The Ego and The Victim Mentality

Ego States and Toxicity

We can find the secret to the great disparity in viewpoint, values, and purpose that exists between the negative ego and the healthy ego in the relationship each level of the ego has with the presence or absence of the inner victim and the unconscious toxic content of its host. In the case of the negative ego, the unconscious toxicity in its host’s system has not been processed and the inner victim is dominant. In the case of the healthy ego, that toxicity has been processed and the inner victim has been transformed. The negative ego is built on the foundation of its host’s toxic content and the presence of the inner victim, while the healthy ego is constructed on the transformation of that content and the absence of the inner victim. Unprocessed content is crucial to the negative ego’s existence. It imbues the negative ego with power and provides it with a mandate to protect its host from further harm.

Unprocessed Toxicity

A critical component of that unprocessed toxicity is the victim mentality. If someone has been hurt, abused, or shamed and has not cleared those experiences from his system, the role of the victim will be present in his psyche, no matter how unconscious or well hidden that role may be. The inner victim is always angry and always blames someone else for its difficulties. Until the person chooses to take responsibility for what has happened in his life, the inner victim will always stop his growth. Growth is just not possible until one takes full responsibility for the weight of his life.

The Inner Victim

By constantly blaming other people for his difficulties, the inner victim makes a costly mistake. What the inner victim fails to comprehend is that in blaming others for his problems, he not only renders himself powerless, but also transfers what power he has left to his adversary. The unconscious transfer of power makes the inner victim less than who he really is and at the same time, makes his adversary more than who he really is.
Two things happen when the inner victim unconsciously transfers his power to his adversary and neither result is good. First, it makes him feel even more victimized than he did before he unconsciously transferred his power to his adversary. Second, it inflames the inner victim with more hatred toward his adversary. Both results widen the gulf that separates the inner victim from other people and deepens his shame. When the inner victim transfers his power he expands his sense of victimization. As long as he lets the inner victim state exist inside him, he can only move in one direction, down into darkness, and away from the light of the soul and spirit. The only thing the inner victim mentality ever succeeds in doing is making the individual into even more of a victim.

Overcoming The Negative Ego

Soul vs Ego

What distinguishes a negative ego from a healthy ego is the relationship that each ego level has with the soul. The negative ego is a closed system, determined to have no further relationship with the soul whatsoever. The negative ego sees the soul as its major competitor for power within the psyche. It is threatened by the soul’s connection to the eternal light of the spirit. The negative ego  does not want that light to illuminate the psyche because the negative ego is afraid the light will reveal the hidden darkness and toxicity that are the source of its power. Since the negative ego is dominated by fear, it will go to great lengths to protect its franchise and maintain its control.

Mortality and The Ego

The negative ego’s primary interest does not lie in serving the person whose system it rules. The negative ego is only interested in protecting its host in order to sustain its own existence. This is not an act of generosity, but one of self-interest. The negative ego knows full well that it is as mortal as the body of its host. If its host were to die, the negative ego would no longer exist.

The negative ego with its fear, self-absorption, antagonism toward the soul, and concerns about its own survival, has no interest in the growth and evolution of the person within whom it exists. Neither is the negative ego interested in helping its host discover his true identity or find his true purpose. Conscious evolution requires the presence of the soul, and the negative ego is fully committed to denying that presence. Since the negative ego’s goals are antagonistic to the true goals of the person, it is neither friend nor ally to the person it is supposed to serve.

The Negative Ego and the Survival Instinct

With its primary orientation organized around its own survival concerns, the negative ego is not interested in growth or integration, but rather, in power and control. Power and control are the negative ego’s solution to the fear that lies hidden at its core. If the person it rules chose to bring down the eternal light and evolve, instead of chasing one desire after another in a futile race for fulfillment, the negative ego would eventually die. Turning toward the light terrifies the negative ego. It knows that it can only achieve its goals of survival and power by misdirecting the person it is supposed to be protecting from further trauma. The mission of the negative ego is to keep that person in the dark about his darkness, not to usher him into the light.

