This is Post 34 in the ‘Meditation Guidance’ series.
Before we can go further in our exploration of the wisdom of the green Northern Quadrant of the mandala, we need to ask why it is that the perceptual function of Intuition-Volition, which Buddhist tradition speaks of in terms of the samskaras skandha, and which so naturally finds expression as Empathy, and as a compassionate recognition of the needs of ourselves and others, should so often manifest instead as fear and dis-integration, and as actions characterised by deep inhumanity. This takes us to the heart of the distinction between resting as Consciousness on one side, and living in egoic identifications on the other.
When we are in identification with egoic psychological parts, Intuition serves those parts in a crude self-serving way, primarily by anticipating dangers and unmet needs, and therefore generating anxiety and fear. Our reflex response to that intuitive mode of perception is to act to manipulate our internal and external world in the light of those fears. While Intuition and Volition are entirely integrated on the level of Consciousness, in the egoic psyche they give rise to fused pairs of psychological parts. Often the vulnerable, predominantly intuitive part is more deeply exiled from awareness, and the more volitional part, which carries and energy of protection, defence and attack, is more conscious in the personality.
The Psychology of Bullies and Bullying
If these pairs of parts predominate within the psyche, they can form a narcissistic dissociation – a deeply unconscious and defensive psychological dynamic, which usually manifests in a range of extremely unconscious, violent, and unethical behaviours. These destructive and self-destructive behaviours might be described psychologically as sociopathic or psychopathic, but they are actually much more common than those diagnostic terms might suggest – and are very frequently seen as personality traits in many of the ‘successful’ high profile individuals in politics, in business, and in the military and its intelligence agencies – the people who shape the culture of our world.
One part in each of the pairs of psychological parts has an intuitive recognition of a vulnerability or threat, while the other part carries the impulse to control that vulnerability or threat. And the greater the unconscious fear and vulnerability of the intuitive part, the more destructive and heartless will be the volitional impulse of egoic control, to protect from vulnerability by destroying the threat, or otherwise preventing the emergence of the vulnerability into awareness. This is the stark truth of the deep heartlessness that we face in the egoic psychology of the green Northern Quadrant – which is also, paradoxically, the quadrant of Compassion. Continue reading