Friday, November 21, 2008

We Fight Because We Only Partially Initiate, Thereby Enlarging Our Egos

As the original intruder into the paradise of the infant with its mother, the father is the archetypal enemy; hence, throughout life all enemies are symbolical (to the unconscious) of the father. "Whatever is killed becomes the father."102 Hence the veneration in head-hunting communities (in New Guinea, for example) of the heads brought home from vendetta raids.103 Hence, too, the irresistible compulsion to make war: the impulse to destroy the father is continually transforming itself into public violence. The old men of the immediate community or race protect themselves from their growing sons by the psychological magic of their totem ceremonials. They enact the ogre father, and then reveal them-

99 Róheim, The Eternal Ones of the Dream, p. 94. 100 Ibid., pp. 218-219. 101Compare the following view of the Bodhisattva Darmakara: "Out of his mouth there breathed a sweet and more than heavenly smell of sandalwood. From all the pores of his hair there arose the smell of lotus, and he was pleasing to everybody, gracious and beautiful; endowed with the fulness of the best bright color. As his body was adorned with all the good signs and marks, there arose from the pores of his hair and from the palms of his hands all sorts of precious ornaments in the shape of all kinds of flowers, incense, scents, garlands, ointments, umbrellas, flags, and banners, and in the shape of all kinds of instrumental music. And there appeared also, streaming forth from the palms of his hands, all kinds of viands and drink, food, hard and soft, and sweetmeats, and all kinds of enjoyments and pleasures" (The Larger Sukhavati-Vyuha, 10; "Sacred Books of the East," Vol. XLIX, Part II, pp. 26-27). 102 Róheim, War, Crime, and the Covenant, p. 57. 103 Ibid., pp. 48-68.

selves to be the feeding mother too. A new and larger paradise is thus established. But this paradise does not include the tradi­tional enemy tribes, or races, against whom aggression is still systematically projected. All of the "good" father-mother content is saved for home, while the "bad" is flung abroad and about: "for who is this uncircumcise'd Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" 104 "And slacken not in following up the enemy: if ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering sim­ilar hardships; but ye have hope from Allah, while they have none." 105

Totem, tribal, racial, and aggressively missionizing cults repre­sent only partial solutions of the psychological problem of sub­duing hate by love; they only partially initiate. Ego is not an­nihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society. The rest of the world meanwhile (that is to say, by far the greater portion of mankind) is left outside the sphere of his sympathy and protection because outside the sphere of the pro­tection of his god. And there takes place, then, that dramatic divorce of the two principles of love and hate which the pages of history so bountifully illustrate. Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. The laws of the City of God are applied only to his in-group (tribe, church, nation, class, or what not) while the fire of a perpetual holy war is hurled (with good conscience, and indeed a sense of pious service) against whatever uncircumcised, barbarian, heathen, "native," or alien people happens to occupy the position of neighbor.108

The world is full of the resultant mutually contending bands: totem-, flag-, and party-worshipers. Even the so-called Christian nations—which are supposed to be following a "World" Re-

104 I Samuel, 17:26. 105 Koran 4:104.
106 "For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule" (from the Buddhist Dhammapada, 1:5; "Sacred Books of the East," Vol. X, Part I, p. 5; translation by Max Müller).


deemer—are better known to history for their colonial barbarity and internecine strife than for any practical display of that uncontditioned love, synonymous with the effective conquest of ego, ego's world, and ego's tribal god, which was taught by their professed supreme Lord: "I say unto you, Love your enemies, do good unto them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sin­ners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." 107

Once we have broken free of the prejudices of our own provincially limited ecclesiastical, tribal, or national rendition of