Paradigm Shift


Mother Teresa

Consciousness and Congruency

In the new archetype of consciousness, the world and the pursuit of spiritual growth are no longer in conflict but have become congruent. The world is not the enemy, but rather the reflection of our consciousness. We no longer have to be rigid, self-sacrificing, and self-righteous in the attempt to be clear, whole and expand our consciousness. In fact, those attributes will not only prevent us from being whole, but are also clear signs that we have failed in our attempt to elevate our consciousness. It is certainly acceptable to do good works in the world and have material abundance. Moreover, when we are whole and have what we need, we are less consumed by material possessions than we are when we lack them.

The Circle of Wholeness

It is only common sense to realize that if others benefit from our good works, so should we. Giving and receiving are equal parts of a larger whole. When we can receive the love of others, as well as give our love to them, we keep the positive energy flowing forward in our life and elevate our consciousness.

We gain positive life momentum and increase our consciousness when we clear the toxicity from our system. We strengthen and expand that momentum when we give of ourselves and allow others to give back to us. Wholeness is a circle, made up of equal parts of giving and receiving. When we operate within the dynamics of that circle we will experience the abundance and joy that are the signature of an elevated consciousness.

Generating Karma: The Anger Virus

Anger and Riot Police

Clearing Toxicity

While clearing the unconscious emotional toxicity from your past may be too complex a task to take on by yourself, clearing your current anger and negativity is a task that you can work through on your own. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve had a stressful day filled with conflict and hostility. You leave work feeling tense, angry, and worried. Your first thought when you walk through your front door and greet your family is to get a drink or two to soothe your nerves. You want to forget what happened as quickly as you can, and ignore those  troublesome feelings of anger that have tied your stomach up in knots. Your anger, however, is not eager to cooperate with your intentions and will not readily accede to your wishes. Anger is an agitated, aggressive, restless, and unhappy energy in need of an outlet and in search of a target. It cannot be stilled or pacified for long. Unless you transform your anger it will manifest in unexpected ways that are destructive to both yourself and other people.

Lashing Out: The Danger of Impulse

You’ve finished one drink now and are finally beginning to unwind. Your stomach is loosening up. You are finally able to breathe again. Then your spouse or one of your children barges into your study and asks you an innocent question. Before you can catch yourself you are taking the weight of your anger out on them. “Leave me alone, goddamitt! ” you scream. “Can’t you see that I need to be by myself for a few minutes? Is that too damn much to ask? Go away!” It’s not the way you intended to react, but you couldn’t help yourself. The words just slipped out of your mouth before you could stop yourself from saying them. Once they are out there you can’t take them back. The anger that hurt you in the workplace is now hurting those you love at home. A single, momentary slip of the tongue is all it took to cause emotional damage. Dinner is not pleasant, the air is toxic, charged with unexpressed emotion. No one says much. Instead, everyone retreats into his or her own world, upset, knotted up with anger, and silent.

An Emotional Infection

While that is painful enough, the events of the evening do not end at the dinner table. Every family member carries that toxicity with them into the next day. The toxicity in their systems will, in turn, infect many of the people they interact with perpetuating the anger and expanding its reach.

As the above example illustrates, the failure to process anger and other negative emotions can have serious consequences beyond your own experience. Instead of trying to assuage your anger and hope it goes away on its own, a far better approach to dealing with toxic emotion involves confronting and clearing your negativity as it arises. When you confront your anger and negativity as it occurs, you regain your balance and increase your power, clarity, and confidence. When you clear your anger and negativity you will be less prone to creating more negative karma.

In Harm’s Way

The opposite, however, is also true. When you ignore your anger, hoping that it will go away of its own accord, you lose your power and balance. By ignoring your anger, you put yourself in harm’s way, for you never know when or how that anger might surface and cause you to explode. When your anger does surface, the one thing you can count on is that the way you express it will not be in your best interests. Angry people are never at peace. They are karma generating machines.

Alienation and Spirituality

Divided Against Ourselves

Alienation occurs when the physical and supra-physical aspects of our system are separated from each other and prevented from working together. Fear, greed, and desire keep the two major aspects of our system not only separate and divided, but also in conflict with each other as well. The more we permit the three forces of alienation to run rampant in our psyches, the more difficult it will be to find our true identity. When we are divided internally, it is easy to be in conflict and extremely difficult to be at peace.

