Modern scientific and psychological theories are absent from traditional soul theory, implying, if such theory is correct, that the soul has no connection with modern science or psychology. An intelligent person could no more believe this than believe that the earth is flat or orbited by the sun.
A select few secret societies such as the Illuminati have always had teachings consistent with modern thinking (though obviously not expressed in the same vocabulary) and have taken the trouble to continually update ancient ideas to suit contemporary thinking. Religions that are locked into sacred texts - the inviolable words of God, allegedly - have no room for manoeuvre. With each passing year they become more outdated and preposterous, thus proving that no God authored them. Imagine how anachronistic the Torah, the Bible and Koran will be a million years hence. Future humanity will laugh at them and wonder at how these crackpot theories ever managed to flourish. They claim to present eternal verities, but their "truths" haven't even survived two millennia with any credibility.
One of the central aims of the Illuminati is to show how the soul theories of the established religions have been comprehensively refuted by science, and to reveal what the authentic character of the soul is. The soul is not some spooky, anti-science entity that exists in some weird dimension defying definition. To understand the soul, it is necessary to understand the true nature of reality, and that is best done within the framework of philosophy, science and mathematics. Religion is not at odds with these subjects. Instead, it is the final meaning that emerges from them, their logical and inevitable culmination.
The conflict of religion with science is caused by "holy" texts being regarded as indisputably true when of course they are incontestably false. God is not contradicted by science, he is defined by it. God is the ultimate scientific concept. By the same token, he is the supreme expression of philosophy and the final and definitive meaning of the universe. He is the personalisation of the particle physicists' mantra that anything not forbidden is compulsory. If it is not forbidden for the evolving cosmos to attain an apex of consciousness in one being then it will definitely do so.
The soul is our connection to God. In other books in this series, we will reveal the scientific nature of the soul, but the current focus is on the connection of the myth of the "hero" to the quest for the soul, and how this is intimately related to the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.
The Great Beyond
All paranormal activity, everything out of the ordinary, everything that transcends our everyday experiences, everything that is uncanny and spine tingling, comes from the unconscious. Our contact with the divine originates there.
Our ancestors, who possessed a primitive consciousness in comparison with ourselves, were much closer to the "gods" and felt their presence in a direct way every day thanks to the "bicameral mind". This was a concept proposed by psychologist Julian Jaynes, based on the fact that the human brain has two hemispheres ("bicameral" is an adjective meaning two-chambered). Jaynes said, "At one time human nature was split in two, an executive part called a god, and a follower part called a man." The god was a hallucinated voice that arose the right hemisphere and was obeyed by the man in the left hemisphere.
If Jaynes' hypothesis is right, voices and images of the gods were an ever present reality for ancient humanity, part of their immediate awareness.
As humanity switched from this bicameral mind that was in such close touch with the immortal gods to the modern conscious mind of mortal men, our sense of the divine shrank spectacularly. But the bicameral mind is still with us. It's locked in our unconscious, the layer immediately beneath consciousness, and from time to time it breaks through, particularly in times of high stress. Our unconscious mind is a repository of astonishing gifts and knowledge that mostly stay just beyond our grasp, forever tantalising us.
Secret societies such as the Illuminati have dedicated themselves to probing the unconscious, to illuminating the darkness in which so much transcendent knowledge resides. To put it simply, the unconscious is the realm of the divine while consciousness is the arena of our petty, trivial, daily lives.
The conscious mind is tiny in comparison with the unconscious. It's a filtering and focusing mechanism to convert the vast, unwieldy and potentially overwhelming unconscious into a sharp, practical tool. The problem is that we now regard consciousness as primary and the unconscious as a mere oddity, as an alien entity that we ignore as much as possible because it would be too disturbing to really think about what it is and how it influences us.
In fact, it is the unconscious that is primary while consciousness is merely a useful device that allows us to engage more successfully with the material world. All religiously minded people agree that this material world is not our destiny, so consciousness is of little use in defining the meaning of our lives. Only the unconscious can help us. All transcendent states are connected with the unconscious. In order to make contact with the divine order, nothing is more critical than escaping normal conscious states.
Fasting, meditation, drugs, extreme exertion, extreme isolation, extreme pain, extreme tiredness, extreme prayer - they are all designed to bring us to a state where we can break free of the grip of our consciousness in order to release our unconscious. That is no accident. Consciousness is a restriction, a barrier, an obstacle. It holds us back from becoming who we truly are, from attaining gnosis. Its evolutionary purpose is to help us navigate the material world, not the spiritual one.
Consciousness lends itself to materialism, scientism, consumerism and the pursuit of the petty comforts and joys that we see all around us. It's strongly connected with the Jungian categories of extraverted sensing, thinking, feeling and intuition, while the unconscious is mostly concerned with introverted intuition, thinking, feeling and sensing.
Jung, when he introduced the concept of the collective unconscious, gave the modern world its first access to what ancient secret societies knew; that the unconscious is the store of all that is most profound in the human condition. It was known as the "horos" by the ancient Illuminati, the horos being an intermediate, boundary region between the world of the Demiurge (the false God) and the realm of the True God. It prevented entry to the higher realm, hid it, and ensured that only the meritorious could pass through it from the lower to the higher realm. It was regarded as a region of infinite paradox that was everywhere and nowhere. It was both a cosmological feature and an aspect of the mind.
Freud rejected Jung's idea, failing to grasp its significance. He was an extrovert, lacking Jung's extraordinary introverted intuition, a gift so extreme that many people concluded that Jung was schizoid. Freud stuck rigidly to his limited concept of the personal unconscious, unique to each individual, but it was the collective unconscious, transcending the individual, that offered a radical new way for people to understand their true nature.
The collective unconscious, according to Jung, is populated by archetypes, which can be thought of as mini psychological programs that run in the interface of the unconscious and consciousness when triggered by certain events, just as reflexes, instincts, immune responses etc. are akin to mini biological programs triggered in specific circumstances.
One crucial constellation of archetypes is concerned with the "hero" and is designed to bring it to life in all of us. Every nation, every culture, every tribe in every period of history has glorified the hero. The vast majority of novels, plays and films are stories about heroes. Ancient myths and legends are about gods and heroes; ordinary people are entirely absent except when they interact with gods and heroes. Fairytales and folk tales revolve around heroes and heroines. The word "hero" is liberally used in all parts of our society.
Why should all human societies have such reverence for the hero? Why are there no societies that reject the hero? Why is the concept of the hero so deeply ingrained in the human psyche? Jung's answer - that it's a fundamental archetype - is persuasive. We are all attuned to the hero. We all love stories about heroes. Everyone wants to be a hero. And yet most people fail dismally. Why?
Christopher Vogler, in his influential book The Writer's Journey, describes the trajectory of the hero. His work was inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and Campbell, in turn, was inspired by Jung.
A special and unique program exists within us all - the Hero Program. We just need to activate it, and Vogler and Campbell tell us how to do it. It needs courage and determination, of course, and those are not qualities in great supply these days. We live in a superficial world dedicated to cheap pleasures, junk entertainment and permanent distraction. Arguably, it has never been harder to be a hero, and the harder it becomes the more our culture desperately saturates itself with images of the hero. But the "heroes" of today are a joke. David Beckham earning £25 million per year is no hero, yet he is presented on huge billboards as a heroic figure. Ditto Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Bono and all the rest of the freak parade of celebrity.
Heroism is now a commodity to be bought and sold, a "brand" to be advertised and promoted. Heroes, in the past, were people who put their lives on the line for their communities and fought against overwhelming odds, often for no reward. Now they are super rich men and women who do impressions of heroes in movies, or who perform well in major sporting events. But Roger Federer is no hero; he's just a successful tennis player. Tiger Woods is no hero; he's just a man who plays golf better than most others and gets paid extravagantly for his talent. Thierry Henry is a good footballer, happy to cheat in order to defeat the opposition team. What's heroic about that? These three men earn huge fees to endorse various products. What's heroic about that? The modern concept of the hero is a mockery and perversion of true heroism. Everything that is most sacred gets defiled and trivialised in our contemporary culture.
We need to get back in touch with real heroism. That can never happen in a capitalist system that uses "heroism" as a mean of selling baked beans, beer, razors and video games.
Ironically, we have perhaps never been as skilled at portraying heroism as we are now, but it's all show and no substance. It's a simulacrum of heroism, an imitation, a cheap impression. We inhabit the fraudulent world of ersatz heroism.
Nevertheless, it's worthwhile to consider the presentation of the hero in the movie The Matrix. This conforms almost exactly to Vogler and Campbell's formula.
Archetypes that typically appear in the Hero's story are: the Herald (the character or situation that issues a challenge to the hero), the Mentor (the hero's wise guide), Allies (the hero's helpers), Enemies (the hero's opponents), the Shapeshifter (this person does not keep the same "shape" i.e. shapeshifters have an unstable identity and are often liars, con-men, hypocrites, informants or traitors; they introduce doubt into story), the Shadow (the hero's ultimate enemy - usually himself if he did but know it; the version of himself attracted to the wrong path), the Trickster (a character who plays jokes on the hero and cuts his ego down to size), Threshold Guardians (those who control entrances, exits and staging posts through which the hero must pass on his journey; can be good, but are often bad), Anima/Animus (the hero/heroine's love interest), Persona (the hero's mask to the world that he wants to shed), Ego (the hero's false self that gets in the way of his quest for his Higher Self), Aurum (the hero's fantasy self based on narcissism), the False Claimant (a character who questions the hero's credentials, or claims he was the real hero and the hero is in fact an impostor), and finally, and most importantly, the Self (the hero's apotheosis).
In The Matrix, Neo is the Hero, Morpheus is the Mentor, Trinity is firstly the Herald (giving Neo his challenge and announcing his need for change) and then his Anima, Cypher (the traitor) is the Shapeshifter, Agent Smith is the Shadow, the Oracle is a Threshold Guardian (like the Sphinx, she presents the hero with a riddle before he can continue his journey).
