Facing The Dragon Of Grandiosity

I re-visited the blog Integral Spirituality: No Boundaries posted on July 27, 2016 and realized that its theme is still unfolding. I sent my friend Ubaldo, a psychoanalyst, this Blog post to get a deeper understanding of this topic and this can be read in the commentary section.  I then posted Health and Self-Actualization and am now drafting ‘Health and Individuation’. The unfolding logic here is to compare Maslow’s ‘self-actualization’ and Jung’s ‘individualization’ processes for obtaining ‘psychoanalytical health’ – facing the dragon within.

My recent outreach to Ubaldo was hoping to rekindle a deeper interaction with him. However, something in our past dialogues triggered a hurt that he seems to have chosen to hang onto. This seems to be similar to what my grade-school friend Jim and I are experiencing – no interactions going on now for months. Ubaldo is a highly educated psychoanalytical professional and Jim a grade schoolmate, technically trained, IBM associate. It is obvious that I need to look within in order to restore psychoanalytical health. This is a good New Year’s Resolution! However, this can not be done alone – needed are friends – all of us need the ‘other’!

I had two dreams in the night as I continued reading Moore’s book ‘Facing The Dragon’. Before getting out of bed, I lay there wondering what this Morning’s Page would be like. With all the had gone on in the night, I need not have worried about writing this morning – it just flows out and onto the page, just as Julia Cameron says it does in her book The Artist’s Way I follow Julia’s suggestion every morning and just begin my ‘morning page’ after getting a cup of coffee. What follows just bubbles to the surface as she writes should be the way morning pages emerge.

What captures my imagination this morning, is Moore identifying the challenge now facing the United States. This challenge “is to rediscover ways to use ritual processes and mythic vessels to contain and channel grandiose ‘god-energies’. We can do this in a conscious way informed by new psychoanalytic insights. Our forebears, lacking such insight, used myth and ritual to displace their grandiose energies onto their various tribal groups. They had no way of knowing that it was a bogus solution to achieve personal humility by displacing grandiosity onto the tribe, the royal personage, or the nation’s identity. Social displacement of grandiosity still leaves the grandiose energies intact and fundamentally unchallenged. They have, in effect, gone underground and achieved social and even spiritual camouflage and sanction. This kind of failed social displacement mechanism has been the engine behind all genocides, all racism, classism, sexism, nationalistic hubris, and religious and ideological warfare” (76). Moore notes that this is the same engine behind the Enron debacle and the 9.11 Twin Towers attack. (italics added)

I now suggest that this again is the same engine behind the 1.6.2021 U.S. Senate Chamber occupation? How so? I suggest that Trump’s instigation encouraging his supporters to forcefully enter and attack the Senate Chambers is a displacement of energies bottled up in the U.S.’s national identity, its nationalistic hubris? What we now hear in the news is the U.S. being compared to a ‘third-world banana republic ruled by a despot’, which Trump is showing us it is. The clear and present danger now being reported is that Trump’s 20 million ult-right supports are still behind a sitting U.S. President until January 20th. Will Trump further move to reveal the banana republic that we really are? Even after this date, Trump it is suggested has a ‘marching army’ of supporters and the show goes on.

However, the point being made here is that Trump may be doing the U.S. an important service – exposing its hypocrisy, its nationalist hubris of who U.S. citizens think they are. The U.S. is not the beacon on a hill, giving all “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that she thinks she does. Dragging Fargo’s Broadway, we observe rags-dressed Old Joe peeking into garbage cans or his lunch and then we glance across the street to see gray pin-striped suited Governor Doug Bergum entering the Ho Do for his martini lunch – what hypocrisy!

It is unlikely that Trump can imagine providing an empathic act for the Nation – suggesting the U.S. should be engaged in serious self-reflection. We now wait to see if Biden possesses the empathy we need.  Trump’s presidency’s end is just ahead and we pause as if frozen. We should not have to wait long for historians’ evaluations of Donald Trump Presidency, but there may be surprises. My Dragon is awake and I am learning to ride her. Eragon riding Saphira.

Terrorists among us. by Carl Aabye & R.J. Letnes. 2003. [Remembering my friend Barry -I let us down.]
The Enemy Within: How a Totalitarian Movement is Destroying America by David Horowitz. 2021.

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