by Paul Levy
"The gigantic catastrophes
that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a
physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a
quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and
revolutions which are nothing other than psychic
epidemics. At any moment several millions of human
beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we
shall have another world war or devastating revolution.
Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts,
earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is
battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. This
is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers
C. G. Jung
George W. Bush is ill.
He has a psycho-spiritual dis-ease of
the soul, a sickness that is endemic to our culture and symptomatic
of the times in which we live. It is an illness that has been with
us since time immemorial. Because it is an illness in the soul of
all of humanity, it pervades the field and is in all of us in
potential at any moment, which makes it especially hard to diagnose.
Bush's malady is quite different from schizophrenia, for
example, in which different parts of the personality are fragmented
and not connected to each other, resulting in a state of internal
chaos. As compared to the dis-order of the schizophrenic, Bush can
sound quite coherent and appear like a "regular" guy, which makes
the syndrome he is suffering from very hard to recognize. This is
because the healthy parts of his personality have been co-opted by
the pathological aspect, which drafts them into its service.
Because of the way the personality
self-organizes an outer display of coherence around a pathogenic
core, I would like to name Bush's illness "Malignant
Egophrenia" (as compared to schizophrenia), or "ME
disease," for short. If ME disease goes unrecognized and is not
contained, it can be very destructive, particularly if the person
afflicted is in a position of power.
In much the same way that a child's psychology cannot be understood
without looking at the family system of which he or she is a part,
George Bush does not exist in isolation. We can view Bush—and his
entire administration: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice,
etc., as well as the corporate, military industrial complex they are
co-dependently enmeshed with, the media they control, the voters
supporting them, and ourselves as well—as interconnected parts of a
whole system, or a "field." Instead of relating to any part of this
field as an isolated entity, it’s important to contemplate the
entire interdependent field as the "medium" through which malignant
egophrenia manifests and propagates itself.
ME disease is a field phenomenon
and needs to be contemplated as such. Bush's sickness is our own.
THE DISEASE IS
Being a field phenomenon, malignant egophrenia is non-local
in nature, which means that it is not bound by the limitations of
time or space. Being non-local, this disease pervades and underlies
the entire field and can therefore manifest anywhere, through
anyone, and at any moment. The disease's non-local nature makes the
question of who has the disease irrelevant, as we all have it in
potential. It is more a question of whether or not we are aware of
our susceptibility to fall prey to the disease. This awareness
itself serves as an immunization protecting us from the pernicious
effects of the illness, thereby allowing us to be of genuine help to
Bush, like all of us, is both a manifestation of this deeper field
and simultaneously an agent affecting the field. He’s become so
fully taken over by the disease, all the while not suspecting a
thing, that he’s become a "carrier" for this death-creating disease,
thus infecting the field around him. He’s become a portal through
which the field around him "warps" in such a way as to feed and
support his pathogenic process. A non-local, reciprocally co-arising
and interdependent field of unconscious denial and cover-up
constellates around Bush to enable and protect his pathology. People
who support Bush are actually complicit with and enabling Bush’s
madness in a co-dependent, self-reinforcing feedback loop that is
"closed," which is to say it is insular and not open to any feedback
from the "real" world.
Bush supporters are not merely disinterested in seeing that they are
in denial of reality; on the contrary, they actively don’t want to
look at this—they resist self-reflection at all costs. Bush and his
supporters perversely interpret any feedback from the real world
reflecting back their unconsciousness as evidence proving the
rightness of their viewpoint. All of Bush’s supporters mutually
reinforce each others’ unconscious resistance to such a degree that
a collective, interdependent field of impenetrability is
collectively conjured up by them that literally resists
People who don't recognize Bush's illness and support him are
unconsciously colluding with and enabling the co-creation of the
pathological field incarnating itself into the human family. People
who support Bush become unwitting agents through which this
non-local disease feeds and replicates itself. By supporting Bush,
they collaborate with and become parts of the greater,
interconnected, and self-organizing field of the disease.
The situation is analogous to when seemingly good, normal, loving
Germans supported Hitler, believing he was a good leader
trying to help them. The German people didn't realize that the
virulent malignant egophrenia pathogen had taken possession of
Hitler and was incarnating itself through him. By not seeing this
and supporting Hitler, they became agents used by this non-local,
deadly disease to propagate itself.
This is why Jung says,
"…evil needs masses for its genesis
and continued existence." [ii]
What happened in Germany was a
collective psychosis, and this is what is taking place in our
country right now.
It is not that the threat of terrorism is unreal, but that Bush's
policies in dealing with terrorism are actually fueling the fire.
The way Bush is fighting terrorism is in actuality the very act
invoking and creating more of it in the first place. Bush is
so dissociated from the darkness within himself that he
splits off from it, projects it outside of himself, and then tries
to destroy it. He is fighting against his own shadow, a battle that
can never be won. Bush’s inner process, because of the position of
power he finds himself in, is being dreamed up and played out on the
Egophrenia is unique in that it is an inner disease of the
soul expressing itself via the medium of the outside world; it
collapses the boundary between inner and outer. We could even say
that the inner core of egophrenia actually in-forms and gives shape
to the outer universe so as to express itself.
By creating more of the very thing he is fighting against, Bush is
enacting the repetition compulsion of the traumatized soul. In
Bush’s case, it is the repetition compulsion gone awry, to daemonic
proportions, getting acted out on the world stage.