Neo: the Ultimate Hero
These are the steps that make up the "hero program":
World of Common Day (Ordinary World)
Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Supernatural Aid (Meeting with the Mentor)
Crossing the First Threshold and entering the Extraordinary World
Belly of the Whale
Descent, Initiation, Penetration
Road of Trials (Tests, Allies, Enemies)
Meeting with the Goddess
Woman as Temptress
Atonement with the Father
The Ultimate Boon (Reward; seizing the sword)
The Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
Rescue from Without
Crossing the Return Threshold
Master of the Two Worlds (Resurrection)
Freedom to Live (Return with the Elixir)
World of Common Day (Ordinary World)
This is our day-to-day life: mundane, boring, routine, repetitive, uninspiring, tedious. We are numb, on permanent autopilot. The most important element of this life is conforming to what society expects of us. We exist rather than live. We are stuck in stasis. We are nowhere near fulfilling our potential. The status quo reigns. This is a spiritual wasteland. It's the world of the persona, the public mask we wear. We are desperate to be acceptable to others. We are too scared to be ourselves, to be individual.
Many Hollywood movies introduce the would-be hero as an underpowered, vaguely depressed, unsatisfied, confused person stuck in this ordinary world.
Neo in The Matrix is literally asleep when we first see him. A message appears on his computer screen telling him to wake up. He is then instructed to follow the "white rabbit". When Trinity first meets him, she tells him that they are watching him. We next see him arriving late at work where he is clearly unhappy with his job and his tedious, uninspiring, corporate boss. This is Neo's ordinary world, and it's a very familiar one for most people.
Neo's "outer" problem is the Matrix itself. His inner problem is that he doesn't know who he is; he isn't fulfilled; he's aware that something is wrong with the world and doesn't know what it is. He can't commit himself to anything until he discovers the truth. It's obvious that something will have to change. Both the simplest and hardest thing to change is ourselves.
"One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others." -- Nelson Mandela
Call to Adventure
The hero encounters something unexpected: a problem, a challenge, something that makes him realise that his complacent and undemanding position in the ordinary world is under threat. We are all in this position. We are all being called, but most of us aren't listening. We don't want to hear it. It demands too much of us. We lack the courage. We'd rather watch TV or play video games or go the shopping mall.
In The Matrix, the message telling Neo to wake up notifies the audience that Neo will soon be pulled out of his ordinary world. His initial encounter with Trinity confirms it. Morpheus then contacts him and we start to comprehend that Neo's ordinary world is anything but ordinary. (In fact, the opening scene of the movie showing Trinity's reality-defying fight with the police and the Agents revealed instantly that there was something very wrong with this world. Most of us are denied this clear insight into the truth that sits beneath the surface.)
The call to adventure gives us an indication of what the stakes are in the story. What is the dramatic question? What issue will be resolved for the would-be hero? In The Matrix, Trinity tells Neo at their first encounter that he is being watched and is in danger. She says that she knows why he hardly sleeps, why he lives alone and why he's on the computer night after night searching for "him" (Morpheus). She says that she was once in the same position. When Morpheus found her, he told her that she hadn't really been looking for him, but for an answer. "It's a question that drives us," she says to Neo. "It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did."
Neo then asks the central question of the movie, "What is the Matrix?"
Trinity replies, "The answer is out there. It's looking for you. It will find you, if you want it to."
This is the perfect call to adventure. We know that by the end of the story, Neo (and us) will know what the Matrix is and we will have gained profound knowledge about the true nature of our world. We are primed to go on a great quest, with Neo acting on our behalf.
Refusal of the Call
When we get the call, we can often be apprehensive, even afraid. Few people welcome change. They are scared of the unknown and set in their ways. Although they are dissatisfied, they are in a comfort zone and are reluctant to leave it. Maybe everything will fall apart if they do something new. In The Matrix, Neo is receptive to change, but not receptive enough to take the literal leap of faith that Morpheus asks of him to escape the Agents who are pursuing him.
"This is insane," Neo says. "Why is this happening to me? What did I do?" As he tries to reach the precarious scaffolding Morpheus has pointed out, he says, "I can't do this." Through fear and doubt, he has failed to accept the call. He is too reluctant to change his ways, to leave the ordinary world, to believe in himself and his talents.
Everyone is called, but most refuse the summons. They are stuck in the comfort zone. When they are old and the opportunity has long passed, they will do nothing but regret their failure to act at this sacred moment.
In films, the refusal is always used to increase dramatic tension. We know that the hero will, sooner or later, take up the gauntlet. Often, fate decrees that there are no exits from the adventure. Sooner or later, every way out is sealed off and the hero has no choice but to face the life and death issue.
"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." -- Seneca
Supernatural Aid (Meeting with the Mentor)
In most stories, the would-be hero meets an older and wiser figure who helps him to overcome his reluctance to act, and prepares him for what is to come.
The term "Mentor" originates in Homer's The Odyssey. Mentor was the loyal friend of Odysseus, charged with raising the hero's son Telemachus during the long years when Odysseus was engaged in the siege of Troy and then the arduous return home, during which he was cursed by the gods.
Merlin the wizard is an archetypal Mentor figure, providing wisdom and supernatural aid to King Arthur. In Star Wars, Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Knight, is Luke Skywalker's mentor and supernatural helper. In The Matrix, Morpheus performs the same role for Neo. He explains to Neo the true nature of reality - that the minds of humans are locked into a computer simulated fake reality while their bodies are imprisoned in a grotesque real world where they are used as batteries to provide energy for machines. Morpheus shows Neo that because "reality" is a simulation (a dream), it's possible to transcend the rules of the simulation and do things that seem supernatural, such as flying, having super strength and super speed, like a super hero.
In more down-to-earth stories, the mentor will be wise and experienced, but will have no special powers. In the world of secret societies, adepts guide initiates. Initiates graduate through various degrees to gain access to the most secret knowledge of the society.
Most people never encounter a mentor and this is one of the reasons why they fail to respond to the call to adventure.
Crossing the First Threshold
This is the moment when the would-be hero finally seizes the moment and crosses from the ordinary world into the extraordinary world. He has picked up the gauntlet and moved from passive to active. He is no longer prepared to sit and do nothing.
Most people never cross this threshold. To them, it's a chasm that cannot be bridged. The OWO are masters at making this gulf seem infinitely wide. Many of their efforts are directed at making the ordinary world sufficiently comfortable and trivially pleasant to dissuade anyone from wishing to leave it. The zombie masses have little inclination to step out of the comfort zone. They will spend the rest of their lives engaged in the usual distractions of junk food, junk entertainment, shopping malls, sporting events, and gazing at images of themselves, their friends and family on Facebook in a narcissistic haze.
In The Matrix, the first threshold arrives when Morpheus presents Neo with the red and blue pills. The blue pill will take him back to the ordinary world while the red will take him down the rabbit hole and into the extraordinary world. The rules and limits that exist beyond the first threshold are unclear. Do they even exist? This is the Great Unknown. Fearful people will turn back at this stage. They will take the blue pill and go back to normality.
Belly of the Whale
This represents a partial death then rebirth of the hero. There is a clear separation between the hero's old self and new. He dons a new mantle for what lies ahead in the special world. The belly of the whale is a universal womb image, and within it is where the hero undergoes his first radical metamorphosis.
In The Matrix, Neo, after taking the red pill, finds himself naked like a newborn baby in a pod filled with the equivalent of placental fluid. His body is connected by wires and tubes, like weird umbilical cords, to a mechanical tower containing a host of other pods. There are countless other towers and pods, forming a vast, horrific farm where humans are harvested for the energy their bodies provide.
Road of Trials (Tests, Allies, Enemies)
The hero now encounters allies and enemies, and is subjected to ordeals as his transformation proceeds. He often fails in some of his tasks because he is struggling to come to terms with his new way of living. In The Matrix, Neo meets the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar who will be his allies. He fails many of his training tests, particularly the jumping exercise where he must leap between two skyscrapers without falling. He is told about the Agents - the sentient computer programs that protect the Matrix. These will be his most daunting enemies.
Meeting with the Goddess
The hero finds transformative love of a type he has never experienced before. It represents an encounter with the hero's anima: his idealised image of a female. (A heroine would, correspondingly, meet her animus figure.)
In The Matrix, Neo starts to develop a profound relationship with Trinity.
Woman as Temptress
The hero is drawn away from his task by temptation, often lust. In Gnostic terms, the lure of the physical world entices the soul away from the spiritual path. Many people who have reached this far fail at this point.
Neo, so in love with Trinity, does not encounter any temptress.
Atonement with the Father
The hero confronts whoever controls his destiny, usually the most powerful person in his life. This is often a father, or father substitute: a dominant figure of some kind.
In The Matrix, Neo meets the mysterious, all-knowing female Oracle who tells him what his future is. This is a critical moment.
The hero reaches a higher state of being than hitherto. He feels more fulfilled than ever before.
In The Matrix, the boy who bends the spoon impresses Neo. He feels he is gaining a greater understanding of this world. The Oracle tells Neo that he has "the gift" but is not "the One". It's as if he's waiting for something, maybe the next life (this is a reference to reincarnation). Neo feels relieved since he did not believe that he was the Chosen One, despite what Morpheus told him. The Oracle tells him that either he or Morpheus will soon die, and Neo resolves that he will sacrifice himself to save Morpheus. He is content with this decision. His life has meaning now.
The Ultimate Boon (Reward; seizing the sword)
This is what the quest was all about. The hero takes possession of what he came for.
In the case of Neo, he now has a detailed understanding of the Matrix, he loves Trinity and he is no longer the person he was at the beginning when he was too scared to take a leap of faith. He is willing to sacrifice himself for others.
