Somehow, you must satisfactorily deal with any connotative reaction that arises from the title of this chapter, The Underworld. This book does not intend to investigate the pros and cons of popular psycho-ideologies. Yet it could easily be that a phrase such as “Underworld” encroaches on the territory of an unconscious myth that is currently influencing you. The myth would equate the word “Underwold” to mean “negative,” “evil,” “dangerous” or “bad.”. If so, the connotations will automatically block you from acquiring new possibilities in Archetypal Relationship. What can you do? Recognizing a myth, consciously, as a myth, creates freedom from the unconscious grip of the myth. After the recognition, if you have an emotional reaction to the term “Underworld,” for example, and you have clarity that your emotional reaction is only the self-defense mechanism of a myth that you already disinherited, then you can let the reaction happen safely, all by itself, and keep exploring. We need to study the mechanics of mythology in greater depth here, before venturing into the Underworld.
THE POWER OF MYTH Western civilization lives within a mythology that for the most part has not yet been recognized as a mythology. When a myth is not recognized as a myth it is still considered to be the factual truth. Debunking Western mythology is not the purpose of this book. The purpose of this book is to provide you with the possibility of expanding your relationship skills. The difficulty right now is that further expansion of your relationship skills conflicts with a predominantly held Western myth that you may still be holding as the truth.
Check to see if you have this myth somewhere deep in your system: “We live our lives and then die, and then, according to a judgment about what we did during our lives, we are sentenced to spend the rest of eternity in either heaven or hell.” I am not asking you if you adjust your daily actions in fear of the consequences defined in this myth. Simply to look back in the dusty fringes of your mind to see if the myth is there, and perhaps patching over a gap in the scenery where there are not enough facts to give you a different picture. Is this myth still functional for you? Or have you somehow adopted a different story, and integrated it at a deep enough level to supplant this imagery?
We may try as adults to exchange the Occidental “die and go to hell” myth for some Taoist or Buddhist perspective, or with something like the Native American mantra, “It is a good day to die.” But such philosophies do not usually land close enough to our core to replace views installed during childhood. The mind might grasp the new concepts, but our deep soul is still convicted of the original story: that down there, lording over the Underworld, is some bad-ass devil guy gleefully rubbing his hands together and waiting for us to make some sinful little mistake so he can have our soul forever.
I am not asking you to do anything right now about what you see or find. I am only asking you to glance around “in there.” (Nobody is going to make fun of you.) I am inviting you to see what you are using to cover over the nagging question, “What happens when I die?” What myth do you use to address this question?
I say “myth” because we don’t know what happens after death. We all have the question, yet nobody knows. Any answer we fabricate to cover over a gap in our knowing is a myth. It just so happens that the “hellfire and brimstone” myth is prominent in our Christianized culture. Just look to see if you have it. I have it. It seems to come packaged right along with Christmas and Santa Claus. Even if you removed the myth covering the “What happens when I die?” question, so that you now live with the unanswered question as a gaping hole in the wall of certainty, you still have the old myth lying around in storage. Even in storage the myth can react.
Keep a part of your attention back there – on how the myth responds – while we slowly enter this next conversation. We are beginning, gently here, because confronting core beliefs and underlying myths (SUPER!) is a delicate endeavor. The subject is so inflammable because we have made it a matter of belief, and not necessarily something backed by our own authority. We tend to grant abnormal powers to those individuals or institutions who claim to have authority in the religious or spiritual domains, authorities who purport to tell us the truth about our soul. If those authorities define a certain worldview and we start questioning the official view, we fear that we may be putting our soul at risk. Questioning religious authority can also put our life at risk, if we care to recall our cellular memories of what was commonly done to witches, heretics, unbelievers and blasphemers. The dire threats protecting institutionalized authority lie just behind our culture’s thinner-than-you-may-want-to-think veil of civilized behavior.
TAKING AUTHORITY FOR YOUR OWN SOUL Archetypal Relationship demands nothing less than you taking back authority for your own soul. Otherwise, how can you do Archetypal experiments? Stepping beyond your Box’s mythology to take back authority for your own soul requires a high level of intelligent courage.
The Box asserts that your myths are more important than reality. Consider how many people have arranged to die in the name of mythologies promoted by religious or political causes. The Box has the power to modify your perceptions and your feelings so that what you see and feel matches what your myth says you should see and feel. Consider the intensity of the reaction that you have when someone eats with their elbows on the table or chews with their mouth open. These eating behaviors only contradict your myths about how to be polite. How much deeper and more serious will be your reaction if something offends your myths about how to preserve your soul? The Box’s “self-fogging” and “scenic augmentation” are controlled by the specifics of your myths. Using any myth empowers the Box to block you from recognizing a wide variety of options forbidden by the myth before you even know that your perceptions are being blocked. If you do not know when your Box blocks you from seeing something, that thing becomes invisible to you, even if it is standing right in front of your nose and other people around you can see it with perfect clarity.
For example, if your Box has the myth that the amount of money in your bank account is related to your personal well-being, then if you receive a low bank balance statement you might feel unhappy, forgetting that money is an intellectual fiction sustained by our culture – with little or no true impact on how well you live. Or if your Box has the myth that getting good grades in school is important and your child brings home bad grades for the third time in a row, you might punish your child in some way, forgetting completely that the child is a young human being looking to his or her parents for guidance and modeling about how wonderful it is to learn. Navigating your way through Archetypal domains can be quite awkward if your myths keep making things invisible for you.
