Why is man unconsciously pursuing the road to his perdition?
I posed this utterly scary but fundamentally vital question in a post yesterday. Through an incredible synchronicity the same day, I bumped into this article written by Paul Levy on Monica Cassani´s blog, which has given me the answer I have been long searching for.
Here some excerpts answering my initial question.
“It does seem that we are possessed by some demonic power that is leading us, trance like, into self-destruction.”
Jung comments, “…an unknown ‘something’ has taken possession of a smaller or greater portion of the psyche and asserts its hateful and harmful existence undeterred by all our insight, reason, and energy, thereby proclaiming the power of the unconscious over the conscious mind, the sovereign power of possession.”
“When we are possessed we are not free, we are not masters in our own house. When we are possessed by the unconscious, we become dissociated from ourselves such that, as Jung writes, there is “a tearing loose of part of one’s nature; it is the disappearance and emancipation of a complex, which thereupon becomes a tyrannical usurper of consciousness, oppressing the whole man. It throws him off course and drives him to actions whose blind one-sidedness inevitably leads to self-destruction.”
“Commandeering and colonizing our psyche, a split-off, autonomous complex is, potentially, like a “vampiric virus,” in that it is fundamentally “dead” matter; it is only in a living being that it acquires a quasi-life. Just like a vampire re-vitalizes itself by sucking our life-force, when we unconsciously identify with an activated autonomous complex, we are literally animating and en-livening the undead. Complicit in our own victimization, we then unwittingly give away our freedom, power, and life-force in the process.
An autonomous complex can’t stand to be seen, however, in much the same way that a vampire detests the light. A demon or autonomous complex will shape-shift and do everything in its power to resist being illumined, for once it is seen, its autonomy and omnipotence are taken away. Anchored, connected and related to consciousness, the demon or autonomous complex can then no longer vaporize back into the unconscious, which is to say it is no longer able to possess us from behind and beneath our conscious awareness so as to compel us to unwittingly act it out and do its bidding .
When we “see” a demon, we know its name, which helps us to get a “handle” on it. Naming is exorcistic, as it dis-spells the demon’s power over us. Jung says that “The act of naming is, like baptism, extremely important as regards the creation of personality, for a magical power has been attributed to the name since time immemorial. To know the secret name of a person [or a demon] is to have power over him.” Elsewhere, Jung writes, “For mankind it was always like a deliverance from a nightmare when the new name was found.” Finding the name is an act of power. Jung comments, “The moment you can designate the lived archetype by its symbol, you feel relieved, that is a good and positive moment even if it is horrible…Therefore old Egyptian medicine consisted in giving the thing the right name…A new name always produces an extraordinary effect; we cannot rationalize these things, they cast a spell, they are symbols, they really do influence the unconscious as the unconscious influences us.”
“It is very important for us to re-introduce the words “demon” and “possession” back into our vocabulary, minus the fear that we will be seen as being primitive, crazy or even possessed ourselves if we use such words. We need to expand our psycho-spiritual fluency to enable us to navigate the living waters of our inner and outer landscapes. Being “possessed by demons” – taken over by unconscious, psychic forces – is something that happens to all of us, and it is to our great advantage to be able to properly name our experience. Finding the name empowers us to creatively engage with these parts of ourselves that are emerging from the shadows “in the name of healing.”
“So long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is strong. But when it is recognized, it is dissolved. When it is revealed, it perishes…As for ourselves, let us each dig down after the root of evil which is within each of us, and produces its fruit in our hearts. It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive, to make us do what we do not want, and what we do want, we do not do. It is powerful because we have not recognized it.”
Even if it´s rather long, I strongly recommend Paul Levy´s article for those interested. It is highly enlightening for the sincere seeker.