Myth & Folklore

The Challenge of the Present

I have mentioned in recent lectures that the current American political climate can be modeled as a clash between sensates and intuitives.

In my upcoming book, I define sensates and intuitives as corresponding to earth and air respectively. In the Myers Briggs and Kiersey personality type systems, it is the S and N split. In mythic terms, it is the ancient battle amongst the angels side by side with the battles between the Titans and Olympians. Sensate language is concrete and specific, while intuitive language is abstract and filled with metaphors. In esoteric terms it is the difference between the ethereal realm of Yesod versus the manifest realm of Malkuth.

Sensates peer longingly at the past and fear the future. While intuitives fear the past and look hopefully toward the future. But we each are the shadow of the other. So when sensates view the future of the intuitives, they see social chaos, family turmoil and eternal damnation. While intuitives are aghast at the past of the sensates, filled with stifling soul killing traditions, myopic disregard for minorities and women, and an ignorance born of shortsightedness.

What is a challenge to both is the present moment. Sensates and intuitives need each other because the information we both hold is needed to meet the challenges of the present. No we can not go back to the past, but there were gifts and values we cherish that need to be remembered and preserved. And although it is frightening to face a future of uncertainty, there is hope and promise that needs to be nurtured and shaped. And the sensates can help us remember, while the intuitives can give us hope … together.

Because in a global economy, none of us truly wants to return to the blindness and social injustice of our American past, nor do we want to un-tether ourselves from the societal and cultural traditions that have helped many of us to survive and thrive. And in a world facing the challenges of an environmental crisis, can we really make the changes we need without engaging the passions of all our citizens. We need to find common language, common values and work together. And we need to be specific.

What will not work is pandering to our fears. The American politic is dangerously close to a civil war. I have said it before and I will say it again. Although the American boogieman is “a black man with an erection coming over the wall”, what actually frightens us the most are angry white men. And we have seen a lot of images of angry white men and frightened white women lately.

So yes, the tone of the campaign needs to definitely calm down. But more importantly, we need to all step out of our shadows and into the present moment. Believe me, there are enough problems in the here and now without reaching into our collective unconscious.

So when we see those traumatized and frighten sensates, try to remember that they are being played ... just like the rest of us.

© 2008 Katrina Messenger

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