3. Two Invisible Factors
I believe there are two additional reasons why, at this moment in history the world at large, including the country in which I live are experiencing
extreme levels of conflict and polarization.
Concomitant with the hatred and fear of the other is the hatred and fear of the unconscious, a state of mind which inevitably leads to projection. Thus,
in addition to being a struggle for status, entitlement and privilege, the “culture war” and the populist uprising in which the reactionary and the
progressive are engaged is in part a war with the self, at least in so far as that self is unconscious and unassimilated. For in order to “cleanse’ whatever
it is in the unconscious they are unable to accept, both the reactionary and the progressive project the repressed contents of their own unconscious
onto the “vessel” of the other who then becomes the scapegoat for everything the reactionary and the progressive hates or fears in their own soul.
Word of the Dream
“Projection is a part of repressing an aspect of yourself that you are afraid of and psychology helps you to see that what you're afraid of isn't out there
but in you, and that there's no need to fear that part of yourself anyway.”
Indeed, one may extrapolate from the obvious meaning of the geographical metaphors (tumbling boulders, shifting land masses and thawing icebergs)
utilized by the dream and arrive at an interpretation in which those metaphors represent the shifting contours of individual identity; for example the
broadening of gender definitions, the expansion of what is acceptable in the realm of sexuality, the assimilation of repressed instincts which end up as
projections onto spouses and friends, rivals and foes alike, thereby intensifying the conflicts we have in every facet of life.
Word of the Dream
“There's a lot of black projection of the dark side onto the white man, just as there is a lot of white projection of the dark side onto the black man.”
Only when the boundaries of consciousness itself have shifted, so that more of what was repressed and unconscious emerges into the light, can true
healing occur. Only when the “huge tumbling boulders” which block the parts of ourselves we fear and reject are rolled aside, only when what was
repressed is revealed and accepted (if not necessarily acted upon) will human beings learn to live with each other in peace.
If we were able to accept the things we project onto other races, other nationalities, other religious or political identities, different genders and
different sexual orientations we would know or experience a greater wholeness in ourselves on the one hand and recognize a greater wholeness in
those who are different from us on the other. That by itself would lead to less demonization and greater harmony.
Word of the dream
“The new consciousness will be more male/female, more light/dark, more in touch with the unity of space and the unity of time.”
If we were more willing and able to confront our own flaws, defects and innocent disconformity we would be less inclined I believe to exaggerate the
flaws, defects and disconformity of the immigrant, of the racial other, of the sexual other, of the religious or political other, of the other regardless of
the “tribe” to which they happen to belong. This will only occur when, as the voice of the dream instructs we understand “that there’s no need to fear”
the demons of the soul anyway. Only then will there be an end to the perpetual war that is always in part a war with the self. Indeed, there is a layer in
every conflict between people, no matter how rooted in real world differences or disagreements that is a conflict between parts of the self.
The more we fear and reject the unconscious the more we project it and the more we project it, the more conflict we inevitably create. The conflict that
seems clearly external is always, at least in part internal. It is this hidden ingredient, this invisible factor of unconscious projection, of the concealed
desire to see in others what we cannot accept or abide in ourselves, which adds in every era and in every conflict whether between individuals, groups,
movements or causes an unresolvable layer. Which adds, in every era, every conflict, every struggle an irrational intensity, a blind fanaticism that defies
the balm of logic and reason. For the banquet of hatred and division upon which we are currently feasting emerges not just from the conflict between
ideas, beliefs, races, communities and tribes, not just from the fear of changing status or economic strain, but from the enduring conflict in ourselves,
between who or what we really are on a deep unconscious level and who or what we think we should be. It is this hidden ingredient, this invisible factor
of unconscious projection, of the concealed desire to see in others what we cannot accept or abide in ourselves which makes the conflict that would
otherwise be resolvable impossible to resolve because you cannot resolve an external conflict which is in part internal until the internal conflict is
exposed and addressed. It is this hidden ingredient, this invisible factor of unconscious projection, of the concealed desire to see in others what we
cannot accept or abide in ourselves which makes every conflict black and white, either or, them or us when it would otherwise be a shade of gray,
something in between, something that exists between entities which, no matter how different share a broad foundation.
Healing on a macrocosmic scale requires healing on a microcosmic scale.