This message is especially for those ascending to positions of leadership in the U.S. government in 2017. Not that it isn’t appropriate also for each of us, or for those alreadly leading transnational corporations and such. End-of-year holidays have a way of taking us into moods that transcend egos for a day or two. Some center of identity in us surfaces and ego becomes subservient. This message is about expanding that brief experience into a psycho-spiritual transformation of the human. Whenever we see that mood take over our holiday, it’s evidence that a new human is possible. Each of us can re-invent in 2017 the human that we are. I’m lobbying prayerfully with pen and active feet—and also in a silence where the powers of the soul that transcend egos guides life.
The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable (available Valentine’s Day 2017). It describes the “surprised egos” which save us from ourselves. May egos who believe they rule the world be so surprised.
To the complete surprise of ego-consciousness, the underground, though a habitat of dragons and foes for egos, is a habitat of partners for Self-consciousness. In other words, we don’t need to be saved from the underworld as much as we need to be saved by it. The shift from ego to Self, and from MultiEarth civilization to OneEarth societies, requires a death of one way so that a new way can come to life. Jesus put it succinctly:”Only those who lose their life will save it.” (Gospel of Matthew 10:39)
Jungian psychotherapist James Hollis elaborates:
A mystery so profound that none of us really seem to grasp it until it has indisputably grasped us, is that some force transcendent to ordinary consciousness is at work within us to bring about our ego’s overthrow…. That force, paradoxically, is the Self, the architect of wholeness which operates from a perspective larger than conventional consciousness. How could the ego ever come to understand, let alone accept, that its overthrow is engineered from within, by that transpersonal wisdom that has our being’s interests at heart even in our darkest moments? This idea of beneficent overthrow is preposterous to the ego, for overthrow embodies the greatest threat to it, through the loss of sovereignty and the sum- mons to live an agenda much larger and more demanding than the agenda of childhood adaptation and survival.
…. Stronger souls seek therapy; the more damaged seek someone to blame. (Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, 70-71)
Such a radical shift in our psycho-spiritual identities has stretched our use of language. Some speak of the death of the ego because it must surrender control. The radical shift of identity we needtoday for planetary impact must happen not only in people. Ego must surrender control of its cherished accomplishment, MultiEarth civilization, in order to serve the greater purpose that Self and Earth seek. But ego doesn’t die in the sense that it can be buried and be superseded. Jungian analyst James Hollis says it more accurately: “When its [ego’s] hegemony is overthrown, the humbled ego begins the dialogue with the Self” (James Hollis, The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife, 27). After the overthrow, our species functions with an identity in which Self, along with a repurposed ego, directs life, we travel in a topography that civilization has not known how to gain. Self has the deep, inherent structures, along with archetypal ener- gies and potentials, to handle the expansions our consciousness needs to make. Self can get us to Earth-size living by bringing powers from the underworld to the surface.