To quote noted psychologist Rollo May,
the daemonic is,
"any natural function which has the
power to take over the whole person [or whole nation]… the
daemonic can be either creative or destructive [iii] [i.e.,
demonic]… violence is the daemonic gone awry... ages [such as
ours] tend to be times when the daemonic is expressed in its
most destructive form." [iv]
[Please note: comments in brackets
are the author’s emphasis unless stated otherwise].
The daemonic aspect of the disease
can develop an autonomy of its own and literally possess the person
or group, as it is self-generating, self-perpetuating and
self-organizing in nature, like a closed and negative feedback loop.
The person who is taken over doesn't suspect a thing, as the field
secretly conspires, colludes with, and enables their psychosis. For
example, Bush, in his delusion, imagines
he is divinely guided.
His supporters want to believe this to
feed their own adolescent fantasies of wanting to have a divinely
inspired leader take care of and protect them. Because of this need,
they invest in Bush’s delusion, which just confirms to Bush all the
more that he is indeed God’s instrument. Bush and his
followers are co-dependently and reciprocally feeding and supporting
each others’ unconscious narcissistic needs in a truly pathological
and ultimately self-destructive co-dependent relationship.
Both Bush and the terrorists are projecting the shadow
onto each other, seeing their own shadow reflected in the other, as
though looking in a mirror. It's interesting to note that the inner
meaning of the word mirror is "shadow-holder." [v]
Both Bush and the terrorists see each other as criminals, as the
incarnation of evil. By projecting the shadow like this, they locate
the evil "outside of themselves," which ensures that they don't have
to recognize the evil within themselves. Ironically, by fighting
against their own shadow in this way, they become possessed by the
very thing they are trying to destroy, thereby perpetuating a
never-ending cycle of violence.
Jung comments on this very
The psychological rule says that
when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens
outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains
undivided [not in touch with both the light AND dark parts of
themselves] and does not become conscious of his inner opposite,
the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into
opposing halves. [vi]
Projecting the shadow is an activity
that relates to lying, both to oneself and others. It’s interesting
to note that one of the inner meanings of the word Devil is "the
liar." Projecting the shadow, according to Jung, "…deprives us of
the capacity to deal with evil." [vii] Jung stresses the importance
of consciously developing what he calls our "imagination for evil,"
[viii] which is to consciously recognize our potential for evil.
This recognition means embracing and integrating our dark side into
our wholeness, which is made up of both light and dark.
If we have no imagination for evil, to
"…evil has us in its grip… for only
the fool can permanently disregard the conditions of his own
nature. In fact, this negligence is the best means of making him
an instrument of evil." [ix]
By projecting the shadow, Bush
unwittingly becomes a conduit for the deepest, archetypal evil to
possess him from behind, beneath his conscious awareness, and to act
itself out through him. At the same time, ironically enough, he
identifies with the light and imagines that he is divinely inspired.
To quote Jung, a person in a position of
power who has become dissociated like Bush,
"…even runs the grave risk of
believing he has a Messianic mission, and forces
tyrannous doctrines upon his fellow-beings." [x]
He then believes that any action he
desires is justified in the name of God, rationalizing it as
being God's will. Unable to self-reflect, he is convinced of
the rightness of his viewpoint, which he considers non-negotiable.
This is a very dangerous situation, as Bush has become unconsciously
identified with and possessed by the hero, or savior
archetype. This figure is religious in nature, as it derives
from the transpersonal, archetypal dimension of the collective
unconscious. Being inflated with the hero archetype, Bush
(archetypically) wants to save the world from evil and liberate the
This is the height of irony since, in reality, Bush is acting as
an unwitting conduit for evil by instigating wars and taking away
peoples’ freedoms. This incongruity brings into bold relief the
severe dissociation characterizing Bush's condition. His inflation
blinds him to the destructive consequences of his actions, and is
one of the easier aspects of his pathology to recognize. Being
inflated due to an unconscious identification with an archetype is,
in essence, an expression of having forfeited one's humanity, a
state in which humility becomes impossible.
"An inflated consciousness," to
quote Jung, "is incapable of learning from the past,
incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of
drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by
itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms
itself to calamities that must strike it [and others within its
sphere of influence] dead." [xi]
Having the most powerful man in the
world be unconsciously identified with and inflated by an archetype
is a very dangerous situation for everyone involved, which is all of
Bush has fallen into a state that is the embodiment of arrogance.
Succumbing to the temptation of power, Bush has become
corrupt, which is the inevitable consequence when one prefers
power over truth. The original sin of the Bush administration is
love of power for its own sake. Bush has fallen into a vicious cycle
where he has become addicted to power. To quote Senate minority
leader Harry Reid,
"This administration is drunk with
Bush’s unrestrained lust for power is
like an alcoholic’s compulsive thirsting for and being controlled by
alcohol. Bush is like the typical substance abuser, only in his
case, the substance he is abusing is power, and the family system
that is the recipient of his abuse is the entire world. We need to
not be naïve and realize the danger of our situation: People
addicted to power as Bush is will literally stop at nothing to
retain their power, no matter how vile the means. To quote Karl
Rove, the administration is willing to do "whatever it takes" to
stay in power.