Over sixteen centuries ago, Western religious authority implemented a brilliant strategy for consolidating its power and property through proselytizing a simplified, polarized, good/bad mythology. The resulting church then justified its authority through the myth that the church alone was aligned with the “good.” Anyone who has “fallen from the right faith” or “erred from the truth” was “evil.” The clincher in this strategy and the force that spread this myth so far and wide was the addendum giving the church authority to punish any evil person who did not accept their myth! In retrospect you can see how such a protected “gameworld” would create an ideal playground for Gremlin to use religious bureaucracies for its own nefarious purposes hidden under the auspices of the good.
It is interesting to examine what symbols the church chose to build the brand of “evil.” Before the church came into power a number of deities received the people’s adoration and attention. How could the church disempower the pagan gods? By transforming them into the epitome of evil! A mythological character was developed and named Satan, the Devil. As the personification of evil, his image, even his name, would send shudders of fear down your spine. The church gave him hooves and horns that were stolen from Pan; his three-pronged pitchfork was stolen from Shiva, Poseidon and Neptune. And Hell, the Devil’s home, was none other than the renamed Archetypal Underworld. In the church’s marketing strategy the long-respected Archetypal Underworld was transformed from a neutral map of “what is happening right now” into a terrible place located “down there.” No longer were Underworld resources of power, clarity, wisdom and transformation available to the common man or woman. In the church’s redesign, the Underworld became Hell – the place where bad people are sent for eternal punishment after they die if they have not given their authority to the dominant religious organization. If you have ever used phrases like, “scary as hell!” or “hot as hell!” then you have bought the myth and are still using it.
QUESTIONING MYTH When precise inquiry approaches the central beliefs of a myth that you have long ago pasted over holes in you worldview left by unanswerable questions, you might start experiencing a queasy feeling in your stomach. Your unconscious fear of disrupting a myth can produce sudden unexpected feelings, like anger that attacks the invader, or fear that cuts off contact with them. At this point, for example, you could easily put this book down and let it collect dust. If you do not recognize that your emotional reaction is a Box-defending mechanism, distracting you from discovering that the way you think things are is only a myth, you might be fooled by your own feelings. You might treat your reaction as an omen. You might think your intuition is giving you a true danger signal. In fact, it is only your Box defending the indefensible. Without distinguishing the source of your emotional reaction you might unconsciously lock yourself into behavior patterns that produce only Ordinary Human Relationship.
I am sorry if directing your attention towards examining your own mythologies feels like a shatterbomb. I remember having a similar experience after first leaving my parents’ house at the age of eighteen to attend a National Science Foundation Summer Science Program in physics and mathematics. Skipping my high school graduation ceremony I flew directly from a white upper-class suburb of Los Angeles all the way across America to a black women’s college campus in Greensboro, North Carolina, where in my dorm room I met cockroaches as big as mice, only bolder.
Other participants of the program were geniuses. One evening a guy visited my room and presented me with an airtight argument to prove that if a tree fell over in the forest and there was no one there to hear it, the crashing tree made no sound. I knew the conversation was pure philosophical crap, but I could not argue my way out of it and he spoke with such assurance that my world was suddenly shaking. An offended queasy rage erupted from my guts. I immediately hated that guy and sent him out of my room. His smug nonsense shattered a part of my innocence and awakened a sharp distrust of anything purely intellectual (which has proven useful ever since). But I also learned the importance of being careful when delivering someone else of alternative design options for the way their Box handles the world. I apologize if anything in this book has caused shaky feelings for you. If shaking has occurred I can only sympathize from my personal experience with the same thing.
We may be carrying a myth since childhood, but when we want to explore areas that are tabooed by our myth we are faced with a decision. Either the myth goes, or the possibility of exploration goes. Neither decision is good or bad. But unless somebody pulls back the curtain we will never see the little man who is working the levers that keep the myth alive. It all depends on what you want to see.
MAP OF WORLDS We are here in this book together to call forth and explore the awe-inspiring conditions of true love, possibility, Men, Goddesses, Archetypal Relationship and High Drama. Not theoretically but actually. Not once, but for the remainder of your days. We are here to establish the foundation for continuously shifting into new ways of relationship. You are making a journey to add consciousness, elegance, multidimensionality, and previously unseen options to your daily experience.
Making journeys into new territory requires new maps because (as was shown in the Map of Maps Chapter XX Section XX) you do not interact with the world as it is. You interact with your mental-maps of the world. So let us begin with a new map, the Map of Worlds, which presents distinctions showing that you participate in more than one world during your day-to-day life.
The term “world” in this case refers to a world of experience. The Map of Worlds is not some weird, science-fiction, planet-hopping through parallel-dimensions, Star Trek idea. The Map of Worlds says that at different times during your day the energetic mood of your experience shifts. It is the world of your experience that determines what is possible for you in that moment.