Our world is a product of our internal alienation. Through that alienation we have created a world rife with conflict of all sorts and on all levels. It is a world that has too much violence and too little peace. If we can’t find peace within ourselves, how can we expect the world to provide that peace for us? The world is not responsible for our well-being. Quite to the contrary, we are collectively responsible for the world’s well-being. Unfortunately, because of the pervasive problem of alienation from the spirit and soul that plagues humanity, as well as the selfishness that alienation habitually breeds, we typically fail to consider the ramifications of our behavior on the world in which we live until it is too late.

A Peaceful Nature

A peaceful nature has always been the foundation of higher consciousness. As long as we are alienated from ourselves we cannot be at peace, and we will find it impossible to complete ourselves, move forward into the light, and elevate our lives. When we are only aware of part of ourselves, we cannot know who we really are. The problem of alienation is not only universal but is also the source of the silent epidemic of imbalance now plaguing the world. When we are alienated from ourselves, our spirit and our soul are absent from our lives. Without their influence, we can neither be in balance nor in tune with a reality larger than our own selfish interests. If we are not in touch with a larger reality, we will lack a cohesive and integrative vision to guide our lives, and with- out that vision we will be unable to find our purpose. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama, for instance, all had a coherent vision with a common theme. That common theme was serving the greater good of their people. Those visions were unselfish and motivated by unconditional love.

When the spirit is active in our lives, we can find common ground and resolve our differences. However, when the spirit is absent from our lives, those same differences quickly become insurmountable. In the aggregate, the three forces of alienation promote the increasing escalation of conflict and polarization throughout the world. They affect the individual by keeping him stirred up and focused on ambitions that do not serve his higher nature or allow him to fulfill himself but that lead him, instead, farther from inner peace and personal fulfillment. In the words of Christ, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”

How Toxic Shame Begins

toxic shame

The Roots of Toxic Shame

Let’s consider the imaginary case of an adult male with toxic shame who grew up in a family with unstable, alcoholic parents. As a young child, our young man never felt safe enough to express his emotions or to ask for what he needed. He received little nurturing, approval, or love from his parents. When he got home from school he never knew what conditions awaited him. Would his mother scream at him? Would his father beat him? Would there be food for dinner? His childhood was an ongoing nightmare. He was preoccupied with conditions that another child, growing up in a stable and loving home, would never have to face. He had nowhere to turn and no one to confide in. There was no safe harbor in his life, no way to reduce the pressures he had to confront everyday. He was alone in the horror of his childhood. This is the kind of environment in which toxic shame takes root.

His solution for dealing with the exigencies of his life was to take the only path available to him, which I have named the path of most resistance. As he trudged down this path he learned to shut off his feelings and numb his system to the constant assaults he faced from his parents. Not feeling was the only way he had to endure and survive. He was well on his way to a living a life consumed by toxic shame.

Shutting Down and Surviving

When there is no one to protect a young child, the only way that child can protect himself from further psychological harm is to shut down emotionally. Shutting down is not really a conscious choice, but is rather an unconscious mechanism to stop the emotional bleeding. Turning off the ability to feel will shut off the pain and silence the inevitable rage, at least part of the time. Unfortunately, it also means that the person who shuts down his feelings has lost his ability to feel and, therefore, to connect with other people in any meaningful way. Instead of feeling connected to his world, he will feel empty, alone, alienated from those around him, and dead inside. In shutting down emotionally he also severs his connection to his soul.

The Inner Victim

While shutting down his ability to feel allows him to survive, that protection comes at a high cost. In addition to feeling empty, he has also made himself into a chronic victim: powerless, unbalanced, and angry. The chronic inner victim will not magically disappear when his childhood ends and he tries to make his way in the world. Instead, the inner victim created by toxic shame will continue to undermine him and make his life a living hell. He will be his own worst enemy. This is the path of most resistance. This is the path of toxic shame.

The strategy that enabled him to survive his childhood then may well poison his adulthood. By burying his pain instead of facing it, he increases the odds that he will duplicate his parent’s dysfunction and like them, become a tortured soul laden with toxic shame. If he becomes a parent one day, without first healing his childhood nightmare, it is highly likely that he will do to his own children what his parents did to him. He will pass the curse of toxic shame on to the next generation.

