Past and Present Reflections on the New Economy
by Kent and Maria Carr, Ph.D.
Published March 9, 2009
What a difference a year makes in the public’s perception of how it feels to live in a democracy called “The United States of America.” We see our economic system engaged in a projected “global meltdown.” We face a recession pointing toward a virtual depression escalating at home and abroad.
A more mature generation remembers the experience of the 1930's. President Franklin D. Roosevelt organized a huge government domestic project of employment to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
Subsequently, the nation’s entry into World War II spearheaded the accelerated recovery of the U.S. economy. Now, the present situation looks much like a piece of history returning full cycle.
Historical cycles repeat
According to many members of the older, educated generation of Americans still living with some psychological awareness, it was apparent that what happened to our financial system has been fermenting for some time.
The question then arose: “When will the materialistic economic bubble burst?”
A sudden exposure of the mortgage markets’ lack of realistic boundaries and the boundless greed infecting the nation’s financial institutions finally collapsed as a house cards.
When 911 occurred, an opportunity emerged to get our national house in better order. Instead, the government’s executive branch decided, with the consent of Congress, to invade Iraq, which was viewed by former President George Bush and Vice President Dick Chaney as part of the “axis of evil.”
We focused huge financial and human-life resources into bringing down Saddam Hussein and the Taliban. We falsely accused Iraq of housing significant supplies of weapons of mass destruction when our hidden economic motive was to tap their oil reserves.
In 1994 the World Trade Center was attacked. People wondered if it would be hit again – then 9/11 occurred. Now our decline from within accelerated as we funneled enormous resources onto “the enemy without.”
National hubris pointed at “the sky’s the limit,” and we continued to erode logical and legal boundaries. Individually, we invested in financial market funds such as Bernard Madoff (who “made-off’ with everyone’s millions). Collectively, we continued investing in Wall Street institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. The financial magic carpet ride of unlimited credit that would fulfill our materialistic dreams had no limits.
The EQ model and the world
In a book published by Harvard psychologist Daniel Goldman, Ph.D., titled Emotional Intelligence, he defined an individual’s “Emotional Intelligence” or “EQ” for short. The EQ was clinically demonstrated to stand in equal value alongside the scientifically accepted “Intellectual Quotient,” or “IQ,” that measures ones mental abilities.
Emotional Intelligence has a lot to do with how people interpret specific feelings of love, hate, empathy or anger, based on childhood factors. Those with a higher EQ seem to have greater coping skills, which enable them to reduce internal stress regardless of the situation or event.
People with a lower EQ seem to suddenly fall apart and, in many cases, explode in stressful situations. If we apply this EQ model collectively and globally, violence and crime only reinforce our understanding of how damaging a dysfunctional EQ is to both ourselves and the world.
Politically, we are like Icarus, the foolish youth in ancient Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun, melted his golden wax wings and fell into the sea. Like Icarus, our ship of state has burnt up and fallen into a sea of social and economic confusion. Our high IQ has demonstrated amazing technological feats, which supposedly represent a progressive and advanced civilization.
Perhaps our collective IQ was used as a mask to hide our inadequate EQ? Politically, we projected our internal conflicts onto Al-Qaeda and Iraq. These multi-trillion-dollar wars for “freedom” demanded endless resources and the sacrifice of precious sons and daughters, killed and maimed in the blood of oil.
To a dysfunctional EQ it was not too much to ask to feed the fire of war. This was a war that, in 2002, our virtual-reality, low-EQ former president said, “...would be over in three weeks...”
Our nationalistic and personal desires to accumulate a more satisfying way of life have been eating away at our national foundation. Many of us looked the other way − too self-absorbed in personal gain or survival to “let things happen” without being involved and making a difference. This was fueled by a news media with a politically conservative agenda.
Past versus present
In the Chinese I Ching, or “Book of Changes,” we find a renewed perspective. To paraphrase the ancient work: “Wherein lies the greatest danger, therein lies the greatest opportunity for change...”
Choose your position. Align yourself with fear and danger, or seize the new opportunity that formerly did not exist to move forward.
There are so many inventors and innovators waiting in the wings for government and industry to reach out and embrace a new answer− a new contribution. Old institutions, such as government, corporate and private industry, fall apart from within. Providing temporary solutions as “Band-Aids” or patching parts of a failing structure cannot restore balance. The delivery system fails.
The old order changes and gives birth to the new. The human spirit fulfills itself in many ways, lest one good structure or institution created in the past should now corrupt the world. Developing an ability for inner reflection is the fertile ground of the EQ. The EQ in balance serves as the vehicle taking us to the new paradigm of 21st-century change.
New paradigm guidelines
Here is a list of suggested new perspectives Americans can reflect on during these challenging economic and political times:
1. President Barack Obama is a person known as “no drama Obama.” This indicates someone with an IQ and EQ in balance. His new paradigm is: “Yes, I can.” President Obama acknowledges each citizen’s ability to create change. He views the governing bodies themselves as holding the power of positive change in his axiom.