The expression "seizing the sword," relates to actively and aggressively taking the prize desired in the special world (in tales of old, it was often a magic sword or kingly broken sword, or the sword of a hero, or a father's sword).
The Refusal of the Return
Having achieved his goal, the hero may not wish to go back to the ordinary world. For Neo, no such possibility exists.
The Magic Flight
The hero takes the precious gift back to the ordinary world, but is again chased and harried by enemies who wish to prevent his escape. Often, he attempts to use "magic", special gadgets (as in James Bond) etc, to raise obstacles in the path of the chasers and fend them off.
In the case of The Matrix, they are tracked and trapped by the Agents and heavily armed SWAT teams and, despite their attempt to use their "magic" powers to escape, they fail. Several are killed and Morpheus falls into the hands of the Agents.
Neo and Trinity put their own lives on the line to save him, showing that they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the community. They deploy their full "magic" powers in order to rescue him.
Rescue from Without
The hero may need help to get him back to the ordinary world, particularly if he has been injured or weakened by his quest.
Neo is eventually killed by Agent Smith but is resurrected (or one might say reincarnated in his old body) by Trinity's kiss and her overwhelming love for him.
Crossing the Return Threshold
When returning to the ordinary world, the hero must work out how best to use what he has gained to help the community.
In Neo's case, he is now "the One" and can manipulate the Matrix at will. He effortlessly defeats Agent Smith.
Master of the Two Worlds (Resurrection)
The hero has become a messiah-like figure who has mastered both spiritual and physical reality.
In The Matrix, Neo has suffered, died, and been resurrected. He has attained apotheosis and is effectively the Saviour in this world. He can now realistically overcome the controller of the Matrix.
Freedom to Live (Return with the Elixir)
The hero is released from fear of death and has the maximum freedom to live. He has returned home with new powers, new talents, and transcendent new knowledge. By his own efforts, he has raised himself to a higher level and can now help others. The elixir may be an object - gold, a grail, a sacred stone, a miracle drug, treasure, or it can be a spiritual quality such as love, self-understanding, enlightenment, happiness, contentment, health, fame, wealth, power, peace, success, knowledge etc.
In Neo's case, it's knowledge of how to overcome the Matrix and allow the trapped human beings to escape and lead meaningful lives. He can bring everyone to gnosis.
Neo is a representation of an ultimate hero: a Chosen One, a Messiah. He undergoes a descent into the underworld (down the "rabbit hole" and into the dark underground world of the human resistance to the controllers of the Matrix.) This is equivalent to a journey into the caves of the unconscious, the heart of darkness.
His mentor Morpheus initiates him into the "mysteries". His persona (his mask for facing the world) is dismantled as he realises that what he thought was reality is false and fake (symbolising that most of us are false and fake in the world we inhabit). He becomes a man of the ego rather than one of the persona i.e. he has graduated to a higher level of consciousness by removing his mask. He encounters his anima in the shape of Trinity and she helps to guide him towards his true Self. (His relationship with Trinity allows him to penetrate ever further into the dark recesses of the unconscious.)
He and his companions suffer betrayal (Cypher takes the role of Judas) and Morpheus is captured. Neo risks his own life to rescue his mentor then ensures that Morpheus and Trinity return to base safely. Agent Smith then finds him. Trinity wants Neo to run, but he stands his ground. This represents his confrontation with his shadow, with all the deadly contents of his mind that will sabotage and destroy him if he gives them a chance. This is the supreme struggle. After heroic resistance to Agent Smith's extraordinary power (representing the power the shadow wields over our lives), Neo is killed. All the while, his knowledge and awareness have been growing. By his self-sacrifice he has shown that he is ready to leave the plane of ordinary humans and ascend to the divine realm. His old self (governed by the ego) must die so that he can be resurrected as his new, true self (governed by the Self).
Trinity's unconditional love and her transcendent kiss of life help him to make the final transition (symbolising that we usually need the support and love of others before we can fulfil our potential). Neo immediately reincarnates in his former body and re-commences his fight with Agent Smith. This time, he defeats him with consummate ease. He goes inside Agent Smith's body then explodes from it in a dazzling burst of light: divine light has dispelled the shadow. Illumination has destroyed Neo's shadow and everything that was holding him back from realising his Higher Self.
We are part of a community. We need others to maximise ourselves and, in turn, we must help others to maximise themselves. We, and our community, advance together. In our contemporary culture, the Power Elite, the Old World Order - the dynastic families that rule the world - care only about themselves. They have no interest at all in helping "the masses" to rise to a higher plane. In fact they actively oppose such a transition since if the masses were of higher calibre, their power over them would be threatened.
The Matrix ends with Neo calling the Demiurge directly from a telephone box, while an onscreen message says "carrier anomaly". Neo says, "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know you're afraid. You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change." A new onscreen message appears: System Failure. Neo continues, "I came here to tell you how it's going to begin…I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you, a world without rules and controls, without borders and boundaries. A world where anything is possible."
He then soars into the sky…a man flying into the heavens like a god.
Neo's final message is exactly that of the Illuminati in relation to the Old World Order.
It's the task of all of us to be an anomaly, an error, in the Demiurge's system of control. He can control everyone else, but never us. We will be the malfunction in the Old World Order that brings about System Failure, the complete collapse of the Demiurge's tyranny, the end of the Old World Order.
And then we will have a world where "anything is possible."
The Unheroic Ego and the Transcendent Self
The Ego is turned towards materialism and the ordinary world while the Self is turned towards spirituality and the divine realm. In comparison with the Self, the Ego is extraverted while the Self is introverted. The more extraverted we are (i.e. the more we orient ourselves outwards rather than inwards), the less chance we have of reaching our Self. Those who have a strongly introverted, intuitive nature are those most likely to succeed in their quest to find their soul.
The Ego is locked into the Demiurge's materialistic world while the Self is our divine spark that connects us to the divine order.
We must move from the culture of the Ego (the arena of anti-heroes striving to be egotistic gods worshipped by the masses; the Satanic path of self-love, selfishness, narcissism and dominance over others; the over-rational mind that is mired in scientific materialism and rejects the spiritual aspect of life; the delusion that "consciousness" defines us) to the culture of the Self (the arena of true heroes, striving to raise everyone up to divinity, to form a community of gods; the path of the True God, of love of all, selflessness, self-mastery rather than mastery of others, of deep humility).
The greatest irony is that the masses slavishly worship and glorify "God" when, in fact, the True God is perfect humility and would never welcome being worshipped. Nothing is less god-like than the desire to be worshipped. To crave worship is to be a creature of an out-of-control ego. It is Satan who demands worship, and his followers (all of those so keen to bow and prostrate themselves) are Satan worshippers, nothing more and nothing less. The ceremonies of the Christians, Muslims and Jews where they debase themselves in their desperation to glorify Satan are grotesque and nauseating.
You should reject any religion that demands that you bow, prostrate yourself, pray constantly, restrict what you do on certain days, read a "holy" text over and over again to the exclusion of all other texts, wear certain clothes, avoid certain foods etc. These are nothing but ways of controlling you and no genuine religion would have anything to do with them. True religion is all about knowledge, liberation and salvation.
Although Neo is "God" in relation to the Matrix, there is no suggestion that anyone would start worshipping him, or waving holy texts in the air. There would be no priests and popes, imams and rabbis, temples, synagogues, churches and mosques for Neo. None of these things have any connection whatsoever with religion and spirituality. They are instruments of control, the tools of the Demiurge. A true religion dispenses with all of them. Neo had no desire to be worshipped. The idea would be absurd and offensive. Likewise, the True God desires nothing but that we should emulate him, and, finally, become one with him.
What person of true nobility and goodness would ever want people on their knees in front of him? Only a Tyrant wants the masses bowing before him in an act of degrading submission and subjugation. It's no accident that Islam means "submission" and that these unfortunates (the Muslims) have been brainwashed into prostrating themselves before a Fascist Dictator who revels in bloody sacrifices by way of suicide bombings that are done to "glorify" him and win his favour.
It would seem impossible that this "God" should not be seen for what he is: Satan, the counterfeit God, the false God, the god of blood and hate, division and oppression, the god who demands that no one should ever contemplate rivals, the "jealous" god who demands that his "book" must never be challenged. This is no God. God would never behave this way. This point cannot be emphasised enough - all forms of worship are Satanic. Anyone who tries to separate us from God, who attempts to portray an infinite and unbridgeable gap between God and us is wicked and evil. The Torah, Bible and Koran are grotesque books by false prophets, intended to lead us into the worship of the tyrant Satan. They are all about emphasising the difference between God and us, when they should be emphasising the similarities and showing us how we can become God. They are all about emphasising petty rules, regulations and commandments that turn us into slaves and robots. They are not a message of liberation, love, peace, hope and salvation, but the exact opposite.
These texts say that we are made in God's image. If so, why don't they say that we ourselves can become God? Gnostics teach that the imago Dei is imprinted on us all. We all have God's image within us. It's our Self. And if we succeed in reaching it, we can release our divinity. We move from the image of God to becoming one with God.
That is the true message of the fabled quest for the Holy Grail. It was never a straightforward object (rather it is the bridge between objects and spirit), and it certainly had no connection with the impostor Jesus Christ. The object of the quest is to achieve apotheosis, deification, absolute gnosis where we understand everything, have complete knowledge and have entered an indissoluble union with God where it is no longer possible to tell the difference between him and us.
