In this chapter (chapter two) Kornfield likens the war in our head between all the ego voices to the wars in the world. He suggests the way to have peace in the world is to stop the war inside. He suggests that adapting to our society leads one into denial and addiction saying
We use addictions to support out denials.
To wake up to these voices can be overwhelming and depressing, but if you persist you will eventually find peace inside. The most important thing to remember when you begin to pay attention to the voices inside is to simply notice without judging. It’s important to NOTstart a war with these voices for that only exacerbates the war.
In Jungian terms the process of paying attention and accepting “what is” is called taking back one’s shadow because what gets denied gets repressed into our unconscious. It distorts reality. So to take back one’s shadow is to see wholly.
Another important point in this process of “stopping the war” is to NOT identify with the voices. You are the observer of the voices; that is your true self. The voices have created the false self or what Jung called the persona.
Here is the audio portion for chapter two.
From a spiritual perspective the entire point of life on this planet is to further our spiritual development by coming to know that all is love. Now, if you read the newspaper or turn on the news channel it is easy to see that the idea of love is not represented. In fact, one could easily say that humanity is expressing the exact opposite of love with its obsession with war, technology, and capital.
Over the last two or three thousand years humanity has lost its way by becoming enthralled with the “ten thousand things,” what the Buddhist call the physical world, forgetting along the way that our true nature is eternal, that we are a soul having an earthly experience.
From a psychological perspective to become enthralled with the physical world means we believe ourselves to be a perishable ego — the identity vehicle of our physical being (body). Most have lost contact with their eternal identity vehicle, the soul.
When we survey the world in the 21st century, we see humanity is now faced with its physical limitations. Population growth is out of control and natural resources are reaching their peaks soon to be falling fast into extinction.
Over the last hundred years the guardians of our commons (the government) has transferred power and control of our natural resources to the monied elite. Not only in North America, but through extortion these entities have taken hold of most of the natural resources in South America. These people are godless believing the end game is about the physical world. Unfortunately, they have many of us engaged in their worldview where they always win.
I believe we are facing these physical limitations so that humanity wakes up to its true nature. Are we just reptiles with big brains? Or are we something more beautiful and brilliant capable of feats beyond these physical limitations?
Waking up to the possibility that we may be more than just physical entities, we may be more than just an ego, is not easy in a world obsessed with the physical. However, it is possible. For me it began the day I decided to take my nighttime dreams seriously. What were these peculiar images and symbols from my unconscious saying about me and my life? Who was this internal entity caring for my well-being? That’s when I began to wake to love.
When will you begin to wake up to love?
I leave you with this beautiful song about Wakin’ up to Love by Shanna Crooks.
I’ve been meditating on Ken Wilber’s four quadrants and Jung’s model of psyche for years unable to reconcile the two, that is, until this morning when it occurred to me that I needed to separate Jung’s model of psyche into the inside and outside perspective of the upper left quadrant, the subjective quadrant (See Figure 1). The inside of the subjective accords with Jung’s idea of the soul, timeless and present. The outside of the subjective accords with the ego, embodied in time and space.
The core of the problem in reconciling the two models is that Jung’s model is topographical, a representation of the landscape of psyche at any point in time. Whereas, Wilber’s model is progressive, a representation of psyche in stages of development. The majority of Jung’s work dealt with bringing the ego into relationship with the self, or soul. So it makes good sense to break his model into two parts, one relating to the ego and the other relating to the soul or self.
Typically Jung’s model of the psyche is shown stacked with the lowest level being the collective unconscious and the highest level being consciousness. However, when I break Jung’s model into two parts it not only accords with Wilber’s work it begins to align with the bilobed brain (See Figure 2). The left hemisphere of the brain relates more to ego and the right hemisphere relates more to the soul.
In making this adjustment we see Jung’s concepts of persona and shadow as creations of a developing ego. Both of which are components of Jung’s personal unconscious. On the right side we see Jung’s concepts of Self and Anima/Animus as components of the collective unconscious in relations to the soul.
Why is it important to make these distinctions? Besides integrating Wilber’s great body of work with Jung’s, there is value in understanding the developmental stages of Jung’s concepts. What I mean to say is there are aspects of persona and shadow that relate directly to ego at specific stages of development. The persona we showed in 2nd grade is not the same persona we show as an adult. This applies to the shadow as well. In fact, all three concepts — ego, persona and shadow — relate to material world. Whereas, the three components of the collective unconscious — soul, Anima/Animus, and Self — relate to the spiritual world. The spiritual world is eternal in space where soul ascends states of consciousness to the highest step, the nondual. On the other hand, ego , trapped in the material world, is left to evolve in time through various levels of development.
Making these connections between the two models of psyche helps to reconcile Wilber’s idea of enlightenment and Jung’s idea of individuation. For Wilber enlightenment occurs for those who have mastered the highest level of development at this time and mastered the highest state of consciousness, the nondual. For Jung individuation occurs when one has mastered the personal unconscious and has ascended through the layers of the collective unconscious to the Self. There is an important distinction between the two. For Wilber enlightenment is I AM GOD. For Jung individuation is I AM IN RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. This is where Wilber’s idea of the 1st person and 2nd person perspective of God helps situate the two. Behind both the material world collapses.