AWAKENING or INSANITY
SPIRITUAL EMERGENCE by PAUL LEVY
| "The path
to spiritual enlightenment is a razors edge,
steep and treacherous to the person who is foolish,
on the right hand insanity and the left death."
(From Home Page)
Goal In Life Is To Unite The Conscious Mind With The Soul
A journal of one man's path toward spiritual enlightenment by physical
and mental purity, fasting, raw food diet, few words, natural living,
good works, right thinking, and exhilaration of the mind
by following the guidance of the Inner Voice.
see "Home" for more information.
PETE'S JOURNAL, SEPTEMBER 2007
In 1981 I was sitting in meditation when, just for an instant, a bolt of lightning flashed through my mind. I began acting so unlike my normal self that a friend brought me to a hospital, afraid I was going crazy.
Though I was let out of that hospital after three days, the experiences that began to unfold were so overwhelming that I was hospitalized a number of other times during that first year.
I was diagnosed as having had a severe psychotic break and was told that I had a chemical imbalance and had manic-depressive illness. I was put on lithium, and at times, haldol (an anti-psychotic). I was told I would have to live with my illness for the rest of my life.
I was one of the lucky ones, as I was able to extricate myself from the medical and psychiatric establishment. Little did the doctors realize that I was taking part in some sort of spiritual awakening/shamanic initiation process, which at times mimicked psychosis but in actuality was an experience of a far different order.
In 1993, after many years of struggling to contain and integrate my experiences, I started to teach about what I was realizing. I am now in private practice, assisting others who were spiritually emerging and beginning to wake up to the dreamlike nature of reality. In a dream come true, psychiatrists consult with me and send me patients.
In ancient wisdom cultures it was understood that there were certain individuals whose craziness was the sign of a passage into a higher consciousness. They realized that the person needed to be both honored and supported in their process.
They knew that the person who passes through this process
successfully and becomes an accomplished shaman, healer, or teacher,
returns bearing incredible gifts and blessings of wisdom and healing
for everyone. To quote the noted author Ken Wilber:
I had been doing Buddhist meditation for over a year when that lightning bolt went off inside of my brain. Within a day or two I felt like Alice who had fallen through the looking glass, finding myself "drafted" and playing a role in a deeper, mythic process, what Jung would call a "divine drama," where everything was permeated with a deep symbolic meaning.
I felt totally unselfconscious and amazingly free. I felt the creative energy of the universe flowing through me; I was dancing on the living forefront of the Big Bang itself, where every moment was creative, magical and totally new. My kundalini was exploding; it was like a billion watts of electricity were flowing through a seventy five watt bulb.
It was like my mind had spilled out from inside of my skull and was manifesting and expressing itself synchronistically through events in the seemingly outer environment.
What was happening in the seemingly outer world was magically related to what was going on inside of me. The boundary between dreaming and waking, between inner and outer, and between my self in here and your self out there, was dissolving. It was as if I had become lucid and was waking up inside of a dream.
I knew without a doubt that I was going through a deep spiritual experience, no one could possibly convince me otherwise; this was the key that saved my sanity. I felt that the more people I thought about, the more people I was able to "bring along" with me, so I began imagining the whole universe.
The experience was so overwhelming that I had no choice but to surrender and let go. I wasn't attached in my usual way to what the outcome was going to be. I was simply trusting the experience, which was clearly not only the right thing to do, but was the only thing I could do.
A spiritual awakening is almost always precipitated by a severe emotional or spiritual crisis; it oftentimes organically grows out of unresolved abuse issues from childhood... this was certainly true in my case. In a fully-flowered spiritual emergence, you magically discover how to transmute these symptoms and wounds into the blessings that they are.
To people still absorbed in the collective, mainstream trance and having membership in the consensus reality, my behavior looked totally bizarre and was very threatening. It was, I'm sure, a very difficult and problematic situation for those closest to me, as they weren't able to understand what I was going through, as it was so far off their map of reality.
Painfully, most of my friends and family were very judgmental and bought into the doctors diagnosis that I had a mental illness, as this was their way of "explaining" what was happening to me that fit into their very limited, comfortable view of the world.
