What was your first experience after looking at the Tarot card to the left? When I first looked at the card, the Devil, I was horrified by what I perceived as something negative and evil. I said, “get that thing away from me.” It was three years before I understood what I saw in the card were shadow aspects of my personality, my disowned self, mirrored back from the card. The disowned-self represents those parts that for one reason or another are not acceptable to the super-ego and our waking consciousness. Hence, they become compartmentalized, repressed and ever more negatively charged.
The end result of this process, if allowed to go unchecked, may be that one or more sub-personalities, at certain times, block forward movement. The super-ego strives for its perception of perfection. If it believes that not feeling is of survival value, then it will numb you out through addictions. The super-ego will do anything it can to protect you, including kill you! Dis-ease becomes disease!
Aspects created by the super-ego can take over the personality totally, and determine the ongoing process of your behavior. The culture and historical time of your development strongly affect the nature of the identification and disowning process. An essential aspect of personal growth and a successful life is the willingness and ability to consistently be open to recognizing and facing the energy of these mythologies, subpersonalities that are either too “powerful” or over-identified with or “weak” and disowned. You’ve seen these sub-personalities in yourself or others in the group. The voice changes with the sub-personality. You may hear the voice modulate from the little child or the deep male voice or the female voice, the judgmental voice etc.
Everyone has a primitive survival instinct, a genetic program that is all about the survival of the DNA. The nature of this survival strategy varies with the personal genetics. Over-identifying with these primitive survival instincts is a self-destructive aspect of the psyche, the purpose to block forward progress and shut us off from life. It’s the great mystery of the human condition. We ignore the truth of who we are in favor of suffering.
Metaphorically in this example, the super-ego is represented by the devil energy of the tarot card. Many so-called problems come from this part of the personality – addictions, fear, self-hate, laziness, rage, negativity and depression. The super-ego is dynamic. It can make you miserable even when nothing bad is happening. It is universally present in everyone because it has a spiritual function. What is traditionally labeled evil is really the thought process the “super-ego.” It’s evil because it tries to keep us ignorant. It demands that we ignore the truth of who we are; happy, free and limitless. The authentic-self, our true nature, is happy, at peace, free and wise. The ego wants to stay in business so it demands that we look outside the self for happiness and validation. It demands that you remain unconscious and blocks your evolution. If you give in to it you live a limited, unhappy, pain-filled life. However, when you turn on the observer and notice the inflated ego states of addiction, face these excited states and penetrate the deflated ego states, you develop higher powers. You rise above your primitive nature. You become fully conscious. You experience your divinity.
Notice that the devil card depicts a scene with a character that looks like a monster. It is a conglomeration of disparate parts. This card is a metaphor for the conglomeration, the matrix of our disowned-selves. The devil sits on a block of stone, a representation of the ego’s rigid view of the world. Our world view becomes cast in stone. The chains connected to this block of stone appear to bind the man and woman, a metaphor for the energetic binding of the intellect and intuition. They are unaware that they could simply lift the chains that bind them off their necks. They are in a state of blind resignation, bound to illusion. They are blinded and bound by their personal stories and the belief in limitation and the way things are. The energy represented by this symbol is what happens when you get reverse wired. Things aren’t really what they seem. The card represents the power of illusion to bind creative energy, how ignorance and reversal of thought create pain and suffering when you hold reversed beliefs. Life is a challenge and it feels like your tail is on fire.
Just as in a computer game, when you face and conquer the energy guardian of each level of awareness, you incorporate the energetic power of each guardian. In doing so you gain new powers and tools. With the new tools you move to higher levels. It is the same in life. There are specific tools to combat every dynamic each energy guardian on the path causes. The various seminars offer tools to reveal the mythologies, energy configuration and the characteristics of each energy guardian at each level. The more you participate the more authentic power you’ll experience — in relationships, work, creativity, etc. It is all about energy management. These mythologies and energy guardians become your teachers in the process — that’s the real purpose of energy. You learn and grow stronger from your struggles. When you grasp this, life becomes more meaningful. Even the worst problems then have value.
The super-ego gets its power by creating a fantasy world, a realm of illusion and traps you within. It tells you it’s possible to live in a place where you’re special and things are easy — a perfect world. This fantasy life is a roller coaster ride, a series of inflated ego states, excited states; emotional highs and a series of deflated or depressed ego states; emotional lows. Your energy, your natural creativity becomes bound, limited and contained within the fantasy world of the realm of illusion. Most pain is caused by your failure to find and live in this realm of illusion, which you never can and never do find.
However, as long as you narcissistically keep seeking the fantasy world, the super-ego controls you. We all think there’s a group of others who do live in this fantasy world — naturally we feel as if we are locked outside and inferior to them. The superego inflates events in our lives — a job review, a date, a birthday party — hoping they’ll put us in this magic world. The event becomes more important than you and then you become terrified.
The search for the fantasy world of the realm of illusion makes us fixate on things outside us. It causes an addictive relationship to the world. It says if we accomplish this or buy that, then we can live inside that fantasy realm. This can take the form of using alcohol, drugs, food, money, sex, etc. The super-ego tells us it is the next thing that will make us feel whole. But it also makes us dependent on the validation of others — then, if they reject or insult us, we feel like victims. The super-ego also teaches us to use things outside ourselves for motivation. This causes the addiction to danger in relationships or activities and the need to start conflicts, “the devil made me do it.” No matter how alluring it appears, the outer world is severely limited — it has no forces of energetic flow or creativity. The true energetic flow comes from the unknown and all knowing within. Once trapped in the illusion we’re overcome with dissatisfaction, envy and fear. The super-ego lures us toward a perfect world and ends up putting us in hell — that’s why it’s called the devil.
The key quality of the super-ego is that it repeats itself. It is cast in stone. You become fixated and lose your self-respect. The universe keeps moving forward, constantly changing. When you repeat a thought, feeling or behavior, you keep yourself in the same place, resisting the universal flow of change. This keeps you separate from the rest of the universe, trapping you in the fantasy world of the super-ego where it can control you. You see this most easily when you repeat negative thoughts over and over. Whatever it is you are repeating, you tend to do it with the sense that you’re right. That’s a sure sign you’re bound by the super-ego.
The energy guardians whisper in your ear saying this is what you do to enter the realm of illusion. I invite you to turn on your observer, notice the mental games and just stop!