Shamanism and Psyche

Month: March 2019

Themes from the Energetic Dimension: The Energy of Hate

For eons rulers have used hate and fear of the “other” to maintain power and to impel their subjects to go to war, often for their own self-aggrandizement and to amass more wealth and power.  It is a manipulative use of the energy of hate committed with conscious intent and awareness. There are those who experience great suffering, pain and frustration in their lives. Their lives have not turned out as they dreamt as children that they would.  The prospect of unlimited possibility is dashed. Some turn this despair into self-loathing lapsing into addictive behaviors to soothe the hopelessness that engulfs them. They blame themselves for not achieving their goals and fall into depression. Others look for someone to blame for their dreams being smashed.  All too often they channel their own feelings of failure into the scapegoating of another.

   When a ruler spews the energy of hate onto a particular group of people, it serves as an energy stream flowing out to those in search of the perfect scapegoat. The collective power of identifying with others who join in hateful rhetoric and actions towards the chosen foe who is deemed to be responsible for their suffering serves as a temporary salve to the soul. The collective power of hate lessens the sense of aloneness and failure because a reason has been named for their unhappiness and frustration.  

  It is important to discern when one hears hate speech whether the hateful words are being used to manipulate another or whether it is the deep reflection of a person’s heartfelt pain. In the latter case, it is imperative for those who wish to live in peace and harmony to have compassion for the one who sees the world through a lens of hate as these people are in extreme pain and need our care and attention.  All too often when a mass shooting occurs, there is a reflexive desire to make the shooter other than oneself –“he is evil incarnate” or is a “greatly disturbed loner.” One may be a greatly disturbed loner, but we as a society have failed him by neglecting his pain and suffering. The world is in danger of being split apart by those in power rallying their followers to act on their hate; it is the underpinnings of war and terror.  All of the great religions of the world urge us to love another as one would love themselves, to be kind to those who are less fortunate. Hate and love are part of the same continuum. Just as leaders can cajole one to hate, they can also, by example, remind us to love, to be compassionate and take the time to listen to another’s pain. The energy of hate harms one’s soul, weighing one down in negative energy. The energy of love fills one up with light and brings joy and a sense of equanimity to one’s life.  Do not hate the haters, but instead listen to their pain and be a catalyst for them to heal. Urge those who control the purse strings of a nation to reallocate some of the funds for war to the healing of their troubled citizenry. And look inside oneself to see where the vibration of hate lives within, bring these feelings to consciousness and release them so that the energy of love, which is more powerful than the energy of hate, can flourish.

Themes from the Energetic Dimension: Remembering Who We Have Been

   A prime time host on Fox News was recently discovered to have described the Iraqi people as “semiliterate people” for whom he has zero sympathy.  Nor did he care for their culture because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks”. 

   I was a Peace Corps volunteer in a Muslim village in Malaysian Borneo where the people did not use toilet paper –it was not available- and they ate with their hands.  When the villagers first witnessed me eating with a fork, they burst into laughter.  They thought it hilarious and ridiculous to put rice on these little prongs while navigating this metal thing to one’s mouth without spilling when eating with one’s hands was so much more efficient.  When I ate at the homes of the villagers, I learned to eat with my hands.  Initially, I managed to get food in my hair and all over my face, but with practice I learned the art of eating easily and gracefully with my hands.  This is one of the many things that was foreign to me. Finally I came to the realization that the rules and rituals of one’s culture are, on the one hand, totally arbitrary and, on the other hand, the fabric that binds the culture together.

   From its inception, the United States has been a melting pot of a various cultures.  Yet there has been friction as each new culture migrated to the US, challenging the newfound identity of the collective consciousness.  One of the reasons for this is that historically we lived in tribal groups with the deep seated belief that our tribal group or nation was the best; living in tribes or small nation states is part of our karmic memories. Throughout the history of Europe, there were frequent wars between and among the various peoples that came to call themselves French, English, Scottish, German or Spanish to name but a few of the cultural identities that fostered tribalism.   Also housed in our karmic imprints are trace memories of our experiences living in other cultures.  When I first went to live in Malaysia, I had repeated flashes of deja vu with waves of awareness floating over me that I had come home. The kindness, love and acceptance that I experience in this remote village far outweigh any cultural dissonance over forks or toilet paper.

   If we allow ourselves to relax our hypervigilance regarding the sanctity of our own tribal identity and open ourselves to the richness and beauty of other cultures, we can allow ourselves to remember the peace and joy of living connected to nature and the inner resonance we experience with certain cultures.  Through struggling to assert our cultural supremacy and ridicule others, we demonstrate our own ignorance and block ourselves from remembering the wisdom from all of the lifetimes that make us who we are today. As we race towards a global consciousness, may we remember and embrace the insights and lessons from whence we came rather than disparage those who are different from us. 

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