Post-Historic Man and The Shadow: Fake News and False Memory

I know some Buddhists who are almost always at some retreat or another. They’re always retreating, retreating, retreating. I know what they’re retreating from. Themselves. More specifically from the Shadow. Unless these retreats are fortifying them for eventually facing and confronting the Shadow, whose name is the demon Mara, those retreats are a waste of time and money. Much money. They will never be successful Buddhists until they do come face-to-face with the Shadow as Buddha did under the Bodhi Tree, or as Jesus did in the desert.

The Shadow is real. It has valid psychic or spiritual reality. I’ve witnessed it. It’s just as real as you are because it is you, although that’s something of a paradox. The Shadow is also called “Prince of Lies” and is implicated in this current epidemic of fake news and false memory, of post-truth and post-reason, and those who warn that the Shadow is irrupting in our times are not just speaking metaphorically. So, the time has come to tell you of my vision of the Shadow, which I’ve kept long to myself.

Many years ago, I was practicing Jung’s technique of “Active Imagination“. I won’t pause to describe it here. You can find information on it in other places. It’s simply a meditation technique that involves a high degree of what Buddhists call “mindfulness”, but in relation to the flow of energies and images in and out of consciousness.

One evening of intense practice, I found myself in vision. It was just as real as ordinary reality though I knew I was in vision. Everything in the room appeared normal, although there was a hint of the magical about everything, and I even witnessed myself in a state of deep meditation lying on the bed. I formed an intention to leave through a closed door, but as I formed the intention to move to the door, a dark mass of nothingness with a humanoid shape surged up between me and the doorway. It was truly an abysmal sight. It was an abyss. The shape was like that of a human, indistinct as to gender, but its interior was a deep black pit of endless nothingness.

I froze. It then made an unforgettable and terrifying gesture indicating that it would not permit me to pass through the door, and that it would annihilate me totally if I persisted in trying. It was guarding all the doors and all the exits, and it was directing the entirety of its malice towards me. I have never experienced such terror in my life, and my body on the bed, in distress, groaned loudly. That was the signal that ended the vision.

The meaning of the vision was clear. No one passes through the door without first facing the Shadow and somehow overcoming it. Buddhism doesn’t teach “detachment” for no reason. Somehow, you have to develop the resilence, the strength, and the courage to face the Shadow without losing your marbles, just as the Buddha did under the Bodhi Tree when he entered into spiritual combat with the demon Mara, or as Jesus did during his sojourn in the desert when he was tempted by “Satan”. Both Satan and Mara are names for the Shadow.

Rumi knew this Shadow as well. It’s the theme of his poem “Shadow and Light”

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water? Dont’ try to

put out fire by throwing on more fire! Don’t
wash a wound with blood. No matter how fast

you run, your shadow keeps up. Sometimes it’s
in front! Only full overhead sun diminishes

your shadow. But that shadow has been serving
you. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is

your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.
I could explain this, but it will break the

glass cover on your heart, and there’s no
fixing that. You must have shadow and light

source both. Listen, and lay your head under
the tree of awe. When from that tree feathers

and wings sprout on you, be quieter than
a dove. Don’t even open your mouth for even a coo.

That poem is very meaningful to me. But, for much the same reason, so is W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming“, for the “rough Beast” is the Shadow.

Gebser does not speak much about the Shadow in The Ever-Present Origin except to refer to it as the “nocturnal” side of man. It is strange that he pays so little attention to this “night side” of the psyche even when it is so much implied in much of what he wrote — the polarity of Athena and the Gorgon, of Medusa and Minerva, of Hades and Dionysus, and though he apparently acknowledges Jung’s “theory of the Shadow” as valid.

The second I formed an intention to pass through the door, the Shadow intervened, and threatened to annihilate me if I moved towards it. I would have been swallowed up by the nothingness. Blake knew that nothingness. He knew it as “the all tremendous unfathomable Non-Ens of Death”. I think I know why the Shadow threatened me so. Beyond that door was the Light, and passing through that door would have been its diminishment, for the very reasons Rumi gives in his poem on Shadow and Light.The Shadow, after all, is yourself too. It’s fears are your fears. It’s malice is your malice. It’s rage is your rage. Robert Louis Stevenson got it exactly right in his Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That came to him complete as a dream, which he transcribed in three days. And it came to him at a time when the Shadow was beginning to irrupt into the collective consciousness — the culture — particularly with the repressions of the Victorian Era.

