| 10 Nov 2006 @ 07:49, by Alana Tobin|
Paul Levy has written a new book and it looks as though it is really brilliant given this excerpt of pages in pdf file below.
This guy is so funny and articulate, he has got it nailed down to a BIG T! It looks as though he has studied POP (Process Oriented Psychology with Arnold Mindell), I see Arnold's comment on Paul's website and he utilizes many of the same terms and ways of perceiving life. I studied some of that system and its very powerful indeed.
To read the entire article see the link below. You may also download the 8 pg pdf: Articles by Paul Levy
THE MADNESS OF GEORGE W. BUSH:
A REFLECTION OF OUR COLLECTIVE PSYCHOSIS
by Paul Levy
George W. Bush is ill. He has a psycho-spiritual dis-ease of the soul, a sickness that is endemic to our culture and symptomatic of the times we live in. It’s an illness that has been with us since time immemorial. Because it’s an illness that's in the soul of all of humanity, it pervades the field and is in all of us in potential at any moment, which makes it especially hard to diagnose.
Bush's malady is quite different from schizophrenia, for example, in which all the different parts of the personality are fragmented and not connected to each other, resulting in a state of internal chaos. As compared to the dis-order of the schizophrenic, Bush can sound quite coherent and can appear like such a "regular," normal guy, which makes the syndrome he is suffering from very hard to recognize. This is because the healthy parts of his personality have been co-opted by the pathological aspect, which drafts them into its service. Because of the way the personality self-organizes an outer display of coherence around a pathogenic core, I would like to name Bush's illness ‘malignant egophrenic (as compared to schizophrenic) disease,’ or ‘ME disorder,’ for short.
If ME disorder goes unrecognized and is not contained, it can be very destructive, particularly if the person is in a position of power. In much the same way that a child's psychology cannot be understood without looking at the family system he or she is a part of, George Bush does not exist in isolation. We can view Bush and his entire Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, etc), as well as the corporate, military industrial complex that they are co-dependently enmeshed with, the media that they control, the voters that support them, and ourselves as well, as interconnected parts of a whole system, or a "field."
Instead of relating to any part of this field as an isolated entity, it’s important to contemplate the entire interdependent field as the ‘medium’ though which malignant egophrenia manifests and propagates itself. ME disease is a field phenomenon, and needs to be contemplated as such. Bush's sickness is our own.
THE DISEASE IS NON-LOCAL
Being a field phenomenon, malignant egophrenia is non-local in nature, which means that it is not bound by the limitations of time or space. Being non-local, this disease pervades and underlies the entire field and can therefore manifest anywhere, through anyone and at any moment. The disease's non-local nature makes the question of who has the disease irrelevant, as we all have it in potential. It is more a question of whether or not we are aware of our susceptibility to fall prey to the disease. This awareness itself serves as an immunization that protects us from the pernicious effects of the illness, thereby allowing us to be of genuine help to others. Bush, like all of us, is both a manifestation of this deeper field and simultaneously an agent effecting this field. He’s become so fully taken over by the disease, all the while not suspecting a thing, that he’s become a "carrier" for this deadly disease, thus infecting the field around him. He’s become a portal through which the field around him "warps" in such a way as to feed and support his pathogenic process. A non-local, reciprocally co-arising and interdependent field of unconscious denial and cover-up gets constellated around Bush to enable and protect his pathology. People who support Bush are actually complicit with and enabling Bush’s madness in a co-dependent, self-reinforcing feedback loop that is ‘closed,’ which is to say it is insular and not open to any feedback from the ‘real’ world. Bush supporters are not merely disinterested in seeing that they are in denial of reality; on the contrary, they actively don’t want to look at this, which is to say they resist self-reflection at all costs. Bush and his supporters perversely interpret any feedback from the real world which reflects back their unconsciousness as itself evidence that proves the rightness of their viewpoint. All of Bush’s supporters mutually reinforce each other’s unconscious resistance to such a degree that a collective, interdependent field of impenetrability gets collectively conjured up by them that literally resists consciousness.
People who don't recognize Bush's illness and support him are unconsciously colluding with and enabling in the co-creation of the pathological field that is incarnating itself into the human family. People who support Bush become unwitting agents through which this non-local disease feeds and replicates itself. By supporting Bush they are collaborating with and becoming parts of the greater, interconnected and self-organizing field of the disease. The situation is very analogous to when seemingly good, normal, loving Germans supported Hitler, believing he was a good leader trying to help them. The German people didn't realize that the virulent pathogen malignant egophrenia had taken possession of Hitler and was incarnating itself through him. By not seeing this and supporting Hitler, they became agents used by this non-local, deadly disease to propagate itself. This was a collective psychosis, and this is what is taking place in our country right now.
This is exactly what Jung was warning us about when he said "The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several millions of human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche."
