Author Archives: Bernhard Guenther

Marianne Williamson and the Elephant in the Living Room

There is one topic that stands like the proverbial elephant in our collective living room, still unacknowledged, ignored or misunderstood by many people. It’s the underlying issue for our society and world’s problems. This is the topic of Psychopathy, especially Psychopaths in places of power and how it affects our world and society at large. More and more research and studies have been published that prove the existence of this intra-species predator, yet it still  is being avoided and not sincerely studied and looked at by many well-meaning people who work actively trying to make this world a better place. They focus on the symptoms, but not the underlying causes.

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A couple of weeks ago I attended a talk in Topanga Canyon by Marianne Williamson who is running for congress. I was reluctant to go, knowing about the futility to change the political system through the system. I’ve written about it before: “Voting, Cognitive Dissonance and Fear of the Unknown”  as well as “The Illusion of Choice“. However, considering that I like some of her past work and we have shown a clip of her talk at a festival in our film “Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition” I decided to see what she had to say.

In her talk she made some good points, in particular about the necessity to do conscious work within and without, not shutting off from the world but actively engaging in creating change and facing our world problems head on. Much of what she said reflected what she talked about  at “Lightning in a Bottle” in 2011, mentioned above. However, since she’s officially running for congress her tone has changed a bit and she seemed to have taken on some typical political lingo in an effort to win support for her campaign.

Anyone who still believes that we live in a democracy in the true sense of its meaning lives in a bubble of denial and wishful thinking. Williamson appears to agree with this since stressed that our democracy is at risk. However, there is a lot of wishful thinking about trying to do this through the system itself. For example, assuming that the majority of people could ever have an influence on law making and presidential elections given the way our society and institutions are controlled, in particular the press and education, it’s just too easy to manipulate the people’s choices and opinions. It’s an example of Stockholm Syndrome writ large. In fact, “democracy” is the perfect tool or “cover” to control people, giving them the illusion of free choice on a base level (like voting for your congress representative) but it’s ‘grid-lock’ at higher levels of power, a two-party system where decisions have already been made before any voter gets to ‘vote’ on them. Ironically, Williamson also acknowledged that we need to get away from this two-party system, but she did not address any topics that are actually at the root of this set-up.

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The moment a political candidate brings up trigger/taboo topics, like questioning the official story of 9/11 or looking at Zionism and Psychopathy and how it influences US and world politics, his/her political career is over. In any true democratic society these topics would be discussed openly with all the critical thinking, facts and historical content, and especially at town hall meetings, but it’s all being suppressed, ignored and ridiculed. The result is that many people have opinions on these topics without having sincerely researched them in un-biased way. Williamson discussed the usual topics like many progressive/independent candidates have done before: Climate change, education, incarceration, economy, military industrial complex, health care, social security, etc……and that’s all well and good, but those issues are still symptoms of deeper problems that she did not fully acknowledge and doesn’t seem to be aware as we’ll see later. In the words of the late George Carlin:

“I think the system contracts and expands as it wants to. It accommodates these changes. I think the civil rights movement was an accommodation on the part of those who own the country. I think they see where their self-interest lies. They see a certain amount of freedom seems good, an illusion of liberty. Give these people a voting day every year so that they’ll have the illusion of meaningless choice… meaningless choice that we go like slaves and say, “Yeah, I voted.”

The limits of debate in this country are established before the debate even begins and everyone else is marginalized and made to seem either to be communists or some sort of disloyal person, a “kook”- there’s a word- and now it’s “conspiracy”, see? They’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute; that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!”

Some well-meaning people who go into politics raise some good points but still avoid issues that need to be addressed if we truly want change. Such is the dire state of open and honest social discourse in the US that, even meager attempts at honesty get shut down eventually and ignored. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich come to mind. No change is going to happen through the system because if you don’t play by the rules and act “politically correct”, you don’t even get to play and the only way to “win” is to align with a world view that is pathological at its core for the simple reason that the world is run by psychopaths.

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Williamson mentioned that we have an oligarchy, true, but it there is more to it. Fact is we live in a PathocracyDefinition: A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society of normal people. A totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values. A pathocracy can take many forms and can insinuate itself covertly into any seemingly just system or ideology. As such it can masquerade under the guise of a democracy or theocracy as well as more openly oppressive regimes.

While most people focus on the symptoms, the underlying root cause of Psychopathology and how it affects society at large is ignored, denied or misunderstood. After Marianna Williamson’s talk I asked her if she’s aware of the topic of Psychopathy. See for yourself how she reacted and note how telling the reaction of the audience was:

I knew asking this question would raise some eyebrows but I sincerely did not expect the whole audience to break into spontaneous laughter at the mere mention of psychopaths in power.Notice also Williamson’s dismissive body language after I used that term: she smirked, looked at floor and fed the audience’s amusement about a topic that no one there had any understanding of.

So why the laughter? Well, maybe some people who are uncomfortable with this topic react with laughter to defuse the tension. But to me it sounded like they laughed because they truly found it funny as if it’s a ridiculous thing to even assume that people in power could be psychopaths.  Lambs to the slaughter.

It reminded me of this:

“One phenomenon all ponerogenic groups and associations have in common is the fact that their members lose (or have already lost) the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such, interpreting their behavior in fascinated, heroic, or melodramatic ways. When the habits of subconscious selection and substitution of thought-data spread to the macrosocial level, a society tends to develop contempt for factual criticism and to humiliate anyone sounding an alarm.”

- Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology

It was interesting to experience for sure. Considering that the audience was basically filled with Marianne Williamson fans because of her work as a spiritual teacher, one would imagine that these people would be more aware and conscious of such topics. But that is another issue all together. I noticed that many of her supporters tend to automatically agree with anything she says, put her on a pedestal and dare not question anything she says, simply because she IS Marianne Williamson, the cherished well-known spiritual teacher and author who has been on Oprah no less!

But her reaction and what she said afterwards showed more of her own ignorance and lack of critical thinking. Let’s look at some of the things she said:

She says that “any person or system who doesn’t exercise from a place of remorse or with conscience is a sociopath. We have a so-called sociopathic economic system where conscience and remorse don’t play any part but short-term economic gain.”

Right away she uses the term sociopath and puts the focus on the system. But that’s not what I was talking about. There is a difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. What most people think as sociopaths are actually psychopaths. Yes, “conscience and remorse don’t play any part” in our system but it’s interesting to see how some people shy away from the term Psychopath or even laugh about it. Why is that? It seems related to the cultural conditioned view that psychopaths are insane serial killers we see in the movies or prisons, but would never appear in a suit and tie with the picture-perfect wife and family, speaking eloquently with confidence and inspiration, having power over a whole nation. Think again.

“Too many people hold the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. The general public hasn’t been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison….Psychopaths have what it takes to defraud and bilk others: They are fast-talking, charming, self-assured, at ease in social situations, cool under pressure, unfazed by the possibility of being found out, and totally ruthless. The psychopath can actually put themselves inside your skin intellectually, not emotionally. They can tell what you’re thinking, in a sense, they can look at your body language, they listen to what you’re saying, but what they don’t really do is feel what you feel. What this allows them to do is to use the words to manipulate and con and interact with you, without the baggage of this ‘I really feel your pain’ “

- Dr. Robert Hare, Without Conscience

Dr. Hare also addresses the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath:

“For most people, the confusion and uncertainty surrounding this subject begin with the word psychopathy itself. Literally it means “mental illness” (from psyche, “mind”; and pathos, “disease”), and this is the meaning of the term still found in some dictionaries. The confusion is compounded by the media use of the term as the equivalent of “insane” or “crazy”….