The Shadow threatens to become the totality of man’s identity. That’s the irruption of the “demonic” that Gebser writes about. That’s the mood of nihilism that prevails today. Don’t forget, it is part of your identity, even if it is the nocturnal part, and it feels very threatened, again for the reasons Rumi gives (and also Gebser). As Leonard Cohen put it, too, “there’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” The great paradox is, your fear of being swallowed by the nocturnal side of consciousness — the Shadow — is the Shadow’s fear of being swallowed by the Light. That’s an aspect of Gebser’s “double-movement”.

It’s a quandry, and truth to tell I do not know how one overcomes the Shadow on the collective level. The more Light, the more the Shadow feels threatened, unsafe and insecure, because it does have a degree of autonomy, even when you describe it in terms of a “complex”. Buddha overcame when he recognised the Shadow, or Mara, Lord of Illusions, as himself, as “Lord of mine own Ego”. The Shadow only disappeared when he became Egoless. No Ego. No Shadow. Or, to put in in William Blake’s terms, No Urizen. No Ulro.

Carolyn Baker (in Dark Gold) and Joanna Macy actually speak quite a bit to this mass irruption of the Shadow. They seem pretty much resigned to its total nihilism and rage for destruction. It’s also connected with what Seth calls “the ancient force” (as I quoted that earlier in “The Most Haunting Words in All Literature“). It’s really no wonder, given the nature of the Shadow, that Gebser and Jung, too — and seemingly Blake as well — saw near total global catastrophe and destruction as the only outcome of the Shadow’s irruption in a “maelstrom of blind anxiety”.

I know my “vision” sounds pretty weird, like something out of The Game of Thrones — “a shadow with the face of Stannis Baratheon”, born of the witch Melissandre, and which murders his brother Renly. I hope it’s understood, though, that that “thing” wasn’t just my or any old Shadow. I’ve read very similar accounts of encounters with the Shadow in other places. It really belongs to what Jung calls “the collective unconscious”, and you can forget about turning it from its path by reason. It doesn’t respond to reason. It is the very soul of  darkness.

I’m tempted to go through Gebser’s Ever-Present Origin again, and highlight those passages that might refer to the Shadow despite the fact that he doesn’t use that term. But, I’m not sure much more would be gained from that.

In Blake, it seems that the Shadow is the figure that he names Orc.



35 responses to “Post-Historic Man and The Shadow: Fake News and False Memory”

  1. InfiniteWarrior says :

    I know my “vision” sounds pretty weird

    Hardly! We’ve all had some experience of this. Our “institutions,” on the other hand, are primarily, if not completely, either unaware or utterly dismissive of it.

    This is the “subjective” experience few (if any) want to talk about, lest they be considered “crazy.” or “stupid.”

    We all know better, however. And we will all come to realize it…sooner or later. Come Hell…or High Water…or both…and….

    Or…”Heaven,” as the case may be. Depends. : )

    Keep on keepin’ on’. That’s all we can do.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I came across the Shadow again in Castaneda and in Jane Roberts Seth books. It might be illustrative to mention these.

      In one of Jane Roberts’ books — can’t recall which — Roberts described an out of body experience she had where she was attacked by a hideous dark creature or animal that was intent on killing her. After a horrific struggle with the thing, she managed to escape and dive back into her body. The thing as she described it was very similar to my own experience of the Shadow.

      In a subsequent regular “Seth session”, Seth explained that, unconsciously, Roberts had decided to do combat with her “sinful self” with all its fears, anxieties, greeds, hatreds, etc all at once. She poured all of it into this shadow thing. Then, when Roberts had an out of body experience, the thing, sensing an existential threat from Roberts, attacked her with all the malice and ferociousness that she, herself, had poured into it — all the repressed aspects of her “nocturnal side”.

      Seth had no advice for Roberts for dealing with the Shadow except that, were she to encounter it again, to wish it peace, and that would give it some measure of comfort and consolation. For the thing exists in fear and lives on fear, and is tragical. And it’s tragical to think that there is a part of us that lives howling in fear in the darkness. Some compassion for that is helpful.

      Much of Nietzsche’s philosophy is an attempt to integrate the Shadow, which is what he called living “beyond good and evil”, because he realised that the Shadow was the “sinful self” constructed and sustained by moral repression.

