My great-grandmother wouldn’t have won any beauty contests. She was as wide as she was tall – almost spherical, like a beach ball with a basketball on top. She was also blind in one eye. I don’t know if this was the result of an accident or of a disease but there was a blue-gray patina over it.
However, she was a visionary and a mystic – the first one I ever met. She would converse, aloud, with God and especially with Mary, the Virgin-Mother; and from early childhood, I got to listen in to these conversations.
This month, God willing, I go to an ophthalmologist to remove cataracts that have been interfering with my own vision for several years. It feels synchronistic that the year 2020 may well be the year when I, once more, have 20/20 vision.
But even more important than physical sight, I have a vision for America and for our world in 2020. Here it is.
A. The Schizophrenic Soul
I believe that each soul is a cosmic womb pregnant with the possibility of Christ Consciousness. Each soul arrives with all of the necessary resources to birth and raise Christ Consciousness; to be a mother of God. We are holographic fractals of Source; byte-sized bits of God; spirits in spacesuits, souls on safari on planet Earth.
Our pre-conception contracts are predicated on Tikkun Olam (healing the world.) We volunteered to be here at this precise time in human history, in order to usher in a period of peace. The ‘second coming’ is not about the return of the physical Jesus but about the unveiling of Christ Consciousness in our times, the recognition of our Buddha nature.
But, alas, incarnation involves three strikes against us. First, is our incarnational history – the many lives and many crimes we’ve committed. To butcher Wordsworth, “trailing clouds of karma do we come from the past which is our home.”
The second strike is that we are born into faulty bodies with an intellect that is darkened, a will that is weakened and a corpus which is subject to illness and death. Trying to make sense of the world with only a three-pound lump of wetware between our ears puts us at a distinct disadvantage.
The third strike is that we are born into a flawed world – flawed parents, flawed families and flawed cultures. The real meaning of Original Sin is that each of us has to marinate in the soul-soup of human history.
So, life is a dance, a struggle, even a war between the light and the shadow; between the twin archetypes of Christ and Satan. All infants start out at the service-to-self end of the spectrum, loudly demanding food, warmth, affection, cleaning and reassuring voices dedicated only to them. They have to; otherwise, they wouldn’t survive. But, in the course of life, compassion and Christ Consciousness invite us to move our center of gravity towards the service-to-others’ end of the spectrum. Few manage to make it even to the halfway mark.
Whether or not you believe that a bent-out-of-shape God was so undone by a simple act of disobedience from a pre-rational Adam & Eve, that he demanded a human sacrifice, and that Jesus had to die for our sins, it is surely true that Christ Consciousness is crucified inside each one of us because of our own sins – our misalignment with love; and that Christ Consciousness is crucified in our country and in our world, when the political narrative is about retaliation and war.
Our sins are dragging our individual souls and the ethos of our planet up to the hill of Golgotha for another orgy of immolation.
B. America in The Year 2020
When we relate through judgment, refuse to forgive or become enraged, we are feeding the Satan in ourselves and in our world even as we project it onto others.
There are two ways of viewing a movie in a theatre – one way is to climb into the projectionist’s booth and feed the celluloid roll, one frame at a time, through your fingers. The other way is to run it through a spool, shine a bright light through it and cast it onto a screen where it creates 30 feet by 20 feet images.
As kids in Cork in the 1950’s, we would go to Saturday morning matinees at a big barn of a movie house grandiosely called ‘The Lido’ – with its white-washed concrete ‘screen’ and its hard, wooden benches. We’d first fill our pockets with stones and when things got particularly hairy for the hero, we’d shout advice and pelt the villain with our long-range missiles – totally convinced that we could influence the outcome.