Most clinicians and researchers don’t use the term in this way; they know that psychopathy cannot be understood in terms of traditional views of mental illness. Psychopaths are not disoriented or out of touch with reality, nor do they experience the delusions, hallucinations, or intense subjective distress that characterize most other mental disorders. Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised….

Many researchers, clinicians, and writers use the terms psychopath and sociopath interchangeably…. Sometimes the term sociopathy is used because it is less likely than is psychopathy to be confused with psychoticism or insanity….

In many cases the choice of term reflects the user’s views on the origins and determinants of the clinical syndrome or disorder described in this book. Thus, some clinicians and researchers—as well as most sociologists and criminologists—who believe that the syndrome is forged entirely by social forces and early experiences prefer the term sociopath, whereas those—including this writer—who feel that psychological, biological, and genetic factors also contribute to development of the syndrome generally use the term psychopath. The same individual therefore could be diagnosed as a sociopath by one expert and as a psychopath by another.”

In another book co-authored by Dr. Hare with Dr. Paul Babiak called Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, they compare psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder APD:

“Many people are confused about the differences among psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder. Although the terms frequently are treated as if they are interchangeable—by the general public and professionals alike—they refer to related but not identical conditions.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder described by the personality traits and behaviors that form the basis of this book. Psychopaths are without conscience and incapable of empathy, guilt, or loyalty to anyone but themselves.

Sociopathy is not a formal psychiatric condition. It refers to patterns of attitudes and behaviors that are considered antisocial and criminal by society at large, but are seen as normal or necessary by the subculture or social environment in which they developed. Sociopaths may have a well-developed conscience and a normal capacity for empathy, guilt and loyalty, but their sense of right and wrong is based on the norms and expectations of their subculture or group. Many criminals might be described as sociopaths.

Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a broad diagnostic category found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). Antisocial and criminal behaviors play a major role in its definition and, in this sense, APD is similar to sociopathy. Some of those with APD are psychopaths, but many are not. The difference between psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder is that the former includes personality traits such as lack of empathy, grandiosity, and shallow emotion that are not necessary for a diagnosis of APD. APD is three or four times more common than psychopathy in the general population and in prisons. The prevalence of those we would describe as sociopathic is unknown but likely considerably higher than that of APD.”

Sociopaths do have some empathy and a sense of guilt—a conscience—but their empathy is reduced and selective, related to their upbringing and sub-cultural environment. A psychopath has no empathy and conscience at all. They can act and say all the right things, lie and manipulate without any inner conflict or emotions, immune to guilt, remorse and compassion.

Most importantly what I was hinting at in my question to Marianne Williamson is related to psychopaths based on biological/genetic factors as described in the work of the researchers I mentioned. It’s not a psychological disposition based on trauma or childhood wounds but a genetic one. These individuals can’t be “healed”, comprise at least 6% of humanity and are often to be found in positions of power. This is hard for most people to accept and understandably so considering all the cultural, religious and spiritual/new age programming and corruption that posits “we are all one” meme. This also has nothing to do with “us vs. them” in  the way some people like to argue, but about understanding how complex humanity actually is, what we choose to believe and wish for based on assumptions and what we avoid to look at and confront, within and without.

Let’s look deeper into the characteristics of a psychopath. As mentioned above there are born psychopaths, people who have no conscience/empathy by birth. However normal people can become ponerized, meaning they take on psychopathological traits through upbringing and conditioning, trying to adapt to a pathological society that has lost the capacity to perceive pathological individuals as such. It means that the person or group can no longer make the distinction between healthy and pathological thought processes and logic. One is no longer able to draw a line between correct thinking and deviate thinking. Genetic psychopaths make up about 6% of humanity while ponerization has a much higher number.

A lot of psychopathological traits have become normalized in human societies. Billions of people have been fed psychopathic belief systems and world views as the “way of life” through media, government, religion, entertainment and education. Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on image, status and appearance. Psychopaths have actually personality traits that many common people aspire to. The untroubled self-confidence of the psychopath is very alluring and is generally what “normal” people seek to acquire when they attend assertiveness/motivational or “pick up/dating” training classes. Likeable, Charming, Intelligent, Alert, Impressive, Confidence-inspiring, and A great success with the ladies: These are the sorts of descriptions repeatedly used by Cleckley in his case-studies of psychopaths, The Mask of Sanity

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The psychopath’s Mask of Sanity is very important to understand. It gives him the cover to roam freely in our society, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Realizing early on life that he’s different from the rest, the psychopath learns to mimic emotional states and expressions without feeling them himself one bit. Without any internal conflict of guilt, remorse or shame, the psychopath manipulates the people around him. He can tell you exactly what you want to hear, appear compassionate and the good ones have a very convincing mask that is hard to see through. I takes time and a lot of observation. Psychopaths can be very intelligent with a high IQs. They can write scholarly works, imitate the words of emotion, but over time, it becomes clear that their words do not match their actions.

“Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.

In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.

How will you live your life?

What will you do with your huge and secret advantage, and with the corresponding handicap of other people (conscience)?

The answer will depend largely on just what your desires happen to be, because people are not all the same. Even the profoundly unscrupulous are not all the same. Some people – whether they have a conscience or not – favor the ease of inertia, while others are filled with dreams and wild ambitions. Some human beings are brilliant and talented, some are dull-witted, and most, conscience or not, are somewhere in between. There are violent people and nonviolent ones, individuals who are motivated by blood lust and those who have no such appetites. [...]

Provided you are not forcibly stopped, you can do anything at all.

If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people’s hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction. [...]

Crazy and frightening – and real, in about 4 percent of the population….”

- Martha Stout, Ph.D.

The key point is what Dr. Stout said here: Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

Most people assume that every human being essentially has a conscience or can change and become compassionate and empathetic. People tend to project positive qualities into some individuals which they don’t inherently have. We assume that the people in power, our (s)elected leaders, have the same conscience and emotions as we all do. Some people say that everyone has just issues and childhood wounds to work through on some level, even people in power, or as someone told me after Marianne Williamson’s talk when the topic of Psychopathy came up: “We are all psychopathic to varying degrees.”. Yes, sure, we all “issues”, but this is very different from having no conscience period. Not many people actually truly understand what we’re talking about here, they’ve never really studied the topic, yet they have opinions on it and can even laugh out loud about it in public.

It’s the basic logical fallacy, putting ones logic (conclusion) before grammar (research). Coupled with cognitive dissonance, since the acceptance of the truth could potentially upset one’s whole view of life and identified beliefs, the denial rate is still very high when it comes to this topic.

So much emphasis is put on immediate solutions, a new “system” of government or “fixing” the system, focusing on the education system, environment or trying to bring ethics back to Washington as M. Williamson stated.  Solutions are being presented but the problem itself, the root, is not even being understood in a basic way, not even considered.