Not only does Bush not see the depraved nature of the situation he
has fallen into, he doesn’t want to see it. Being in the role of
having power, there is a counter-incentive to self-reflect, which
simply feeds the compulsion and reinforces the addiction, a truly
The inner name of ME disease is "Mad Emperor" disease,
as it is what happens when a person in a position of power falls
prey to and becomes seduced by that power. When a person becomes
addicted to unrestrained power, they make a Faustian pact with
the Devil, selling their soul in the bargain. Having let the
"genie" out of the bottle, a person stricken with Mad Emperor
disease discovers that, instead of the genie serving and empowering
them, they ultimately become obedient and a slave to the genie.
A person who has fallen into this
perverse state has, because of their interminable arrogance,
literally hypnotized themselves and become their own victim, totally
losing their internal freedom in the process. People in this state
of utter depravity, such as Hitler, Stalin, Hussein and George Bush,
are truly possessed by an overwhelming lust for power that compels
them to perpetrate endless violence on others. They believe that
there is no higher authority—pronouncements to the contrary—and
hence, feel they can literally get away with murder.
Bush has become possessed by the very power that he has conjured
up—a powerful, seemingly "other," external energy has co-opted Bush
to be its instrument. Because of his unending greed, Bush is
allowing himself to be used by others, manipulated by darker forces
like a puppet on a string. Having sold his soul, he is for sale to
the highest bidder. At the same time, these seemingly "external"
darker forces are an expression of something deep within himself
that he has become a stranger to. Unless recognized, this
pathological situation always results in self-destruction.
To quote Jung,
"…a mass always produces a ‘Leader,’
who infallibly becomes the victim of his own inflated
ego-consciousness, as numerous examples in history show." [xiii]
The indigenous author Jack Forbes,
Columbus and other Cannibals,
describes those who are suffering from this malady as being infected
with a literal illness, a virulent and contagious disease he calls
wetiko, or "cannibal sickness." Those so afflicted consume,
so to speak, the lives of others—human and nonhuman alike—for
private purpose or profit, and do so without giving back anything of
their own lives. They simply exploit others, be it people or the
environment, as objects to satisfy their own unending narcissistic
hunger. Like a vampire, they feed off of other peoples’ blood.
William James described it well,
"Evil is a disease."
At the root of Bush’s process is an unwillingness and seeming
inability to experience his own sense of sin, guilt and shame, as if
he is afraid of being exposed, of being found out. He’s clearly
unable to feel any remorse and experience his own weakness and
vulnerability, his own sense of failure. This is too great a threat
to his narcissism. Another way of describing Bush’s psychic numbness
is to say that he cannot, under any circumstances, allow himself to
This inability to feel his shame and guilt sets in motion a
self-perpetuating cycle of denial, cover-up and projecting the
shadow, all of which are based on a lie. Bush then falls into an
endless loop of hiding from his own lie, which is to say, from
himself. This process allows Bush to become taken over by
egophrenia and become a conduit for the disease to incarnate its
malignant aspect through him.
As the Buddhist Maharatnakuta Sutra
"A liar lies to himself as well as
to the gods. Lying is the origin of all evils."
Commenting on this resistance to
self-reflection and endless cycle of self-deception, Jung says,
Hysterical self-deceivers, and
ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of
misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of
life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves.
They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have
to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists. [xiv]
Malignant egophrenia is the
embodiment of the separate self, the narcissistic ego, spinning out
of control to an extremely pathological degree—hence the name "ME
disease." If we want to understand the malignant aspects of
egophrenia gone berserk, all we have to do is to contemplate the
actions of George Bush.
Being the incarnation of this disease,
he is its revelation in human form.
"…involuntary one-sidedness, i.e.,
the inability to be anything but one-sided, is a sign of
Bush’s unconscious, dis-association from
himself manifests as a compulsive, "involuntary one-sidedness" that
results in primitive, uncivilized and truly Neanderthal behavior.
Because of Bush’s position of power, he expresses his inflexibility
in the most brutal of ways.
Bush has the seductive coherence of someone who is
fanatically identified, like the typical fundamentalist, with only
one side of an inherently two-sided polarity. Falling victim to
one's own deception as Bush has can have a mesmerizing and gripping
effect on others, as he appears so convinced of what he is saying
and is able to project this conviction.
Jung tells us that:
Nothing has such a convincing effect
as a lie one invents and believes oneself, or an evil deed or
intention whose righteousness one regards as self-evident…things
only become dangerous when the pathological liar is taken
seriously by a wider public. Like Faust, he is bound to make a
pact with the devil and thus slips off the straight path. [xvi]
Jung reiterates the point by saying,
"I should like to emphasize above
all that it is part and parcel of the pathological liar’s
make-up to be plausible." [xvii]
In addition, Jung makes the point that
pathological liars are in the habit of:
presenting their wish-fantasies
partly as easily attainable and partly as having been attained,
and who believe these obvious lies themselves…. In order to
realize their wish fantasies no means is too bad for them…. They
"believe" they are doing it for the benefit of humanity, or at
least of the nation or their party, and cannot under any
circumstances see that their aim is invariably egoistic. Since
this is a common failing, it is difficult for the layman to
recognize such cases as psychopathic. Because only a convinced
person is immediately convincing (by psychic contagion), he
exercises as a rule a devastating influence on his
contemporaries. Almost everybody is taken in by him. [xviii]
Monk and author Thomas Merton,
commenting on the case of the obviously demented Nazi war criminal,
Adolf Eichmann, points out,
"One of the most disturbing facts
that came out in the Eichmann trial was that a psychiatrist
examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane." [xix]
A key feature of malignant egophrenia
is that it is very hard to recognize when someone is a carrier,
because the person can seem so normal and even endearing. The person
afflicted can be very "charming" and have a charisma that can
entrance those who don't see through their subterfuge.
