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An Ongoing Series

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Canary in the Mine

I often wonder if big, world events - like the U.S. invasion of Iraq - are felt as tremors in the collective psyche well before they manifest on the physical plane. Perhaps the tremors come as an increase in a collective dysphoria, with the whole of societies feeling jittery and disruptive for no particular or obvious reason. Then, suddenly, the event descends and there is some strange release - toxic, but with the feeling of relief for the dispersion of tension, followed by horror and grief.

For weeks now I have been feeling the possibility of this phenomenon. Is this my own particular psychic instability? An activation of my own complexes? Or is this the subliminal recognition of one of those collective tremors? Am I one of those canaries in the mine? Or am I simply unable to recognize my own unconscious contents? The probability is that it is both: I am both extremely sensitive to collective tremors, and I am always unearthing dark and heretofore secret treasures from my own private cash of complexes.

Those who are inclined to canaryism seem to tread perpetually on persistently active tectonic plates, with both physical and psychic ground constantly shifting beneath their feet. It is difficult, if not impossible, to feel secure, to feel that anything is permanent or sure. From some perspectives, this would warrent a diagnosis pointed toward pathology. From others, the start to lifting the veils of illusion. Whose perspective is best? Can we really say? Really? If so, how?

Can we really say in these times of untold global upheaval that those who feel insecure, uncertain, marginalized beyond collective recognition, are those who need the most help? Or is it those who feel certain about where they are going and what they are doing, having achieved measured success in worldly (and sometimes even spirito-psychological) undertakings, who most need the ministrations of counsel and reflection?

I believe we are living in an increasingly upsidedown, insideout world, where white is black and black is white. Do not fear your fears. Do not doubt your doubts. They are most likely quite warranted, and therefore very healthy. Those who are very sure often shoot first and ask questions later.

If Iran does not comply with the stated requirements as put forth by the United States regarding their nuclear programs (and God-knows-what-else), President Bush has already signed off on the permission for the U.S. military to bomb Iran where it sees fit. The deadline to comply, as I understand it, is this June, 2005.

Have you been feeling mysteriously depressed and dysphoric lately?

The above image is graffiti photographed in Zurich, Switzerland.

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