      Castaneda also describes in a couple of places in his books, being pursued while in an altered state of consciousness by the Shadow. In one place he described it as a mass, darker than night, like a door and that read much like what those dark monoliths appeared like in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

      It probably doesn’t help to live in fear or anxiety or awe of the Shadow, because that is its food, those are the emotions and feelings which sustain it and, in a sense, are it. Although the Shadow is a mood, it also has a determinate form, and a lot of vitality and energy is tied up in the Shadow, even if that energy and vitality becomes destructive rage and violence. In that sense, the Shadow is like the negative pole of a battery, the necessary complement to the positive pole. And the issue is, how to safely integrate all that with consciousness.

      It’s worse in people who are “righteous” or pious, or especially self-righteous because, as the denied “sinful self”, the Shadow becomes even more intensely repressed as incompatible with the self-image of being good and righteous. The more we think of ourselves as righteous, the darker and more intense the Shadow also becomes. There is a reciprocity, in other words, between the ego-nature and the Shadow. Couldn’t be otherwise.

      I’m sure you’ve noticed that, maybe in yourselves, maybe in others. We sometimes refer to them as “trip-wires”, beneath the apparent placid surface, there’s a kraken, a barely contained hostility, rage and malice itching to assert itself. Generally, anything we refer to as “the powers of darkness” are matters of the Shadow. And, of course, “Darth Vader” is an image of the Shadow.

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        This is what I find encouraging about the surge in popularity of mindfulness and contemplative training and practices. It’s been called the “mindful revolution.”

        As Macy notes, if “we are going to die as a culture… it’s better for us to do it consciously, so we don’t inflict it on everyone else.” Well, human beings have been “inflicting it on everyone else” for thousands of years, but this “mindful revolution” has the potential, at least, to turn the tide.

        We’re waking up as a species, and if I had to characterize the moment, I’d say that, just as after a long night’s fitful sleep, we’re feeling a little groggy and disoriented, but that should pass. Question is: will it be in time to change our destructive ways?

        I haven’t played Fallout 3 in quite a while, but it’s intro is pretty chilling.

        • Scott Preston says :

          I think it’s more the case, even in Joanne Macy’s and Gebser’s terms, of dying as a planet and not just as a culture.

        • Scott Preston says :

          I wonder what happens in vault 101?

          Contemporary moods and subjects do insinuate themselves into the artefacts of the culture, of course, and thread their way through it — video games as well as something like Game of Thrones. Unavoidably so. And that mood presently is pretty apocalyptic, and there’s the danger, too, of it becoming self-fulfilling prophecy and not just a judicious assessment of our real situation.

          • InfiniteWarrior says :

            Our narrator lied. “You” are born in the vault, but leave it (during the vault culture’s own “identity crisis”) to embark on absurd, dark-humored quests in the “Capital Wasteland.”

  2. Leo says :

    Shadows are necessary though. They give us important information about where to find the source of the light.

    • Leo says :

      …in that sense, they are transformed into allies. “Not that way! That way death lies, checking out of the room. The gateless gate is in the opposite direction”

      • Scott Preston says :

        In a sense. We can learn a great deal about the nature of the Shadow by simply studying Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde. Also, a book I’ve sometimes recommended Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli. Pauli was definitely possessed by the Shadow. Pauli was the spitting image of Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. It’s why he sought help from Jung, because the Shadow was beginning to take over in him.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    Maybe I should add, as an addendum to this posting, that when I ended the vision, I warily looked around the room to see if the Thing had perchance followed me back into ordinary reality, and was pretty relieved when it hadn’t. I almost half expected it.

    But, in a sense, it did follow me back. Having been touched by its mood, I was apparently marked. I had, subsequently, my “days of the black sun” which I did post about a while back as “the valley of the shadow of death”

    There’s a scene in the Game of Thrones that comes to mind in that respect. Bran, in one of his visions, sees the Night King, and the Night King touches him. The mark that the Night King leaves on Bran follows Bran into ordinary waking consciousness — and into the protected cave in which Bran has sought shelter from the undead, the walkers and the Night King. That mark allows the Night King to enter the cave which he otherwise could not do.

    The Night King is the Shadow, of course, another “Darth Vader” type.

  4. Patricia says :

    How would you relate your discussion of collective shadow to Scharmer’s concepts of collective absencing and collective blind spot?