Many “conscious” people who identify themselves with the “left”, liberal/progressive movement, politically or otherwise, seem to avoid looking at the nature of evil and understanding how societies are turned from something mutually beneficial and cooperative into virtual slave camps for the benefit of a few. “Good intentions” that are emotionally driven and based on wishful thinking do more harm than good, especially in the long run.

Nothing will change fundamentally until we educate ourselves about psychopathy and political ponerology and how it affects all of us. The virus of psychopathy will infect any new system, community or change in power until it is brought to awareness and looked at for what it is. Then the solutions will present themselves based on the knowledge and understanding we have gained. Educating ourselves and others about it is the best we can do for ourselves and future generations. It is vital knowledge in this day and age.

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Going back to Marianne Williamson after her misinterpretation of the term “Psychopath”, she brought into focus the so-called sociopathic economic system, stressing that: “we don’t want a system where anybody purports to say that somebody else is a psychopath and therefore does not belong in office….let me tell you something, people like Hitler talked that way….this cannot be about demonizing individuals….this is about holding systems accountable….we wanna be real careful of anything psychological  ‘you are unfit for anything’ based on somebody’s psychological appraisal. Evil has been perpetrated  based on that……so the conversation is a conversation valid, absolutely….but in terms of individuals you wanna stay away from that.”

There are several fallacies in Williamson’s thinking here, chief among which is the fact that she engaged in a strawman argument, a common logical fallacy that politicians tend to use in order to distract or avoid answering questions directly.

Strawman argument, definition: “You misrepresented someone’s argument to make it easier to attack. By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.”

I asked her if she’s aware of the topic of psychopathy and the research that has come out over the past years, which proves that there is a type of human being who has no conscience by birth and who gravitates towards positions of power, which results in a ponerized society.  The implications of psychopaths in high political office or as CEOs of big corporations and how they affect our society and world are self-evident and disturbing for anyone to see who understands this subject.

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Yet she immediately diverted away from my point and focused on the system. Clearly Williamson is not aware of the deeper issues of psychopathy, which isn’t a problem per se, but in that case, she should have had the humility to say, “Well that’s an interesting topic and I feel I’m triggered by the word “psychopath” but I’d be interested to learn more about it” or something along those lines. What is it with people and especially politicians to always have to have an answer and appear “knowledgeable” to the point of having opinions about topics they do not understand and distort/misinterpret as a result of it, consciously or not? Well we know why, it’s about image and authority, appearing confident, self-assured and strong to gain the confidence and trust of their voters and generate donations for their campaign….ironically these are some of the traits psychopaths have perfected as well (no, I’m not implying that M. Williamson is a psychopath). With Williamson’s background as a “spiritual teacher” you’d think she wouldn’t fall into this manipulative political lingo with all the logical fallacies that usually go along with it.

She mentioned that it is about holding systems accountable but not demonizing individuals. This really makes no sense, since systems are created, used and abused by individuals. Focusing on fixing the system is like blaming a car because of a drunk driver is causing accidents. The same old mistake of focusing on the symptoms instead of getting at the root, a result of trying to present solutions too soon without having sincerely explored what the “problem” is to begin with. The system cannot be fixed. It has been designed that way since the get-go, but we’ve been living under these political systems and governments for so long that we don’t even question them anymore, but accept them like in a global Stockholm Syndrome, idealizing them and not seeing reality for what it is. We are so conditioned and programmed that we don’t even question the need of a “government” to begin with. Those that are given the opportunity to do so, seem to experience some kind of brain freeze that prevents them from really considering that question deeply.

Most people are afraid of the “chaos” that they believe would ensure if there were no government or authority to ‘lead’ them, which is ultimately rooted in the fear of true freedom and taking responsibility. The reality is that governments and power in the hands of a few are the reason our ‘modern’ society is descending further and further into the chaos that so many fear. Many people ask, well what “solution” do you have then? Looking at the world as it IS is the first step before presenting any “solutions”. As Krishnamurti said: “It’s like trying to change the tapestry in a prison cell, believing this brings more freedom instead of breaking down the prison walls”, or like cutting the branches of a tree, which will grow back eventually. The root needs to be tackled and the root issue is psychopaths in power. A careful study of this topic and our (true) history shows this to be true, with little doubt.

“An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them.”

- Krishnamurti

Williamson also used the word “demonizing” which is not what I implied and actually a very bad word to use in this context that also distorts the issue at hand, especially with her poor example of “Hitler has done that”. I find her lingo very manipulative, an attempt to get the audience on her side by distorting the main point. She basically misunderstood and twisted my main point, which would have been clear to her if she truly understood psychopathy and ponerology. Knowledge and Understanding of this topic can actually help us to prevent individuals like Hitler rising to power in the first place. And yes, some individuals are NOT fit to be in office or positions of power, where his/her decisions affect the life of millions, if not billions, of people. I think this should be fairly obvious.

For example anyone who wants to become a police officer has to pass a psychological screening. The psychological evaluation is part of the process of determining whether an applicant is suited for the position. Makes sense, no? We want to make sure that our police officers are mentally stable to be enforcers of the law. Of course, looking a the police brutality these days, one must wonder what kind of test this is and what laws are they enforcing, so mere “psychological screening” is not enough. What is their psychological screening based on anyway? Again, if the topic of psychopathy is not fully understood and applied in such “screenings” we have psychopaths and Authoritarian Followers with guns in their hands, authorized to shoot and arrest people at will, and with increasing impunity.

Now look at politics. Theoretically anyone with enough money, the right connections, image and a certain mind state ( playing the “game” with all the “political correctness” to hand) can become president of this country. There is zero psychological evaluation to become commander-in-chief who has the power over the biggest military force of the world. Doesn’t this strike you a bit as odd?

So, yes, I’d certainly advocate for psychological screenings, even brain scans. It is about individuals and NOT the system. It’s about people not ideologies. However, I agree that we need to be careful about it as Williamson said. Before we can get to any solutions and apply any such ideas, we need to educate ourselves and others about what we’re actually dealing with. Psychology and psychiatry has also become corrupted and that’s where the true danger lies when the system and the powers that be are using those disciplines for their own agenda. Before you know it, even  “Truth Seeking” will be branded as a mental illness. Oh, wait…

Gaining Knowledge, which leads to Understanding needs to happen first, educating ourselves first before coming to conclusions and then act on the understanding gained and presenting solutions. It’s the basic application of the Trivium and critical thinking which I’ve written about before.

Trivium

Williamson also mentioned  that “Evil has been perpetrated  based on [somebody's psychological appraisal]“. Yes, sure lots of evil is perpetrated through the corruption of science – including psychology - because of psychopaths in power. But again, she’s got it all backwards because she starts from a misinterpretation of the actual issue due to her lack of knowledge, and comes to conclusions based on assumptions.

First of all, what is “evil”? At least she seems to acknowledge that there is evil and doesn’t fall into the abstract and pseudo-spiritual idea that there is “no evil” on our level of existence as so many people tend to do based on Solipsism, a very illusory ideology in todays “New Age” movement. Solipsism is based on the idea that there is no objective truth, a topic I have explored in more depth before. Yes, there IS objective truth and objective reality.

