| text and photo © Jonathan Zap
boy with speared fish at alternative school camping trip about 1990
CARD URL: http://www.zaporacle.com/card/savage-potential/
I Stood Upon a High Place
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, "Comrade! Brother!"
— Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
There is no such thing in nature as an H-Bomb, that is all man's doing. We are the great danger. The psyche is the great danger.
— C.G. Jung
Never underestimate the savage potential within and in humanity in general. The positive aspect is that this is a propitious time to work on understanding and integrating your savage aspects and those of others. Your savage potential can be an asset when properly integrated. Failure to witness, integrate and compensate for your savage aspects can lead you into a Lord of the Flies world.
That's the short version, for those willing to read more consider this brief meditation on
"Grappling with the Dark Side of the Force:"
The dark side of the force is implicit in the Babylon Matrix. We must accept it, but not allow ourselves to be ruled by it. Although history is largely about the dark side of the force, we must not fully externalize the dark side, but must first grapple with it from within. If you are not aware of the dark side of the force operating within yourself then you are in a state of dangerous blindness and the dark force is able to act as an autonomous complex within you. Many people are in a state of denial about this because "dark side of the force" sounds dramatic and exotic, something pertaining to serial killers and Nazis. Actually, it is more often mundane and may be ubiquitous in our thinking.
Here's a very mundane example of the dark side of the force: There is someone I am intensely attracted to but they are unavailable and/or do not return the attraction. I feel a force in me that wants them to want me, wants them not to be who they are, but what I want them to be. I feel a force that doesn't want them to be free to choose what they want (unless it is also what I want), but that just wants them. There is a rage inside the force because it is not getting everything it wants. The rage is not righteous indignation at some injustice; it is the rage of frustrated infantile omnipotence. The dark force inside of me assumes that the world is there to satisfy my wants and everything I want should be there for my taking. The force wants what it wants when it wants it. How dare anyone else take what is mine, and it is all mine!
The example above is just one of the myriad versions of the dark side of the force I can find within myself. Because I also have a will and a conscience and other forces within me, the dark force does not have to rule me, even though I do have to acknowledge and integrate its presence. If there aren't strong enough countervailing forces within me, then the dark thought forms in the above example could turn me into a stalker, a predator, or some other sort of malignant narcissist. Indeed, this is exactly what the dark side of the force does to many who are out there on the street and in the corridors of power.
Here is an example of two people grappling with the dark side of the force, one in what seems to be a mature way, the other in a way that is immature and/or insincere:
Pastor Rick Warren asked Obama: "Does evil exist, and if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, or do we defeat it?"
Obama's response: "Evil does exist. I mean, we see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil in parents have viciously abused their children and I think it has to be confronted. It has to be confronted squarely and one of the things that I strongly believe is that, you know, we are not going to, as individuals, be able to erase evil from the world…Now, the one thing that I think is very important for us is to have humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil, but, you know, a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil…And I think one thing that's very important is having some humility in recognizing that, you know, just because we think our intentions are good doesn't always mean that we're going to be doing good…"
One hour later, Warren asked McCain the same question about evil and what we should do about it. McCain's response began this way:
Grappling with the dark side of the force means grappling with it within as well as without.