In the words of the late psychiatrist R. D. Laing, "Attempts to wake before our time are often punished, especially by those who love us most. Because they, bless them, are asleep. They think anyone who wakes up, or who, still asleep, realizes that what is taken to be real is a 'dream' is going crazy."
The experiences and realizations were so mind-blowing, literally, that at certain points I was having trouble "keeping it together," as my whole personality structure was melting and disintegrating, all orchestrated towards some mysterious, unknown destination where everything was clearly being integrated into a higher and more psychoactive center. Oftentimes my actions looked from the outside like typical psychotic behavior.
For example, one time I threw out all of my fathers many medications, as I felt that he really didn't need them, as he could just tap right into the source of healing itself. At other times, I wanted to break my eyeglasses, as I felt that I didn't need them to see, and felt they were doing more harm to my eyes than good.
One time, after I was acting so crazy that my father flew me back home to New York, he woke up from his nights sleep only to find me doing prostrations to him. Later on that morning I went out to the middle of the busy intersection near my parents apartment and was bowing to the oncoming cars, as I was recognizing that everything was the Divine.
From my point of view, I was realizing, or should I say, it was being revealed to me, that every moment was the unmediated expression of God, what I call the Goddessence. I remember turning on the radio and every voice I heard on the radio was the voice of this Goddessence.
Every person I was seeing was the Goddessence him or herSelf. It seemed curious and even confusing to me that everybody seemed to buy into and be so caught up in such limited, contracted identity states, as if they were pretending and really seemed to believe that they weren't Divine.
When you are spiritually emerging you are literally going
through an archetypal death-rebirth experience, which is about nothing
the death and transcendence of the separate self. I was having a radical
shift of identity, where I was beginning to realize my unity with the
whole of creation.
What I was seeing seemed totally obvious, as if I was genuinely seeing the truth for the first time. In fact I was beginning to realize who I, as well as everyone, genuinely was, which was simultaneously nothing (not a thing that can be seen as an object) and at the same time, everything.
During these experiences I got to meet and intimately connect with some of the greatest enlightened masters of both Tibet and Burma, who, like I was in a Fairy Tale, became my teachers and guides.
True miracles, experiences that were completely impossible, stuff that could only happen in dreams, began happening. Any limited conceptualizations I had about the nature of the universe were being totally shattered.
Due to the ecstasy and exhilaration of the experience, there is a real temptation, like the mythic Icarus, to fly too high, which is only to set yourself up for a corresponding fall. During these experiences it is of the utmost importance to be as grounded as possible.
The great psychiatrist C. G. Jung understood the importance of this during his "Confrontation with the Unconscious." He used to keep pictures of his family around, so he could remember that he was, in his words, "an actually existing, ordinary person."
Jung understood very well that one of the greatest dangers that you encounter during this experience is to become inflated, thinking that you are someone special. You become identified with the archetype instead of relating to it from the standpoint of a conscious human ego. You've literally gotten swallowed up and possessed by the deeper, more powerful transpersonal forces, falling totally into your unconscious.
You can become truly insane, thinking, for example, that only you are Christ or Buddha, instead of recognizing that we're all Christ or Buddha. This is the difference between someone who is truly mentally ill, who could be said to be drowning in the stormy ocean of the unconscious, compared to an accomplished mystic, who is being nurtured and nourished by swimming, surfing and snorkeling in the healing waters of their psyche.
Jung understood that the thing which swings the balance one way or the other is the human egos capacity to confront and relate in a conscious way to these transpersonal forces. This is why creative work, in which you channel and transmute these deeper, very powerful, archetypal energies, is of the utmost importance.
At a certain point, the entire ordeal reveals itself to be an initiation for actualizing and giving expression to your true genius, or daimon, which is none other than your inner voice, guiding spirit and unfabricated true nature, which has never been lost.
Like in a déjà vu, you remember, or discover your unique calling, your true vocation as a Bodhisattva who is here to help other beings. You become a master creative multi-dimensional artist whose canvas is life itself.