2. “Yes, I am” is the foundation. “Yes, I can” comes from that basis. Being comes before doing. A deeper view of this paradigm shift needs to come into our personal and collective awareness.
3. This is the philosophical foundation of universal truth and that extends to all humanity. With the power of “Yes, I am” as a human-being comes the courage to face life’s challenges successfully. This position requires the ability of self-reflection.
4. When I work with my inner self − “Yes, I am” − I realize that this universal energy expresses as my higher consciousness.
5. I create cooperation through realizing the “I AM” presence exists potentially in everyone. This leads to cooperation as the basis of this new paradigm shift.
6. Competition originates from a divided ego perspective: You versus Me, This versus That.
7. Cooperation views my interdependence with you and moves through ego issues to the “I AM” level of consciousness. Here we find the answers to our problems.
8. “Yes I am” leads to a unified field of vision. We include each other as cause in any given situation so that a win-win situation may result.
9. Here we do not judge by appearances. Judgment from appearances is ego-based and biased − our one-dimensional perspective.
10. Celebrate another’s true achievement as your own. By embracing this view, your own personal achievement will naturally follow in its destined space and time.
11. To serve from the level of “I AM” results in inclusive service to the global human family.
12. Conscious compassion extended from one individual to another is powerful. It magnetizes conscious compassion leading to group cooperation in facing issues with the position, “Yes, we can.” This is the true balance between IQ and EQ.
Sedona-based authors and lecturers Kent and Maria Carr received their doctorates from the Instituto Internacional de Bio-Integracao in Brazil. Their book, Unraveling Collective Confusion, Archetypes and Issues (AI Publications, 2001), was the June 2003 “Book of The Month” at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, home of the Joseph Campbell Library. Together, the Carrs are the creators of a new mind-body method called Arcosoma©. Visit their Web site at www.thearchetypalconnection.com.
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OBSERVER BOOK REVIEW
"Exquisite prose illuminates remarkable insights for our times..."
A brilliant and enlightening masterpiece, Unraveling Collective Confusion offers readers thought-provoking perspectives on the individual and societal psyche through classic Jungian and universal archetypes.
Authors Kent and Maria Carr decipher the rich language of timeless metaphors from both ancient Greek mythology and fairy tales, demonstrating how these magnificent and mystical archetypes serve an integrative role in personal and global issues. They dissect the collective unconscious to lend profound meaning to the human condition and expose the deep-rooted psychological components underlying our global evolution.
The question-and-answer approach simplifies this compelling and scholarly undertaking as the Carrs connect the dots for the reader, providing links between external circumstances and unconscious dynamics. A useful glossary allows readers a quick review of the rich terminology and symbolism presented throughout the book for easy reference.
At the same time, the book provides remarkable insights, such as simple explanations of how humans avoid psychic confrontation with the unconscious: "We pop pills, have sex, shop, go to movies and sporting events...," it states on page 30. In addressing the collective shadow, it reminds the reader: "In order to regenerate the shadow, one must be aware of the source of light that creates it in the first place." (page 35) And it compares the role of antidepressants in controlling the effects of the unconscious upon the ego to "raising a drawbridge over moat," pointing to Jung's view of depression as an opportunity for transformation.
The book readily attributes the unconscious roots of many societal challenges, such as prejudice, violence, drug use, war, homelessness and even global warming, to this perennial cultural denial: "Democracy suffers when a nation refuses to acknowledge or deal with its shadow side," the Carrs write on page 36.
They also offer a prophetic reflection on the collective shadow aspects behind Wall Street greed and corporate ideology - right down to unraveling the metaphorical symbolism behind its bull and bear totems. "Today's credit card economy continues to create debt disguised as profit - the bear disguised as the bull," they conclude on page 51.
Yet the work remains as rich with solutions as it does with insights, explaining how men can understand their anima, for example, or shedding light on the unconscious rationale for violence against women. The authors also examine the synchronistic connections between the mythic individual and collective as they relate to five of the most primitive archetypes - the symbols of nature, confirming "the invisible connection between natural phenomena and humanity." (p. 127)
The Carrs explore the fundamental need for expanded psychological comprehension of the unconscious, revealing the hidden archetypal symbolism behind everything from UFOs to crop circles with implications that illuminate pathways for personal and global potential. Their moving epilogue urges us to begin a "true globalization of consciousness," concluding that we have "the greatest opportunity of all time to transform ourselves."
This stunning book represents a powerful step in that direction and a must-read for anyone intrigued by the archetypal truths of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Carolyn Myss and countless authors of myth and fable. The Carrs are right up there with these mystics who recognized the healing power of archetypes in addressing solutions for the global challenges of our time.
Indeed, Unraveling Collective Confusion is a tremendous gift from the Carrs on behalf of planetary transformation and that of all humanity. With this intuitive guide, we can slay our personal and collective dragons to reveal the hero that lies within each and every one of us.
The Sedona Observer