© Mark Passio

© Mark Passio

Polish psychiatrist Andrew Lobaczewski coined the word Ponerology. It comes from greek (poneros = evil) and is the study of evil. From the foreword of Lobaczewski’s groundbreaking work “Political Ponerology”:

“Ponerology reveals itself to be a new branch of science born out of historical need and the most recent accomplishments of medicine and psychology. In light of objective naturalistic language, it studies the causal components and processes of the genesis of evil, regardless of the latter’s social scope. We may attempt to analyze these ponerogenic processes which have given rise to human injustice, armed with proper knowledge, particularly in the area of psychopathology. Again and again, as the reader will discover, in such a study, we meet with the effects of pathological factors whose carriers are people characterized by some degree of various psychological deviations or defects.”

To truly understand the significance of his work, it is important to know the history of how this book came about because Lobaczewski went through a lot of suffering and sacrifice to get this material published. There have been many attempts to destroy his work.

“The original manuscript of this book went into the furnace minutes before a secret police raid in Communist Poland. The second copy, painfully reassembled by scientists working under impossible conditions of violence and repression, was sent via courier to the Vatican. Its receipt was never acknowledged – the manuscript and all valuable data lost.

He was forced to emigrate to the United States in 1977. Even in America, he continued to find himself hounded by forces that opposed him. But he struggled on, finally finishing the manuscript for the third version of the book, including what he was able to reconstruct without access to the lost original research, in New York in 1984.

This manuscript was met with suppression. In a particularly fascinating episode,  Zbigniew Brzezinski, famed political scientist and former National Security Advisor under President Jimmy Carter, first offered to help get it published, but then, instead, worked to oppose its publication. Ultimately, Lobaczewski was unable to get the book published while he was in the United States. In 1990, he returned to Poland quite ill and rather destitute and only survived at all due to care provided by old friends who were doctors.”

He was finally able to publish his book with the help of a research group that has studied similar topics for many years.  After half a century of suppression, this book has finally become available.

ponerology_ds

And here we see another problem. Vital knowledge and research that could help humanity as a whole has been suppressed and even destroyed by pathological individuals in power throughout history. The information in this book is important for anyone to be aware of, so that we truly learn from history and understand the underlying root issue of why the world is as it is and why no true change is going to happen by trying to tackle the system and present solutions without scientific and objective knowledge of evil as a foundation to work from, from which the solutions will then emerge. It’s part of our ‘shadow work’, to make the darkness conscious within AND without.

“Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” - Sun Tzu

The major theme of Lobaczewski’s book is that if world civilization is to survive and thrive it must learn how to deal with evil individuals who seek its destruction. It is essential that objective scientific studies continue be pursued in order that humanity may come to recognize evil when they see it and learn how to combat it. That’s the only way to re-install morality and ethics (as Williamson says her intention is). In fact, before we can talk about systems, this is where we need to start, and it requires much work and effort because the psychopaths in power are doing their best to suppress this knowledge. However, their Achilles heel is wishful thinking, believing themselves to be untouchable, even as they destroy themselves like a deadly virus that kills the host and essentially itself.

Instead of advocating and citing “A Course in Miracles” as Williamson is doing, almost using this very questionable channeled material as her foundation, she’d be better advised to lay that “teaching” aside and deal with objective reality and the scientific study of psychopathy, because she’s heading right into the center of the beast, or at least she’s trying.  I have read and studied “A Course in Miracles” and did all the exercises many years ago when I wasn’t very discerning. It took me a while until I saw the red flags and the mind control/self-hypnosis of this teaching (ultimately promoting Solipsism) and how it put me more to sleep,  all the while dreaming that I was awake. Even if there is some truth in it, but the best way to swallow a lie is to sandwich it between some truth. It’s the most efficient way to spread disinformation. There is also some interesting connection of the group who “channeled” this material to the CIA. And that ties into New Age Cointelpro.

We won’t see “Political Ponerology” or similar works being promoted on Oprah anytime soon. It’s up to us to actively seek out this knowledge and educate ourselves and others about it. This topic is imperative to understand for anyone involved in any “conscious movements” or anyone who is trying to make this world a better place for ourselves and future generations. It doesn’t matter what your work is and what medium of expression you choose, what party and religion you belong to and identify yourself with. Psychopathy and Ponerization affect all of us. Most importantly, don’t judge something or present solutions if you haven’t sincerely studied  it first.  Or, in the words of Andrew Lobaczewski: “Do not attempt to cure what you do not understand.”

If Marianne Williamson was sincere when she said  “the conversation is a conversation valid, absolute!” and earlier in her talk: “Until we deal with the cancer that underlies all these problems, until we deal with the underlying issue of all these problems, we will not be able to handle the derivative problems.” then I’d hope she’ll engage in some reading as well as those who supports her. The cancer eating away at humanity’s body is Psychopathy and the ponerization of human society. But this is not about her personally. She has good intentions, I suppose. This is about all of us coming to terms with and understanding a very serious and troubling issue our planet is facing, so we can have an intelligent conversation based on objective reality. The truth is the truth (not “my” or “your” truth) and no one said it would be easy or comfortable. The longer we avoid it, the harder it’ll get and the deeper we dig our own graves. Sorry to sound bleak, but disillusionment is part of the process. The universe is very impersonal when it comes to Truth. Either we align ourselves with it or we will perish.

Finally, I’ve heard many people stating that M. Williamson gives them hope…..similar to the way many people felt about Obama in 2008. But there is something to be said about “hope” as historian Richard M. Dolan said at the “Awake and Aware Conference” in LA in 2009:

“Hope and fear: Fear is an enemy. We know this because when we are afraid, we react irrationally to things, we don’t think through. Hope is an enemy, too, though. That sounds kind of wrong, doesn’t it? Everyone likes to have hope: Don’t give up hope. But, here’s the problem with hope: Hope also deludes. We need to have a cold eye. We have to be able to look at reality in as alert and awake a fashion as we can. What is true higher consciousness? Well, it starts with awareness, with seeing things as they are, not as you want them to be, not as you hope they can be – you have to see them as they are. It is only through going over that first large hurdle, I feel, that we can really attain a true higher consciousness, a true awareness in which we are awake, not asleep.”

Here are some good resources to start with:

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Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition – Video

This video sheds light into the nature of love, relationships, the “New Age” movement, reality-creation, quantum physics, objectivity vs. subjectivity and how it all relates to the topics of “conspiracy theories”, psychopathy, and the importance of self-work.

Love, Reality, and the Time of Transition has been selected as the #1 film 2011-2012 of the “Top 100 Global Development Movies”.

“The best positive, inspirational, thought-provoking movie of our times.”
- RYB TV

Written, narrated and audio editing by Bernhard Guenther
Visuals and video editing by Humberto Braga

Based on:

- All you need is Love!