    • Scott Preston says :

      I’m not familiar with this Scharmer (I’m sure he’s a charmer). But just to surmise from what you’ve posted here about “collective absencing” and “collective blind spot”, I’ld say, just from first impressions, there isn’t any difference, and that they are the same. But I’ld have to familiarise myself with these meanings before I could conclude something like that so decisively. Thanks for the reference. I’ll try to look further into that.

      • Patricia says :

        I’m referring to Otto Scharmer (Theory U and his more recent books). I’ve written a review of his work in the new Palgrave Handbook of Organizational Change in a chapter entitled
        “Otto Scharmer and the Field of the Future: Integrating Science, Spirituality, and Profound Social Change”

        • Dwig says :

          Look up for more on this and related topics.

          • Scott Preston says :

            Yes, there are definitely resonances here with the works of Gebser and Rosenstock-Huessy — a move towards integralism.

            Scharmer’s “eye of the needle” at the bottom of the U might work as a theme, but I tend to think of it as the crucible, although the eye of the needle does also bring to mind the birth canal as well. It’s often not a very comfortable transition to go through.

            But, that’s to be expected. We’ll never reach integral consciousness by merely thinking our way into it. It’s a complete metamorphosis or reconfiguration of what we call “human nature”, and that process is often anguishing. There is, after all, a close connection between the words “crucible” and “crucifixion”..Metamorphic change often does feel like a crucifixion.

            The bottom of Scharmer’s U is, in a sense, the proverbial “rock bottom”, when you are stripped naked, a kind of humiliation of the “Old Adam” as it were. It’s precisely there and then where Nietzsche’s aphorism holds true: if a man has a why, he can endure any how. Scharmer’s “eye of the needle” is also called “the portal of initiation”.

            Usually after you’ve been forced to “run the gauntlet”, which is what it feels like today doesn’t it?

        • Scott Preston says :

          I did find some material by Scharmer on the net. It sounds quite interesting. I’m not sure if there is a connection between his “presencing” and Gebser’s “presentiation”, but it might we worth looking into further.

          “Collective absencing” sounds somewhat like what Jean Gebser describes as “distantiation” from presence (specifically, from “the ever-present origin”), which is the situation of the Prodigal Son of the parable. “Collective blind spot” is very likely connected to what Gebser calls “deficient perspectivisation”. — that is, the ever-narrowing scope of consciousness as it collapses into the “point-of-view” (contraction of all horizons).

          So, yes, I’m intrigued by Mr. Scharmer’s approach, as well as your own review and interpretation of Scharmer’s Theory U. I’ll pursue that a bit further.


  5. Dwig says :

    In “Dark Gold”, Carolyn Baker relates this story:

    An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life.“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.” It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” “The other is good,” the old man continued. “he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
    humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather. “Which wolf will win?”

    You might have heard the story ends like this: The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed the most my son.”

    In the Cherokee world, however, the story ends this way: The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.”

    And the story goes on: “You see, if I only choose to feed the good wolf, the bad one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the good wolf. But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the good wolf is happy and we all win. For the bad wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, and strong-willedness – that I have need of at times and that the good wolf lacks. But the good wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all. “You see, son, the good wolf needs the bad wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they would become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance. Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her has nothing. “How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.”

  6. abdulmonem says :

    The Koranic narrative is short, it addresses the structure of the self directly pointing to its holy forces and satanic forces with the advice, winner is the one who starves the satanic and feeds the holy and loser is he who works in the opposite direction. God did not encode retreat,meditation,prayer, recitation and toning invocation in his scriptures for entertainment. Our time is waking up to their usefulness. How easy human can lose themselves in misdirected words and forget his responsibility unto the one who has given form and consciousness to everything.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      winner is the one who starves the satanic and feeds the holy and loser is he who works in the opposite direction

      Not the “transformation” of the two?

      The reason I ask, is that the good and bad wolves are referred to as the “seeds” of both that reside within us by Rumi, Jesus, the Buddha and others, as in the popular image of having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Wishing the “shadow” peace in this case would mean “transcending” both the angel and the devil (the ego-self) thereby realizing Heaven on earth, i.e. “not my will but thine be done.”

      • InfiniteWarrior says :

        Something else occurred to me after posting. Some might be able to relate; some might not; but here goes….