Of course, another great danger, which I can talk about from personal experience, is to wind up in the clutches of and be diagnosed and medicated by the medical, psychiatric community, who typically have no understanding of phenomena such as spiritual emergences.
One psychiatrist even diagnosed me as having the same illness as Freud’s infamous "Rat Man," saying I would need three years of intensive psychotherapy and then I would be cured!
To again quote Laing, "Anyone in this transitional state is likely to be confused. To indicate that this confusion is a sign of illness, is a quick way to create psychosis. A psychiatrist who professes to be a healer of souls, but who keeps people asleep, treats them for waking up and drugs them asleep again... helps to drive them crazy."
My final hospitalization was in September of l982, when I was flown back to New York and put in a hospital for three weeks. Instead of seeing them as a mistake that was made, I've been able to see the perfection of all that has happened.
I now understand that the hospitalizations were in fact an aspect of the awakening; they were part of my journey to the underworld. There is a sense of accepting and embracing whatever has happened in my life, realizing it is all an initiation into the deeper mystery of my infinite and unspeakably magical being.
This is not to say that there is not something called mental illness. I do wonder, though, how many cases of mental illness are actually spiritual emergences gone sour. We, as a society, need to recognize the existence of genuine spiritual emergences and learn to differentiate them from cases of psychosis.
Thankfully, there is now even a small paragraph in the psychiatrists DSM IV Book (their diagnostic manual) titled "Spiritual or Religious Problem." Might it be that we're all at different stages of the spiritual emergence process?
WHO IS MY FAMILY, REALLY?
Whenever I talk with the publisher of Alternatives, Peter Moore, about ideas for articles, without fail he will always mention that I should bring in how my inner, personal experience relates to what I am writing about.
I always find myself having an inner dialogue afterwards with myself that goes something like “Does he know what he’s getting into?” Over twenty years ago I fell through the proverbial rabbit’s hole, stepping through the looking glass, so to speak, never to return to the ordinary, mundane life I had been living.
I began having overwhelming experiences of the dream-like nature of this waking reality of ours. Stuff began happening in my life, what we commonly call miracles, that could only happen in dreams, that were not supposed to happen in this waking reality of ours.
At first, I found myself fascinated by these totally out of the ordinary phenomena. Over the course of years, though, I have discovered that the true gold is to be found in what alchemy calls the “prima materia,” the rejected and marginalized parts of our everyday experience.
There is a correlation between being wounded and spiritually awakening to the dream-like nature of our situation, so much so that the two experiences are inextricably linked. This is related to the archetype of the wounded healer, who experiences their wounding as a numinous event.
Instead of trying to circumnavigate the wound, the wounded healer goes into and through the wound, and in the darkness finds, as if by enchantment, germs of light. Unlike a lot of people who seem to have spiritual experiences that are only filled with light, love, bliss, ecstasy, celestial angels and luminous rainbows, my experience of awakening has had a profound sense of shadow and darkness.
Upon inspection, it is clear that this is related to the archetypal descent of the shaman into the underworld, into the unconscious, in which the would-be shaman is able to transmute the darkness into blessings. Instead of marginalizing this darkness, I want to illumine it, as I feel that this might compensate a one-sidedness in the as yet little understood phenomena called spiritual awakening.
My father died last week. We had a terribly difficult relationship. In my waking dream, he played the role of being an abuser. It wasn’t the more overt form of physical or sexual abuse. It was the much more insidious form of emotional abuse that was practically invisible to the outside observer.
Whenever I’ve tried to share with family members what was happening, I would always be met with denial, as everyone would always defend and protect my father, which is typical of what happens when the person who has been abused speaks their truth.
My experience of the abuse has never been validated by my family members. There is a crazy-making aspect in this, as in essence, by my family refusing to listen and honor my experience, they are saying to me that my experience is not true, is not real.
If I were to amplify this, it is like they are saying that I am hallucinating, that I am crazy. I feel like I am holding the family shadow, the family’s craziness. It is enough to drive one crazy.
There is an incredibly strong process going on in my imagination where I present to different family members the indisputable evidence of what happened.