It is not that the threat of terrorism is unreal, but that Bush's policies in dealing with terrorism are actually fueling the fire. The way Bush is fighting terrorism is actually the very act which is invoking and creating more of it in the first place. It is as if he is fighting against his own shadow, which is a battle that can never be won. Bush is so dissociated from the darkness within himself that he splits off from it and tries to destroy it. Bush’s inner process, because of the position of power he finds himself in, is getting dreamed up and played out on the world stage. ME disease is unique in that it collapses the boundary between inner and outer. Egophrenia is an inner disease of the soul that expresses itself via the medium of the outside world. We could even say that the inner core of egophrenia actually in-forms and gives shape to the outer universe so as to express itself.
By creating more of the very thing he is fighting against, Bush is enacting the repetition compulsion of the traumatized soul. In Bush’s case, it is the repetition compulsion gone awry, to daemonic proportions, getting acted out on the world stage. To quote noted psychologist Rollo May, the daemonic is "any natural function which has the power to take over the whole person [or whole nation]…..the daemonic can be either creative or destructive [i.e, demonic]…..violence is the daemonic gone awry."
The daemonic aspect of the disease develops a certain autonomy and literally possesses the person or group, as it is self-generating, self-perpetuating and self-organizing in nature, like a closed and negative feedback loop. The person who is taken over doesn't suspect a thing, as the field secretly conspires and colludes with and enables their psychosis. For example, Bush, in his delusion, imagines he is divinely guided. His supporters want to believe this to feed their own adolescent fantasies of wanting to have a divinely inspired leader to take care of and protect them. Because of this need they invest, so to speak, in Bush’s delusion, which just confirms to Bush all the more that he indeed is God’s instrument. Bush and his followers are co-dependently and reciprocally feeding and supporting each other’s unconscious narcissistic needs in a truly pathological, and ultimately self-destructive co-dependent relationship.
At the root of Bush's pathology is a deep dissociation. Like the terrorists, he has splitoff from his own darker half, projecting the shadow ‘out there,’ and then tries to destroy this dis-owned shadow. By projecting the shadow onto each other, Bush and the terrorists are each seeing their own shadow reflected in the other. They see each other as criminals, as the incarnation of evil. By projecting the shadow like this, they locate the evil ‘out there,’ which ensures that they don't have to recognize the evil within themselves. It's interesting to note that the inner meaning of the word mirror is ’shadow holder.’
Ironically, by fighting against their own shadow in this way, they become possessed by the very thing they are trying to destroy, thereby perpetuating a never-ending cycle of violence. To quote C. G. Jung, one of the greatest psychologists of the twentieth century, "The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided [not in touch with both the light AND dark parts of themselves] and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves." Jung simply refers to projecting the shadow as “the lie."
It’s interesting to note that one of the inner meanings of the word Devil is ‘the liar.’ Projecting the shadow, to quote Jung, "deprives us of the capacity to deal with evil." Jung stresses the importance of consciously developing what he calls our "imagination for evil," which is to consciously recognize our potential for evil. This recognition means embracing and integrating our dark side into our wholeness, which is made up of both light and dark. If we have no imagination for evil, to quote Jung, "evil has us in its grip…….for only the fool can permanently disregard the conditions of his own nature. In fact, this negligence is the best means of making him an instrument of evil."
By projecting the shadow, Bush is unwittingly being a conduit for the deepest, archetypal evil to possess him from behind, beneath his conscious awareness, and to act itself out through him. At the same time, ironically enough, he identifies with the light and imagines that he is divinely inspired. To quote Jung, a person in a position of power who has become dissociated like Bush “even runs the grave risk of believing he has a Messianic mission, and forces tyrannous doctrines upon his fellow-beings.”
He then believes that any action he desires is justified in the name of God, as he can rationalize it as being God's will. Unable to selfreflect, he is convinced of the rightness of his viewpoint, which he considers non-negotiable. This is a very dangerous situation, as Bush has become unconsciously identified with and possessed by the hero, or savior archetype. This figure is religious in nature, as it derives from the transpersonal, archetypal dimension of the collective unconscious. Being inflated with the hero archetype, he (archetypically) wants to save the world from evil and to liberate the planet. This is the height of irony since, in reality, Bush is acting as an unwitting conduit for evil by instigating wars and taking away people's freedoms.
This incongruity brings into bold relief the severe schizoid split that characterizes Bush's condition. His inflation blinds him to the real consequences of his actions and is one of the easier to recognize aspects of his pathology. Being inflated due to an unconscious identification with an archetype is, in essence, an expression of having forfeited one's humanity, a state in which humility becomes impossible. Bush has fallen into a state that is the embodiment of arrogance. Succumbing to the temptation of power, Bush has become corrupt, which is the inevitable consequence when one prefers power over truth. He has fallen into a vicious cycle where he has become addicted to power. Bush and his regime are compulsively driven to do everything and anything they can to hold onto the position of power they find themselves in. Not only do they not see the depraved nature of the situation they have fallen into, they don't want to see it.
Being in the role of having power, there is a counter-incentive to self-reflect, which just reinforces the strength of the pathogen. The inner name of ME disease is ‘Mad Emperor’ disease, as it is what happens when a person in a position of power falls prey to and become seduced by that power. As Al Gore points out, people who are after dominance and power “satiate their hunger for more power still by striking a Faustian bargain. And as always happens- sooner or later- to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul.”