        You know that old Christian saying, “Either get in the Way or get out of the Way?” Seems kind of backward on the face of it, but it’s actually dead-on…depending how it’s understood. A lot of Christians take it to mean the only “Way” is Christian and if you don’t convert to it, why then you’re in their ‘way!’ But, if “they” (as well as he/she, it and we) got out of the Way, the “Tao” would flow ever so much more smoothly.

        Further, the Catholic sign of the cross seems to me excellent sign language for the “wishing (of) Peace to the two wolves.” Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit is supposed to represent? The blessing of Peace? “Emptiness?” “Integral Consciousness?”

        • Scott Preston says :

          I’m not sure that the sign of the cross signifies that. Originally, it was considered a doorway. It showed that you had passed from an old world into a New Age. Later it became pretty much a superstition, to ward off the evil and the devil.

          In some ways, Rosenstock-Huessy’s cross of reality can be considered as a return of the cross to its old meaning as a gateway or doorway.

          • InfiniteWarrior says :

            I mean specifically the “Eastern” and “Western” aspect of it. The Holy Spirit. We don’t hear much about the Holy Spirit. We hear a lot about the Father and the Son, but not the Holy Spirit, represented in biblical literature by a dove, of course. I doubt there’s any passing through that doorway without the “blessing” of the Holy Spirit.

            One other thing that’s stuck with me about the “Holy Spirit,” through thick and thin, is that Jesus posited that any “sin” would be forgiven Man with the exception of one: “blaspheming” the Holy Spirit.

  7. abdulmonem says :

    As Blake said let our business be to create and not to reason and compare. The law of negation and affirmation is not lo let both side coexist other wise no transformation takes place. Transformation is a double movements journey either to disintegration or integration. Human realm can not function without the two basic qualifiers that of good and that of evil in order to recognize the healthy and the sick and to address their problems accordingly. This system works in both the human and the divine realms , the only difference is that in the divine realm there is no false witnesses, false documents or any other forms of falsification and this is why all scriptures emphasize the need for the humans to correct their images in light of the divine demand and not in light of social ,cultural or religious demands specially if these later demands run contrary to the divine demand as our post historical human amply demonstrates. Our imagination is our energetic tool that helps us enter the divine eternal delight as shown by the student of Don Juan in the quote provided by Leo in the vitruvian man and the holomovement post. As Scott emphasized that our life journey requires to look after the important and to shy away from the trivial, this recalls to my mind Whitehead involvement with the important in this never stopping processes of the divine activities. We are surely are not delivering our messages in a vacuum but in a divine black hole where nothing will be missed and everyone will be asked to shoulder the burdens of their deliveries. We have to realize that we are living in a computerized cosmos and our invention of the computers are only reminders of his superb operating system, the master plan the mother of everything as it is described by the Koran. The scripture literature introduces the humans to the future they are going to face in order not to claim that they have not been warned a head of time. It is a complex self in a complex cosmos engulfed in a complex divine system filled with contractual codes. The aim is to know him not to know about him. Meditation is not a state confined to saints and gurus but it is opened to all those who want to know him, it is paying attention to attention with intent. It is supple and turbulence is the chant of our life. In closure I like to translate verse 37 of chapter 17 called the night journey addressing the humans,, Walk not on the earth in a proud gust, for in truth, you can not cleave the earth nor can attain the mountains in height.

    • InfiniteWarrior says :

      look after the important and…shy away from the trivial

      If all things serve the Will of “the One,” what is important and what is trivial? If life and death, creation and destruction are intertwined, how might one propose we separate them?

      “As long as the earth endures,
      seedtime and harvest,
      cold and heat,
      summer and winter,
      day and night
      will never cease.” ~ Genesis 8:22

      I take it you do not agree that transformation (the “alchemical” concept Scott has brought up on occasion) is the goal and that, preferably, before whatever-it-may-be leaves what’s been referred to here as our “rehearsal space” or, perhaps, our “germinating chamber,” if one prefers?

      Our problem is not that “good men” and “evil men” (or angels and devils) are at each other’s throats. Our problem is that Man’s Law does not conform to Divine Law — BY A LONG SHOT. Rather, it conforms to the “Megamachine’s,” which is the “shadow” our “Wego”-selves.

      The task of all generations is to both transcend and transform the Megamachine’s surreality into something that reflects “Divine Law” in both our personal and communal lives.

      Some will attempt this via existing avenues of “rule of law,” science or religion. Some will attempt it via education; some will attempt it via art and literature. Some will will attempt it via “entertainment.” Some will even attempt it by simply grabbing a bullhorn and shouting from the rooftops.