Of course, I’ve tried all this before, with no success whatsoever, but the process in my imagination continues unabated. When I amplify this process in my imagination, I clearly see the part of me that wants external validation from my family so as to make me feel less crazy.
I had a very profound dream a number of years ago. In the dream, I, as well as a bunch of other people, were on the lookout for Dracula. We were even all chanting “Bela Lugosi, Bela Lugosi.” Then, I saw Dracula, and I tried to point him out to people, only no one else could see him.
My situation with my family is very similar. The part of my father that is an abuser is nothing other than a vampire, in that when someone doesn’t heal their own abuse, they unconsciously act it out, thereby passing it on in an unbroken lineage of transmission, just like someone who has been bit by a vampire becomes a vampire.
This is the nature of the situation with my father, yet whenever I’ve tried to get this across to my family, it is like I am in some sort of science fiction nightmare, as no one can see what I am saying. Hence the crazy-making feeling.
When I contemplate my situation from the dream point of view, I notice something very intriguing. My experience is that I have woken up in the dream of my family abuse in a certain way . I see what is actually happening, and I see that others in the family are not able to see it.
What I find very curious is why I want so badly the recognition and validation of my fellow dream characters whom the awake part of me sees are asleep. There is a peculiar disparity here, and I suspect it is right at this edge that my unconscious is to be found, it is at this edge that I feel the part of me that is under some sort of spell.
I find myself imagining that my family members just don’t get it. I feel their judgment of me, their contraction from me. I imagine, based on experience, that as soon as I bring up what has happened with me and my father, as soon as I simply give voice to my experience, their eyes glaze over and they simply close down, seeing me as crazy once again.
[The best thing to do in this situation is to stay away or move away from family and friends... and find other seekers for support and companionship. Pete]
The question I then find myself asking is, who are these family members who I’m imagining this about? Upon inspection, it is clear that just like myself and all the rest of us in this waking dream of ours, my family members are none other than infinite, open-ended wave functions pulsating anew in and out of the void every nanosecond.
Full-spectrum, multi-dimensional holograms, just like you and me. And I notice, upon deep inquiry, that I am solidifying their infinitely fluid wave functions into concretized form, and then I imagine this is who they really are.
It is true that in the past they have manifested, in very convincing, solidified form, as not seeing me, judging me, etc, but I am noticing that when I even imagine in my mind who my family members are right now in this moment, I imagine, or dream them up, to be these same limited, crystallized identity patterns.
It is as if I have become traumatized by their previous manifestation, and am actually putting myself under some sort of spell, as I see myself holding them and concretizing who I imagine them to be in a very limited way. And then I relate to them as if this is who they actually are, which actually evokes this very part of their hologram into incarnation, which then confirms to me even more that this is actually who they are, so I then have even more evidence to support my solidified view of who they are, ad infinitum.
Upon inspection, I am doing exactly to them (solidifying their hologram) what I am imagining they are doing to me, as if I am reacting to my own mirrored reflection. There is no getting around that, in essence, the problematic nature of my relationship with my family members around this issue of the abuse with my father is something that I am actually, in some way, responsible for.
It is like I am entrancing myself, as if under some sort of self-created, infinitely-perpetuating spell, where I actually dream up into materialized, incarnate form the very energies that I am fighting against, and then I imagine that the problem objectively exists "out there." In the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy, it is like I am fighting against my own shadow, my own reflection.
A question then arises, why am I doing this? Why am I dreaming up my family members to play this out with, entranced in a way where I imagine that this is who my family really is, that they objectively exist in this way?
It is as if I have unconsciously dreamed up my family members to play out, in full embodied form, inner figures that exist inside of my own psyche. In full incarnate form, appearing in front of me as my family itself, are the inner figures of my psyche that are, in essence, telling me that I am crazy, that my experience is not valid.
Upon inquiry, it is clear I have dreamed up my inner process in and as the very universe itself, I have both literally, as well as symbolically, dreamed up my family (my father included) to pick up roles in my process (and me in theirs).
In essence, this is to wake up to the nature of my situation, which is that I am not out of my mind (crazy), but am actually walking around inside of my mind, i.e., I am dreaming.