For example, you know what it feels like to be depressed. You also know what it feels like when the depression is over. The whole world looks remarkably different when depressed and when not depressed. You have a different experience of what is possible in the mood of depression than when you are, for example, in the mood of ecstatic elation or serious concentration. This difference in your worlds of experience is addressed in the Map of Worlds. Without thinking about it you probably assumed that you live in only one world – the obvious world in front of you that you can see, taste, hear and feel during your daily activities. You might even regard this “one world” as the “real world.” As with most assumptions, the assumption that there is one true and consistent “real world” may provide you with temporary comfort, but it could be a completely false and misleading assumption in the bigger picture. The reason you may not have noticed and mapped out other worlds is because we experience each world we are in as being internally consistent, since each world includes in its design the injunction: “and this is the only world there is.” So, no matter which world we enter, we have the experience of being certain that it is the only world. As you experiment with the Map of Worlds and start noticing that in fact you do journey through a multiplicity of worlds, your direct knowledge becomes inarguable. Nobody can talk you out of your new understanding because nobody talked you into it. You discovered it for yourself. You may gradually notice, over time, that a boundless and sourceless joy spontaneously arises deep in your heart. The joy does not go away, but instead slowly becomes a supportive background experience. The joy is a side effect of entering new territory; it comes from finding unexpected ways to start again with things for which you were sure you had no chance.
THREE WORLDS The Map of Worlds eventually reveals three worlds: the Upperworld, the Middleworld and the Underworld. In one space, any of these three worlds can be happening.
For example, your bedroom can be in the Middleworld when you are vacuuming the floor, putting the laundry away, or changing a light bulb. Your bedroom can be in the Upperworld when you are arranging the pillows with the same loving care you would use to tend a sacred altar for the goddess of Archetypal Love. And your bedroom can be in the Underworld when you are feeling alone and betrayed and are sobbing on the bed, or when you are fighting with your partner and trying to prove yourself right.
For another example, your car can be in the Middleworld when you are on the way to the grocery store and you are busy making a mental list of what you need to buy. Your car can be in the Upperworld when you drive towards a sunset sky changing from turquoise to orange to pink and you are in awe about the beauty of the world. Or your car can be in the Underworld when you are late for an appointment and start swearing at the guy who cut in front of you, forcing you to stop at a red light.
For yet another example, your parents’ house can be in the Middleworld when you are helping repaint the kitchen or raking fallen leaves in the garden. Your parents’ house can be in the Upperworld when you notice for a moment that you and several other family members have unexpectedly released your family history and entered the present, and are having an inspiring new conversation that opens useful possibilities for each other. Or your parents’ house can be in the Underworld when dinnertime is contaminated with televised horrors from the evening news or a quarrel erupts repeating the same ancient judgments that broke hearts in childhood. And so on, day in and day out, wherever you are..
MIDDLEWORLD The Map of Worlds starts where we are right now, in the Middleworld. The Middleworld is concerned with common ordinary practical details of life such as cooking breakfast, taking the kids to school, brushing your teeth, going to work, paying the bills, or figuring logistics for the family holidays. You are industriously occupied with handling paperwork, washing the dishes, fixing the car, personal fitness, taking out the garbage, doing the laundry, reading a book, having sex, going to the movies, being social with the neighbors and relatives, and so on. Money, food and sex, busy, busy, busy, these are the basic ingredients of the Middleworld.
From time to time you behold something very different and Brighter than the usual Middleworld activities. Perhaps you are walking along a tropical beach at sunrise. Perhaps you are praying in a cathedral and look up at a mural of heaven or into the compassionate eyes of a statue of a saint. Perhaps you are having sex and it shifts into something transcendent. Perhaps you are sipping a rare wine, listening to Beethoven, reading poetry, or maybe just staring out the window at the rain and doing nothing. In that moment the world softens into a different sensuality and reflects in a wondrous light, as if that light were always present. You may find yourself saturated with feelings of optimism, joy, expansiveness, generosity, wonder, clarity, oneness, completion, love, brilliance, perfection, healing, possibility, union, and so on. This is the Upperworld, and you already know about it. Everyone has had moments in the Upperworld, perhaps even moments every day, if he or she is willing to admit it. Being in the Upperworld is still being in the Upperworld even if your experience in the Upperworld is only two seconds long. If you do not start taking responsibility for your two-second-long Upperworld experiences you may never notice how often you are actually in the Upperworld!
TRANSFORMING THE MIDDLEWORLD Upperworld qualities seem so wondrous and so near that without much thought you may have already concluded that your job in the Middleworld is to make the Middleworld into the Upperworld. As a perpetual effort, you may be trying to make the Middleworld into the Upperworld right now, even in this moment. You may have tried many times in many different circumstances over the years to make the Middleworld into the Upperworld and failed with each attempt. You may have failed so badly so often that you have given up trying, but your hopelessness about ever succeeding to bring heaven to Earth has not changed your conclusion that this is still your job.
Two clarifications can make a difference here. First, thinking that we can go directly from the Middleworld into the Upperworld is the definition of “New Age” psychology and philosophy. It does not work that way. The Upperworld represents perfection as a possibility, as a Principle, as an aspect of Archetypal Love. Such perfection, although simple to conceive intellectually, is only a catalog of possibilities, only a guideline. Perfection is the normal operating condition in the Upperworld. In fact, if you are experiencing perfection you could well be in the Upperworld. But perfection is not achievable in the Middleworld because in the physical reality of the Middleworld things fall apart. Things change; things move; things are evolving or devolving.