- The Positivity of Objectivity and the Time of Transition

- Being the change you want to see in the world

Music:

“All You Need Is Love” – The Beatles
“Symetric Lifes” – H.U.V.A. Network
“We Are Analog” – Hol Baumann
“Oleander (Phutureprimitive Symbiotic Remix)” – Bluetech
“Floating Retention” – Cell
“Terpene” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“Rain Geometries” – H.U.V.A. Network
“The Garden” – Adham Shaikh
“Orientations, Pt. 2 (Ephemeride 15.43°)” – H.U.V.A. Network
“Longing for Silence” – Asura
“Silent Running” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“20 minutes” – Carbon Based Lifeforms
“Polyrytmi” – Carbon Based Lifeforms

FAIR USE NOTICE

This video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes


Spiritual Bypassing, Relationships and the Shadow

“It is understatement in the extreme to say that spiritual deepening is not necessarily a benign, nice, neat, or comfortable process. Initially we may flirt with spiritual opening, doing some meditation practices, reading spiritual or metaphysical literature, trying out different teachers and teachings, perhaps hoping that our spiritual experiences will make us happier or more successful, but when we go — or are compelled to go — beyond spiritual dilettantism and cultism, reaching the point where we don’t give a damn about being spiritually correct and where spiritual deepening is not an option but a fundamental need, we find that it is much more of a sacrificial process than we bargained for, necessarily bringing us face to face with all that we have turned away from, risen above, or otherwise avoided in ourselves.

We have an astonishing ability to fool ourselves, and an equally astonishing ability to cut through what’s in the way of seeing more clearly. The first ability — which appears at every level of development — generates the very conditions that catalyze the second, conditions that feature enough suffering to really grab our attention. However unwittingly or unconsciously, we invite in circumstances that bring our dissatisfaction to such a peak — or through! — that something has to give, providing us with whatever rough grace is needed.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

Over the past 4 months I took a break from the external world and the internet for two months. I needed to go on a sabbatical to address some childhood wounds and issues that have come up for me. Life has shown me my shadow once again to be looked at and made conscious of.

I thought I had already worked through a lot, but now another layer has been opened up and raw wounds were painfully present, forcing me to feel a lot of emotions I had suppressed, mostly guilt, shame, and anger. I realized that I understood many things intellectually in the past, but didn’t fully break through the buffers and armor of my emotional self I thought I had already processed. Instead, I was projecting it outward towards others in my life. My Knowledge and Understanding was over-riding my Being, not fully embodying “the Work”, avoiding deeper issues that I couldn’t ignore anymore.  As Carl Jung said “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first… otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.

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The universe and life draw people and situations into our lives at times to deal with the personal unconscious, the darkness we need to make conscious in ourselves, before we can attain any higher spiritual states. Relationships are very powerful and challenging in that regard as we engage in the dance of shadow projection, triggering unconscious childhood wounds in each other.

When we are in the midst of challenging situations and life takes a downward spiral and everything seems to fall apart it is hard to make sense of it all. The pain and suffering can be intense, resulting in depression, resentment, anger, guilt and shame. We feel resentment if we feel wronged by another person and we blame him/her for the pain they have caused us. Or we blame ourselves with guilt and shame of how bad of a person we are. So we judge others or ourselves, reacting mechanically and unconsciously.

There is nothing wrong with feeling resentment, anger, guilt or shame. It’s ok to acknowledge and say “Ouch, you hurt me!” or admit our wrong-doings to others and making amends because we feel guilty and have hurt another person because of our actions. There is a place and healthy expression of negative emotions. It helps us to shine light into things we had suppressed. It only starts to become toxic and self-defeating if we keep lingering on resentment/anger or beating ourselves up with guilt and shame to the point that we diminish our healthy self-worth.

When we can’t let go of resentment and keep feeding our anger by continually pointing out everything the other person is doing and has done wrong, blaming him/her for our pain, then this issue is deeper and relates to our childhood wounding which is coming to surface. It relates to our needs not being met by our parents or old wounds from past relationships we haven’t fully processed and let go of are being reactivated. The same goes if we keep diminishing ourselves with guilt and shame, making ourselves feel worthless. It relates to our inner child that is carrying wounds we haven’t made conscious yet.

In that sense, negative emotions about ourselves or others can lead us into a downward spiral where we suffer mechanically and unconsciously. However, if we can recognize the triggers and reflect how this relates to our childhood wounds, without projecting them into the present and taking things personal, then we can use these negative emotions to suffer consciously in order to dissolve them and not react mechanically but respond with compassion and empathy towards ourselves and others. It’s about addressing, processing and resolving without blame.

This, of course, is sometimes easier said than done because our unconscious behaviors are hard to spot first, for the simple reason because they are unconscious. It is important not suppress or avoid negative emotions. They are not really “negative” to begin with but we tend to judge them as “bad” or we identify so strongly with them that we think we are them. Non-reacting doesn’t mean suppressing, but feeling them consciously, being vulnerable and in order to do that we need to tune into our body.

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Being a bodyworker and receiving massage on a regular basis as well as having a consistent yoga and qi gong practice has shown me many times the importance of the body-mind connection, how our traumas and childhood wounds are stored in our bodies. Our muscles, tissue, organs and bones are carriers of energy and memory, all of which is interrelated and connected. The body is a holistic organism where nothing is isolated.  Everything affects us physically and energetically on some level. Any experience we ever had, even things that happened to us but we’ve forgotten about or were not aware of, it is still held in the body. Be it grief, a broken relationship, emotional pain, everyday stress, childhood issues, injuries and accidents, past life trauma, etc….the body stores the experience and does not “forget” until it is released in the body.

Throughout my life I have worked through many issues with the help of these body-mind techniques, but as more had come up for me recently, I needed a new approach. After a difficult break-up with my partner, we decided to see a professional psychotherapist (as a couple and individual sessions) trained in Gestalt Therapy, Jungian Psychology, Trauma Work, Somatic Release Therapy and various other body-mind techniques.  At first I was reluctant to go. My ego came in, telling me “What? Me? I don’t need to go to therapy. I can work this out in my own!”. But I realized I had hit a wall and dead-end. My relationship with my partner was disintegrating as our individual childhood wounds were starring in each other’s faces crying for recognition. Too many triggers and mechanical reactions, not enough conscience and mindfulness.

Going to see a therapist was the best thing I could have done.  When I was telling her about what I was going through, she stopped me sometimes in mid-sentence, making me aware of subtle body-movements or facial expressions I made and wasn’t aware of as I was talking, gently guiding me to feel the underlying emotions, asking me where I feel it and, encouraging me to talk to it, helping me to get out of my head and feel more. Her presence of radiant empathy but with clear energetic boundaries was very powerful, giving me the space and safety to process without being judged.

Many times during these sessions I started crying out of nowhere as my therapist guided me through my body. I had emotional releases at home during this time as well, crying and grieving with intense sadness, emotions that have been “stuck” for decades or even past lives got released. Narcissistic wounding from childhood (when one or both parents tried to meet their needs through us and didn’t fully respond to our needs) and codependency issues came up (one can cause the other), two things many of us are dealing with, being aware of it or not.

Interestingly I was aware of these issues for years but realized now that I never worked through it on that deep emotional level as I was able to do now to thanks to therapy. I couldn’t have done it on my own.

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Four months later I feel an emotional depth and sensitivity with empathy and compassion I’ve never experienced before. Yet, the work never stops and it’s an ongoing process. The main thing I realized is how we all can easily engage in “spiritual bypassing” where we use spiritual and esoteric concepts to bypass basic psychological work, over-estimating ourselves and essentially lying to ourselves about our state of being, intellectualizing things and not embodying them. Especially nowadays with all the pop-psychology and new age material,  we can easily buffer up issues and avoid deeper psychotherapeutic work, fooling ourselves all along.

