Transformation & Transcendence



Technology addicted Americans have been seduced by the comfort, luxury, and entertaining distractions of contemporary society and feel little motivation to separate from these things which bring pleasure. People have become helplessly bound to the enticement of public self-aggrandizement and technological gratification through a variety of digital entertainment which encourages ego-centricity and materialistic sensuality. No one realizes, or will admit, that an environment of comfort, ease, and self-indulgence is as dangerous to the long-term well-being of the individual as toxic pollution.

When comfort and self-amusement are enjoyed to the extreme, there is no motivation to move beyond the entrapment of this enticing and illusory matrix. Intoxicated by sensual pleasures, no one considers the detrimental effect such addictions have on the human psyche and physical body; the body becomes soft and unhealthy; the will becomes weak. (See: Shadow of the World) Human nature avoids and resists separation from pleasurable things unless extreme conditions, external catalysts and/or adverse circumstances leave no other choice. The bottom line is that only when people are hard-pressed and out of balance are they compelled to change.

There is an underlying imbalance which results from this degenerating state; it is increasingly difficult for the human species to adapt to the unnatural influences of contemporary life. Humans often find themselves in urban environments that are indifferent, unhealthy, misleading and at times, hostile. No human can adapt the physiology to ceaseless agitation, adulterated foods, polluted air, drug and/or alcohol abuse, sexual excesses, noise, environmental hazards, and over-indulgence in sensual gratification.

Humans have forgotten what a deep and profound sense of well-being is felt when the psyche, nervous system and organs are healthy and functioning like a smoothly running engine. They have forgotten that harmony within the organic function gives a feeling of peace and balance. Without realizing it, people have become the victims of this contemporary world. The degenerating state of man in this corrupted society has instilled confusion or “ignore-ance” of what responsibility a self-conscious human being has for living in a balanced, harmonious and integrated state within, with others, and within the planetary environment.


Present society has lost its ability to be a positive and influential force. The cultural myths and heroic archetypes which inspire, mold and guide the development of individual personalities are hidden behind the confusing and false facade that is perpetuated by the excitement-oriented media culture and then, further distorted by viewing life through a mind and psyche infected by virtual reality.

Archetypes are patterned fields of behavior which have shaped human understanding throughout history; they are patterned imageries which express the human unconscious. To understand human archetypal energy is to benefit from its patterns and meaning so one can recognize corresponding patterns of behavior within oneself. Since the archetype is a composite of images and experiences that have a common theme, it elicits a similar response from people who have comparable life-altering circumstances.


Unlike one’s daily activities in which the reactions to life events are spontaneous and culturally specific, the archetypal response is based on universally established patterns of behavior that all people tend to follow. Psychologists from Carl Jung to the present consider the wholeness of Self as one central archetypal theme around which patterns of order are established for guiding the psyche and the conscious unfoldment of the individual. 

In the case of the hero archetype like King Arthur, there is patterned behavior representing the desire to achieve lofty goals and ideals, courage to transcend the mundane in quest of the miraculous, a desire to serve a higher purpose than oneself and a willingness to move forward regardless of the obstacles. The warrior archetype represents the courage and determination of the loyal knight on a quest, the steadfast resolve and confidence to accomplish the mission, selfless service to a higher ideal, and the willingness to lay down one’s life for a just cause.


The wizard or hermit archetype represents the lone soul who ventures into the unseen to discover divine wisdom and understanding regarding life’s mysteries. Embracing these ideal behaviors and qualities of being helps to instill inspiration, confidence, and determination within the individual psyche. Carefully directing one’s motivation toward selfless ideals purposefully establishes healthy behavioral patterns and keeps the self-serving, self-indulgent ego out of the equation.

Today such archetypes are needed to guide the attitude and the direction of the individual because our culture has lost its “story.” Our society has become so homogenized and lost in virtual delusions that the cultural hero myths and what they truly represent have become lost to those who need them the most. The hero and warrior types are represented in movies and videos, but in our godless, secular society, they do not consistently exhibit the kind of behavior or attitude that is worthy of emulation. The right kind of cultural stories or hero myths represent ideals and behaviors that people want to model.

Those on a spiritual quest benefit by establishing and internalizing their own inspirational ideals and fearless behaviors through experiencing the examples of the teachers, sages, saints, heroes and warriors of the past. The strength, conviction, and inspiration that are mustered utilizing the archetypal patterns become the armor and the driving force which dispel worldly illusions and help the would-be hero transcend the self-indulgent patterns promoted by contemporary society. The attempt to awaken from the illusion and get a glimpse of higher reality is an attempt to dislodge oneself from the distorted effects that sensual, material and virtual realities have on individual consciousness.


In addition, as people experience the physical body in nature, they become attached to bodily pleasures, sensual gratification, personal beliefs, and human associations from the material world. The pattern or configuration of this nature experience in the body is the combination of sensations, heredity, and the cultural environment. This makes the individual susceptible to the indoctrination, enticements, and habits which come from lifestyle choices and societal influences. It is difficult to resist a technologically sophisticated environment designed strictly to amuse, entertain, and captivate the individual into being a consumer of its products.


Without self-discipline, moral integrity, and self-knowledge, such an environment can bring about the degradation of anyone who resides in it. Individuals reared in such a materialistic and superficial environment have difficulty distinguishing between the frivolous and the important. When values are misplaced and the individual fails to develop the critical skills of discernment and judgment needed to be a human being, this weakens one’s grip on reality and a person’s life may go astray. Only by recognizing the dangers of a degenerating environment can the individual avoid the narrow, specialized, immoral, unintelligent, and materialistic pitfalls of modern life.

Unwittingly, people have lost their internal resilience or their “grit” by living in the comforts of modern society. Living with modern conveniences has conditioned people to the point that their adaptive functions as well as their willingness to change have atrophied. In the “snowflake” world, individuals live in controlled climates, consume more food than the body needs, sleep as much as they want, never make an intellectual or moral effort, learn only what amuses them, and never struggle against anything.


The negative aspects of this style of living result in self-centeredness, a lack of discipline, minimum endurance, no intellectual acuteness, little or no moral sense, low motivation, and a lack of nervous resilience. These are not inherited deficiencies, but environmental and cultural conditioning which people have naively allowed into their lives. Liberation from the snares of modern society is no easy task. To understand the necessity and to possess the knowledge for making this change are not sufficient.


What is required is the courage to unravel, to deconstruct, and to voluntarily relinquish one’s personal worldview in order to release the present habits, impulses, and cravings that keep one attached to the pleasures of the world. People cannot be liberated from the world without suffering. We are the marble and the sculptor. In order to uncover our true nature, we must shatter our own substance with heavy blows. It is not that we are incapable of transforming our lives; it is just that we have trouble submitting to such treatment unless driven by necessity or fear.


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