"The sense of mystery, of a real danger to be faced, of an overwhelming Spiritual gain to be won, were of the essential nature of the tale. It was the very mystery of Life which lay beneath the picturesque wrappings; small wonder that the Quest of the Grail became the synonym for the highest achievement that could be set before men, and that when the romantic evolution of the Arthurian tradition reached its term, this supreme adventure was swept within the magic circle. The knowledge of the Grail was the utmost man could achieve, Arthur's knights were the very flower of manhood; it was fitting that to them the supreme test be offered. That the man who first told the story, and boldly, as befitted a born teller of tales, wedded it to the Arthurian legend, was himself connected by descent with the ancient Faith, himself actually held the Secret of the Grail, and told, in purposely romantic form, that of which he knew, I am firmly convinced, nor do I think that the time is far distant when the missing links will be in our hand, and we shall be able to weld once more the golden chain which connects Ancient Ritual with Medieval Romance."
Jessie L. Weston
The Soul Mystery
The soul is not some bizarre thing that exists in a weird dimension beyond the reach of science. It is not your consciousness, your ego, or what you regard as your identity. It is, however, every bit as extraordinarily mysterious and inaccessible as if it were in some alternative reality.
It resides at the heart of your psyche, at the centre of the collective unconscious that connects you to the whole of the human race. To reach your soul you must confront and embrace the contents of your unconscious mind. It's the greatest challenge of all, which is why so many questers fail. It often requires many lifetimes before you succeed. Reincarnation is an extremely complex subject that has nothing in common with Eastern notions of karma. (Other books in this series describe what reincarnation truly is.)
Yet although the soul is not easily reached, it is still within our grasp. We have an inbuilt archetypal program for managing it: our "Hero Program". All those who succeeded in finding the Holy Grail were heroes. All the great figures of ancient myths and legends were heroes. Even our cynical, cheap, junk, contemporary society is always seeking heroes. The hero is so important to the human psyche because it is the hero archetype that allows us to bridge the chasm between the Ego and the Self, between the centre of consciousness and the centre of the unconscious, between the mortal and immortal, the human and divine, the Demiurge's world and that of the True God.
Are you hero enough to succeed in the quest for the Holy Grail, the quest for your own soul? Some people think that if they join the Illuminati, their problems will be at an end: they will be told exactly what to do by those who have achieved illumination. Anyone who thinks that has no chance whatever of succeeding.
The "Hero program" is a more colourful and vivid version of Jung's so-called Individuation process, but it serves precisely the same need, for the Ego to be replaced by the Self as the focus of our psyche, for the vast unconscious to be brought into consciousness. You need to be a hero to reach the Self. After all, you are overcoming the greatest obstacle of all - yourself. No matter what the world throws at you, you have the choice, the freedom to do something about it. It may be staggeringly difficult, but that's why you need to be a hero. And if you're not a hero then what are you?
The hero's journey is the one you must undertake to be a human being who has lived to the fullest extent. This is your personal Grail quest. Most fail, but at least they tried. The worst are those who don't try: the Ignavi, the despicable ones, the Last Men.
Why do people flee from heroism? Low self-esteem, lack of ambition, cowardice, apathy, easily distracted by trivial pleasures - you name it. The greatest ordeal is to confront ourselves, to get rid of the all the bullshit we construct to protect our self-image, to smash down our ego defence mechanisms. We are all wounded but we can all try to heal ourselves. We can succeed if we pour our heart and soul into it.
We all have a lesson to learn. It's associated with our personal "secret", and we assuredly all have one. The Hero Program allows us to confront it, deal with it and move on to a higher level. Jung recognised that the task of an analyst was to discover a patient's secret because it was this secret that was preventing the patient from living properly. In this regard, the analyst is equivalent to the archetypal mentor. He helps the hero face the greatest challenges. He prepares him for the ordeal. But, ultimately, it is the patient and not the analyst who must do battle. The hero must find his shadow and deal with his secret wound, like the spiritual wound of the Fisher King. He must recognise the persona - the mask he wears for social acceptability - for the fake appendage it is and bring his true self into the external world. He must come to terms with his anima - the ideal of female perfection in his own mind - and recognise it for what it is: a way of compensating for qualities lacking in him. Finally he must reach into the deepest recesses of the collective unconscious and seize his Self, the archetype of archetypes, the divine spark itself. These are the steps of Jung's individuation process, and they are precisely the same steps that the hero must successfully accomplish.
When we make contact with our divine spark, we can retune to a new frequency, so to speak, and receive messages from the divine order. Our world is transformed. We have become our Higher Selves. We are like Neo as he flies for the very first time.
The Illuminati provide ten degrees of ascending difficulty for reaching the soul. Many members of the Illuminati never reach the last three mystery degrees, so being a member guarantees nothing. Why should reaching the soul be easy? Why would anyone think that? It's the culmination of a whole life's worth of dedication to the task. And not just one lifetime…many. Wouldn't you rather watch TV, go out for a drink, chat, shop, play some music, go on Facebook, do a few hours of video games (see if you can reach level 33 of that hot new release)? Most people don't have the guts, the dedication, the imagination. They love heroes, and they even fondly imagine that they are in some way heroic, but they are not. They are deluding themselves. Heroism is far beyond most people. They are so easily distracted from their goal. Like the Ignavi, they commit themselves to nothing. Like Nietzsche's Last Men, they seek petty comforts and joys. They are the masters of trivia. They always turn away from serious endeavours because they would prefer to fritter away their time. The Old World Order rely on it. Satan and his archons take if for granted. That's why they think they will never be defeated.
Bono, lead singer of U2, likes to present himself as some great benefactor, a hero in the fight against world poverty. Yet this man is one of the richest people on earth. It is precisely because people like him exist that others are so poor. The poor are a direct consequence of the existence of the super rich: it's simple cause and effect. Yet this nauseating hypocrite (together with his friend "Sir" Bob Geldof) struts around the world stage like some leprechaun peacock, meeting world leaders and revelling in all the attention. Bono is the supreme narcissist. He suffers from "ego inflation". This is where the Ego (essentially a self-centred, self-serving entity) hijacks and abuses the Self's selfless and altruistic urge for wholeness and for heroically helping the entire community. So we end up with the grotesque spectacle of a narcissist claiming the moral high ground, trumpeting his desire to help others while simultaneously enjoying the luxury lifestyle of the super rich. Hypocrisy as staggering as this is always caused by ego inflation. Saint Francis of Assisi gave away all of his riches to help the poor. He spent his entire life working amongst them. What a contrast with Bono and Geldof.
The Ego says: What's in it for me? It's all about me. Because I'm worth it. I'm all right, Jack. Who cares about anyone else?
The Self says: How may I serve? It's about us. Because we're worth it. Is everyone all right? Who needs help?
The hero, like the great ancient gods, suffers, dies and is resurrected. He must meet death before he can be reborn and transformed. He must sacrifice something like an old habit or belief; something that is blocking his progress. His task is to go from the humdrum, ordinary, boring world to the special, exciting, extraordinary world and bring back secret knowledge and special powers that raise him and his community to a higher level. He comes back renewed, stronger, better, and promoted to divinity.
"There are things known, and things unknown, and in between are The Doors."
"Things known" - consciousness, the material world, Ego.
"Things unknown" - the unconscious, the spiritual world, Self.
"The Doors" - the secret doors of human curiosity leading to the possibility of expanded consciousness and communication with the divine order.
All hero stories are about the hero going through the mystical door from the known to the unknown world, the ordinary to the extraordinary world, from consciousness into the unconscious, past the threshold guardians who test the hero and block his path. He must endure ordeals that would break lesser souls then return with secret knowledge that expands the boundaries of the known world. His quest involves a confrontation with death and brings about, at the very least, a symbolic death of his old self. Every story needs a teacher, a mentor, to prepare the hero for death. The hero's supreme goal is to find his Self, to become complete and whole.
We have a divided psyche - consciousness versus the unconscious, the Ego versus the Self - and that is the cause of our problems. When we heal our psyche by bringing the Ego under the control of the Self, by illuminating the unconscious contents of our mind that had previously haunted us, we reach a higher state of being. We are unique in the animal kingdom for having this Ego/Self split in our psyche. It's our task to try to reconnect the two.
The Soul Search
Why are souls so difficult to detect? The answer is simple: they can easily be mistaken for other things that we would fully expect to see, things that exist in the world all around us all of the time, things that fully exist in the objective, scientific world rather than in some weird and undefined other dimension. Our world is full of light, so how, for example, would you ever see a living light entity, capable of continually changing its form since it's not tied to rigid shapes of the type we are familiar with in the material world, and know it for what it is? You would always interpret it as something else. Is a "trick of the light" just that, or is it as glimpse of a light soul?
Souls are nothing like what you are told about in religious studies at school. Souls are light. If people opened their eyes - really opened them - they might start to see what is all around them.
The Death of the Ego and the "Birth" of the Self
In Jungian terms, the Self, the centre of the Psyche is the key to being a whole human, to maximising human potential, and ultimately to becoming God. The Self is the imago Dei, the image of God. It transcends normality, overcomes the boundaries of the ordinary, and allows us to perceive how everything is fundamentally interconnected. It's our apotheosis. The individual's entire centre has moved: from humanity to divinity.
A god always helps the group. The Self is concerned with the community and society while the Ego is concerned with selfishness and itself. The Self is the hero leading his people to safety while the Ego is Narcissus transfixed by his own reflection in the pool.
Jung's individuation process is a strategy for success, happiness and fulfilment in life. It's a practical model for leading a good and noble life. It revolves around personal growth, around becoming consciously aware of our true self rather than our false self - the Ego - with which we wrongly identify, thus alienating our Higher Self. The Self is far beyond the Ego, far more mysterious, and links us to the divine order. The key to self-development is for an individual to rise high above his ordinary self, then look down and see how limited his personal perspectives and conscious ideas are in comparison with the vastness of the collective unconscious that stretches all the way back to the very origins of the human race, and then to the roots of existence itself.