107 Luke, 6:27-36.
Compare the following Christian letter:
In the Year of Our Lord 1682
To ye aged and beloved, Mr. John Higginson:
There be now at sea a ship called Welcome, which has on board 100 or so of the heretics and malignants called Quakers, with W. Penn, who is the chief scamp, at the head of them. The General Court has accordingly given sacred orders to Master Malachi Huscott, of the brig Porpoise, to waylay the said Welcome slyly as near the Cape of Cod as may be, and make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorifled and not mocked on the soil of this new country with the heathen worship of these people. Much spoil can be made of selling the whole lot to Barbadoes, where slaves fetch good prices in rum and sugar and we shall


the world archetypes, it becomes possible to understand that the supreme initiation is not that of the local motherly fathers, who then project aggression onto the neighbors for their own defense. The good news, which the World Redeemer brings and which so many have been glad to hear, zealous to preach, but reluctant, apparently, to demonstrate, is that God is love, that He can be, and is to be, loved, and that all without exception are his chil­dren.
108 Such comparatively trivial matters as the remaining details of the credo, the techniques of worship, and devices of episopal organization (which have so absorbed the interest of Occidental theologians that they are today seriously discussed as the principal questions of religion),109 are merely pedantic snares, un-

not only do the Lord great good by punishing the wicked, but we shall make great good for His Minister and people.
Yours in the bowels of Christ,
Cotton Mather
(Reprinted by Professor Robert Phillips, American Government and Its Problems, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941, and by Dr. Karl Menninger, Love Against Hate, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1942, p. 211.)
108 Matthew, 22:37-40; Mark, 12:28-34; Luke, 10:25-37. Jesus is also reported to have commissioned his apostles to "teach all nations" (Matthew, 28:19), but not to persecute and pillage, or turn over to the "secular arm" those who would not hear. "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (ibid., 10:16).
109 Dr. Karl Menninger has pointed out (op. cit., pp. 195-196) that though Jewish rabbis, Protestant ministers, and Catholic priests can sometimes be brought to reconcile, on a broad basis, their theoretical differences, yet whenever they begin to describe the rules and regulations by which eternal life is to be achieved, they hopelessly differ. "Up to this point the program is impeccable," writes Dr. Menninger. "But if no one knows for certain what the rules and regulations are, it all becomes an absurdity." The reply to this, of course, is that given by Ramakrishna: "God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God Himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole hearted devotion. . . . One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way" (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, New York, 1941, p. 559).


less kept ancillary to the major teaching. Indeed, where not so kept, they have a regressive effect: they reduce the father image back again to the dimensions of the totem. And this, of course, is what has happened throughout the Christian world. One would think that we had been called upon to decide or to know whom, of all of us, the Father prefers. Whereas, the teaching is much less flattering: "Judge not, that ye be not judged." 110 The World Savior's cross, in spite of the behavior of its professed priests, is a vastly more democratic symbol than the local flag.111 The understanding of the final—and critical—implications of the world-redemptive words and symbols of the tradition of Christendom has been so disarranged, during the tumultuous centuries that have elapsed since St. Augustine's declaration of the holy war of the Civitas Dei against the Civitas Diaboli, that the modern thinker wishing to know the meaning of a world religion (i.e., of a doctrine of universal love) must turn his mind to the other great (and much older) universal communion: that of the Buddha, where the primary word still is peace—peace to all beings.112

The following Tibetan verses, for example, from two hymns the poet-saint Milarepa, were composed about the time that Pope Urban II was preaching the First Crusade:

Amid the City of Illusoriness of the Six World-Planes
The chief factor is the sin and obscuration born of evil works;

110 Matthew, 7:1.
111 "And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way of consent. . . . They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies" (Hosea, 6:9; 7:3).
112 I do not mention Islam, because there, too, the doctrine is preached in terms of the holy war and thus obscured. It is certainly true that there, as well as here, many have known that the proper field of battle is not geographical but psychological (compare Rumi, Mathnawi, 2. 2525: "What is 'beheading'? Slaying the carnal soul in the holy war."); nevertheless, the popular orthodox expression of both the Mohammedan and the Christian dcotrines has been so ferocious that it requires a very sophisticated reading to discern in either mission the operation of love.

Joseph Campbell. (1968). The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd Ed., pp. 155-159. Copyright 1949 by Bollingen Foundation Inc., New York, N.Y. Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 49-8590 ISBN 0-691-01784-0 (paperback edn.) ISBN 0-691-09743-7 (hardcover edn.)

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