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Image for post
Painting by N.C. Wyeth

“I feel that from now on music should be an essential part of every analysis. Musical interaction reaches deep archetypal material that we can only sometimes reach in our analytical work with patients.”

— C.G. Jung, 1956, as quoted by Margaret Tilly


They asked a shaman:

“What is poison?
- Anything beyond what we need is poison.
It can be power, laziness, food, ego, ambition, vanity, fear, anger, or whatever.
- What is fear?
Non acceptance of uncertainty
If we accept uncertainty, it becomes adventure.
What is envy?
- No acceptance of good in the other.
If we accept good, it becomes inspiration.
What is anger?
- No acceptance of what is beyond our control.
If we accept, it becomes tolerance.
What is hate?
- Non-acceptance of people as they are
If we accept unconditionally, it becomes love.

— Author unknown.

That is the question, isn’t it? We don’t know how not to try to be better, smarter, better looking, more somehow. Animals don’t get caught up in this game. They don’t know it’s possible to pretend to be something they’re not. We, on the other hand, imagine how we are seen by others. We want to enhance that projected image. We dress it up in disguises and have it speak in entertaining or authoritative styles.

We can become convinced by our charade if we convince others, although we secretly know the truth.

The president of our country is a professional prevaricator. He’s an inexhaustible source of off-the-wall lies so blatant and incessant that some unsuspecting people are mesmerized by them. More than you would predict, in fact.

Trying to cut an impressive figure in the world is not rare, but in Trump’s case the shame behind it must be colossal.

That issue will probably take several dozen lifetimes to resolve, unless the gods decide to dismantle his soul and start over from scratch.

But, the point is, we all have a greater or lesser tendency to try to win by pretending to be other than we are. The worst effect of that is when we pull the wool over our own eyes. It’s not so surprising when we fool other people, but it gets dangerous when we buy our own fabrications.

One of the first challenges when we start to meditate is just watching ourselves without interfering. We don’t want to see everything about who we are. We reject certain thoughts and feelings. We’re used to picking and choosing what kind of image of ourselves we can accept. Letting the truth flow through us unhindered is a revelation.

When we start to realize that everyone has a falsified self, we begin to see our shared humanity. We begin to have a bit more compassion for the common plight of our fellow bipeds.

Our president has a sizable following. That contingent recognizes and identifies with his modus operandi. They mirror his psychology. He is an archetypal force of self-deception. A surprising number of our citizens will happily follow him into the ovens. It’s worrying.

Are enough Americans awake enough to recognize their situation so that this tide can be turned? We can hope, but recent history is not reassuring. Voters who are simply themselves, without pretense or unhealed rage, are required now.

Fingers crossed.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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