Passing down the Generations

In essence, when a parental dysfunction penetrates the subconscious of a child, that dysfunction is passed on from the older generation to the younger one and will persist as a dominant family behavior until someone in the family decides to confront and eliminate it in himself. If the children do not eliminate it when they become adults, it will be passed on to their children. If that toxic shame remains firmly entrenched in the subconscious of family members, it can persist for many generations. As it passes down through the generations, it may also become more virulent with each new replication.

When a child shuts down emotionally, there are serious repercussions in the rest of his life. What he shuts down will be difficult to open later. Whenever someone shuts himself down, he locks a strong sense of his worthlessness and toxic shame deep within his core. He will feel that he can never redeem himself, no matter what he does. It’s not that he has made mistakes in his life that he can atone for, as much as it seems to him that his whole life has been a mistake. How does he atone for that? Since that toxic shame is who he mistakenly thinks he is, he may resist facing it with great ferocity. After all, he feels unredeemable. Facing the pain at the core of his psyche is like facing his death.

As time passes, and he attempts to move forward, his imbedded toxic shame will become the shame of which he is no longer even conscious. It will imprison him in the alienation and emptiness of the past and prevent him from finding wholeness and happiness in the present. If he marries and has children, his unconscious toxic shame will be his legacy to the next generation.

to be continued.

The Real Harvest of Life


The Buddha

Siddhartha and Septimius

Siddhartha was a young prince in ancient India who walked away from ruling a kingdom, the love of a beautiful wife, the adoration of his people, and an opulent lifestyle that fulfilled all of his material needs to pursue his goal of self-realization. He burned with an inner ferocity to find out who he really was. In the pursuit of his quest of self-realization Siddhartha lived in forests, bathed in streams, wore a loincloth, journeyed from teacher to teacher, and ate whatever the forest would yield or people would give him. When he found his answer years later, he became Buddha, the enlightened one. Based on his self-realization, Buddha realized that his purpose was to teach and share his knowledge of enlightenment.


Due to the strength and truth of his teachings, Buddha, the enlightened one who achieved self-realization, is more famous now than he ever would have been had he remained Siddhartha, the ruler of his people. If he had chosen the path of kingship, only a few obscure scholars would still know the name of Siddhartha, and no one would have ever heard of Buddha.

How many people today remember Septimius? In his lifetime, he had everything a person could desire. It did not fulfill him, nor did his fame last. His voice echoed for a short time then died. While Buddha has been dead for over two millennia, the noble truths he brilliantly articulated about the path of self-realization still guide the lives of countless millions.

In the end, only the truth matters. Self-realization is the real harvest of life. If we haven’t found the truth of our being, what remains in our soul is the bitter darkness of our failure.

Change and Changelessness

In the material world, fashions come and go. Trends change. What was once hot becomes cold, and what was long out of taste becomes sought after again. In contrast, the truth of self-realization never changes. Somewhere, deep inside us all, we each have a hunger to find out who we really are. As human beings, we can’t escape that hunger, no matter how cold, hard, distant, or unreachable we choose to make ourselves. We might bury our truth and our need for self-realization, deny it, and even try to disown it, but no matter what we do in our attempts to escape it, it will always be with us. It is a hunger that has been programmed into us as a species, one that has existed in all generations since the beginning of time. It is our deepest need and our most defining one. Self realization is the ultimate life quest.

Karma and Accountability

Karma and Justice

Karma and Justice

Karma and Actions

Karma is real. Karma makes us all accountable for our actions. We do not operate in a vacuum. What we do to others and what we do to the world, life one day will do to us. Everything we do, the good as well as the bad, will eventually come home to us. Our actions create our karma, which will find us at some point in the future. We never escape that karma. Rumi, the great mystical poet of the fourteenth century, put the notion of karma and accountability in these terms: “If you cause injury to someone, you draw that same injury to yourself.”

The Golden Rule

Taking this fundamental truth of karma under consideration, our strategy should be to proceed thoughtfully and deliberately in our lives. We should be compassionate, sensitive, and clear in what we do and why we do it. Being deliberate and in control of our emotions is far superior to being impulsive and controlled by momentary desires. The wise person lives by The Golden Rule and will “do unto others as he would have them do unto him,” regardless of the way they have treated him. That way we create positive karma. Positive karma leads to accelerated momentum in our lives.


