Thursday, 03 July 2008 10:26

The Deformation and Reformation of Human Character

Human character structures are undergoing cataclysmic deformations worldwide. This disruptive process is accelerating exponentially. The factors involved are well known. They include alienation, cynicism, and collective paranoid psychosis, exemplified by the irrational social overreactions to the fear of terrorism. More profound factors include the loss of values and role models of sublime nobility or generosity of spirit. We have also suffered the loss of true communication in the deluge of data streams and technological apparatuses that interrupt, rather than summate, lines of thought leading to wisdom and genuine rapport.

There has, in short, been a collective loss of soul in the human species. This could be considered the meaning of the postmodern. The loss of soul follows a previous loss of spirit that brought about modernization in the first place. The loss of both these dimensions of human reality remains unnoticed by the collective discourse. That discourse has become too dumbed-down to even be able to conceptualize, let alone grieve, such losses.

The continuing deformation of human character outpaces the capacity of the field of psychology to describe or understand its dynamics. Diagnostic manuals become obsolete before they can be published. The only field even endeavoring to keep up with the shifting psychic sands of human consciousness is that of psychoanalysis. But that field has become mired in its own battles with the establishment for legitimacy, resulting in compromises with the psychiatric preference for neurological explanations and the pharmaceutical industry’s preference for pill-pushing, rather than the offering of insight and understanding, let alone transformation. Moreover, psychoanalysis, like Freud’s role model, Moses, stops before the promised land of superconscious presence, and thus can never guide patients beyond the threshold of neurosis to the real inner peace that passeth understanding.

The twin loci of the deformation of human character are the devastating rushes of the energy known as anxiety, and the black hole of depression. In fact, one can be the defense against the other. But they intertwine like snakes, a negative kundalini complex constituting what Lacan calls the death drive. These snakes are extremely intelligent, far more so than the conscious mind of the human ego. Therefore, few spiritual warriors these days succeed in slaying their inner demons. Usually, the demons are the ones who win. This is because the main weapons to defeat those demons were forged several thousand years ago, by such heroic figures as Buddha, Mahavira, Shankara, Socrates, and St. Paul. But those weapons are now out of date. The snake demons are far more powerful than they were in those days. And the modern weapons of psychoanalysis, gestalt therapy, family systems therapies, the touchy-feely new age therapies, and all the others currently out there are helpless against these now-monstrous demons. The serpents of psychopathology cannot be defeated any longer by such puny means.

It must also be kept in mind that there is an ongoing arms race between the demons and the helping professions. Just as bacteria gradually gain immunity from the lethal effects of each new class of drugs and to overcome all the developments of science, in the same way, the negative kundalini complex learns to overcome the power of prozac and paxil, and to force the employment of larger and larger doses of more and more dangerous chemicals, which produce side-effects worse than the symptoms they were designed to treat. The negative complex also learns the conceptual basis of psychoanalytic treatment, as well as those of other therapies, and soon can sidestep and outwit even the most masterful therapists.

The nagas of negativity can always confound the effort to understand them. They are not limited to any logic of sense, because they are reacting against, and feeding upon, the very structure of reason itself. They frolic in the frustrations of their would-be rescuers and conquerors. The archetype of terrorism lies here, in the black hole of the soul, where no light reaches. And no mind fighting in the trenches of duality can successfully launch an assault upon the bastions of the psychopathic demons, if only because the horrific ghouls are phantoms. They are non-local phenomena. They are shape-shifters, because they have no essence. They are form without substance, signifiers without signifieds. They are floating fields of nightmare, tremors of unmoored memory lit up by bolts of phantasmatic fright. These are traumas that have never been lived, except in bardo states. They cannot be healed by any reworking of history, nor by any cognitive reassessment of values. Reality itself is in dispute. Nor can any criteria claim sanctity or even power of persuasion.

There can no longer be symbolic rapport between individuals, now that the social imaginary has cracked so utterly. The loss of social coherence and vertical connection between the Self and the ego has produced a systemic failure of the capacity of discourse to transmit prana between souls. Love has no channel through which to flow into the phenomenal plane. The access to the Source has been cut off. The Real no longer nourishes the symbolic plane, and so the symbolic has no power to prevent the distortion of the imaginary. Thus, there is no operative counterforce of life and creativity to the sinister strangling forces of perversion and death.

All that is left as a possibility to sustain life is the creation of a superorganism acting as the instrument of divine love and wisdom. This must take the form of a spiritual community in which all members have surrendered their separate egos into the sacrificial fire of unity. Such an achievement alone can muster the spiritual power necessary to dissolve the negativity festering in the world. An uncanny supramental energy field, one that cannot be identified with any particular bodily being, one that is present in the eternity of the Absolute, can alone have the strength to swallow a black hole and live.

Such a force of Goodness, transmitting the power of divine intelligence, can open the portals of super-potentiality in the human minds that are attuned and surrendered to that Presence. This alone can function as a path to human survival. But it is a survival that requires the death of the human ego in its current form, and a radical evolutionary rebirth as Life itself. We must sacrifice the private life of the ego that is depriving us of life as creatures of Nature, to regain the power of Life as the Creative Source from which Nature can be reborn in the image of the One.

The goal is clear: a renaissance of human community, and through the collective gaze of the Divine Other, the incubation of the True Self in every member of such a mutually empowering transformational society. The difficulty is in visualizing how such a community can crystallize itself into existence. Like any bacterial culture, at least one purified soul is required to tirelessly radiate the essence of presence in a silent transmission of awakening to all who are open to shifting into a higher reality.

Wisdom must integrate perfectly with the power of love to birth a process of metabolizing the latent psychic energies of the Atman into the concretized consciousness of the ego, thus granting the power to digest and assimilate the repressed traumas stewing in the subconscious realm. The growth of the ego-consciousness has been held in check by the primal fear of emptiness. It has preferred to create and maintain traumatic phantasies to structure its psychic space, rather than to deal with the fact of Nothingness. The psychic snakes of negativity have been nourished on this fear. The ego mind feels that anxiety and depression are preferable to emptiness.

Coming to face the Real of Absolute Nothingness is the essential step in Self-Liberation. In this recognition, the ego, which is also naught but a fantasy, dissolves. What then comes to permeate awareness is the Supreme Presence of Pure Emptiness. And the duality of emptiness and form also dissolves into the wholeness of the One that is Zero. This realization constitutes Awakening, which is psychologically contagious. A spiritual fermentation process will soon be underway in any group in which two or more have authentically realized the Absolute.

Once the culture begins fermenting, the process accelerates rapidly. Unpredictable potentialities emerge spontaneously, leading to new forms of crystalline interbeingness that have never existed before. Many unprecedented kinds of spiritual community are, indeed, now forming around the world. Some will fail, others will continue to grow and evolve. We are in the midst of a planetary evolutionary process that no individual can control or even comprehend. Only complete surrender to the supreme “One who knows,” resulting in a direct intuition that transcends conceptualization, can create the linkage with the Cosmic Mind that constitutes the meaning of Avatar. And only the gathering of Avatars worldwide into an active superorganism—a kind of spiritual globalization that will be the inverse of the present globalization of corporate structures—could override the current force of negativity impelling contemporary events to their climactic—and climatic—doom.

The rebirth of divine consciousness is in process already. No power on Earth can resist it. The time to surrender is now.

Namaste,
Shunyamurti

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