Western officials my father took his family to live in a war zone. Despite the fact that there had been a guerrila war going on for seven years and you had to go everywhere in armed convoys it was quite safe…

…and thus emboldened with the spirit of cognitive dissonance that conquors people for their own good and will risk their own family to do it, my father sallied forth into a fray…

that had nothing to do with him…


”We are most powerfully driven by that with which we are unconsciously identified. Transformation begins with doing deliberatly what you used to do without noticing” C Schwartz.

I spent years wondering why any one man would place his family in harms way, confusing myself by looking for something of which he might have been conscious…

for the sake of a petty administrative desk job.

When i say, ‘harm’s way’, it was more than the armed convoys. It was also the grenade screens on the windows, emergency drills and standing guard over your schoolmates at night armed with a bolt action lee-enfield .303s before you were old enough to shave.

The Rule of Intentionality says that what pans out must have had quite some drive behind it to get there…

…and the principle of Occam’s Razor says that the simplest answer is usually the right one even if it seems unlikely.

You might say that a man given the chance to play god over others might be seduced by the power of it all to the extent that the jeopardy of life was somehow worth it…

but it was even waaay more than that…

more than lack of care..

or the need to dominate and control.

No-one goies easily to war without a belly full of aggression and narcissistic entitlement, unconsciously looking for an outlet or a lifestyle that allowed, that wanted, the enactment of pent up violence.

and the sacrifice being made was not to king and country, it was at an altar presided over by something distinctly more zealous.

In my post on synchronicity..


I described how traumas can be passed in minute detail from one generation to another with the story of how my father sent me to school under precisely the same circumstances as himself all the way down to being mocked for having clumpy boots.

That which has had to be traumatically hidden, repressed, crops up in future generations, preserving in sometimes great detail the content of the original experience.

Children really do carry the sins of the fathers , unresolved and unconscious material, passed down the generations like a hot potato.

Sometimes what we’re trying to work through has less to do with us than we think.

Sometimes the untold story that hampers our tread is a personal one. That’s bad enough. But then there are the untold story of the family and the community, which are more dangerous still.

The return of the repressed then comes armed with archetypal overtones. Fragments of story will be lived out, not from the ideosyncratic details of individual life but from the common storehouse of the collective psyche, from the figures of myth and legend themselves, complete with the psychological intensity that belongs with the timeless.

”We think we can congratulate ourselves on having already reached such a pinnacle of clarity, imagining that we have left these phantasmal gods behind. But what we have left behind are only verbal spectres, not the psychic facts. We are still as much possessed by [them] as if they were Olympians…” CG Jung

The denied Jewish ancestry in my family rubbed my father’s nose in the fact by turning him into an Old Testament prophet. A bit of poetic justice maybe but hell for everyone else. He was seized daily with wild domestic enthusiasms at home and proclaiming Policy to the great unwashed at work.

”The gods have become …disorders [letting] loose psychic epidemics on the world.” CG Jung

My father was most dangerous in his incarnation asAbraham.

because I was his Isaac…

An’ Isaac got a knife put to his throat…

So I was called out to die quite a few times, and die I nearly did.

Nor was the Abraham/Isaac component of our relationship confined to my being sent to fight in a special forces unit against overwhelming numbers. When the war refused to consume me he bought me an old wreck described by the only mechanic ever to take a look at it as ‘a death trap’. It was entirely unroad worthy, illegal and I was unliscenced.

”You’ll pick it up as you go along”

Nor was his sacrificial intent so subtly enacted.

As a child my bedroom contained the unusual luxury of bare electric cables snaking from the wall, the bite of which could hurl you right across it. Further cables adorned the walls outside, rubbing bare in the wind and electrifying the window frames when it rained along with any water that might pool on the window sill.

”His dissociative tendencies are actual psychic personalities possessing a differential reality.”  CG Jung.

But there’s no sacrifial stone quite like Fireforce.

On the outside you seem like immortal angels of death, armed to the teeth in choppers that were part dragonfly, droning the countryside in packs at 150mph.

But actually your gonna die.

Knife bein’ sharpen’ mon.

One way or another.

I hurt my back in a para jump. My lieutenant was a decent bloke. ”We’ll take you off first wave choppers.” Within minutes of my substitution the choppers were called out. The one I would have been riding in got hit by a SAM 7 half an hour later.

Everyone died.

My unit was eventually disbanded because there were so few of us left in it. No-one would join because no-one lasted very long. We were jinxes. Strangely, once we were divvied up amongst the other troops our status changed. We became talismen, touchstones of survival who could tell you it was by their great skills and magic as warriors that they lived. The mystery of the bullet-avoiding techniques could be graciously passed on over a game of cards or a pint of beer.

We played a lot of cards..

and drank a lot of beer.

In fact we white boys were neither heroes nor villains. We were sacrificial offerings at Mammon’s altar, no less than the Inca’s sacrificing their children to the gods with the exception that the Incas were conscious of what they were doing. We deem them savage whilst unmindfully doing the same, and sending our own youth to Abraham’s’s knife in unwitting allegience to the dark face of God who casts a blind eye to our greed in exchange for our children.

Published by


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.

Leave a Reply