I can then continually try to fight with these dream characters, trying to convince them that they are not seeing clearly, which makes no sense whatsoever based on the realization of the dreamed up nature of my situation.
In addition, based on my experience, whenever I try to convince my family of my point of view, it always seems to have the opposite effect... my doing this just seems to prove to them all the more that I am indeed crazy.
Furthermore, to try to convince my family of my experience is not to honor their experience of my father, which is clearly different than mine. This is a place that I struggle with, as I immediately think that my experience is more true than theirs, that they are not seeing what actually happened with my father.
I see the part of me that has such a hard time in sitting with the experience of them not seeing me. But when is my trying to convince them of what has actually happened with my father not only not skillful, nor compassionate, but actually me unwittingly stepping into the role of the very abuser that I am trying to pin on my father? It’s a question worth contemplating.
When an unconscious content is ready to be integrated, it always gets dreamed up, into and as the dreamscape. To view my situation as a dream, it is clear that I am dreaming up in the dream field a figure who I want to see me, to recognize what has happened with my father, to validate my experience.
To view my situation as a dream is to realize that this figure is a reflection of an inner figure that I have projected out and dreamed up into the dream field. The unconscious always approaches us from the seeming outside.
It is clear that I need to recognize this figure as my own split-off part, and step into it, own it, as I am the only one who can validate my experience, who can validate my self. The one who needs to see what has happened with my father is no one else out there, is no one other than me.
There is no one “out there” who can give me what I want other than myself. This is to become truly empowered, and to stop fighting against my own shadow, my own reflections in the mirror, which just perpetuates itself in an infinitely closed, crazy-making feedback loop, which Buddhism calls samsara or cyclic existence.
The entire situation with my father, with all of its horrific abuse, then is seen to be higher-dimensionally coordinated, divinely choreographed, so to speak, whose nature is truly initiatory. The abuse with my father, and my family’s reaction to it, is seen to be dreamed up by the deeper part of me, tailor-suited just for me, so as to bring me to this point of awakening to the dreamlike nature of the universe, to the universe as a dreamed up phenomena. .
Instead of being a split and disassociated person who is continually trying to heal his never-ending wound, whose very activity of trying to heal himself is itself the very activity which perpetuates the wound, I can simply wake up and recognize the truth of my situation, which is that both myself, as well as the fellow dream characters in my family, have been mutually dreaming each other up to pick up roles in each other’s dreaming processes.
In essence, the only question is whether I recognize the dreamed up nature of our situation, or do I continue to become entranced by the creative power of my mind’s inherent projective tendencies, imagining that the problem is “out there,” which always leaves me feeling powerless.
To recognize the dreamed up nature of my situation is to make available the opportunity of true soul retrieval, which is to re-collect and gather all the disowned parts of myself (including the abuser), to own all of my dream characters as embodied aspects of myself. It is to truly own and assimilate the split-off parts of myself, and to step into my true nature as a whole human being, whose nature is love. [Amen Paul, very well said![
When I inquire into "who is my father, really?" I get to an interesting place where the opposites become blurred. I think of the Kazantzakis (Last Temptation of Christ) quote "Someone came. Surely it was God, God...or was it the devil? Who can tell them apart? They exchange faces: God sometimes becomes all darkness, the devil all light, and the mind of man is left in a muddle."
On the one hand, I can truly see my father in his role as abuser as being an unconscious conduit for and embodiment of the deepest, darkest forces in the universe. It is clear that I need to not be naive and ignore and marginalize this part of my father's full-spectrum hologram. I need to get this part in focus, to really see it, to come to terms with this part of my father.
But who is my father, really, but another infinitely fluid, multi-dimensional holographic wave function just like you and me. For me to dream him up and solidify him into the sole identity of being an abuser is to concurrently concretize myself as someone who has been damaged and victimized by his abuse.
In other words, the way I dream up my father right now, in this very moment, has a creative potency that determines my present moment experience. And yet, there's no getting around the fact that the entire ordeal with him has activated in me a profound process of awakening which I wouldn't have had otherwise.
