Could the crisis we experience on all systemic levels in these years actually be the sign of a great shift?
A shift that is unfolding and which affects all aspects of our lives: Spiritual-, social-, psychological- and economic.
The hypothesis here is that the shift is concerned with our relation to the influence of the past. The influence of habitual conditioning.
When we are born into this life we come with a vast amount of intelligence from the past: The intelligence of the lungs dividing oxygen and carbon dioxide. The intelligence of the heart distributing the blood. And so on with all our complex organs, not least our brain with its progressive layers upon layers, from the reptilian brain to the neocortex.
Conscious control of an organ is possible, but in general these organs function on an instinctive level, guided by the habits ingrained in the past; the wisdom of the past.
It is evident that a large part of our physical activities is guided by these habits from the past.
What about our mental activities?
If the momentum from the past, our evolutionary heritage, determines a large part of our physical activities, is it the same for our mental activities?
Carl Gustav Jung was convinced that our thinking carries the imprint of our past, just like the functioning of our physical organs carries this imprint:
“Just as the human body represent a whole museum of organs, with a long evolutionary history behind them, so we should expect the mind to be organized in a similar way. (…) We receive along with our body a highly differentiated brain which brings with it its entire history and when it becomes creative it creates out of this history – out of the history of mankind… that age-old natural history which has been transmitted in living form since the remotest times, namely the history of the brain structure” – [C. Jung, 1953-79, vol 10, p. 12]
In his book ‘Thought as a system’ David Bohm posed the question:
Are you running thought, or is thought running you?
Depending on your answer to this you are either inside the belly of the dragon or you are standing on the shoulders of giants, so to speak.
The dragon is here used as a metaphor for the habitual conditioning.
When an individual is subject to cultural conditioning, where thought is running him or her, there may be (included in the code) a conviction of being free. Just like the individual in social experiment games or the Milgram experiment think of themselves as being free, where the reality is the opposite.
Included in the script is ‘something that you simply do not do’ without questioning why you do not. And here we do not necessarily mean unproductive or maybe harmful actions, but also fruitful and meaningful actions like singing in the street, acting in disagreement with external authority, making a funny face or doing a silly walk in the office.
Likewise other things is done without questioning it, like sitting in a car stuck on a road for hours each day, delivering children to an institution each day even though it does not feel right, staring at a computer screen for hours and so on.
To conquer – or rather reconcile with – this dragon, you need to be able to see it. So how does the dragon reveal itself ?
The dragon is revealed by
… the tremendous pulling away from the state of not-knowing in a group (often expressed as silence)
… the subtle shift in the face of the man taking on his uniform in a big company
… the ferocious attitude from ‘men in uniforms’ towards individuals that decides to blow the whistle about things that matters
… by the heart beating when you want to do something ‘not normally you’ (i.e. something that interrupts the script) like deciding to talk gibberish to the conducteur or doing your silly walk in the street
Savor and treasure these moments, as the cracks where the light gets in and which brings greater awareness of the conditioning that we are subject to.
Reconciling with this dragon, and assuming the position on the shoulders of giants, is not an easy task, but never the less it is within reach.
Maybe today is a good day for a silly walk? … and silly walks often start in your own home with the curtains down and then expands from there 😉