Just as Hitler struck a chord deep in the German unconscious, Bush
is touching something very deep in the American psyche. Both
Hitler and Bush dreamed of and are exponents of a "new
order," which is one of the reasons people fall for them.
Hitler, Bush is acting out on the world stage an under-developed
psychological process that deals simplistically with issues such as
good and evil. It’s as if he hasn't grown out of and fully
differentiated from the realm of mythic, archetypal fantasy that is
typical of early adolescence.
This immature aspect of Bush's process
speaks to and resonates with those voters who support him, as it is
a reflection of their own under-developed inner process.
The most dangerous leaders are those who
are adept at acting out our forbidden impulses, urges we would never
allow ourselves to consciously give voice to in our individual
lives. We vicariously experience these hidden desires through our
unconscious identification with both the leader and the group for
which he is the "conductor." There is a safety, a comfort, a
familiarity in being accepted and embraced by the prevailing mass
psychology of the collective. There is a secret attraction to be on
the side that seems "right," to be on the side with power, to be on
what is perceived as the winning side. The cost is high, however, as
we lose both our sanity and our "Self" in the process.
Whereas Hitler’s evil was more overt in its cruelty and sadism,
Bush’s dark side is much more hidden and disguised, which makes it
particularly dangerous. People who support Bush are blind to what is
very obvious to others. It’s as if they’ve become hypnotized and
fallen under the spell Bush is casting.
Why would people vote for someone stricken with malignant egophrenia?
People who support Bush are suggestible and susceptible to the same
malady Bush is embodying, as if they have a predisposition for it
(based on their own trauma, dissociated psyche, and tendency to
project the shadow).
Supporting Bush is a sign that a person
not only doesn't see the deadly illness that is incarnating itself
through Bush, but is an expression that this disease has taken up
residence in their being and is using them to do its bidding.
ME disease is an Orwellian world where up is down, as its flawless
illogic is convoluted and inverted at its core. Malignant egophrenia
is crazy-making. It induces a very hard to recognize form of
insanity. When we fall prey to egophrenia, we are unable to
recognize that we are taken over, as we become bewitched by our own
projections, accusing other people of doing what we ourselves are
For example, Bush is guilty of the very
thing he accuses Saddam Hussein of when he calls Hussein, "A man who
has defied the world," and "A man who has made the United Nations
look foolish." Similarly, Bush is talking about himself when,
referring to the terrorists, he says we are "facing a radical
ideology with unalterable objectives to enslave whole nations and
intimidate the world." He is unknowingly giving voice, shape and
form to his unconscious shadow.
Part of the sinister nature of the disease is that when we point at
it and call it by its true name—as being a form of insanity called
ignorance—people who are stricken with the disease will see us as
the one's who are crazy. Because egophrenia hooks us through our
unconscious, when we are infected with it, just like a sociopath, we
don’t experience ourselves as being sick or needing help. When we
are taken over by egophrenia, we always see the problem as existing
in someone else.
In addition, when we are stricken with egophrenia, we think we are
successfully hiding and concealing our shadow activities. We imagine
that others can’t see the underhanded nature of what we are doing,
all the while not realizing that our criminal activities are their
own revelation and could not be more obvious for all who have not
fallen under our spell.
By being duplicitous and trying to hide his ulterior motives, Bush
is unwittingly revealing them. Bush made a telling "Freudian slip"
when he said,
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful and so are
we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and
our people, and neither do we."
In this slip of the tongue, Bush was
unknowingly giving voice to the unconscious shadow, the part of
himself whose intentions are the polar opposite of what he
consciously imagines and represents them to be at that moment.
Bush’s shadow was speaking through him,
revealing what was being acted out through his unconscious. Bush had
become transparent, blowing his own cover in the process. Egophrenia
is a form of psychic blindness in which we have become so
unconscious that we literally project out our own blindness and
imagine that others, instead of ourselves, are the ones who are not
Egophrenia hides in the shadows of human consciousness and secretly
influences perception in ways that prevent the disease from being
perceived. Unless we recognize the insidious nature of this psychic
disease, there is a crazy-making field around it that will make us a
part of itself.
Collective psychosis is like that.
PSYCHIATRIC COMMUNITY HAS THE DISEASE
There is only one reason why the mainstream psychiatric community is
not studying this contagious psychosis as it spreads through Bush,
his regime, and the surrounding field—they haven't yet recognized
that the disease even exists. It is through our unconsciousness that
this non-local pathogen flavors our perceptions to suit its
By not recognizing the nature of the
disease, the mental health community becomes its unwitting agents,
helping the disease to propagate. What clearer sign do we need of a
collective psychosis than when our mental health system itself,
whose job it is to monitor such phenomenon, not only doesn't
recognize that there is a collective psychosis running rampant in
our society, but are themselves infected with it?
