To begin to be oriented to the deep inner listening for the presence of the beckoning Soul of America requires that we fully notice the heroic archetype that has governed this country since its founding. The heroic archetype is not the realm of soul, but of the ego. I do not disparage this archetypal way of the ego, that is, of the unconscious way of usual consciousness. But we must be aware of its limitations. We usually think of the realm of the unconscious as being all that is not ego. Ego-consciousness, though, lacks self-awareness and therefore takes itself literally, and is unaware of 96% of the fullness of consciousness. The taking for granted of “I” in its smallest sense is unconscious. We are simply within it without an awareness that ‘sees through’ what we are within. It functions automatically, and takes itself for the totality of consciousness, when in fact it is only 4% of consciousness. And ego consciousness remains very, very unconscious that when it attempts to speak more universally and as-if objective, it is only veiled ego-consciousness.
To find the way through ego and its accompanying egotism, we have to first go down before we go ‘up’. That is, if we stay within ego consciousness and from there try to understand who we are and where we are going, what is our destiny as a country, what is the destiny of this country — which it is aware of but we are not, we slide into semi spirit-consciousness without having gone through the necessary soul work. And since that kind of spirit-consciousness is highly truncated while ego-consciousness is so very partial, we are simply not here, for we cannot take the tiny island of a multiplicity of “I’ as a here, as a place, as soulful and soul-filled.
Unconscious ego-consciousness that on the surface seems to be what this country is about can be characterized as:
The drive to activity
Responses to challenge
Feelings of independence, strength, and achievement
Ideas of decisive action, conquest
Literalness of consciousness
Mind based conscious
“me-me” consciousness when ego becomes ‘egotism’when the only thing that reflects ego is ego.
“Get on with it”
The “American Dream”
An aside: the current ‘version’ of ‘here’ is family. It was not long ago – not more than twenty years ago, that a sudden and strong emphasis on ‘family’ became a kind of small, collective version of the ego. It is a construction, mainly political and economic, not having to do with the nature of who we are or where we are. It is a version of the listed qualities of unconscious ego-consciousness. A very small version, which tries to be everything, as when something happens in the country, an emergency or a disaster or a challenge and we hear “We are all a family”.
These kinds of qualities form a civilization, but not a culture. We imported culture from where we came from, and summarily destroyed the culture of this land. Culture, though, while it can be ‘borrowed’ for a while, ultimately must be created — not out of nothing, but from listening to the spirits of the land, the spirits who are the land (something ego-consciousness cannot comprehend).
We can question whether America has ever been a culture; the land of America, before it was America was indeed a culture – the culture of the Indians. America is a civilization. A civilization always concentrates on –marching forward, solving problems, building. Or at least, we have to look through the ‘problems’ to try and see if there is a culture that is a Soul of America.
The “New World” that is, the forcible entry into this land – was not about place – since the beginning, it is about gold (money) justified through materialist religion, and more than anything, it is about land, land development, land ownership, having, possession, real estate. And America, since its beginning concerns fear of geography. Unknown geography that is here to be conquered rather than entered, felt, taking humanity into the totally new and unknown. The unknown is faced only to be ‘taken over’ into the imagination of use and possession. This now extends to outer space, which makes sense as we are so ‘spaced out’ as to consider space a ‘land’ to be conquered.
America, since its beginning, has also been about the fear of the ‘pagan’. The word ‘pagan’ means “Rocky Hillside”. A word meaning being firmly set, of fixed pace, a dedication to place, and the place belonging to the spirits who inhabit it – spiritus loci.
Within the heroic archetype, America – the “new” means what’s next?; keep going progress; and most of all development – seizing the land and making it into a commodity of progress. The expectation of the
‘new’ makes the awakening of true surprise – awakening to what is here, impossible.
Civilization honors and maintains human achievements; Culture gives them back to the Gods.