At the root of Bush’s process is an unwillingness and seeming inability to experience his own sense of sin, guilt and shame, as if he is afraid of being exposed, of being found out. He’s clearly unable to feel any remorse and experience his own weakness and vulnerability, his own sense of failure. This threatens his narcissism too much. One aspect of Bush’s pathology is ‘malignant narcissism,’ as he reacts sadistically to others who mirror back his guilt and don’t support and enable his narcissism.
This inability to experience his shame and guilt sets in motion a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, cover-up and projecting the shadow, all of which are based on a lie. Bush then falls into an endless loop of hiding from his own lie, which is to say, from himself. This process allows Bush to become a conduit for egophrenia to take him over and incarnate its malignant aspect through him.
Jung comments on this resistance to self-reflection and endless cycle of self- deception by saying "Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists."
Falling victim to one's own deception as Bush has can have a very mesmerizing and gripping effect on others, as he appears so convinced of what he is saying and is able to project this conviction. To quote Jung, "Nothing has such a convincing effect as a lie one invents and believes oneself, or an evil deed or intention whose righteousness one regards as selfevident….. things only become dangerous when the pathological liar is taken seriously by a wider public. Like Faust, he is bound to make a pact with the devil and thus slips off the straight path.” Bush has the seductive coherence of someone who is fanatically identified, like the typical fundamentalist, with only one side of an inherently two-sided polarity.
Thomas Merton, commenting on the case of the obviously demented Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, points out "One of the most disturbing facts that came out in the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane." A key feature of malignant egophrenia is that it is very hard to recognize when someone is a carrier, because the person can seem so normal and even endearing. The person afflicted can be very ‘charming’ and have a certain type of charisma that can entrance those who don't see through their subterfuge. Concerned about nothing other than himself, a person stricken with egophrenia is in reality indifferent to other people’s suffering, all the while professing his compassion, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Just like Hitler struck a chord deep in the German unconscious, Bush is touching something very deep in the American psyche.
Bush is acting out on the world stage an underdeveloped psychological process that deals simplistically with issues such as good and evil. It’s as if he hasn't grown out of and fully differentiated from the realm of mythic, archetypal fantasy that is typical of early adolescence. This immature aspect of Bush's process speaks to and resonates with those voters who support him, as it is a reflection of their own underdeveloped inner process. Whereas Hitler’s evil was more overt in its cruelty and sadism, Bush’s dark side is much more hidden and disguised, which makes it particularly dangerous.
People who vote for Bush are somehow blind to what is very obvious to others. It’s as if they’ve become hypnotized and fallen under the spell that Bush is casting. Why would people vote for someone stricken with malignant egophrenia? People who support Bush are suggestible and susceptible to the same malady that Bush is embodying, as if they have a predisposition for it (based on their own trauma, dissociated psyche and tendency to project the shadow). Supporting Bush is a sign that a person not only doesn't see the deadly illness that is incarnating itself through Bush, but is an expression that this disease has taken up residence in their being and is using them to do its bidding.
A COLLECTIVE PSYCHOSIS
It is a very dangerous situation we are in- because of the position of power Bush and the religious right find themselves in, they can literally dream up and create the very apocalypse that they are imagining is prophesized, like a Self-fulfilling prophecy. In a perversely self-reinforcing feedback-loop, the more death and destruction happens, the more this confirms to them the truth that their deluded end-time scenario is actually happening as prophesized. In a diabolical self-validating vicious cycle, Bush and the religious right are ignoring the role they are playing in creating exactly what they are using as evidence to prove the rightness of their viewpoint.
ME disease is a world where up is down, as its flawless illogic is convoluted and inverted at its core. Malignant egophrenia is crazy-making. It induces a very hard to recognize form of insanity. When we fall prey to egophrenia, we are unable to recognize that we are taken over, as we become bewitched by our own projections, accusing other people of doing what we ourselves are doing. For example, Bush is talking about himself when he accuses Saddam Hussein of being “a man who has defied the world,” and “a man who has made the United Nations look foolish.”
Part of the disease is that when we point at it and call it by its true name - as being a form of insanity called ignorance - people who are stricken with the disease will see us as the one's who are crazy. Unless we recognize the insidious nature of this disease, there is a crazy-making field around it that will make us a part of itself. Collective psychosis is like that. There is only one reason why the mainstream psychiatric community is not studying this contagious psychosis as it spreads through Bush, his regime, and the surrounding field.
They are not studying this disease because they haven't yet recognized that the disease even exists. To the extent that any of us are unaware that this non-local pathogen pervades the field we become hooked by it through our own unconscious blind-spot. By not recognizing the nature of the disease, the mental health community becomes its unwitting agents, helping the disease to propagate. What clearer sign do we need of a collective psychosis than when our mental health system itself, whose job it is to monitor such phenomenon, not only doesn't recognize that there is a collective psychosis running rampant in our society, but are themselves infected with it?
to read more you can download the 8 page pdf
Awaken in the Dream
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired.
© 2004 Paul Levy