The DSM-IV, the psychiatric diagnostic manual, is continually
expanding and including new diagnoses as we deepen our understanding
of and map the contours of the human psyche. The problem is that the
DSM-IV is an expression of an "old paradigm" way of thinking in that
it looks at mental illness as it exists in individuals, regarding
the individual as an object existing separate from the field around
This is based on an illusion, for the
individual is embedded in the greater field—family system, society,
and planetary culture—and is an expression of this multi-textured
field. The individual and the field around them interpenetrate and
condition each other so fully that they can't even be regarded as
two separate aspects that have become joined together, but rather
must be seen as inseparable parts of a greater whole.
Egophrenia expresses itself non-locally throughout the entire field.
Consequently, instead of being viewed through the lens of the
fragmented, separate self, it requires a more holistic vision that
recognizes the existence of the interdependently co-arising field.
It’s not a question of integrating ME disease into the existing
DSM-IV, but instead of radically expanding, up-leveling, and
re-visioning our understanding of the nature of illness itself.
To view the world through the lens of the illusory, separate self is
to pathologize certain individuals as if they exist separately from
ourselves. When we recognize our interdependence, however, we
concurrently get into focus and see the deeper, unified field
expressing itself through us and connecting us with each other. It
is like instead of contemplating one finger on a glove, we can
recognize the hand moving the finger in relation to the other
fingers, which are recognized to not be separate from each other.
Instead of studying the individual fingers, we can focus our
attention on the underlying hand animating and in-forming them.
On the level of the separate self, Bush can clearly be pathologized
as being a sociopath, a malignant narcissist, as well as many other
things. From the limited (and illusory) perspective of seeing Bush
as separate from the unified field, there is no arguing with these
diagnoses. But to concretize Bush in this way would be analogous to
only seeing the circle that a three-dimensional sphere makes as it
passes through a two-dimensional plane. The circle is a lower-level
reflection of a higher-dimensional entity (the sphere), just as Bush
being a sociopathic criminal is a lower-level expression of a deeper
and more pervasive process non-locally expressing itself throughout
the interconnected field.
Bush is merely being dreamed up to play a role in a deeper process.
Even though he has fallen prey to a deadly disease that has hooked
him through his unconscious, Bush is still fully accountable for his
actions. We are always ethically responsible for our Faustian
It’s profoundly important that the mental health community at large
recognize this age-old disease with which we are all afflicted.
Doing this changes this community from being part of the problem to
being part of the solution. The disease literally feeds on our
unawareness of it. The recognition of the disease is itself the
beginning of the cure. By recognizing the nature of this collective
psychosis, we snap out of being part of it. Malignant egophrenia,
unrecognized and misdiagnosed until now, has wreaked havoc all
throughout human history, and is at the very root of our current
world crisis. To the extent we are unaware of the nature of this
collective psychosis, it has us in its grips and will unconsciously
be acted out through us in a destructive manner. The choice is truly
This disease, if it gets out of control, means self-destruction for
both victim and perpetrator. There are no winners. The entire
interconnected web supporting Bush can be recognized as tentacles of
this virulent, non-local pathogen that, to the extent it is not
seen, is potentially gaining more and more sovereignty.
Like a sci-fi movie, we have dreamed up
a higher-dimensional Frankenstein monster that has taken on a life
of its own and truly threatens us all.
OF NAMING THE DISEASE
One of the signatures of ME disease is that it hooks people through
their unconscious blind spot, so when people are afflicted by this
deadly disease, they are truly asleep to what is being acted out
through them. Like a true Manchurian candidate, Bush is being
manipulated, used and victimized, like a puppet on a string, by a
deeper matrix of cover-up and deceit that has been perpetrated by
him and his very regime—and has now taken on an autonomous life of
Malignant egophrenia is an expression of, and is at the root of, the
extreme polarization and dissociation in both the human psyche and
the world process at large. The disease is archetypal in nature,
which is to say that it has eternally re-created itself and played
itself out over the course of history. We can even say that it’s the
"bug" in the system that has in-formed and given shape to all of the
conflict and disharmony of human relationships. ME disease is as old
as the human species. However, we’re now at the point in our
evolution where we can finally recognize it, see it, give it a name,
and diagnose it.
Egophrenia is an expression of the deepest level of our being, the
archetypal dimension of the collective unconscious. Just like we
cannot describe any archetype completely, but can only realize the
nature of the archetype by its effects, we are not able to
specifically and completely define or solidify what egophrenia is.
We are only able to know it as it reveals itself to us, by
contemplating its multi-dimensional expressions. Just like we
approach an overwhelming abuse or trauma by studying its symptoms,
we come to know egophrenia by contemplating its reflections.
Malignant egophrenia is truly diabolical in nature and is what the
ancient, indigenous cultures would call a "demon." We, as
"civilized" people, have withdrawn our projection of Gods and demons
from nature (which has therefore become "depsychized"). Jung said,
"Even though nature is depsychized,
the psychic conditions which breed demons are as actively at
work as ever. The demons have not really disappeared but have
merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious
psychic forces." [xx]
Jung warned that a difficult task lay
ahead of us after the mass insanity of the Second World War. He
pointed out that after the "demons" abandoned the German people,
these negative energies weren't banished. Jung elaborated by saying,
"…the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult.
Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into
self-righteousness, is their prey." [xxi]
Projecting the shadow
literally opens the door for malignant egophrenia to take up
residence in our being.
What the ancient people called demons, Jung calls autonomous
complexes. These are split-off parts of the psyche that can compel
one-sidedness, possess a person (or a nation), and seemingly develop
an independent will and quasi-life of their own. Autonomous
complexes can be likened to the rabies virus, which travels to the
part of a person’s brain controlling the whole person. It causes him
to reject water, for example, so that the virus cannot be spit out
of the mouth. This is analogous to how Bush supporters reject the
facts, which if considered, would cause them to snap out of their
The rabies virus ultimately controls and
enslaves its victims, taking away their creativity and mental
freedom, as it forces them compulsively, like a vampire, to further
the propagation of the virus. Autonomous complexes work in exactly
the same way; they can warp and destroy the whole psyche of the
person (or nation) so afflicted, infecting the surrounding field in
the process. Journalist Jacques Julliard of "Le Nouvel
Observateur" recently has recognized this state of affairs when he
simply states, "America has rabies." Once the virus has eaten up and
consumed its host, it leaves him for dead and moves on to its next
victim. Etymologically, the word rabies is related to the word
These autonomous complexes can't stand
to be seen, however, in much the same way a vampire can't stand the
light. Malignant egophrenia will shape-shift and do everything in
its power to resist being seen. It’s elusive, mercurial, and very
much a trickster. The disease obfuscates itself, creating any number
of distractions to hide behind, and will even react violently to
being seen, for being seen takes away its omnipotence and autonomy.
The disease works through the irrationality of the unconscious. As
Once this function (of the
irrational) finds itself in the unconscious, it works unceasing
havoc, like an incurable disease whose focus cannot be
eradicated, because it is invisible. Individual and nation alike
are then compelled to live the irrational in their own lives,
even devoting their loftiest ideals and their best wits to
expressing its madness in the most perfect form. [xxii]
The importance of seeing the nature of
the disease we are dealing with cannot be overstated. Jung goes on
"As with all dangers, we can guard
against the risk of psychic infection only when we know what is
attacking us." [xxiii]
When we see a demon, we know its name.
Naming it is exorcistic, as it dis-spells the demon's power over us.
To name something is to symbolize it. The word "symbolic," which
means that which unites, is the antidote and antonym to the word
"diabolic," which means that which divides and separates.
Bush claimed to be "a uniter, not a divider." However, he has only
united one thing—the majority of the world against us. To see this
diabolical aspect of what is coming through Bush, namely, that he is
an instrument creating separation, is to be seeing with symbolic
Naming the disease helps us to (alchemically) contain it, so that it
can't possess us from behind and act itself out through us
unconsciously. Once the disease is named, it’s anchored to
consciousness so that it can't vaporize back into the unconscious.
This de-potentiates the disease, beginning the process of
re-integrating it back into the profound unity of the psyche.
The energy bound up in the compulsion to
endlessly re-create the disease becomes liberated and available for
creative expression. The prescription for this disease is simply for
enough of us who see it to connect with each other in lucid
awareness so that it can be contained, metabolized, and healed. We
can put our collective realization together and dream a much more
grace-filled universe into incarnation. This is an evolutionary
impulse from the universe in which we are invited to participate.
Encoded in the disease is its own medicine. If we remain unconscious
of the psychic nature of the disease, it will act itself out through
us in a purely destructive, life-negating, and hence, demonic way.
Hidden in the daemonic is our guiding spirit and genie (as in "I
dream of…"). This is our true genius and inner voice. This is why
Jung called the daemonic the "not yet made real creative." The fact
that such a dark shadow is emerging in our world is an expression
that light is nearby, as shadows are themselves an expression of
light. Demons are actually blessings in drag.
Lucifer is truly the bringer of light.
A MODERN DAY
PLAGUE OF EGYPT
Malignant egophrenia is manifesting itself, both literally and
symbolically, hidden yet visible for all who have eyes to see,
simultaneously veiling and revealing itself. Symbolically encoded in
egophrenia's literal manifestation is the key to its re-solution.
Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol brings together and
reconciles two contraries into a greater whole. A symbol
concurrently reflects and effects a change in and of consciousness
itself. A symbol is both the expression of, as well as the doorway
into a more transcendent, higher-dimensional part of ourselves.
People don't see egophrenia because they don't recognize the
symbolic dimension of existence, but rather are absorbed in the
literal dimension of reality. It is very convincing to only take
things literally and see these literal facts as "the (one) truth,"
as events in this world ARE literally happening. They're as real as
real can be. This can be very entrancing, particularly with the
evidence right in front of our face. People are dying.
Seeing symbolically doesn't negate the
literal dimension but instead complements and completes it, as both
are true simultaneously. The literal and symbolic dimensions of
reality interpenetrate each other so fully that they can't be seen
as two separate things joined together, but rather are
interdependent parts of a greater whole. The birth of symbolic
awareness not only more fully completes our picture of the nature of
the universe we live in, but gives us access to the way to actually
deal with this deadly disease.