Our Ego is only a small part of who we are; a surface phenomenon, the tip of the iceberg. We have roots that stretch as deep as human history that are never seen or acknowledged, but it is these roots that nourish our soul. We have to escape from the tyranny of the Ego, from the delusion that this is who we really are. Richard Dawkins is someone locked into the Ego, with no idea of a greater, nobler and transcendent reality. His rightful condemnation of mainstream religion has tragically led him to cut himself off from the wonder and awe of the authentic religious world. Over and over he defends a narrow, sterile view of the human race, locked in a mindless process of pointless, mechanistic evolution that strips all meaning from human existence. That is what happens to those who become obsessed with a superficial "self" and see it as the only reality. The more they defend their position, the more they distance themselves from their true Selves.
The hero must undergo a symbolic showdown with himself (via his Shadow), endure a Crisis (a turning point), a Climax (point of maximum emotion) and a Denouement (a final outcome). He must be separated from his previous existence, must undertake a descent into an underworld or special world where he will be tested by an ordeal, be initiated into new and profound knowledge and return with this new knowledge to his original world. A person who returns at a higher state can keep repeating this process as part of a dialectical improvement.
The hero is aiming for an epiphany where he clearly sees the essence of things, and is reborn as a god. He desires self-realisation, self-actualisation, new insights, new perceptions…gnosis. He wants to undergo an apotheosis and begin again, this time as a god.
The Shadow is the primary obstacle to heroism. It contains all the undesirable, petty, lazy, apathetic, cowardly aspects that sabotage our efforts to make the most of ourselves, to express our true and highest nature. The encounter with the Shadow is our supreme ordeal.
Are you ready to slay your Shadow, to be a hero? Join The Movement, change the world and discover your soul. Or is that too much for you?
"If man hasn't discovered something to die for, he isn't fit to live."
Martin Luther King
All conflict is psychological. The wars, the cruelty, the inhumanity that have afflicted the human race throughout its turbulent history are products of a few simple psychological laws. Tragically for the world, the governments of nations comprise self-serving politicians rather than high calibre psychologists.
We live in the Shadow World, where the hidden contents of the human mind pour out in an endless torrent of callousness, violence, selfishness, greed, degradation and narcissism. That flow could be stemmed easily, simply by teaching people where it all comes from. But there are those in high places who have no desire to change anything. They love the sewers that humanity wades through. They want to watch us being debased and brutalised. We are the damned, the inmates of a planetary mental asylum. Humanity is the creature of the diseased unconscious. The toxins spill out everywhere, turning the atmosphere into pure poison. We can scarcely breathe because there's so much pollution. We are the undead, a vampire species sucking each other's blood and never seeing any true human face reflected in the mirror.
Yet we could easily escape from this twilight world and step into the sunlight. We need to demand that the political class that has failed us so dismally is swept aside. In their place, we would place meritocratic psychologists whose remit is not to manipulate how much money we have but to optimise the contents of our minds. "Psycho government" is government of people's minds, by people's minds for people's minds. If we cure the problems of the human mind, everything else - the arena of conventional politics - falls into place. Think of the trillions of dollars that would be saved if jails, police, armies, navies, airforces, nuclear armaments, conventional armaments, secret services, intelligence services, criminal lawyers, law courts were all rendered obsolete. With that money, the world could be altered beyond recognition. What are we waiting for?
The Persona, Shadow, Ego, Id, Anima/Animus, Superego and Aurum
The world is a masque. It's full of people wearing masks concealing their true selves. Jung called the human mask the persona. It's our public face, how we present ourselves to others. We have a variety of masks: one for work, one when we're with family, one when we're with friends, one for our sexual partners, and so on.
The closer our persona is to the person we think we are, the happier we are. We don't like having to mask our real thoughts and emotions, yet we know how difficult life would be if we told those we despise what we really thought of them. Most employees hate their bosses, and vice versa, yet they all have to engage in the pretence of mutual respect. Happy employees are those who respect and like their bosses, and vice versa. Good bosses are highly recognisable: the difference between their salary and that of their lowest paid employee is much smaller than that of the bad bosses and their lowest paid employees. To pay a pittance to any of your workers is to show contempt for them. The boss would never work for that money, but he expects others to accept it. Why should they? Inherent in capitalism's massive disparities of wealth is the virulent concept that some human beings are of much less intrinsic value than others and don't deserve any better than they get. If you have no respect for others, how can you expect the world to be a good place? The great Thomas Jefferson said that all men are created equal, but the Old World Order have spent all of their time proving the opposite.
Freud said that the superego component of our personality is the repository of the rules of our parents and of society in general, for the inner moral voice (the conscience), for respect for "authority". It is censorious, rule-bound and moralistic. It judges all of our actions and deems them acceptable or unacceptable. If unacceptable, the superego makes us feel guilt, shame and anxiety. The superego is closely related to the persona. Both are concerned with social acceptability, obeying the rules, acknowledging authority, conforming.
The id, on the other hand, couldn't care less about rules. It's guided by the pleasure principle and simply wants to have fun: to do whatever it likes, no matter what, and regardless of others. It is unashamedly selfish and considers that the whole world exists only to serve its needs. It is the expression of absolute personal freedom and vanity, of total lack of concern for others. The Old World Order are idists.
The Freudian ego sits between the id and superego, mediating between their conflicting desires. The ego obeys the reality principle i.e. it weighs up what is practical and what isn't. It carefully considers the consequences of actions. While the id is immoral and the superego moral, the ego is amoral, rational and calculating. Where possible, it will side with the id, but generally it acknowledges the superego's social rules.
Yet it knows that obeying the superego is just a cynical act. Where the superego has a conscience, the ego does not. The ego is a pragmatist and instrumentalist. For Jung too, there is an ego beneath the persona and, again, it is pragmatic. It knows when to wear a mask and when to drop it, except in the case when a person has identified so closely with their persona that it has consumed them: the actor can't stop playing his role. The longer he stays "in character" the more he fears that it's because he has no character of his own underneath. There's simply nothing there. Many successful people are of this kind, particularly those who hog the public eye, such as movie and TV stars, politicians and CEOs. They have dead eyes. They are defined by their persona. They shrivel if the limelight turns away from them. They can never step off the stage. If they do, it's usually to express the opposite of the persona - the shadow. (Jung's shadow is closely connected with Freud's id.)
Whereas the persona is heedful of and defined by others, the shadow revolves around the self. It's raw, uncivilised, primitive, self-seeking, animalistic, contemptuous of others. It's the inferior being within us, yearning to do everything that we have trained ourselves not to do. It's what society tells us not to be.
If the persona is Dr Jekyll, the shadow is Mr Hyde. If the superego is Dr Jekyll, the id is Mr Hyde, a creature of the night: a cruel, heartless figure stalking the shadows. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the protagonist stays supernaturally well preserved while a portrait of him locked in his attic becomes hideous, reflecting the corruption that should have been etched on his real face. His pristine, youthful face represents a perfect public mask. The portrait is his shadow and has turned utterly demonic.
Our world loves the "shadow". Newspapers never tire of turning every piece of news into a black and white story of good guys and bad guys. The former are those with a pleasing persona, the latter are the wicked shadow people who populate our nightmares. Gangsters are shadow characters. So are serial killers, megalomaniacs, dictators, cheating husbands, jealous boyfriends and bunny boiler girlfriends, thugs, femme fatales, criminals, robber barons, racketeers, carpetbaggers, conmen, and even those with unfortunate, clumsy personalities, those lacking charm and social graces. UK newspapers mercilessly pilloried Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister, because he was not a smooth operator in public. That made him "bad", someone not up to the job, someone from whom we should flee in revulsion. It's a well-known fact that in criminal cases beautiful people receive lighter sentences than ugly people, and are more likely to walk free.
Hollywood movies are full of shadow characters. TV shows and documentaries are obsessed with them. Crime novels, thrillers, whodunits, mysteries, fantasies, chick lit…they all have shadow characters in central roles.
In the story of Bluebeard, the protagonist's new wife is forbidden to open the locked door to his secret room, symbolising the unconscious where his shadow resides, hence an exceptionally dark, disturbing and dangerous place. Bluebeard's wife is lucky to escape with her life when, to satisfy her curiosity, she goes ahead and opens the door (metaphorically entering the most infernal part of her husband's unconscious). Her predecessors were not so fortunate.
In the tragic story of the Lady of Shalott, the eponymous heroine is forbidden to look directly at the world and must gaze at its reflection in a mirror. "I am half sick of shadows," she says in Tennyson's famous poem. The world she sees obliquely is the unconscious where the shadow lurks. She catches sight of Sir Lancelot, falls in love with the great knight, and can't stop herself looking directly at him. Instantly, her mirror shatters, symbolising mental breakdown. Knowing that her love will never be requited, she starts to die of a broken heart. She leaves instructions for her body to be placed in a black barge and directed downstream, where it eventually finds its way to Camelot and to Sir Lancelot himself. The river is a common symbol of the unconscious. Sir Lancelot is the Lady of Shalott's "animus": her unconscious, idealised image of a man. (Bluebeard is also an animus figure, though of a less salubrious kind.) In this tale, an encounter with the unconscious proves fatal.
The story of the Lady of Shalott can also be interpreted as a Gnostic allegory. The pure Lady in her high tower represents a soul in heaven. She becomes enamoured of the things of material world - represented by Lancelot - and succumbs to the lure of earthly delights, with the direst consequences. Her soul becomes trapped in the physical world, and she will have to endure many cycles of reincarnation until she can attain gnosis and escape.
In the fairytale Cinderella, the poor heroine in rags, locked in the dark basement, represents the shadow, the underdeveloped aspect of the personality. She is ignored and neglected by her elder sisters who shut her in whenever they go out. They represent the persona, interacting with the real world, while she stands for the contents of the unconscious, forbidden from being brought into the light of consciousness. However, the unconscious escapes into the real world (Cinderella goes to the ball). Cinderella meets her handsome Prince (the ego - the light of consciousness), but they are unable to sustain their liaison. They need another factor to come into play before they can enter a happy union with each other. The magic slipper represents the "transcendent function", the mysterious process that Jung invokes to overcome dialectical standoffs between thesis and antithesis. The transcendent function brings about the needed synthesis that moves a person onto a higher level of consciousness where many of the previously neglected contents of the unconscious are absorbed into consciousness. Finally, Cinderella and her handsome Prince are married - symbolising the higher synthesis, the union of ego and shadow, the penetration of the unconscious by consciousness.