For example, think of an apple. It is easy to think of an apple. In the mind, it is utterly simple to conceive of one individual thing, such as one apple, one idea, one person. But in the Middleworld, one of anything cannot actually exist. No one thing stands alone, apart, and truly distinguishable from everything else in its framework. In the Middleworld everything is connected to everything else. If you walk into a room and see a shiny red apple in the fruit bowl and smell its sweet tempting juicy crispness, you may pick up the apple to take a bite and think that what you have in your hand is one apple. But that is not true. The apple is actually a trap, and you have just been caught. The apple exists within a webwork of all apples. The apple is a vector, a momentum, a wave on the surface of an ocean of appleness as it extends through this moment from the past into the future. The apple came from an apple tree and contains seeds that can grow more apple trees. Human beings are used by the webwork of apple DNA as the transportation to move apple seeds from one place to another for propagating the species of apples. There is no such thing as one apple. Apples are an interactive flowing interconnectedness integrally woven into the whole of Middleworld existence. So are human beings. (Think about that the next time you are feeling lonely.) Perfection is a concept that the mind can easily grasp in the Upperworld, but perfection does not exist in the Middleworld. The second fallacy in thinking that you can transform the Middleworld into the Upperworld is discovered the moment after you actually exert some effort to do it! “Try” communicating. Try hard to be loving. Try just being kind. Try entering communion. Try resting in the peace that surpasseth all understanding. Try being joyous for more than two minutes straight. Try being harmonious. Try being happy. Try being in pure spiritual union with someone and seeing what happens.
You already know what happens – as soon as you actually “try” to move from the Middleworld into the Upperworld problems arise. Conflicts boil up inside. You get offended over almost nothing and react like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl. So does the other person. You are in the Underworld! Deep and long-repressed feelings of rage, confusion, grief and terror raise their vicious heads and instantly transform you, the other person, or both of you into alien monsters hungry for fresh blood. Actually trying to go from the Middleworld to the Upperworld is how you discover that your Underworld is located between them, and directly in the way!
UNDERWORLD On first impulse, you probably regard your Underworld as bad, negative, and dangerous. You assume (and have been taught) that if you are in the Underworld something is very wrong. On the other hand, you do not usually notice that you are in your Underworld when you are in your Underworld. You simply engage in your typical Underworld activities – like flying into a rage, or feeling hopelessly depressed – until your Gremlin is fully satiated. After he falls asleep in an engorged stupor you glance back from the Middleworld and wonder, “Huh? What was that all about?” as if it were a freak accident instead of a recurring nightmare. But your wondering will not last long, as each world totally absorbs your attention and becomes your exclusive concern. In the next moment, you may be totally preoccupied with your Middleworld business until such time as Gremlin wakes up hungry again, takes over the reins and goes looking for an Underworld lunch.
The Underworld referred to here is not somewhere else, deep under the Earth’s surface for example. The Underworld is in you. You carry your own Underworld with you as a potential wherever you go.
The Underworld referred to here is not someplace you have a 50-50 chance of going to after you die. You go to your Underworld in every moment when you generate an irresponsible action, unconsciously feed your Gremlin, or serve the Shadow Principles of your Hidden Purpose.
The Underworld referred to here is not based on fantasy or a belief, fairytale or religion. The Underworld is a first-hand, real-time relationship to the level of your consciousness about your intention – that is, what purpose you are serving right now.
Theoretically, we locate the Underworld somewhere far away from us, filled with devils, demons, monsters, and the hell realms. But, if you make any sincere efforts to take your relationship into the Upperworld – for example, by being vulnerable and letting your partner see your fears in full force – you will often find yourself deep in your Underworld instead. This is because of the geometry of worlds. You cannot get to the Upperworld except through the Underworld. You cannot have a stabilized Upperworld until you take conscious possession of your Underworld.
The Underworld referred to here is not a new concept. The Underworld has been explored and mapped for epochs. Knowledge about the Underworld is necessary for any human beings wishing to live together in peace and harmony with other human beings. Ignorance of Underworld Principles is no protection from them. Underworld maps have been passed on from generation to generation orally, through legend, song, dance, and epic poetry since long before the written word was ever invented.
Modern-day Western culture has intentionally misinterpreted the encoded instructions about the Underworld. We have been educated to regard any notion of Underworld as nothing more than quaint allegorical nonsense. Because we no longer understand their true intent, Underworld legends and tales no longer deliver their practical clarity. As a result, we fail to recognize what is going on and often have a shocking inability to take care of ourselves. Today’s financial, political, military and religious spheres are networked and activated in the service of Underworld Principles with such sophisticated ferocity that together they manifest a Shadow strength never before seen on Earth.
OWN YOUR UNDERWORLD Recognizing the existence of an Underworld within you is one thing. Taking responsibility for actively sourcing the Underworld within you is a completely different thing. Taking responsibility for actively sourcing the Underworld within you makes you bigger than your Underworld. You are not trying to get rid of your Underworld. You are trying to get conscious of your Underworld. Your Underworld is full of riches and insights that you can usefully extract for the rest of your life.
What riches? Authenticity, for example. Through owning your Underworld you can no longer deceive yourself about not being Gremlin. Your friendly “nice person” mask no longer finds ears to hang on. When you inhabit your Underworld you can have authentic compassion for others, each of whom has a vast Underworld – regardless of whether they see it or not. Judging certain individuals as evil becomes a bad joke, not even funny. Your self-perception horizon expands to include previously invisible Shadowlands. Learning to navigate the Shadowlands consumes your naïveté, especially naïveté regarding people’s true motivations. Instead of being an easy mark, you become a dangerous ally for accompanying others through their rites of passage. Rage and terror shift from being overwhelming or repulsive to being simply Underworld feelings, fuel for staying alert and creating clarity and possibility. Through integrating Archetypal dimensions you become more whole and more real. Finally, you understand what it means to be growing up.