Egophrenia is truly initiatory—it is a wake up call to the symbolic
awareness of our mythopoetic imagination, a higher dimension of our
being. Recognizing the deeper, symbolic mythic process in which we
are partaking snaps us out of relating to our life in a literal,
linear, and objectively existing way. Instead of authoring our life
as if we are writing prose, when we connect with our mythopoetic
imagination, we create and express our life through the eyes of a
To mythopoetically re-imagine the
prevailing myths of our culture, which have become rigidified,
imprisoning and suffocating, is to creatively give birth to the
universe as an ongoing work of art. We are the creative artists
through which the revelation of the universe as art becomes
manifested. All that is needed for malignant egophrenia to reveal
its blessing is for us to recognize its revelatory function.
"Everything could be left
undisturbed did not the new way demand to be discovered, and did
it not visit humanity with all the plagues of Egypt until it
finally is discovered." [xxiv]
Malignant egophrenia is a modern day
plague of Egypt. If we don't see what it is symbolically revealing
to us, malignant egophrenia will destroy us. It's a gesture from the
universe, beckoning us, demanding we integrate it and thereby
receive its blessing. By prompting, pressuring and challenging us to
come to terms with it and receive its gifts, malignant egophrenia
has the potential to awaken us, thereby furthering the evolution of
To say that egophrenia has a potential blessing aspect is not new
age fluff-speak which spiritualizes everything and pretends that the
world is made of celestial rainbows. ME disease is a genuine horror
that causes destruction, or as the Bible calls it, an "abomination
that causeth desolation." Contrary to escaping into a dream world or
flying off into the self-soothing fantasies of the imagination,
egophrenia demands we incarnate into full-bodied form, in this
It is in the act of coming to terms with ME disease’s horrific
aspect, which demands consciously feeling our grief, rage and guilt
that we begin to access its blessing aspect. Instead of being a
flight into fantasy so as to escape our pain, the blessing aspect of
egophrenia is a direct result of embracing the pain of incarnation.
The darkness of the disease is a portal into the light. Because it
is not separate from the light, the darkness itself is the
expression of the light.
The fact that malignant egophrenia is manifesting in fully visible
form in our world right now is an expression that this particular
energy is available for assimilation in a way it previously was not.
When an unconscious, daemonic content is ready to be metabolized, it
causes the universe to self-organize in such a way so that it can
become manifested and thereby transformed.
This is to say that when a dark, demonic
power is dreamed up into fully materialized form, such as is
happening in our world right now, this is an expression that this
particular energy is in the process of potentially becoming
integrated into the wholeness of our being. Its full-bodied
manifestation is the medium through which this process of
transformation takes place. This physical universe is the dimension
in which the energy bound up in the infinitely regressing feedback
loop of the disease is dreamed up, accessed, and transmuted. The
agency which accomplishes this process of assimilation is
Egophrenia is a disease of consciousness—it is consciousness itself
becoming sick so as to create a greater level of health and
wholeness in itself. Egophrenia is our consciousness materializing
into form so as to expand and evolve itself. The disease is the
conduit through which consciousness grows into greater orders of
freedom. In the disease, consciousness is revealing itself to
itself, which is to say that the disease is an unfolding revelation.
Encoded into the very fabric of egophrenia is an infinitely precious
jewel waiting to be unlocked. Our act of consciously recognizing
what egophrenia is showing us redeems, transforms, and liberates
egophrenia’s malevolence and actualizes its grace-filled nature.
Because malignant egophrenia is a disease of consciousness itself,
it can only be healed through the dimension of consciousness. The
cure for egophrenia is the very expansion of consciousness which it
necessitates and demands. Encoded into the disease is its own cure.
This quantum leap in consciousness being offered us by egophrenia is
fully imaginable into being in this very moment. If we can make use
of its lessons, ME disease becomes a portal into a more whole and
integrated part of our being, both individually and collectively.
Egophrenia is introducing and initiating us into the dream-like
nature of reality, where this universe is like a mass shared dream
we are collaboratively dreaming up into full-bodied materialization.
This is to have the realization that we are interconnected and not
separate from one another, that we are parts of and contained in a
greater being. We wouldn’t be able to have this expansion of
consciousness without egophrenia, which means that egophrenia is a
"potential" blessing in a very convincing disguise that it's not.
Being a non-local field phenomenon, the malignant egophrenia
epidemic is something all 6.4 billion of us are collaboratively
creating and dreaming up into existence. Bush is an embodied,
mirrored reflection of a part of ourselves, just like we,
reciprocally, are a reflection of a part of him. His disease is our
disease. Bush and his regime are a living, full-bodied reflection of
our collective shadow, as we are of theirs.
We have all dreamed each other up to
play out these archetypal roles, in full living color, so that we
can see and start to integrate these parts of ourselves. Embracing
these parts of ourselves that we see so clearly reflected in Bush
and Co. is the first step towards healing our situation, because it
dispels the polarization and separation that are the root factors
preventing reconciliation. Bush and Co. are playing out roles
existing deep inside the collective psyche of all of humanity.
If Bush and Co. weren’t around, there
would be someone else sent by "central casting" to pick up and play
out these very same archetypal roles. Compassion spontaneously
arises when we truly recognize these fear-ridden parts of ourselves.
COMPASSION AS ACTIVISM
The malignant egophrenia epidemic is happening right in front of us.