Many fairytales have this archetypal nature. The wolf in Little Red Riding Hood is both an animus figure and a shadow character. When Little Red Riding Hood strays off the path (the superego's rules of proper conduct), she enters the stormy world of the unconscious, and the wild and dangerous sexuality of the id (like a ravening wolf). Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and all the staple antagonists of modern horror movies are also shadow creatures. Freddy Krueger literally lives in and emerges from nightmares…the shadow reifying itself and entering the real world.
The immensely successful Twilight series is so popular because it combines a vampire, a shadow figure, with a "nice" boy ruled by his superego. The vampire doesn't have sex and doesn't drink human blood. He is "vegetarian" - he only drinks the blood of animals and they must not be from endangered species. This is a caring, sharing, "green" vampire. Such a figure commands the fanaticism of teenage girls. They get the bad boy and good boy in one handsome package. They are allowed to enjoy "the eroticism of abstinence." The vampire is the sexy outsider, the rebel, the unconventional one that girls often fixate upon. Yet this particular vampire is also loyal, dutiful, considerate, romantic and loving - the other type to which girls are drawn. He is both marriage material and a bit dangerous: a perfect combination in the imagination of a teenage girl. Thus from simple psychological elements are worldwide bestsellers born. The author of the Twilight series is a religious fanatic - a Mormon - who is no doubt haunted by a highly erotic shadow. Her books are simply a reflection of her own unconscious struggle between her restrictive religion and her dark desires.
The alien abduction experience that many people report has several interpretations. One is that it is about being absorbed by your shadow, your alien inner self. The alien, the "other", is often a symbol of the shadow.
The vast majority of stories can be analysed as encounters between elements of consciousness and those of the unconscious. In Kafka's The Trial, the protagonist represents the ego entering the bewildering world of the unconscious with its own very odd rules (represented by the labyrinthine and illogical legal proceedings of the trial) where no reason can be discerned, mysterious forces are at play, and failure to come to terms with the unconscious inevitably leads to death. In Kafka's The Castle, the protagonist is again the ego and is again completely frustrated in his attempts to make any sense of the unconscious (represented by the mysterious castle of the title from which strange and confusing messages emanate, like the contents of a dream).
Kafka's stories can also be interpreted gnostically. In The Trial, the protagonist (the human soul) is in the Demiurge's world, does not understand what it is doing there, nor what is being done to it by the archons - those upholding the bizarre laws of the Demiurge's world - and is trying to attain gnosis and escape, but finds that there is no harder task, and failure is deadly.
In The Castle, the human soul is again trying to attain gnosis (the protagonist is always desperately seeking information, knowledge and truth), but only receives garbled messages from the higher world (symbolised by the mysterious and impenetrable castle) that do not provide illumination, thus showing the difficulties of making contact with the divine order.
In The Great Gatsby, the rich and beautiful Daisy Buchanan - "Her voice is full of money." - is Gatsby's anima figure, the narrator Nick Carraway is his superego (temporarily seduced but then disgusted by the moral degeneration of the world of shallow narcissists obsessively pursuing wealth and fame). Gatsby himself is a shining persona with nothing underneath. He has shirts that he doesn't wear, books that he doesn't read, a pool he doesn't swim in. He throws lavish parties he never attends. It's all for show, all an illusion. Meanwhile, his shadow is coming for him, and eventually it kills him. The green light he likes to look towards across the water is pointing, firstly, at his anima (Daisy Buchanan), but also beyond that, to the Imago Dei - the image of God (the Higher Self) that he yearns for. But he is separated from it by the water (the unconscious) that he can't cross. The Old World Order are often sad, Gatsby-like figures.
In almost all movies and novels, you will discover interplay between characters based on id, ego, superego, shadow, persona and anima/animus. These are archetypal figures and they are involved in the archetypal stories that we see all around us every day. Your work colleagues, your friends, your lovers, your family…look closely and you will see the archetypes manifesting themselves in their behaviour.
If you examine the conflicts of the world, you will not find religion, philosophy, nationalism, politics, economics, justice, justness or any other of the usual pretexts, but the id and the shadow alone - the dark side of the "force" to use the Star Wars terminology (Star Wars was deliberately designed as an archetypal story). And you will find a phenomenon known as projection whereby we cast our shadow - the deep and dark contents of our own unconscious, the things we particularly dread and wish to avoid and disown - onto others so that we can pretend to ourselves that they don't exist within us. The victims of our projection are our scapegoats. We transfer our sins to them and then we sacrifice them to our gods to be rid of them. In exorcism, the demons come from within us, not from within the "possessed". We are Dorian Grays. Rather than confront our horrific shadow, we would rather cast it onto someone else. Then we can safely hate it because we are able to delude ourselves that it's not part of us. Yet, in truth, it becomes even more deeply embedded, and now it also carries our guilt and shame at what we have done.
Conflict is the consequence of our failure to understand our unconscious minds, of the failure of governments to pursue psychology as a means of conflict resolution. "Politics" consists of the horse-trading of neuroses and psychoses dressed up as principles and just causes. Of course, governments themselves are in denial about the filth, the bestiality, and the primal desires locked inside their own unconscious.
"Sin for Salvation" is a technique used for releasing pent-up tension. The whole world needs Sin for Salvation. Jung recognised that those who had not had an encounter with their shadow, those who had not sought to master its secret contents, were leaving themselves open to catastrophic projections of their shadows. People who are obsessed with "sin", who draw up endless commandments, rules and restrictions are those who are guaranteed to push their own sinful natures deep into their unconscious and then project them onto others. Whenever you hear an evangelist frothing at the mouth about sin, you should shudder in revulsion, because you know that this man's unconscious is full of perversion, and someone somewhere will surely suffer because of it.
Jung considered that the perfection attributed to Christ was a problem because such perfection was psychologically bound to summon its opposite: the Antichrist. It was a psychological law, he maintained, and it explains why there is such an expectation amongst Christian Fundamentalists of the coming of the Antichrist. It's their own shadow content - the content they have done so much to repress - that is really coming. These are not healthy, whole people. They have not come to terms with their shadow.
The more restrictive and rule-bound society is, the larger is its shadow. The most hypocritical, debauched and depraved societies have always been those that claimed to be the most moral. Victorian Britain, on the surface, was a model of Christian rectitude and probity. Underneath the facade, prostitution, decadence and exploitation were rife. "Good" Christian men and women treated millions of poor people as sub-human.
Modern America calls itself the world's hyper power and yet a huge proportion of its people live in abject poverty and misery. Hurricane Katrina, and the devastation it wrought in New Orleans, revealed the hidden underbelly of America - the true face of America, the Dorian Gray portrait that the government never shows to the world. President Obama is the latest feeble attempt to conceal the reality.
A liberal Facebook society can have a huge shadow too. Those who don't conform to the Facebook mentality are labelled losers, loners, dorks, geeks, nerds, anoraks. They are "uncool". Yet what is really being reflected here is that the Facebook generation lives in terror of having no social lives and no friends. They compile long lists of fake friends, virtual friends, cyber-friends…all to make them feel less lonely. Yet all the while their anxiety grows because they are all too aware of how synthetic, fleeting and disposable these relationships really are.
Schizophrenia can be regarded as a condition where the shadow is projected not onto others, but onto the sufferer's own ego. The ego then attacks itself until it finally fragments into a number of hostile voices. It is reminiscent of an autoimmune disease but, instead of the body attacking itself, it is the mind that attacks itself.
Muslims, with their disgust for the "infidel", project their own doubts about their faith onto others. They think that if they kill the unbelievers they will banish their own doubts. The fanatical Christian Crusaders were of a similar ilk. The witch-hunting crazes of medieval northern Europe, the Salem witch trials of America, the Soviet show trials of the twentieth century…they all concern a desperate attempt by the "true believers" to destroy the unbelievers, but they can never succeed because the unbelief is actually inside themselves. The worst horrors are frequently internal, not external.
There are those who say the horrors of the past couldn't happen now, yet they're everywhere, just as before. The War on Terror, immigrants, scroungers, vagrants, beggars, gypsies, hoodies, druggies, gangs, trailer trash…the list of those we demonise is endless. "Tabloid" newspapers are psychotic in their hatred of the "other". "Shock jocks" do nothing but pour out the poison from their own shadows. They have no self-awareness, and nothing constructive to say. They are experts at summoning images of the Enemy, the Evil Stranger, the Predator, the Stalker, the sinister Other.
The lynch mob, the baying crowd, the rabid "moral majority", projects its collective shadow onto its victims. David Icke and his kind orchestrate the collective shadow of crazed anarcho-capitalist libertarians. The "Truth" movement's hysteria grows in direct proportion to the extent to which its arguments are refuted. Has any member of the Truth movement ever backed down on a single point? These same people project their collective shadow onto the Illuminati and the New World Order. Their warped image of the Illuminati exists only in their own minds.
If you believe in the devil, you'll be determined to find him "out there" so that you can say, "Told you so." You'll always find him all right - in your own shadow, which you'll always project onto others, whom you will then persecute for being Satanic.
A nation can have a collective shadow. Nazi Germany, in pursuit of Aryan purity, rejected everything that deviated from its rigid definition of blond, blue-eyed Nordic perfection. Endless toxins were crammed into the Nazi shadow and then projected onto all of those didn't match the Nazi ideal, the Jews in particular. The death camps were built by the shadow. They are the sacrificial temples of the shadow.