Negative Karma

If our actions have been destructive to other people’s well-being, all our attempts to deny our activities, discredit others, and distance ourselves from the repercussions of our actions will prove futile. You can never outrun or outfox your karma. Negative karma leads to difficulty, loss, and  sorrow in our lives. There is no escaping the long reach of the Law of Karma. The Law of Consequences, or Karma, makes no exceptions for anyone. We are all equal under that law. Karma has no favorites. God cannot be bribed or placated. What we do now determines what life will bring us later. We are all responsible for our karma and the impact it has on our future.

Karma and Free Will

Karma balances our free will. We can do what we want, but there are always consequences, or karma, for our actions. Knowing this the wise person always takes the highest positive path possible and creates good karma.

The Secret Laws of the Shadow: Part 2

Carl Jung once wrote “that which we don’t confront within we will meet as fate.” In other words, there is a direct correlation betweenthe repressed emotion in our psyche and what will later manifest in our experience.

The Consequences of Repressed Emotion

Our shadow is composed of all the difficult and traumatic experiences we have endured but never confronted, processed, and cleared from our system. These experiences are latent in our psyche, obscure, hidden, and dangerous to our well-being. Just because we have forgotten them does not mean they have forgotten us. In fact, it is our conscious failure to remember these repressed emotional experiences that gives them their tremendous power to wreak havoc in our life. What we ignore eventually becomes the dominant power in our life.

Subconscious Immortality

The second secret law of the shadow states that the repressed emotion we fail to consciously confront and clear becomes exalted in our subconscious  attaining a state of conditional immortality. This means that whatever repressed emotion we have warehoused in our subconscious by not consciously confronting it has been given a license to not only repeat in this life but in future lifetimes as well. This extraordinary situation occurs because what we fail to clear in any one lifetime will burrow deeper into our system and be stored as a toxic condition in our soul. The deeper these  repressed emotions and toxic conditions  penetrate into our system the more difficult they are to find and clear. When we incarnate next time with these repressed emotions  firmly entrenched in our soul and outside our conscious remembrance they will initiate the negative cycle all over again. What we refuse or fail to face will remain immortal until we consciously face and clear it. That is the only condition that will defeat it, destroy its exalted status as a subconscious troublemaker, and completely remove its immortal status. Repressed emotion rules our life until we confront and clear it.

Psychic Balance

When we clear these toxic conditions and their repressed emotional content  from our system we come back to internal balance. This creates, in turn, an opportunity to consciously reunite with our Soul and remember who we really are. Consciously confronting our subconscious toxicity is then the key to transforming our experience and elevating our life.

A Transformative Event

Hector came to a healing workshop I gave at the University of Illinois. He was a slightly built man of medium height with a gentle and kind demeanor who was very eager to exploit his healing opportunity. When he first got on the healing table and the energies began to flow into him he quickly got peaceful. A moment later everything changed. His body got rigid and taut, and he started kicking and screaming, furiously trying to clear an intense and intolerable internal event. This went on for nearly forty-five minutes. When it was over his clothing was soaking wet and his body exhausted. Yet there was also a deep sense of peace within him that had not been there before. When his session was over Hector told me an amazing story.

When the energy began flowing into him he had immediately felt a deep sense of peace. He was completely relaxed when the unexpected began to unfold in his mind’s inner eye. He saw himself as a priest accused of heresy during the Inquisition. He denied the charges against him and was subjected to intense torture. First he was beaten severely. When he refused to recant he was put on the rack. When the rack failed to break him he was castrated and left to die in a pool of his own blood. He died swearing eternal revenge on those who had done this terrible thing to him.

flckr mcveja

Free as a Bird

Emotional Repression and Disease

His story was prelude to an unfortunate circumstance in this life. Three years earlier he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and one of his testicles had been surgically removed. The repressed emotional trauma  that he had no conscious awareness of had manifested as cancer. Nowit was over. He had found his repressed emotional demon, faced it, re-experienced it and in doing so cleared it. The toxic experience that had plagued him for hundreds of years was robbed of its exalted status, deprived of its immortality, and completely defeated. Hector was free.