So maybe, instead of, or in addition to, being the embodiment of the deepest, darkest forces in the universe, my father was the highest level bodhisattva who played an incredibly unpopular role in my waking dream in order to awaken me to this very realization of the dreamlike nature of the universe. Who is my father, really? How do I want to dream it?
I would like to end with a beautiful quote by Jung, "No matter how much parents and grandparents may have sinned against the child, the man who is really adult will accept these sins as his own condition which has to be reckoned with. Only a fool is interested in other people's guilt, since he cannot alter it. The wise man learns only from his own guilt. He will ask himself; Who am I that all this should happen to me? To find the answer to this fateful question he will look into his own heart."
For who am I, really?
WHY DON'T WE SEE OUR COLLECTIVE MADNESS?
We are a species gone mad. Why don't we see the collective psychosis we are in? We are like fish who don't see the water they are swimming in because the water is everywhere, both within the fish and the fish within it.
Some of us have an extreme conception, I imagine, of what it would look like if we were to fall into a collective psychosis. I imagine, for example, that many of us think that if our species has truly gone collectively mad, we'd be running around naked and screaming at the top of our lungs and doing wild and crazy things, or something of that nature.
In other words, I find myself imagining that many people think if we were truly a species gone mad, it would look very different than what is happening right now. And yet, because of thinking that a collective psychosis would look a certain way, we miss what is in front of our eyes.
The fact that we are systematically, over time, colluding with each other so as to destroy the very biosphere that is our life support system is somehow not recognized to be a form of collective psychosis. I mean, collective psychosis is a strong word. Maybe I should think of a milder word, because I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone.
Imagine sometime in the future when we all wake up and contemplate this time in history. Having woken up to that we are not separate from one another, we would look back upon the early part of the twenty-first century and literally scratch our heads in wonderment at what those people in 2006 were thinking.
I imagine it would be so strange to consider the extreme dissociation, trauma and unconsciousness that our species was destructively acting out on the world stage. From an awakened point of view, I imagine, it would seem completely incomprehensible why people, who were interconnected parts of a greater whole and were truly “one,” were trying to destroy each other.
It would appear as if they were suffering from a very peculiar form of psychic AIDS, an auto-immune disease of the psyche writ large on the world stage. In auto-immune deficiency syndrome, the immune system of the organism perversely attacks the very life it is trying to protect.
In trying to live, it destroys life, ultimately destroying itself. Similarly, we are not only destroying each other, but are self-destructively taking down the biosphere, the global immune system upon which we all depend for our very survival.
If the planet were seen as an organism, and people seen as cells in the greater organism of the planet, it would be as if these cells had become cancerous or parasitic, and had turned on themselves, destroying the very organism of which they themselves were a part. Traumatized, it was as if our species was enacting a mass suicide ritual on a global scale.
From an awakened point of view, it would be inconceivable to enact violence on each other, I imagine, for to perpetrate violence on one another is to do violence to ourselves.
Those crazy people in the early part of the twenty-first century were unconsciously enacting their trauma onto each other, traumatizing each other while concurrently re-traumatizing themselves in an infinitely self-perpetuating feedback loop.
Reinforcing each others’ madness, they were a species unconsciously “possessed” by and compulsively acting out an archetypal power greater than themselves. From an awakened point of view, I imagine, it could not be more clear that people in the early part of the twenty-first century had gone collectively mad.
From an awakened point of view, the early twenty-first century was an age of darkness. A shadow had befallen the planet and was acting itself out by incarnating through our species.
People were taken over by fear, and were living in a world of lack and scarcity. People felt themselves “alienated” from the natural environment and from each other, as well as from themselves. Our species was absorbed in a world of materialism, having forgotten the spiritual dimension of our experience.
Instead of co-operating with each other, we fought with one another. It was as if our species had gone “out of our minds” together, as we all played into and off of each other’s madness.
What is playing out in our world is not “like” a collective psychosis, it is nothing other than a collective psychosis. Look at how we are investing our energy. We are literally investing our resources into engines of mass destruction to “protect” ourselves.