Jesse Owens is someone who should be held in the highest regard because he went into the capital of Nazi Germany during the Olympics and showed that the Nazi ideology was spectacularly false by winning four gold medals.
As for the Jews, they themselves have now developed a grotesque shadow that they project onto the Palestinians. In response, Islam's collective shadow is projected onto Israel and its ally America, which then also drags in America's European allies. The West then projects its collective shadow onto Islam, and so we go round and round, with Satan and his archons orchestrating the great shadow show. We live in the long night of shadows, and only Illumination can dispel the darkness.
Men who commit homophobic attacks may be fearful about their own sexuality. Bullies may be terrified that deep down they are weak and feeble: they're getting their retaliation in first. The Old World Order are haunted by the idea that they are pathetic nothings, so they project that onto everyone else. They do everything to separate themselves from ordinary people. They are infinitely greedy so that they can afford endless status symbols to differentiate themselves from regular people. They are driven, above all other things, to be "somebodies", to be better than the masses that they regard as non-entities, as a collective waste of space. Read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged if you want to know the sheer contempt that the super-rich feel for ordinary men and women. Every fan of Rand's "vision" is psychotic. Many such people are prominent in the highest echelons of American life.
The Old World Order live in terror of the truth that they know all too well; that there is nothing remarkable about them. These are not great geniuses. They are not dazzling philosophers, scientists, poets, artists, musicians or inventors. They didn't come from the humblest of origins. They are not self-made men. They are born into privilege, given every advantage, given "access all areas" passes to the most influential people and jobs. These are not masters of the universe. They got lucky, nothing more. They know as well as anyone that they don't deserve their good fortune, and the more they know that the more they try to pretend that they are worth it. Underneath it all, they have a crippling insecurity complex. They're terrified of losing it all, of having it all taken away from them (an outcome they know is entirely just). To make themselves seem worthy of it, they must do everything to increase the gap between them and us, to transform it into an unbridgeable, unassailable gulf.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that the Emperor Caligula concluded that either emperors were gods, or men were beasts. How else could the infinite distance between them be explained? The same logic is used by the OWO. If regular men and women are human then they must be gods in comparison, and rewarded appropriately. If they themselves are ordinary then regular men and women must be sub-human who deserve only the worst treatment. Either way, the financial gap between them must be made as vast as possible.
But we play along. We promote celebrities and the super-rich to the status of gods. They are the heroes of our culture, the people we want to be. We yearn for their lifestyles, their power and influence, their fame and prestige. We are in a pathological relationship of mutual dependency with them. The more they steal from us and widen the gap between us, the more we admire them, the more we want what they have. It's a form of the Stockholm Syndrome - we start to take the side of our oppressors, those who have kidnapped our minds. We vote them into power. We do nothing to challenge them. We let them walk all over us.
Human beings have an archetype named "Aurum" (the Latin for gold, although fool's gold might be more appropriate). It represents our craving for a personal earthly paradise. It's our fantasy version of ourselves leading the ideal, golden life. (Collectively, it represents our ideas about fabled Golden Ages of the past, the days of the Garden of Eden, Shangri La, Camelot etc). We project it onto others, onto those who have we want, those who are what we want to be. They are the golden people and we would give anything to be like them. We hero worship them, love them. We'll give them whatever they want. Advertisers relentlessly exploit this strange obsession, this mental illness regarding celebrity, that afflicts so many of us.
The Aurum archetype is all about temptation. Every human must learn to overcome it. It underlies our pathetic, childish worship of celebrities and the super-rich. It's what Mephistopheles offers. If we accept, we have sold our soul, just like the members of the Old World Order. They are the legion of the damned. They are legion for they are many.
Clausewitz said that war is the continuation of politics by other means. In fact, war is the discontinuation of psychological self-awareness.
Society must remove its mask. Nations must drop the mask. Hypocrisy is ingrained. Individuals have to face life more honestly. The institutions that promote hypocrisy - particularly mainstream religions and political parties - must be abolished. Our masks grip our faces so tightly we can barely breathe. Only when we strip away the masks can we bathe in the light of consciousness and taste clean air.
We will always have a dark side, but we need to learn to live with it, deal with it and understand it. Society will be much healthier if we diminish the power and ubiquity of the mask, and let the shadow find channels of expression. Best of all would be to harness Nietzsche's concept of sublimation, to take the dark energy of the shadow and direct it into healthy areas and works of creativity. Our bodies and minds would be healthier, our culture elevated.
Nietzsche despised Christians because they hated human nature. (Sex, to a Christian, is pure sin. Pleasure is unacceptable. Alcohol is the drink of the Devil. The Christians deny their desires, renounce them, denounce them, exterminate them.) Nietzsche also hated those who overindulged their desires, who surrendered to every temptation. Sublimation was his answer to both problems. Humanity could raise itself by converting primitive drives and desires into higher pursuits - art, philosophy, science, creativity. Killing the passions was no good, and nor was submitting to them; they had to be alchemically transformed from base desires to noble ones. Physical lead must become spiritual gold.
Nietzsche admired the ancient Greeks because they were able to have great Dionysian festivals where they celebrated sex and alcohol. The rest of the time, having got the passions out of their system, they could devote to the great culture for which they became world famous. Isn't that what we need too? - new festivals of Dionysus a few times a year; Sin for Salvation. Letting it all out, so that it no longer haunts us. Then we can seek to re-direct our passions to higher goals. It is the opposite of Christian self-hate; it's the opposite of endless indulgence; it's periodic excess in order to allow the release of prolonged creative passion.
The self-haters and the sin-obsessed create monstrous shadows that crave the greatest debauchery. The over-indulgers create shadows that are neurotic, paranoid, rule-bound. Both extremes are dangerous. Sublimation, the middle path, is where harmony, balance and creativity lie.
Nietzsche advocated a union of Dionysian and Apollonian forces. Dionysus provides group ecstasy and intoxication. Apollo provides contemplation, art and reason for the cultured individual. Balance is provided when Apollo harnesses Dionysus.
Nietzsche said that Greece lost its way when Greek tragedy, under the influence of the playwright Euripides, started to lose its Dionysian energy and become too Apollonian. With the rise of Socrates and Plato, Greek philosophy also became massively over-rational. The world turned increasingly Apollonian and cast an ever-greater Dionysian shadow of horror and terror. The solution is to bring back Dionysus. When it is an explicit and well-understood part of our culture, it will no longer cast its shadow.
The more the shadow is repressed, the more power it acquires, the more it grows, the more dangerous it becomes. If we let it grow too strong, it overwhelms us. The War on Terror is a struggle between collective shadows. A proper understanding of psychology could resolve all conflict and lead to "Crime Zero: War Zero", the condition of no crime and no conflict anywhere on earth.
Of course, there are real enemies as well as projected shadows. Satan, his archons and the OWO are all too real. Yet understanding our shadow in all of its manifestations can enable us to defeat them. If we diminish the shadow, we increase the light.
Satan is the shadow director, the orchestrator of the poisons present in the unconscious. He thrives on imbalance, on unconscious desires and unspoken fears. To defeat him, society has to attain harmony, proper balance between men and women, young and old, different races, different religions, different nations, different economic systems, different political systems.
The New World Order is based on sublimation and psychological balance. It is about defusing the shadow, both individual and collective.
The True God is unique: he has no unconscious. He is fully self-aware. Every aspect of his mind has been brought into consciousness, every "issue" resolved. Satan, the counterfeit God, on the other hand, is controlled by his unconscious. He has almost no true self-knowledge.
Gnosticism, the pursuit of the highest, transcendent knowledge, is fundamentally psychological. Knowledge grows as more and more of the unconscious is illuminated by consciousness. When we understand our minds fully then we know the mind of God.
The Imago Dei - the image of God - is within us, at the centre of our unconscious, at the precise centre of our psyche. That is what we must find if we wish to succeed in our quest for the Holy Grail.
The Human Aura
Are there people with psychic powers who can see colourful auras around others, giving them direct access to our "hidden emotions"? Do they know when people have been suffering from suicidal depression and can they accurately predict the day of their death? Or is it all moonshine and charlatanry?
In fact, there's a way in which the subject of "auras" is scientifically respectable. Consider how our minds construct the colours of the world. If we were colour blind, we would never contemplate the blueness of the sky. The blueness is produced by how minds interpret sensory data, not the sensory data itself. The light reaching our eyeballs is exactly the same whether or not we are colour blind. The colour isn't on the light's side of the fence, it's on ours. Colour is a subjective experience based, ultimately, on how light interacts with the physical structures - and in particular the brain wiring - produced by our DNA, and how our minds interpret that interaction. None of us can be sure that our experience of "blue" is the same as someone else's. There's simply no way to tell.
What if the brain wiring that gives rise to the signals we interpret as colours got mixed up somehow and instead of being based on light it was based on our subjective interpretation of someone's emotional mood. If we think they're down in the dumps, we might see them as a having a tinge, an aura, of gloomy, purple-black. If they're happy and cheerful, we might see them glowing with a warm orange-yellow. Depending on how accurate our emotions detector is we might literally be able to see people's moods as colour coded.
People with a rare condition known as emotion-colour synaesthesia may indeed see colourful auras around others, but nothing paranormal is going on. Jamie Ward, a psychologist at University College London, said, "These colours do not reflect hidden energies being given off by other people, rather they are created entirely in the brain of the beholder."
Welcome to the bizarre world of synaesthesia, a condition found in approximately one in every two thousand people. In sufferers, stimulation of one sense produces a response in one or more of the other senses. So, for example, when a sufferer sees a certain breed of dog, they might hear a certain piece of classical music, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, for example. When they see a different breed, they might hear an Elvis Presley song. Others may experience shapes with tastes or smells with colours. The range of unexpected combinations is effectively infinite. Scientists increasingly believe that the cause of these surprising associations is cross-wiring in the brain.
