It breaks my heart to see what we’ve come to – in our world and in our country.
For years I’ve taught, written, practiced what Jung so wisely wrote:
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”*
I’ve taught it by showing that if women did the inner work to heal their wounded relationships with their wombs, they would better be able to hold onto the freedom to make their own choices for their own bodies.
I taught that if women would do the healing work with their wounded relationship with their bodies, bringing out of the darkness the sexual abuses they had experienced … they would better be able to help make the world safer for themselves, each other, their children, and even the men.
I taught that if women and men would do the healing work with the violence they had suffered early on – both up close in their families and far and wide in their cultures and their world – both right out in the open and also under the guise of something civilized, something righteous, and even something sacred . . . they would also be healing the currents of violence that lived in them; they would also be healing the currents of violence they acted out on others in their world; they would also be healing the currents of violence that made up the oceans of violence that swept through their lands and their planet.
I taught that if we all did the inner healing work with the true roots of our relationships with money, we would find the ancient traumas that we have suffered in our childhoods. We would find the ancient young traumas that had nothing to do with money itself, but that was transferred onto money. We would find the ancient traumas, so transferred onto money, acted out in our world – in our financial interactions and in the communal economic interactions.
Thus, we would see that we were creating trauma in the world, using money as the vehicle, even though the money itself had nothing to do with the original trauma that was now being imposed upon the world through money. As a result, we would be healing both the ancient trauma – personal and generational – and the current trauma, while at the same time preventing the multiplication of traumas, the escalation of trauma in the future.
And, among other things, I taught that if parents did their own healing they would treat their children with reverence, and not act out their own wounds upon their children, not pass on the damage of each previous generation’s trauma onto the next. And if they would continue to do their own healing work every time they were triggered in their relationship with their children, the healing would grow, the possibilities for healing would grow, and the possibilities for communal healing would multiply.
I taught, and taught – through the psychotherapy I did with people, through the soul work I did with people, through my courses, webinars, workshops, and my writing. And there have been people who have been deeply touched by and committed to this healing work. But many people have stayed away. They didn’t want to know how they were wounded and how they re-enacted their wounding. They didn’t want to see it. And most of all, they didn’t want to feel the pain of the ancient trauma and go through it to the healing. As Jung expressed it, they didn’t want to “make the darkness conscious.” They instead were okay to keep creating more and more trauma as their way to defend themselves against the pain of their past traumas that lived in the darkness within them.
It is far less traumatic to make the darkness conscious purposely for healing, by doing the inner work proactively, by being in a process and way of life in which you are committed to bringing the darkness out into the light of day – the light of consciousness – and then healing it to its root. But if instead you try to avoid feeling the pain by keeping your trauma – personal and communal – in the darkness and, as a result, create more trauma for yourself and in the world around you … then at least grow your consciousness to the point at which you will make a choice to utilize that newly created trauma to help make the darkness conscious; grow your consciousness to the point at which you will choose to utilize the secondary re-enacted trauma for healing.
Here we are in the US at election time – a mirror of other countries but – our own history of trying to hide our trauma beneath imaginary visions of light, like the most civilized nation in the world; our own history of our trying to deny our traumas by keeping them hidden in the shadows, like the huge degree of domestic violence that exists in our country; our own history of our trying to keep our traumas not known and not seen, by keeping them buried in the darkness.
No matter what the outcome of this election … we still face the question: “How are we going to keep this from happening again?”
We need to do the inner healing work that was needed to have prevented the trauma we are going through now. We need to take in the wisdom of Jung’s quote:
“Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
The later procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”
It is crucial that we understand that without making the darkness conscious we not only are unable to become enlightened, but we also are unable to make enlightened, sustainable changes in our lives and in our world.
It is also crucial that we understand that when he says the procedure of making the darkness conscious “is disagreeable and therefore not popular,” it means that it brings us to face the traumas we lived through and the traumas that we’ve caused since; it brings us to feel the pain of those traumas and to utilize that pain for healing..
So now, we need to take leaps of faith into this new way of living …
To keep the traumas that are happening now from happening again and again and again.
We need to take these leaps of faith for our own sakes, for the sake of those we love, for the sake of those we don’t allow ourselves to love or even care for, for our world, for our planet.
* The Philosophical Tree (1945)
Collected Works 13: Alchemical Studies
© Judith Barr, 2022