And we are destroying ourselves in the process. We are literally feeding and supporting our own genocide. And people ask me what makes me think there is a collective psychosis going on?
It is “shattering” for people to look at and come to terms
with the fact that our species is in the midst of a psychic epidemic,
for it is to see the part of ourselves that has not been in our “right” mind.
This is to look in the mirror, self-reflect and see our own “shadow,” our
own darker and inferior half.
The major obstacle blocking people from seeing the collective psychosis that has afflicted our species is our unwillingness to experience the pain, shame, guilt, mortification and trauma of realizing the madness in which we ourselves have been complicit.
Most people simply choose to distract themselves and avoid dealing with this most uncomfortable realization, choosing instead to stay asleep, which of course just feeds into the collective madness. Until we recognize our part in the collective madness, we have fallen prey to it and are literally supporting it by our unawareness of it.
People's reactions to the words “collective psychosis” makes me associate to experiences I've had in dreams. There have been times I've been in a dream and I've told other people in the dream (my fellow “dream characters”) that we were all in a mass shared dream, and their response was to tell me that I shouldn't use the word “dream,” that it is too strong of a word, that it has too many connotations. Why am I using the dream word anyway, they say, it is confusing. Couldn't I think of a different word to use?
I really don't know what to say to someone when they ask me why am I using such an extreme word as collective psychosis, just like I don't know what to say when someone in a dream asks me to use a word other than “dream” to describe the nature of our shared experience. How can I communicate to fish swimming in water that they are swimming in water? This is a genuine question that I am asking myself.
The question becomes something like “how do I teach the fish to see the water? How do I help the fish to simply recognize the nature of their situation?” It is clear that if I proselytize to the fish, trying to convince them of the water that pervades every aspect of their experience, this wont help, as the fish are not able to see what I am pointing at because it is so overwhelmingly obvious.
It is as if the fish are suffering from a form of psychic blindness due to the ubiquity of that which they are unable to see. If I am trying to preach to and enlighten the fish, then who is the one who is blind but me, as if I am the blind trying to lead the blind.
It makes no sense to try to show [a Republican administration] supporter their delusion, for example, as they are literally unable to see how they are deceived. To try to convince [a Republican administration] supporter of anything having to do with “reality,” no matter how much evidence we have, is itself a form of madness. The question becomes “how do I teach the fish the art of seeing.”
My situation is like I am pointing at all of the faces hidden in the landscape in those children's books, and some people just don't see what I am pointing at because their eyes are slightly out of focus. All we have to do to see is make the slightest adjustment in the focus of our vision.
The hidden faces are literally staring us in the face, simply waiting to be recognized. We don't have to add them, they already exist. Our situation is similar, in that our collective madness is what IS happening and we are simply being asked by the universe to recognize what is being revealed to us by our madness.
While acting itself out through us, our collective psychosis is simultaneously showing us something about ourselves. To recognize how our collective psychosis cultivates itself through our unconsciousness of it is to go from being part of the problem to embodying the solution.
Encoded in the collective psychosis is a deeper process which (potentially) awakens the participants, which is all of us. As more people wake up to how we are all unwittingly participating in the “insanity” that is playing out in the world, we are able to connect with each other “in sanity,” and unite together like T cells to heal the cancer infecting the greater body politic.
We become islands of sanity in an ocean of madness. Over time the islands in our archipelago of sanity join with each other and form continents, so to speak, as we dispel the madness in the field. Just like people who become lucid in a dream can connect with each other in lucid awareness and transform the dream they are all sharing.
How our collective psychosis unfolds depends on whether or not we recognize what it is revealing to us, and both act from, and literally embody this realization. Recognizing what is being revealed by the madness in our world transforms everything, as it is literally the birth of consciousness, or as Jung would say, the incarnation of God through humanity. All we have to do to see is open our eyes and look.
Paul Levy is a spiritually-informed political co-activist. A pioneer in the field of spiritual awakening, he is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are awakening to the dream-like nature of reality.
Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. If you resonate with the message of this article and want to help Paul spread this information, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, as he needs all the help he can get. © 2006 Paul Levy [Bold emphasis mine.]