Owning your Underworld does not mean that anything horrible must happen to you. By taking responsibility for your Underworld you simply gain a freedom of choice that you did not have before. You get a choice about whether or not to enact behaviors which were previously automatic – like creating resentments, bearing grudges, or imagining revenge. You gain the choice of not Underworld. You see the possibility of navigating to someplace else. Through discovering and integrating your Underworld’s tricks, strategies and Hidden Purposes, your Underworld stabilizes into a foundation that you can stand on. When the Underworld no longer undermines you, the gates of heaven open. You have heard the legends.
Owning your Underworld can never be completed or perfected. Just like the Upperworld and Middleworld, the Underworld is vast and complex. Neither is it wise to live in your Underworld. The Underworld is like giant garbage dumpster. You have the dumpster. You use the dumpster. But life is not about living in the dumpster. This is how you own your Underworld. You take possession of it and use it as necessary.
You gain functionality in your Underworld the same way that you would become adept in navigating and working in any other new land. You repeatedly enter the territory with caution and attention to learn as much as you can, and then you come back. You go in, get the treasure, and get out. What we are speaking about here is the classic hero’s journey. Enter the Shadow lands, capture the golden key, pick up the magic wand, collect the dragon’s tooth, snatch the bag of jewels, slide the power sword into your belt, memorize the book of secret knowledge, rescue the beautiful maiden and then get the hell out of there. This is how you come to know your Underworld. You walk right into the unknown and try some things. Use what is useful. Learn as much as you can, and then return to the Middleworld. The hero’s journey into the Underworld is part of your Archetypal rite of passage into adult responsibility.
In each voyage into your Underworld you reclaim one of the treasures. Each treasure is actually a part of yourself that you long ago hid away to disempower yourself so that you could survive by not being a threat to your environment. You reclaim each treasure by taking it back from where you hid it from yourself. Going into the Underworld is a search, a treasure hunt. You can enter the Underworld with a prayer, as E. J. Gold puts it: “I do not know what I am looking for. I do know that I am looking for something. I only hope that I will recognize it when I find it.”
Owning your Underworld lies still ahead of you until you have engaged it to the level that it becomes part of your daily life experience. Once you have consciously entered and exited your Underworld a number of times, your relationship to it changes. You start to know where you are by the smell of the experience. You start filling in the Underworld blanks in the Map of the Great Labyrinth of Spaces. You start detecting your own motives and the motivations of others, so you know where they come from and where they will lead you.
You are less naïve because you have met your own king or queen of the Underworld face on – your Gremlin. You have seen him or her in action with full, horrifying, conscious clarity and you know that in each action you take and each word that you speak either you own Gremlin or Gremlin owns you. The Archetypal battle has begun within you, and you have learned by experience that there is no compromise with Gremlin. Changing your relationship to your Underworld is big work, the utmost challenge, requiring every personal resource you can muster.
What could you expect to find in the Underworld? Lots of stored up feelings, to begin with. Unexpressed rage, grief, terror and ecstatic joy. The feelings are locked away in your body. When you enter the Underworld your automatic mechanisms of denial and self-deceit come to a screeching halt. You stop pretending. You stop being nice. The game is up. You are suddenly and only exactly where you are.
Being exactly where you are can be of great importance and practical use if you know what to do with an almost unlimited supply of irresponsible rage, fear, sadness and joy… What rage? Consider this. Mostly without knowing it, women carry rage laced into their tissues and cells from 6000 years of torture, injustice, disrespect, abandonment, betrayal and intentional destruction of the dignity of Woman by the patriarchy. When a woman enters her Underworld she begins to feel a white-hot rage in her like she never imagined could exist. She feels the rage of her mother, of her sisters, of her friends, of the unnamed women she sees on the street, the women sitting in back offices not yet feeling their own rage. She feels the rage of the millions of women who suffer at the hands of men, women who have died in the death camps of the men’s wars. The ancient rage of women runs deep. It is enormous.
Men too have been minimized by the patriarchy. Men’s rage has an equivalent depth and size. The Underworld is there inside of us even if we do not know it is there. The irresponsible rage, terror, grief, and joy of the Underworld are to be consciously experienced and expressed. If we do not own our Underworld, if we do not transform and use the energy of our feelings consciously to serve our Bright Principles, then our feelings will come out sideways and we will keep unconsciously hurting the people closest to us.
Not knowing what to do with so much uncivilized energy is what keeps most of us away from discovering our deep Masculine and Feminine Archetypal structures. The way that you avoid feeling your feelings is by evading the present. But evading the present has a severe side effect: it permanently blocks you from accessing the Adult ego state. Without direct immediate access to the Adult ego state you haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of creating Extraordinary Human Relationship, let alone anything Archetypal.
From the civilized perspective, an Underworld full of unexpressed feelings could only be a serious liability, one to be avoided in the extreme. Looking at the same scenario from a different perspective reveals that what at first appears to be the problem is in fact the solution. Having explosive resources hidden away in your Underworld is not a design error from God. These resources contain the exact quality of intelligence and quantity of energy required to meet the challenges of bringing your destiny to fruition. The question is, how to change the lead into gold? The answer is stellating.