“All who are into the spiritual have engaged in spiritual bypassing. We need to accept that we have or are using it to avoid our psychological issues and to feel better about ourselves. We must view this with genuine compassion and understanding, not judgment or denial. We must be aware of our capacity for spiritual bypassing. We need to stop impaling ourselves on various spiritual shoulds and practices and preoccupations of being nice, positive, and spiritual. We need to recognize and act on addressing our darker or less spiritual emotions, impulses and intentions and stop denying them as part of who we are. We must be aware of our need to be someone special, spiritual, advanced, and stop dividing everything positive and negative, higher and lower, spiritual and non-spiritual. We want to reach a state of immunity to suffering.

Signs of spiritual bypassing include:

  • Minimizing, superficializing, or negotiation of our shadow side and negativity.
  • Global statements such as “everything is perfect” unfolding as it must. It’s all an illusion including your suffering. Just your ego.
  • Spiritually rationalized avoidance of feeling deeply especially our less pleasant emotions.

Efforts to eradicate the ego:

  • The greater the pain of our unresolved wounds, the greater the odds we will involve ourselves in spiritual bypassing
  • Wherein spiritual practice and attainment are used to avoid directly and unguardedly feeling the raw reality of suffering, keeping us safe.
  • Feeling a need to go deeper into spiritual practices if progress isn’t good enough, self-blame, but keeps them distracted from having to face and deal with their core pain.

When in the grip of spiritual bypassing we view it as unnecessary and only for the neurotic and at best strengthened the very egoity that spirituality might eradicate. It is very easy to couch our fear of psychotherapy in spiritual language. It may even keep us stuck conceptually on a higher level.

Cutting through spiritual bypassing means turning towards the painful, unwanted, scary shadow elements of ourselves. To do this we must cut through our numbness and defenses, approaching it with as much care as we can. If doing so seems to heal our heart, we are on the right path. When heart heals, it opens and expands, not shatters. When we denumb and become more comfortable with our own comfort we see what drove us into spiritual bypassing. This is a challenging journey to say the least.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

But even with psychotherapy we need to be discerning and choosing the right therapist is key. When I refer to psychotherapy I talk about techniques mentioned before (Gestalt Therapy, Jungian Psychology, Trauma Work, Somatic Release Therapy and various other body-mind techniques), not simply Freudian “talk therapy” or getting pharmaceuticals from a psychologist. As we all know, psychology has also become much distorted, however at the same time, there are many new concepts and practices that have evolved, combining spiritual and psychological work with body-mind techniques in very efficient and practical ways.

During the work with the therapist I didn’t only let go of my stigma around psychotherapy and my judgment that only very “damaged” people go to therapy, but realized that everyone, without exception, can benefit from basic psychotherapeutic work, because we all have issues and childhood wounds lingering in us to be recognized and healed. We all are wounded in different ways.

Especially in this day and age where life has become more complex and uncertain as the world is changing faster and faster, it is important that we dive deep into our unconscious to heal what needs to be healed. It is part of being the change you want to see in the world, confronting the shadow within and without.

There’s a lot in you that’s neither being carried into this persona system nor into your ego, as part of what you perceive as “you.” Just opposite to the ego, buried in the unconscious, is what Jung calls the shadow.

Now, the society will give you a role to play, and this means that you’ve got to cut out of your life many of the things that you, as a person, might think or do. These potentials get shunted down into the unconscious. Your society tells you, “You should do this, you should do that”; but it also says, “You mustn’t do this, you mustn’t do the other thing.” Those things you’d like to do, which are really not very nice things to want to do, those get placed down in the unconscious, too. This is the center of the personal unconscious.

The shadow is, so to say, the blind spot in your nature. It’s that which you won’t look at about yourself. This is the counterpart exactly of the Freudian unconscious, the repressed recollections as well as the repressed potentialities in you.

The shadow is that which you might have been had you been born on the other side of the tracks: the other person, the other you. It is made up of the desires and ideas within you that you are repressing—all of the introjected id. The shadow is the landfill of the self. Yet it is also a sort of vault: it holds great, unrealized potentialities within you.

The nature of your shadow is a function of the nature of your ego. It is the backside of your light side. In the myths, the shadow is represented as the monster that has to be overcome, the dragon. It is the dark thing that comes up from the abyss and confronts you the minute you begin moving down into the unconscious. It is the thing that scares you so that you don’t want to go down there. It knocks from below. Who’s that down there? Who’s that up there? This is all very, very mysterious and frightening.

If your personal role is too thin, too narrow—if you’ve buried too much of yourself within your shadow—you’re going to dry up. Most of your energies are not available to you. A lot can get gathered there in the depths. And eventually, enantiodromia is going to hit, and that unrecognized, unheeded demon is going to come roaring up into the light.

The shadow is the part of you that you don’t know is there. Your friends see it, however, and it’s also why some people don’t like you. The shadow is you as you might have been; it is that aspect of you which might have been if you had allowed yourself to fulfill your unacceptable potential.

Society, of course, does not recognize these aspects of your potential self. You are not recognizing these aspects of yourself either; you don’t know that they’re there or that you have repressed them. The shadow is that part of you that you won’t allow to show through, that includes good—I mean potent—as well as dangerous and disastrous aspects of your potential.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  - Carl G. Jung

You can recognize who it is by simply thinking of the people you don’t like. They correspond to that person whom you might have been—otherwise they wouldn’t mean very much to you. People who excite you either positively or negatively have caught something projected from yourself: “I do not love thee, Dr. Fell. The reason why I cannot tell, But this alone I know full well, I do not love thee, Dr. Fell?”

Why? Because he’s my shadow. I don’t know whether you’ve had similar experiences in your life, but there are people I despise the minute I see them. These people represent those aspects of myself, the existence of which I refuse to admit to myself. The ego tends to identify itself with the society, forgetting this shadow. It thinks it’s you. That’s the position society puts us in. Society does not give a darn whether you crack up when it’s through with you—that’s your problem.[...]

Jung calls the individual who identifies himself with his persona a mana personality; we would call him a stuffed shirt. That’s a person who is nothing but the role he or she plays. A person of this sort never lets his actual character develop. He remains simply a mask, and as his powers fail—as he makes mistakes and so forth—he becomes more and more frightened of himself, puts more and more of an effort into keeping up the mask. Then the separation between the persona and the self takes place, forcing the shadow to retreat further and further into the abyss.

You are to assimilate the shadow, embrace it. You don’t have to act on it, necessarily, but you must know it and accept it. You are not to assimilate the anima/animus—that’s a different challenge. You are to relate to it through the other.

The only way one can become a human being is through relationships to other human beings.

- Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss

In everyday life, intimate relationships or just friendships can trigger the shadow in each other. When issues arise in a relationship as they always do at a certain point and the shadow comes out in each, projecting it on the other and hurting each other unconsciously, there is a chance to heal deep-rooted childhood wounds that are coming to surface again, each partner playing out the parent (or both) we were wounded by (as we all have been in various degrees because no parents are perfect), because of their own wounds. If we can recognize this and take our projections back, understanding that there is no one to blame, neither the partner nor the parents, but only lessons, the relationship can be transformed to a higher level.