      We are all “called” to different “missions” in life. There are as many ways to respond to our present predicament as there are cultures, communities and people.

      I have this theory (unprovable, of course) that our very much shared and grave predicament hasn’t come about because some of us are better than others or because some of us are “winners” and some of us are “losers.” Our present predicament is due to the fact that “Divine Law” is grossly misunderstood (the “Tower of Babel” effect) and…well….

      That’s about it.

  8. abdulmonem says :

    It occurs to me after I pondered on my previous comment, to say something about the veracity of the shadow and how we can protect ourselves from its negativity as cited by the Islamic literature. I think psalm 23 quoted by Scott in his post at the outset of the valley of the shadow of death, has captured the reality of the shadow and how to protect ourselves from it. In the last chapter of the Koran called humankind we are called to seek the protection of god from the sneaking insinuations of the devil that works on corrupting the three foundations of the humans uprightness that of education, possession and worship, warning from such sneaking violating inputs that enter the inattentive humans heart in order to derail them from the right path, alerting to the human devilishness as well to the jinn devilishness. it is necessary to say that the word jinn is applied to all unseen forces including the Ai. The thread of separation has vanished and now we are putting the intensification of consciousness in the service of materialism and self interest, the consciousness that has been given to serve the divine pillars that of truth and justice.

  9. Charles says :

    Fascinating how all these ideas are related. Someone writes “the world has become the stage for the collective shadow…the collective shadow -human evil-is staring back at us virtually everywhere.” Robert Bly once described the personal shadow as a “long bag behind each of us.” Everything that is repressed or one doesn’t like goes in the bag. The unconscious could be a word for the shadow. Robert w. Godwin wrote what i feel is very interesting

    his words What we now call the “unconscious” is not, as in Freuds’s highly romanticized , a seething cauldron of uncivilized drives, but a latent structure designed to hold childhood trauma in escrow for later processing, so as to not threaten the bond with the parents.

    The shadow could be the root of scapegoating. Whatever is repressed tends to create anxiety and this projected and objectified. ‘but projecting outward does not actually eliminate te anxiety. Rather it simply ‘mentalizes’ the enviroment, so that the objective world, rather than the subjective world , is experienced as a dangerous, persecutory, and threatening place.”

    Institutions and collectives use language to hide their shadows. The use the dynamic of blaming an outside enemy before initiating “revenge.” Looks at the words, by-products, externalities as words that hide the shadows of pollution and waste.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Rather it simply ‘mentalizes’ the enviroment, so that the objective world, rather than the subjective world , is experienced as a dangerous, persecutory, and threatening place

      That’s actually a very good way of describing it. That would correspond with what Blake means by “Ulro”.

  10. Charles says :

    Godwin’s book “One Cosmos Under God” is worthwhile. Covers much territory about many subjects. His discussion about the mind and the human mind relates to the above. He writes:
    Our individuation from the cultural group mind represented an historical achievement of the first magnitude… the withdrawal of psychological projection leads to the “disenchantment’ of the world and , with it a decline of magic, which represents the hypnotic condition of being held in thrall by the externalized content of one’s own fragmented mind…
    The modern self was a new conception of the human being.

    • Scott Preston says :

      It sounds interesting, except for the title because “One Cosmos Under God” really does sound like a description of Urizen. Blake or Nietzsche wouldn’t use such an expression. But it might be an approach to integral consciousness that may be worth taking a look at.

      • Charles says :

        The subtitle is The Unification of Matter, Life Mind and Spirit. He asks the important questions – why are we here, the purpose of life, questions that i ask myself. he describes it as a cosmic adventure, a four-story metanarrative, encompassing Matter, Life, Mind, and Spirit.
        A quote
        Are we therefore justified in suggesting that the deep structure of our minds mirrors the deep structure of the cosmos, and that a certain type of applied introspective may yield accurate metaphysical insights into the nature of reality.

        • Scott Preston says :

          Are we therefore justified in suggesting that the deep structure of our minds mirrors the deep structure of the cosmos, and that a certain type of applied introspective may yield accurate metaphysical insights into the nature of reality.

          Heraclitus would have enthusiastically said “Yes!”

  11. Charles says :

    Heraclitus also wrote in one of his fragments –
    The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own.

    How one discovers this common world is the subject of many writers.

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