We have become entangled in an intricate dance of observers and observed. Television, the movies and social media have given us a widow into the full spectrum of possible behaviour in our specie, as well allowing us to observe our world at large without any direct contact or involvement, on an unprecedented level. If self-aware, we can see ourselves reflected in other people’s behaviour as they carry our Shadow aspects, denied expression in ourselves, or even worse denied consciousness in our minds.
In the past written and oral tradition in the forms of mythologies and fairy-tale carried the stories of Life. Now real incidents from all over the world are in our living rooms… even in our bedrooms! It is now no longer a case of ‘bad things happening far away’ in our global village. We have indeed become participant observers in life. Just observe the different reactions to Covid19 and lockdowns all around the world.
Spiritual traditions all around the world encourage the development of the silent inner observer as opposed to holding a one-sided ego perspective, reinforcing what we already ‘know’. In this way we can really get to know ourselves in our complete horrifying wholeness - as gods and demons, the unhumanised parts of ourselves, our glorious light as well as our darkest depths.
If we regard the individual psyche as a Great Vivarium and we develop the inner observer within this framework - with the capacity to witness all our aspects, we can invite authenticity and a deep grounded sense of being in this world. We are mythological creatures like dragons and phoenixes and, at the same time, fragile human beings vulnerable to forces known to us as well as those beyond our understanding. We get caught in social programming, we suffer trauma and we rise to heights unimageable to our ancestors. Our DNA can trip us up through an illness carried forth by our ancestral line. Archetypal patterns can take possession of us, inflate or deflate our sense of self, driving our behaviour from the deep unconscious.
Image credit: Kaitlyn Page http://the-inner-observer.deviantart.com
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