Stated most simply, a man lacks nothing to becoming Man. Spelling the word ‘man’ with a small ‘m’ is intended to mean the quality of man as produced by modern culture – in other words, self-referenced man, problematical man, conniving, arrogant, patriarchal, uninitiated man. Spelling the word ‘Man’ with a capitalized ‘M’ is intended to refer to an authentically initiated adult man, the archetypally stellated King, Warrior, Alchemist, Lover… Man Number Four, Man On The Path, etc.
This does not refer to Enlightened Man or God-Man. This is merely referring to the designed-in, natural capacity which every man has for being responsible and having integrity, the basic prerequisites for being a spiritual student and apprentice to a Spiritual Master. The premise for this consideration of Man is that every factor and ingredient necessary for the transformation from man into Man is available in the body of every man.
The intention in this writing is to clearly outline those factors and perspectives so that readers can consider what is possible for themselves and also what is possible in relationship with each other, Men with Men, and Men with Women. The capacities outlined below are ground zero; they represent so-called ‘first position’ for Manhood. They also indicate precisely what an Alchemist can be expected to expect from a man at the outset of a mature Alchemist-apprentice relationship.
We must begin this consideration by looking directly and unreservedly at something you probably know to be true in your guts, but which you are probably unwilling to carry around with you in your day-to-day perspectives because it at first appears to be so disgustingly dishonorable.
We begin this consideration of man by fully acknowledging that man, as known and lived in Twenty-First Century Western cultures, is not Man. Patriarchal men live as selfish, lying, obsequious, insecure, self-hating, self-aggrandizing, weak-visioned, small-berried, will-less, momma-hating or momma-owned little boys. This includes all of your role models, political leaders, military leaders, corporate leaders, religious leaders, and popular entertainment stars, entirely without exception.
Upon reading such a scathing indictment you may at first feel insulted and defensive, readying your rebuttal with examples of personal exception. After understanding what is written below, I wager that another more concurring and sober perspective will emerge for you. I suggest that, rather than arguing now to defend your weak and unexamined position, instead you slog forth and keep reading.
Ask yourself, “After all these centuries of life, why would an intelligent Western culture promote and reward a man for being without dignity, clarity or power? Why would a man be trained to have unquenchable neediness and neurotic insecurities?”
Consider this answer: “Because when a man feels like he does not know himself, he can be manipulated, controlled, and marketed to.”
In Western culture, if a man cannot be sold to, he is considered worthless to the multi-national military-industrial corporate machine which takes it upon itself to determine the values of anyone who does not consciously declare their values for themselves. (You might as well read that as ‘everyone’.) Men have no option but to accept the massive proclamation of ineptitude because men have not been taught to live as anything different.
What we are suggesting is that transformation of boy into Man is possible through an archetypal journey that builds matrix to hold more consciousness through authentic adulthood initiatory processes contexted in radical responsibility.
Mommy will never cut the ‘apron strings’ that are tied to a man's brain, heart, testicles and soul. Never. As long as a mother regards herself as a ‘mother’, the mothering role requires that she always have children around her, regardless of how old they are or how old she is.
No amount of struggling, isolating, explaining, pleading, revenging, complaining, blaming, or fighting between a boy child and his mother will change the fact that for a mother, her boy can never become a Man. If he did, then who would she be? (No longer a mother.) And if she is not a mother, then she is without identity in the capitalist patriarchal empire of modern culture, which, as you know, is a terrifying state for an uninitiated psychology.
It should be noted that there exist procedures whereby a woman with children can actually graduate from the role of mother when her children reach the appropriate age of approximately eighteen years old. During this exquisite transition the woman elegantly eradicates her singular identification with the role of ‘mother’, automatically regaining access to her full repertoire of characters including friend, researcher, adult woman, wife, concubine, professional, adventurer, poet, teacher and also her real name. She frees herself from the tyranny of a single character's limitations in reality, thus re-declaring herself as Woman. By accomplishing this transformational self-surgery, a woman enters a vaster, less definite, and far more authentic relationships with the Universe.
Annihilating the ‘mother’ script contradicts years of ‘irrefutable’ circumstantial evidence, and shatters a woman's long held and strongly reinforced self-image. As can be imagined, the procedure is not comfortable, and is therefore rare. On the other hand, nothing less than this will free a woman to also become a spiritual student and establish a Woman's relationship with a Spiritual Master. However, we digress. We were speaking of men.
The man must cut the cord between himself and his mother, or it will not be cut. The corollary to this is that if you have not consciously and completely cut the energetic umbilical cord to your mother, then it has not been severed, and you live as an addendum to your momma, answering to her every need whether you think you are or not. You should know that these quaintly named ‘apron strings’ truly exist, and, when viewed with eyes wide open to perceiving such things, are actually a bundle of stretchy, resilient, white-colored energetic lines that tie into various parts of your body and follow you wherever you go and whatever you do in your days and in your nights, even if your good old ma is long dead and buried. With the cord intact, she owns you, boy.
Males have learned under life-threatening circumstances to be ‘Good Boys’ or ‘Bad Boys’. These personality traits are merely a shell covering over the pain and confusion of un-initiated existence. Neither defense strategy – ‘good boy’ or ‘bad boy’ – has an advantage in surviving the fire of what is to come, because surviving the fire, in the case of becoming a mature, adult Man, is the opposite of success. Burning is the way into Manhood. The question is, how does the burning occur? What burns? Where is the match? What serves as the equivalent of oxygen? What remains?