But this requires sincere work of both partners with humility, compassion and empathy, especially since the projections won’t stop overnight and we keep getting triggered and slip back into unconscious behaviors. Sometimes a third person, a mediator or therapist is needed. It’s about addressing, processing and resolving, making amends and help each other in the process. This is not easy work by far because those old wounds can hurt a lot and we all tend to avoid pain and buffer it up with a band-aid, projecting it on the other person instead of healing it. It’s the fire where lead is transformed into gold.

If this is not possible and we don’t stay aware of the triggers and projections and keep taking things personally and blaming, the relationship will disintegrate, either because both don’t own their projections or one person is so repressed and wounded (trauma/addiction), not engaging in sincere self-work, that the projections intensify, masked up with unconscious anger and resentment, constantly finding fault in the other to justify these feelings, making him/her walk around on eggshells. Then the only way is to separate otherwise we will follow a downward spiral. We need to take care of ourselves first and foremost and can’t “do” anything for the other in this instance. This is not being selfish but mature. “Peaceful resolution” where both people own their projections and make amends is not always possible.

“Many continue to be seduced by the hope that their partner will change for the better, getting so used to being relationally undernourished that when a few crumbs of a desired outcome show up (often just after a serious fuss has been made about needing a closer relationship), those crumbs get framed as a feast, a reason to hang in there, to keep waiting and waiting and waiting… And while we’re waiting thus, we are doing little more than postponing our life, impaling ourselves on our hope (our nostalgia for the future), as if this is all we deserve.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

“Mr. Gurdjieff said that it would be necessary to develop oneself to such an extent that it would be possible to know and understand enough to be able to aid someone else in doing something necessary for himself, even when that person was not conscious of the need, and might work against you, that only in this sense was love properly responsible and worthy of the name of real love…….He added that, even with the best of intentions, most people would be too afraid to love another person in an active sense, or even to attempt to do anything for them; and that one of the terrifying aspects of love was that while it was possible to help another person to a certain degree, it was not possible to actually “do” anything for them.
If you see another man fall down, when he must walk, you can pick him up. But, although to take one more step is more necessary for him even than air, he must take this step alone; impossible for another person to take it for him.”

- P.D. Ouspensky

Being the target of shadow projection in an intimate relationship (or friendships) is the hardest, especially while you are doing your best to own your own projections and acknowledging the hurt you have caused because of your own unconscious behaviors. It hurts because we love the other person. But even in this pain, I know that the one who hurts me is in even more pain and it is not about me, so I meet it with compassion and empathy. Sometimes this is harder said than done, but it is the only way if we don’t want to repeat those lessons in the next relationship with a different face and being confronted with the shadow again and again.

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A strong indication of shadow projection is if we’re trying to “save” someone or try to be “saved” by someone, even if only unconsciously. The victim/savior relationship is one of the most common unconscious drives of what brings people together, mistaking that for love. It all relates to not getting certain needs met in childhood and trying to get them met through our partner or friends.

As long as we keep F.A.C.E. (Fear, Attachment, Control, Entitlement) we don’t learn the lessons, but keep projecting on the other. But the only person we’re really hurting is ourselves, even if we can’t see it in that moment.

The shadow dance, pushing and shoving, no one has more fault than the other, no one is better than the other. Sometimes one person’s actions seem to be way more hurtful than the other’s. But we will always have a very limited view on this. We don’t see the full picture. Karma and past life issues are at play as well. The universe always strives for balance in the bigger picture, even if we can’t see it (or don’t want to see it) in the situation we’re in. It’s the play of duality, the yin and yang, dark and light.

Intimate relationships can act like a fast-track in spiritual development, like a catalyst, because much of our unconscious shadow can easily hide as long as we avoid relationships or endlessly look for the “perfect partner” who will never appear. On the other hand, some of us go from relationship to relationship, afraid of being alone, not integrating the lessons from past relationships and constantly looking outside of ourselves for love and fulfilment.

In this day and age, relationships are very challenging, especially for the ones who seek truth sincerely within and without, stepping out of complacency and conformity, not playing by society’s rules, expectations and conditioned desires. We have to pay with ourselves, confronting the predator and shadow within first and foremost. So sometimes people and situations come into our lives that play out what we have been hiding all along, only for us to recognize without blame.

“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 and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.”

- Carl G.  Jung

One of the best tools that have helped me understand myself and others better is astrology, especially combined with psychotherapeutic work.

I’ve always liked astrology and learned a lot about myself ever since I got my first natal chart reading around 2001. Over the past four months I’ve gotten deeper into it and learned to appreciate the skill, knowledge and intuition of talented astrologers even more. Astrology has evolved over the years as well. I can highly recommend to get a professional natal chart reading at one point in your life. I have some basic astrology knowledge, but putting it all together with all the fine nuances and the bigger picture, a professional reading is absolutely essential, otherwise you will fool yourself and misinterpret many things in your chart. The only computer-generated chart interpretation I can recommend is Liz Green’s work at www.astro.com , especially her Psychological Horoscope, combining Jungian psychology with astrology as well as her Relationship Horoscope (the composite chart with another person showing the dynamics between the two).

However, it’s well worth to invest into a one-on-one reading with a professional astrologer, because no computer-generated chart can substitute the intuitive work of a competent astrologer looking at your chart as a whole.  There are many talented astrologers out there. Understanding your natal chart and how the current transits affect you opens up a whole new world and awareness that is very helpful for self-work and understanding yourself and others, resulting in acceptance and compassion.

“While studying astrology I have applied it to concrete cases many times. The experiment is most suggestive to a versatile mind, unreliable in the hands of the unimaginative, and dangerous in the hands of a fool, as those intuitive methods always are. If intelligently used the experiment is useful in cases where it is a matter of an opaque structure. It often provides surprising insights. The most definite limit of the experiment is lack of intelligence and literal-mindedness of the observer. Undoubtedly astrology today is flourishing as never before in the past, but it is still most unsatisfactorily explored despite very frequent use. It is an apt tool only when used intelligently. It is not at all foolproof and when used by a rationalistic and narrow mind it is a definite nuisance.

- Carl G. Jung

Whether we use psychological or esoteric terminology, the basic fact remains the same: human beings do not earn free will except through self-discovery, and they do not attempt self-discovery until things become so painful that they have no other choice. If the individual makes no effort to expand his consciousness so that he can understand the nature of his total unfoldment and can begin to cooperate with it, then it will seem that he his the pawn of fate and has no control over his life. He can only earn his freedom by learning about himself so that he can understand what value a particular experience has for the development of his whole self.”

- Liz Green

 But like with any of those systems (Astrology, Human Design, Numerology, etc.), while giving insight, they are all limited in their own way and there are other factors to consider. Readers of my blog know that there are forces affecting our planet, the hyperdimensional realm. There is the issue of genetic Psychopathy, the question of the soul and that we are not all the same inside and not all of us have the ability to activate the higher centers.  As mentioned before, these are very complex topics that need careful study and consideration. Then there are spirit attachments, which can alter personalities from subtle to very severe. There is  also the possibility of higher density souls that have incarnated in this time and age with a certain mission profile, who have a very hard time adapting to this physical experience.

