Archive for the ‘tea baggers’ tag
This is the community Church in La Fortuna. In the background, mostly hidden by clouds, is the Arenal Volcano. I would have to say that I grew up with a religious world view. I grew up a Catholic and went to church when opportunity presented itself, opportunities that weren’t too numerous. Since my mother wasn’t a Catholic and my father wasn’t in the least interested in the church, it was only when grandparents from my father’s side were around that I learned about the Church. It was decided that since I was a quiet person and I wasn’t very mischievous, that I would make a good priest. I actually believed in that possibility for a few years while attending Catholic schools.
By the time I became a teenager, the attraction to a religious life drifted off. That said, the tendency to lean toward a spiritual life has remained, especially now that my children have grown and found homes of their own. However, I don’t find any attraction to any church embedded in this orientation toward spiritualism. The organization of churches seems to exclude true spiritualism for me.
I don’t identify with the church any more as I did in my youth. Growing up Catholic and going to Catholic schools gave me an identity, gave me a sense of belonging to something. For a while, this was important. Growing up a loner isn’t the easiest of childhoods. Growing up as a gypsy in seven different provinces and going to more than twenty different elementary schools only accentuates the loneliness. The church filled some of that hole. But as the years passed, the hole still gaped wide and I found that the church couldn’t fill that hole. I was left to my own efforts to find my own way through the years of life. Any identity I had with the church was overwhelmed by the constant disruptions of moving and leaving.
“Identification with the group is a simple and easy path to follow, but the group experience goes no deeper than the level of one’s own mind in that state. It does work a change in you, but the change does not last. On the contrary, you must have continual recourse to mass intoxication in order to consolidate the experience and your belief in it. But as soon as you are removed from the crowd, you are a different person again and unable to reproduce the previous state of mind. The mass is swayed by participation mystique, which is nothing other than unconscious identity.” (Jung, CW 9i, par 226)
Okay, that explains why Catholicism didn’t “take” with me. I simply didn’t have “continual recourse.” Too much time on my own with my own thoughts left me without identification with any group. Now, in the present time of my life, the lack of identification with an “ism.” And, this allows me to look at the power that “isms” have in the lives of many of those around me. I see “tea baggers” and other extreme groups upping the volume and rhetoric in attempts to gain control and impose their collective will upon others. This is a scary thing. Any look at history will show the horrors that come with societies and groups captured by the mindset of “participation mystique.” And so, I have a real worry about identifying with any group. For in the group, the “self” becomes secondary and often even in last place. So much for individual or collective consciousness.
Somehow, I have been pulled to post again today. The reasons spring from my continued reading of Tracking the Gods, by James Hollis and partly as a reaction against the insanity that is swarming through our political systems in Canada and the U.S.A., a right-wing fundamentalist knee-jerk response to all that is “different.”
The photo I have chosen for this post is one I took a few days ago of my living room wall as the morning light came through the door casting faint shadows on the wall. The shadow was created by a crystal and gold hummingbird that is attached to the window glass by a suction cup. It’s hard to make out the source of the shadow, but then again, most are not concerned with the source, but with the perceptions that come about.
All of this reminds me of the argument once held by Plato and a few confrères when discussing a shadow in a cave. Whole philosophies and belief systems come into existence out of the shadows. It is far from necessary to have to build belief systems on consciousness.
Here are the words from Hollis that have led me to a second posting today:
The great paradigm shift that lies at the very core of modernism is the loss of mythic connection to the cosmos. The incarnation of meaning, once carried by myth and myth-sustaining institutions, has gone within, receded, as Jung said, from Olympus to the solar plexus, from worship to psychopathology. (James Hollis, Tracking the Gods, 1995, p. 53)
That loss of connection has lead to so many factions, so many splits that it is as if the modern world has developed multiple-personality disorder. The birthers and the truthers and the tea baggers are just a few of the most recent editions of collective psychopathology. Even given the power of modern communications, it is seemingly impossible to present enough “evidence” to refute the errors of thinking and held beliefs being taken up in reaction to changes in the world. Someone has to be blamed. Someone has to be the scapegoat. Someone has to be the sacrifice to appease the gods that are now silent and absent.