If the transition to adulthood was built into modern culture or the natural development of psychology, conditions for entering the Alchemist's ‘athanor’, 'the oven of maturation'. would occur by themselves and we would not be having this conversation. Obviously, such conditions do not arise by themselves. Most of us men will play out our love-hate relationship to mommy, and, in a similarly ineffectual way to daddy, for the totality of our lives, never once setting foot into the world as Man, and never knowing except at a tormented unconscious soul level what you have missed. And then you will die.
To become someone who has the fierceness, clarity and balls to slice away contact with the only known safe refuge in the Universe, namely, the boobs, something devastating must occur. A man has to enter a domain in which irreparable damage is done to the ‘good boy / bad boy’ scam. Your survival game must be nuked in order to begin living.
Moving beyond the defensive context cannot be undertaken by oneself as one's self. The shift must be sourced from someone not controllable by your psychological defense machine, because the machine will never ‘monkey wrench’ itself. If a man does not find a way to liberate himself from the being-fetters of psychology before engaging a Spiritual Master, then the only work that the Spiritual Master can do with that man is to try to get him to grow up.
If you wonder why the Alchemist keeps giving you the same rudimentary feedback (or no feedback at all), guess where you are on the map of evolution. Though it may be painful to acknowledge, it is far better to learn where you are on the map than to continue fooling yourself into thinking that you are somewhere else.
Rather than tangling the Alchemist in a game of search and destroy, other men can be engaged. The purpose of your men's group must be declared at the outset and adhered to with a commitment beyond dissuasion. Such an agreement among men cannot generally be fruitful without a Man at the helm, acknowledged by the group in that role. Most men's group fail to arrange this formality and are quickly lost on a psycho-emotional sea, foundering on rocks ingeniously placed by ego's hidden purposes of self-defense.
So again, how? How does a man leave the fantasy world that is held together by the presence of mommy? You cannot succeed by continuing with actions resulting from being attracted or repelled. Rather you must go where the floor falls out from underneath the whole mommy game, where you finds yourself flailing hopelessly in an underwhelming whirlpool of confusion, rage, terror and grief until reality, as it has always been known to exist for you, is fully disassembled, until it is flung away, frame by frame, so that nothing solid remains intact, and everything comforting is seen for the mirage-veiled trap that it is, and lies charred, burnt black, or blowing about in little puffs of grey lifeless ash.
How can a man ‘hit bottom’ hard enough that the demolition upon impact is total?
Most of us, if we get this far in the consideration and even dare to ask such an insane and terrifying question, allow ourselves to remain stuck in the question of “How do I do this?” forever, never being truly willing to experience the answer. Because the answer to the question “How do I do it?” is itself utterly devastating.
The answer is: you already know how. For eons the way has been told. It is in our bones, explained by story tellers, wise-men, poets, witch-doctors, troubadours, and shamans. The journey from naivete to wisdom has only one beginning. Either by accident or by folly, the way begins by entering headlong into the dark cave of the Underworld.
What does this mean, going into the Underworld? What happens there? How does one come out again? Where is the Underworld?
You do not have to go far to find the Underworld, because it lies within you. The Underworld is, in fact, you. You function daily, minute by minute, in the service of Underworld demons, and yet you assume that you are just being your ‘good’ and ‘righteous’ self. You have concluded that life is like you have always known it. Such conclusions seem unquestionably obvious.
You think that what you have been doing is proper because it is the only possible way you could think of in the moment to respond to the problems that are incessantly battering you. Since you are identified with the character of yourself, and since you ongoingly justify your actions to yourself, the Underworldly nature of your daily activities completely escapes your perception. You must have a view from outside of the Box to notice your Box.
A fish says, “What water?” You say, “What Underworld?”
And in your delusional blindness the demons slurp down your life energy and the life energy of those dearest to you. They lick their lips smiling, take a little nap, wake up hungry, and use you to conjure up their next low drama meal. You have been calling this ‘life’.
Going into the Underworld means having the world-shattering bodily experience of noticing that, moment-to moment your primary commitment, previous to any other commitment, is to create and live in hell.
Your first commitment is to serve your Hidden Purposes, motivated by scarcity, clouded in irresponsibility, created with low dramas, designed for survival, competing for limited resources, stopping at nothing, using the weapons of chaos, confusion, deception, self-hatred, betrayal, and destruction, causing yourself and countless other people deep and long-lasting pain, deriving great Underworldly pleasures at the other person's demise, or vowing endless revenge because of your own. This is where you live. This is home. And you unconsciously love it, or it would not be happening.
Once in the Underworld, what must you do to come out of it? There is a shocking answer.
If the Underworld is in you, then, in order to get out of the Underworld, you need to get out of yourself.
In other words, the illusion of 'getting out of the Underworld' is best enhanced by putting yourself to sleep to forget about the fact that the Underworld in inside of you. To forget this, more unconsciousness is required. To exit the underworld you enter sleep, numbness, denial, arrogance, repudiation, superiority, and zombieism.
You imagine to exit the Underworld only through drawing the woolly veil of unconsciousness back over your eyes.