It is self-evident for all who have eyes to see. If we don't look at
what’s happening, if we turn away, ignore it, and contract against
it, we are lying to ourselves. Then we’re colluding with and
unknowingly feeding the disease. Our looking away is a form of
blindness. Our looking away is a form of ignorance. Our looking
away, our contraction, IS itself the disease. Our resulting
complacency and inaction is, in fact, an expression of our lack of
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said,
"One who passively accepts evil
[allowing it to happen] is as much involved in it as the one who
perpetrates it." [xxv]
There is a great danger when we see
evil, though. We cannot bear witness to evil and remain
unaffected—something inside of us becomes ignited when we experience
evil. Malignant egophrenia forces upon us the responsibility to come
to terms with the evil inside our own hearts. If we solidify Bush as
being evil and react with righteous indignation, we are guilty of
the very same thing we’re accusing Bush of, i.e., projecting the
We then become a conduit for the very
evil we’re reacting to. Who among us has not been guilty of being a
channel for ME disease at one time or another? Who among us has not
been guilty of falling asleep and unwittingly acting out our
unconscious? Unlike Bush, most people simply incarnate the disease
locally, within the domain of their sphere of influence, which is
usually their family system.
If, when we see this virulent pathogen, we contract against it and
react in any way, be it in judgment, hatred, anger or revulsion,
we’re helping to perpetuate the diabolical polarization that is the
signature of the disease. Our reacting in this way, which is typical
of many political activists, is itself an expression that we
ourselves have the disease, or to say it more accurately, the
disease has us.
This disease literally has the potential to humble us. We may think,
"Not us, we could never catch this disease." However, this very
arrogance leaves us open to falling prey to the virus. We may think,
"Let's step out of our arrogance, for who are we to know anything?
Let's be an enlightened bodhisattva and not judge what Bush is
doing, for who are we to judge? Or let's be an enlightened
psychiatrist and not diagnose, name or pathologize Bush in any way,
for we don't want to cast any spells."
However, to have these
attitudes is to fall under the seductive spell of the bug, causing
us to disconnect from and give away our power. In this way, we
forsake one of our greatest spiritual treasures, the act of
Being a spiritual warrior embraces and includes the most extreme
discernment, which is the ability to differentiate and see clearly.
Discernment is different than when we are unconsciously caught in
judgment, which is a reaction to and contraction against something.
Discernment is the ability to make distinctions, which is an
expression of an expanded and evolved consciousness.
wisdom of discernment is an expression of genuine compassion.
Compassion is sometimes fierce, however.
Sometimes it says "no," and
sets a boundary.
Genuine compassion is not always smiley-faced,
otherwise known as "idiot compassion," which just enables and
Genuine compassion is not passive. It
propels us to act for the benefit of all beings.
demands us to be willing to consciously step into our power,
mediated through the heart, and to find the courage to speak our
true voice: The malignant egophrenia epidemic has induced a form of
criminal insanity in the entire Bush regime that we are all
complicit in by allowing it to happen.
With Bush as president, it’s as if we’re in a car going over the
speed limit being driven by a drunk adolescent who has fallen asleep
at the wheel. It’s our responsibility to recognize the extreme
danger of our situation and come together to do something about it,
whatever that might be. If not, if we continue to passively and
helplessly watch what is playing out in front of our very eyes, then
we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln said,
"We—even we here—hold the power, and
bear the responsibility."
Now is the time to join together and
creatively express our true voice. As the Reverend Martin Luther
King Jr. said,
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter."
Malignant egophrenia is a true "reconciling symbol," in that it
unites the opposites. Malignant egophrenia is both a deadly disease
and the highest blessing co-joined in one phenomenon. Is it a wave
or a particle? It is a true "coincidentia oppositorum," a
conjunction of opposites, an expression of divinity. The question
is, do we recognize what is being
symbolically shown to us by egophrenia, or not? Will these
apocalyptic end-times we are in be an initiation into a more
expansive part of our being? Or will it destroy our species? The
choice is truly ours.
All that is needed is for enough of us
to recognize what is being revealed, and to creatively act from this
Read the complete book
Madness Of George W. Bush - A Reflection Of Our Collective Psychosis"
[i] Jung, Civilization in
Transition, CW 10, par. 471.
[ii] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1378.
[iii] May, Love and Will, p. 123.
[iv] Ibid., p. 130.
[v] Spiegel, the German word for “mirror,” is cognate with
the Latin word speculum and goes back to Old High German
scukar, “shadow-holder,” from skuwo, “shadow,” and kar,
“vessel.”- Von Franz, Projection and Recollection in Jungian
Psychology, p. 182.
[vi] Jung, Aion, CW 9ii, par. 126.
[vii] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 572.
[viii] Ibid., par. 572 (Jung also talks about “imagination
for evil” in Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 331).
[ix] Ibid., par. 572.
[x] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1662.
[xi] Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, par. 563.
[xii] Interview with Buzzflash (www.buzzflash.com),
posted August 1, 2005.
[xiii] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 500.
[xiv] Jung, Alchemical Studies, CW 13, par. 142.
[xv] Jung, Psychological Types, CW 6, par. 346.
[xvi] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 419-
[xvii] Ibid., par. 421.
[xviii] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, par. 1384.
[xix] Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable, p. 45.
[xx] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 431.
[xxi] Jung, Psychological Reflections, p. 152.
[xxii] Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, CW 7, par.
[xxiii] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, par. 493.
[xxiv] Jung, The Development of Personality, CW 17, par.
[xxv] King, Stride Towards Freedom.