In a normal person, visual signals are processed exclusively in the visual cortex. But what if inappropriate neural wiring caused the auditory cortex to be triggered too? Then a sound would be experienced too even though no sound was made.
In Ward's study, "GW" could see colours such as purple and blue in response to people she knew or when their names were read to her. For example, "James" triggered pink, "Thomas" black and "Hannah" blue. These colours spread across her whole field of vision.
Ward said, 'The ability of some people to see coloured auras of others has held an important place in folklore and mythology throughout the ages. Although many people claiming to have such talents could be charlatans, it is also conceivable that others are born with a gift of synaesthesia.'
Synaesthesia may indeed be a gift that enriches people rather than a condition they suffer. Synaesthesia rarely has any debilitating effects. In fact, arguably those with it can have deeper, more stimulating experiences than the rest of us. Indeed some scientists have speculated that neural cross-wiring of this kind may lie at the root of creativity, and may exist in all of us to some degree, allowing us to make connections that would never otherwise be apparent.
The use of psychedelic, hallucinogenic drugs can induce synaesthesic experiences in those who don't have the necessary wiring.
Imagine that there was a time long ago when human beings could routinely see each other's aura. Life would have been a lot more colourful!
Jung's Concept of Archetypes
Jung defined an archetype as "an irrepresentable, unconscious, pre-existent form that seems to be part of the inherited structure of the psyche and can therefore manifest itself spontaneously anywhere, at any time" [Collected Works, 10, paragraph 847]. Archetypes, according to Jung, constitute the contents of the collective unconscious. This, Jung says, "contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual." [Collected Works, 8, paragraph 342].
Arguably, we are the products of our DNA. How does Jung's "spiritual heritage" relate to our genetic inheritance? Does Darwinian natural selection apply to this spiritual heritage? If so, what is selected and what is discarded, and how is this process conducted? Have some archetypes fallen by the wayside? Is there scope for random mutations in archetypes, as in genes?
Jung suggested that the archetypes were "present in the germplasm" so in fact he was proposing nothing less than parallel and interactive evolution of biological and psychic forms.
Philosopher A C Grayling said, "Biological 'design' is manifestly not the outcome of previous planning and execution by an intelligent purposive agency, unless that agency is markedly incompetent or markedly malevolent."
That does not rule out Jung's hypothesis. Jung is not suggesting any form of conscious, intelligent design. Rather, he is proposing unconscious mental activity that would, inevitably make many blunders just as Grayling has suggested.
We have no fossil record to study of the psychic evolution, but we do have cave paintings, ancient religions, legends and myths. These have mutated over the long centuries every bit as much as the fossils.
We can't examine archetypes directly since they exist in the twilight zone of the collective unconscious. We must infer their existence from how - via dreams, images, symbols, myths and stories - they manifest themselves in our consciousness and our writings, religions and art. Have all of these not evolved remarkably?
Human evolution began with the appearance on earth of single-celled creatures. Did these cells also have unconscious minds, the seeds of what became modern consciousness? It's an exceptionally powerful and intriguing idea.
Humans and chimpanzees have 98% of their DNA in common. Analysis of chimpanzee behaviour reveals that it has many similarities with human behaviour. A theory that explains human behaviour is likely to have validity in terms of chimpanzee behaviour too, albeit at a level that is more primitive.
Although chimpanzees and other non-human animals are not traditionally considered to be conscious, there's no reason to exclude the possibility that on the "consciousness continuum" they are knocking on the door of consciousness and have their own chimpanzee archetypes guiding them.
Jung began formulating his ideas about archetypes when he observed that insane people were seemingly invoking a collective fund of common symbols in their dreams and delusions. There was "method in their madness", clear patterns.
Jung's ideas about archetypes have perhaps had their greatest impact in the creative writing industry, and the analysis of myths and legends. Joseph Campbell's book The Hero with a Thousand Faces was strongly influenced by Jung's ideas.
Campbell asserted that all myths, no matter what part of the world they come from or when they were written, were derived from a single template that he referred to as the "Hero's Journey", or "monomyth", comprising twelve basic steps. The power of this monomyth is demonstrated in the present era by the success of movies such as Star Wars and The Matrix, which are closely modelled on Campbell's story-telling template.
More recently, Christopher Vogler has written The Writer's Journey which borrows heavily from Campbell's work. Many creative writers use this book as a guide for how to structure their novel/screenplay and to decide which characters they should use to populate it. Hollywood is replete with screenplays following Campbell and Vogler's "Hero" template. They provide an excellent framework for story analysis.
Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is often cited as an example of the Jungian conflict between the persona and the shadow. It could equally well be interpreted as Freud's superego versus the id.
Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is an example of the Ego versus Shadow in literature, but on another level it's a cautionary tale about the pathological consequences of the Peter Pan syndrome (Puer Aeternus: the eternal boy). Is the TV series The Prisoner an additional example of Ego versus Shadow given that 'No.1' and 'No.6' are the same person, or is it telling us that we are our own gaolers, that the one inescapable prison is ourselves?
The twelve steps of the archetypal Hero's Journey are:
1) Ordinary World
2) Call to adventure
4) Meeting with the Mentor
5) Crossing the Threshold
6) Tests, Allies, Enemies
7) Approach to Inmost Cave
9) Reward (Seizing the Sword)
10) The Road Back
12) Return with the Elixir
These steps have much in common with visiting a psychotherapist and undergoing a course of treatment:
JOURNEY TO THE PSYCHOTHERAPIST
1) Normal life; problem has not yet manifested itself
2) First appearance of problem
3) Reluctance to confront problem; denial; anger
4) Meeting with Therapist
5) Negotiate programme of treatment with Therapist
6) First attempts to overcome problem; encounter setbacks
7) The need to overcome problem is more urgent; danger of failure more apparent; depression setting in
8) Painful acceptance of problem and confronting it head-on
9) Possible cure; shining moment
10) Renewed tests, trials, temptations that threaten to reverse the cure
11) Cure tested almost to destruction, but survives
12) Return to normal life, cured
The "Twelve Steps" of Alcoholics Anonymous have much in common with the Hero's journey. The alcoholic has to become a hero and search for his Higher Self (God). It's his ego that is the true alcoholic and only the Self can rescue him. He has to bravely and heroically admit his shortcomings to himself and, especially, others (since it's easy to dupe oneself). He has to make restitution for his mistakes and the harm he did to others. When he has found his Higher Self after a long and arduous journey, he must bring back the wisdom he has gained and help others:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The hero's journey is reflected in the hero's character arc, which Vogler defines in the following twelve steps:
1) Limited awareness of a problem
2) Increased awareness
3) Reluctance to change
4) Overcoming reluctance
5) Committing to change
6) Experimenting with first change
7) Preparing for big change
8) Attempting big change
9) Consequences of the attempt (improvements and setbacks)
10) Rededication to change
11) Final attempt at big change
12) Final mastery of the problem
In Jung: A Very Short Introduction, Anthony Stevens wrote: "What he refused to tolerate was the prevalent fallacy of scientism - the denial of everything that is not susceptible to scientific explanation. He preferred to give due weight to those irrational, acausal experiences which science declines to consider worthy of its attention."
Jung said, "Science comes to a stop at the frontiers of logic, but nature does not; she thrives on ground as yet untrodden by theory." [Collected Works, 16, paragraph 524].
The Basic Storytelling Steps of Myths and Fairytales
Myths and fairytales can be broken down into a small number of basic steps. All the world's greatest stories can be analysed in these terms. Many of the same steps and characters that appear in the Hero's Journey also appear in fairytales. However, characteristically, a fairytale contains fewer steps and fewer archetypal figures.
If we take Jack and the Beanstalk as a typical fairytale, we can highlight the reduced set of steps that feature in a fairytale. There are eight in general:
1) Ordinary World: Jack lives in a cottage with his widowed mother. They are poor and need to sell their cow at the market.
2) Call to Adventure: Jack meets an old man on the road to market and trades the cow for magic beans.
3) First Threshold: Jack must climb the magic beanstalk to enter the extraordinary world: the Land of the Giant. (The extraordinary world is the world of magic, the faeryworld, the Otherworld, and is entered via some sort of portal. In Jack's story, the beanstalk plays the role of portal.)
4) Tests, Allies, Enemies: Jack in the Land of the Giant.
5) Ordeal: Jack chased by the Giant.
6) Reward (Seizing the Sword): Jack successfully steals the Giant's treasures.
7) The Road Back: Jack climbs back down the beanstalk and chops it down while the Giant is clambering down in pursuit.
8) Return with the Elixir: Jack returns to his mother with the Giant's hen that lays golden eggs and the Giant's golden harp that sings. At the end of the fairytale, Jack and his mother are rich and happy. Jack's adventure has transformed their personal fortunes.
Refusal of the Call, Mentor, Approach to the Inmost Cave and Resurrection are the steps that are typically omitted in fairytales. In the first case, fairytale characters are usually eager to begin their adventure (as Jack is); in the second case, there is rarely a need for a mentor because the adventure is too simple to merit one; in the third case, the approach to the inmost cave might be too traumatic for a child to read about, and the same is mostly true for the Resurrection component (though Red Riding Hood, for example, is "resurrected" in some endings of that particular fairytale, emerging from the dead wolf).
Vladimir Propp, a Russian scholar, analysed Russian folktales and proposed that they contained thirty-one basic elements. Others reduced this number to just five:
1) hero discovers a lack in himself or his life
2) hero goes on a quest
3) hero finds helpers/opponents
4) hero is given tests
5) hero is rewarded, or a new lack develops
So, the most enduring stories of a traditional character, whether myths, fairytales or folktales, are built around a small number of basic and common steps. The formula is a simple one: a hero leaves his ordinary world, enters an extraordinary world where he has a great adventure involving tests and trials, and returns (tragedies excepted) as a better person, often with a treasure.