We’re still doing that today – still shooting our physical and verbal missiles at the illusions on the screen of our media-fabricated villains. Carl Jung wrote a lot about the notion of psychological projection. He taught that it is meant to be only the first part of a two-part technique, the second part of which is ‘retrojection.’ Like the in-house movie, we project our inner issues – which are too subconscious to enter our awareness – onto the screen afforded by others in order to enlarge them and create the illusions of time, motion and change. Having seen them, on the screen, in great conscious awareness, we should now retroject them, own them and work with them. But, of course, we don’t; instead we are utterly convinced that the problem is ‘out there.’And we engage in two kinds of projection. We project our hopes and aspirations – thus creating heroes; and we project our fears and angers – thus creating villains. And each side’s heroes are the other side’s villains. Some oligarchy sets up the screen; the mass media tell us who the heroes and villains are; and then we add our projected energy to give them life. Together, we outrageously amplify the rage and widen the chasm.
The present state of our world and of our country is the result of mass projections and will only be healed by withdrawing our shadows and unveiling our Christ Conscious core. If we think that continued anger, hatred, judgment and schadenfreude are going to fix America, then we are utterly wasting this entire incarnation and contributing to a culture-wide karma that all of us will have to deal with in a future shared lifetime.
The politicians, media and reigning oligarchy are continually pouring gasoline on our psyches. The question is, ‘why are our psyches so inflammable to begin with?’ I thought we were followers of Jesus?
We are creating a national – even a global – tulpa. In Hinduism and in Tibetan Buddhism, a tulpa is a thought-form that takes on an existence and independence of its own. It is created and fed by conscious and unconscious attention until it becomes a monster dictating the mood and then the actions of its creators. It is fed, often, through negative emotions, particularly anger, fear, rage and unforgiveness. Our current political process is creating a tulpa which is gorging itself on our partisan prejudices. The tail is wagging the dog.
Whatever happened to the pre-conception contract? Each one of us needs to realize that who we become over the next ten months – what we think, what we speak and what we do – will have a far bigger influence on the America of 2021 than the votes we cast in November of 2020. We are creating America now; the ballot box is just a symbol.
When Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst”, he really meant is, “where two or three are gathered together in Love, there is Christ Consciousness; and where two or three are gathered together in Anger, there is Chaos consciousness.”
C. A Guided Meditation
Here’s an exercise that may help you to take charge of the rudder of your life; to bring to full awareness the effect you want to have on the healing of our nation.
Get yourself into a really relaxed space through slow, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. Then imagine the scene on Golgotha 2,000 years ago as Jesus is being crucified. You know that when you dream at night, you are creating all facets of the dream – location, costumes, plot, script – and you are playing all of the roles, though you identify only with the dream ego. A psychologically powerful way of interpreting any dream is to realize that each character in the dream is an aspect of yourself. Apply that understanding now to the crucifixion scene. All of the characters are facets of your personality. Jesus is; so are the good thief and the bad thief; the haughty, hypocritical high priest; the fickle mob; the bored soldiers; and the two Marys. But whom, in waking consciousness, in ‘real’ life, do you want to most closely imitate?
Now shift the scene dramatically. Imagine you are having your life review at the time of your death, with the heavenly mentor who prepared you for this incarnation. Without any judgment on the mentor’s part, you are being debriefed: how well or poorly did the life just ended align with your intended mission? In particular, the mentor points out that the year 2020 seemed to be especially significant. As you review it, you express the wish that you’d really like to have another shot at living it. And your wish is granted. The clock is turned back; you are alive once more and 2020 is just beginning.
You are watching another crucifixion scene but this time it is America and planet Earth that are being crucified. However, all of the same archetypes are involved: there is a compassionate, uncomplaining healer; a good thief asking for forgiveness and the promise of paradise; a bad thief foul-mouthedly cursing from the depths of his pain; a self-righteous high priest justifying his part in the execution; a fickle mob hoping for a display of magic; soldiers just doing their job and dividing up the spoils; and the two Marys – mother and beloved companion, whose love is far greater even than their sorrow.
With whom do you wish to align your thoughts, words and deeds in this second chance at 2020? It’s going to have to be a day-by-day, moment-by-moment commitment, batting away the tendency to anger or fear, until love and compassion become your default position. It’s hard to live in that kind of awareness. So, do you want to honor the pre-conception contract – or just hold on to the cataracts?