After The Shooting The Shadow
I woke up this morning with a profound sadness.
The worst part of yesterday's shootings seems to me to be the death of the 9-year old girl. She was apparently at the Congresswoman's political event at the Safeway because she had been elected to an elementary school student council. She might have been inspired to meet an actual Congresswoman.
All of the deaths and the many serious injuries lie like a heavy brick on my heart.
The many analyses of why these shootings happened began too soon for me. They started immediately after the echo of the last bullet was drowned out by the agony of the victims and the Medevac helicopters. They continue today with renewed force. And increased monotony. They will ebb and flow for the next few days. It's not necessary to enumerate these here. There are many different ideas but the central idea seems to be that there is something very wrong, and that's what caused this to happen.
We have come to expect from these discussions the fixing of blame and righteous recrimination and finger pointing. And also the scrubbing of web pages and the editing of previous statements and the making of pronouncements. The reactions are all terribly predictable. I don't expect anyone who did not actually pull the trigger to take any responsibility for these deaths and injuries. And I expect that the actual shooter to have a defense as well. This prepares a fertile ground for continued blame and justification. And arguments. And shouting. And more of the same. And more violence.
This brings me directly to the Shadow. My Shadow. Jung's definition and explanation might be relevant, but what I am drawn to this morning is far less academic. I'm drawn to how Loughner lives inside me. My internal Loughner. Or put another way, the aspects of my personhood that I dislike, that I am afraid of, that I have shunned and hidden, that I do not reveal, that I keep secret. I am drawn to the aspects of myself that I consider horrid and ugly and deformed and despicable. This morning I find that these weigh heavy on my chest. I think this is what today requires my attention.
For example, I ask, where in me does the deranged, incoherent, violent Loughner live? Where in me is a person who writes such bizarre Youtubes? Where in me is the person who carries and uses a concealed weapon so devastatingly? So coldly? Where is my seething but covert anger at apparent authority? Where is my belief in illusory, mysterious, demented magical thinking nonsense? And where does my persistent blaming of others for all of my pain reside?
These are hard questions. It is very hard to look at this ugliness. But my view is that this is what needs attention. Today. It needs to be looked at. And it needs to be acknowledged. And even harder, it needs to be honored for why it is there and what it has done for me.
I would like us to ask ourselves these tough questions and to begin to attend to them. Otherwise, I fear, embarking on an impersonal, academic analysis of yesterday's tragedy might amount to our again disowning our ugliness, our pushing it into the darkness, and our unintentionally creating the conditions that will surely make it happen again.
simulposted at The Dream Antilles