You wrap up your heart once again in stainless steel and barbed wire, numbing your feelings with dullness and denial, and placing your soul back into hibernation.
That is the only way to 'exit' the Underworld. And if you exit the Underworld that way, there is little chance of ego allowing you to ever go near the entrance again. You have chosen amnesia instead. Perhaps you know someone who has done this?
Success in the Underworld journey is only achieved by never leaving the Underworld. Ever.
Success in the Underworld journey occurs by irrevocably re-defining yourself as also including the Underworld in your daily awareness and experience, in yourself, in others, and in the society and institutions around you.
Success in the Underworld journey results from remaining fiercely conscious of the full implications intended behind all of your evil, twisted, unconscious, and hateful thoughts, feelings and actions. Not giving up. Not giving in. Staying alert to your purpose in each thought, word and deed. Facing directly and incessantly into the horror of the situation.
Success in the Underworld journey is realized through being radically responsibility for each of your conscious and unconscious irresponsibilities:
As if irresponsibility is an illusion. (Irresponsibility is an illusion.)
As if there is no such thing as a problem. (Problems are self-authored fictions. Regarding someone else’s ‘problem’ as a problem is also self-authored fiction.)
As if there is no enemy. (There is no enemy.)
As if it is impossible to be a victim. (You arranged for this to happen. It is impossible to be a victim.)
As if circumstances are irrelevant. (The reason is not the cause.)
As if reasons are a joke. (Reasons are hilarious.)
As if every interpretation, every meaning, and every story about a situation was nothing but a self-serving lie. (They are lies.)
…and stewing in it, experiencing full 5-body present-time experiential awareness, without self-judgement, without cynicism, without self-recrimination, without excuses, without escape, without self-pity, and without forgiveness.
What hits the wall and explodes as you take conscious responsible ownership of the Underworld inside of you is the fantasy world that your friends are your friends, or that you are you. We are human beings. We have parts. Whatever parts in yourself you have not taken conscious responsible ownership of, run your life out of your awareness. Staying blind to something does not make it go away. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Things you may not be aware of can still seriously affect the quality of your life. Taking conscious responsible ownership of your Underworld parts is a step in the direction of not being naïve around others or around society. Only through becoming aware of, and consciously responsible for, having choice about enacting or not enacting the needs and reactions of your own various parts, can you see and be proactive about the underworld character zoo that resides in others, whether they see their own parts or not. But it is not a pretty sight.
If you scratch a stainless-steel fork hard against the dry surface of a chalk board, back and forth, over and over again, never letting up, with every nerve cringing in the screeching intensity yet you do not shy away from the experience, this is what it is like to own your Underworld.
There is nothing glorious about it. Nothing funny. Nothing nice. Nothing comforting. It is raw pain, dusty sand in the eyes, mouthfuls of bitter dirt, freezing snow down your neck, sharp stones in your shoes, a dead stinking rat in your lunch box, each incident finding an inconceivably rude way to let you know that the Underworld is alive and well at your core and that it will never go away.
What is the best way to explore new territory?
DRAW A MAP OF THE 3 WORLDS INSIDE OF YOURSELF
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.01
DECIDE TO BE A SPACEHOLDER FOR ALL 3 WORLDS
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.02
USE YOUR CENTER TO NOTICE WHICH WORLD YOU ARE IN
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.03
WASH DISHES BY HAND AS A JOURNEY THROUGH THE 3 WORLDS
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.04
Consciously navigate the experience of washing meal dishes by hand into all 3 worlds. Spend 5 to 10 minutes in each world. Really look around in yourself and in the experience and describe what you notice in your Beep! Book.
Start by washing dishes in the Middleworld, that is, by looking at the time, trying to be efficient in the way you stack the dishes, try to use less soap, keep thinking about all the things you have to do today, try to talk on the phone while you are washing the dishes so your attention is scattered and you don't even notice that you are washing the dishes.
Next, shift your dishwashing space into the Underworld. Notice that the shift is inside of yourself. Nothing outside of yourself has to change at all to enter the Underworld. Hate washing the dishes. Despise the sponge, the dirt people leave on their plates, the grease. Feel oppressed and plot revenge on all the people who have forced you to wash the dishes. (NOTE: Be careful not to hurt yourself on broken glass or sharp knives.)
Next, shift your dishwashing space into the Upperworld by singing Broadway show tunes, by calling your Bright Principles into the dishwashing space, and by loving the sensations of warm water and suds on your fingers. Hold each dish, glass, or cutlery with amazement and respect for being what it is so perfectly. Clean up the space with a wiping cloth and make it a sacred space full of drala (magical energy) that feeds you simply by looking at it.
GREET THE PRESIDING DEITY OF EACH SPACE YOU ENTER OR EXIT
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.05
MAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF SEVERAL SPACES FOR EACH OF THE 3 WORLDS IN YOUR VILLAGE OR CITY
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.06
SPEND 3 HOURS IN THE UPPERWORLD
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.07
SPEND 3 HOURS IN THE MIDDLEWORLD
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.08
SPEND 3 HOURS IN THE UNDERWORLD
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.09
WRITE AN ARTICLE ABOUT JOURNEYING IN 3 WORLDS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
Matrix Code 3WORLDSx.10
TAKE YOUR POSSIBILITY TEAM ON A JOURNEY THROUGH THE 3 WORLDS DURING A POSSIBILITY TEAM MEETING