Modern psychotherapy doesn’t acknowledge the possibility of psychic attack and hyperdimensional forces working through us. Most people still have a very anthropocentric worldview. Anyone who tries to awaken from the hypnosis humanity is under will be met with resistance and attack, which can come through our own minds or working through people close to us, draining us, distracting us and sabotaging any attempt to “escape the matrix”. Luckily the therapist I’ve been working with is aware of the aforementioned topics and incorporates them in her work as well. But even without understanding the non-physical realm, doing basic psychotherapeutic work can heal a lot and lay the very necessary foundation before we can rise to a higher level of consciousness and awareness. In fact it is essential.

“There are a thousand things which prevent a man from awakening, which keep him in the power of his dreams. In order to act consciously with the intention of awakening, it is necessary to know the nature of the forces which keep man in a state of sleep. First of all it must be realized that the sleep in which man exists is not normal but hypnotic sleep. Man is hypnotized and this hypnotic state is continually maintained and strengthened in him. One would think that there are forces for whom it is useful and profitable to keep man in a hypnotic state and prevent him from seeing the truth and understanding his position.”

- G. I. Gurdjieff

“And as we have learned from Jesus, Gurdjieff and the Gnostic Sufis, Castaneda, and the Cassiopaeans, the rules of this World in which we live were set up and are controlled by this STS hierarchy and have been for a very long time. Each and every time the revelation of this Control System is attempted, the Matrix goes into overdrive to destroy it. And it is clear that this is the present situation….It is in “seeing the unseen” that we become aware of higher levels of being; it is in ordinary human interactions that we experience the “battles” between the forces of STS and STO!And it is most definitely this factor that the Matrix Control System vigorously attempts to conceal!… In other words, we are not just talking about a “petty dispute,” we are talking about a battle of forces at other levels, manifesting – as ALWAYS – in human dynamics.

- Laura Knight Jadczyk, “The Wave” Volume 5&6 “Petty Tyrants & Facing the Unknown”

Considering all that, we can easily feel disempowered and overwhelmed and there is still so much we don’t know. We need to remember to take small steps one at a time, with patience and compassion for ourselves and others. We will always hurt others or self-sabotage our own development in the process of living life at times. We will look for blame and excuses, trying to make sense of challenging situations that can’t be understood in the moment, rationalizing our decisions and behaviors and lying to ourselves and others unconsciously. We will inflate our egos with self-importance and righteousness or diminish ourselves with pity, we can be over-emotional or emotionally closed off, we can be over-bearing with others or shy away from necessary confrontation to stand up for ourselves. We will overestimate our spiritual progress, engaging in spiritual bypassing or become too hard on ourselves. In short, we will always make mistakes and screw up sometimes. It’s life, but through the suffering and sincere self-work we learn and grow. That’s why we need compassion more than anything else.

Grieving is an essential and necessary stage in any form of self-work, which leads us to compassion and empathy. It can be painful and seemingly never-ending but the only way out is through and time heals all wounds if we keep working on ourselves and let grace guide us.

Mindful Grief means mourning and letting go of the past without expectation, fear, censure, blame, shame, control, and so forth. Without such mindful grief, neither past nor person can be laid to rest. When we grieve mindfully, we mourn every one of the disappointments, insults, and betrayals of the now irrevocably lost past. We mourn any abuse—physical, sexual, emotional. We mourn for how our parents [or friends and romantic partners] just did not want us, did not love us, or could not get past their own needs long enough to see us as the lovable beings we were and allow our unique self-emergence. We mourn every way they said no to the gift we sought to give them: full visibility of our true self, not the self we had to manufacture to please or protect them. We mourn all the times they saw how scared, forlorn, and sad we were and yet did not respond, relent, or apologize. We mourn because even now, after all these years, they still have not admitted their abuse or lack of compassion.

Grief’s favorite position is piggyback. If I am abandoned in the present and allow myself to grieve the abandonment, all the old abandonments of the past, which have been waiting their turn, jump onto my grieving shoulders. Also included in the piggybacking are the griefs of the human collective, what Virgil calls “the tears in things.” These are the givens of relationship: the sense of something missing, the fugitive intimacies, the inevitable endings. We carry sensitivities to all those in our hearts, and our personal griefs evoke them. What a way to find out we are not alone! We carry the heritage of the archetypal past and enrich it continually with our personal experience.

Jung suggests that working on our childhood issues is a necessary first step toward spiritual consciousness. As he puts it, the “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first… otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.” We cannot make up for losses, but we can learn to tolerate them and contain them. This is what the soulful journey of mourning is about.

Mourning is an action not a transaction. It is our personal responsibility, so we do not do it with the perpetrators of our losses, including our parents [and partners]. We interrupt our own healing as long as we still have to tell [them] how bad we think they were.

Some of us are not yet ready to face what really happened to us; we suspect or even know that we do not have the strength to follow the process through to its painful conclusion. It is important to respect this hesitancy and honor our own timing. Some tears may be shed today, some next year, some in thirty years. The inner child of the past tells her story a little at a time, lest we have too much to handle all at once. “Hurry or delay is interference,” D. W. Winnicott says. The fact that grief takes so long to be resolved is not a sign of our inadequacy. Rather, it betokens our depth of soul.

A cognitive recounting of the past may only be a memory of a memory unless it is connected strongly to a bodily feeling, because every cell in our body recalls every event that impinged upon us in childhood. The body, more than the mind, is the real human unconscious, storing both the memory of pain and our attempts to avoid it. The work, then, is to find the accurate sense of what we felt and not necessarily a story line of exactly what happened. In fact, the content of the memories is less crucial than the conflicts they represent and the reenactments we are still caught in. These are the true targets of grief, not the memory of what happened.

Actually, we may never know what truly happened in our past, not because it is so lost in oblivion but because it is continually shifting in our memory. At each phase of life, it rearranges itself to fit our new sense of ourselves and the world. Memories are selections from the past. Thus, our goal is not so much to reconstruct memory but to restructure our overall sense of the past to fit our changing needs.”

- David Richo

Through my own process of grieving I have tapped into the suffering of the collective even more, almost feeling the pain of the world. It is very humbling, helping me to feel compassion for myself, friends and for humanity, a heart-opening on a level I haven’t experienced before, encouraging me to speak out more and be more compassionate at the same time, to be of service the best I can while taking care of myself and working on myself. Yet still, it’s a long way to go and I accept the challenges as they come. We are all in this together and that’s what we signed up for.

“We begin with “my” grief and may remain there, but sometimes we shift to “our” grief as our rawness of heart starts to radiate out to include the suffering of others close to us. And then we may shift even further to “the” grief as we feel our collective suffering and allow that feeling to pervade us — which doesn’t just bring on more sorrow, but also more love, love that remains itself even as it freely weeps. Here there is huge heartache, enormous hurt, and deep opening — together carrying us through the extremes of sorrow into a spaciousness as naturally compassionate as it is vast.”

- Robert Augustus Masters

Someone wise said once: “How often do you have to pick up the phone until you get the message? You don’t get to move on in life until the lessons are learned and all there is are lessons, every day, every moment.” Meditating on this can have a profound healing effect and acceptance, compassion for self and others.

Some of my closest friends have been going through some challenging times recently, myself included, and I know there are many people out there who do as well. The intense astrological transits confirm it as well. Keep in mind, all there is are lessons and we learn as we go, step by step, sometimes some steps back, sometimes in circles but always moving. The only constant is change and as long as you are in this body there are lessons to be learned. Have faith!

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations, though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
but little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver, The Journey

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