Child consciousness and hubris in the New Age

Posted by Justin on 29th September 2016 in Articles

hubris
ˈhjuːbrɪs
noun
excessive pride or self-confidence.
(in Greek tragedy) excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.

This is one of my faults, that I both know about and have worked with, have done something about and still have a long way to go with, been in denial about, and also accepted compassionately without needing to do anything about.
(all at the same time, in different ways :) )

It’s also – in an embarrassing abundance of faults, for the New Age soup is really just the soup of the human condition – one of the primary faults of the New Age community.

Fault isn’t to imply a moralistic imperative about ‘wrongdoing’, btw. I mean it in a way which isn’t ideal or healthy for us, that takes us away from reality, and away from our own selves (and our pain, and humanness).
Hubris comes from one room of the many-chambered building that is modern day collective wounding.
It is the defence against, and pre-emptive action to avoid, the feeling of shame and failure, of not mattering, of not being enough.

And just behind that is an even deeper and more dreadful state, the intolerable fear of what failing or not being enough MEANS.
(perhaps something that isn’t possible to verbalise or describe. Perhaps something akin to not existing, or not having the right to exist. Something primordial and tricksy and hard to pin down and recognise, let alone name)

There’s also hubris as a defence against heartbreak, a last-ditch means to resist and reject the apparent cruelties of an apparently intolerable world. A world that inflicts suffering, injustice, pain, misery, illness, death, and worse.

This defence is a borrowing of the fantasy of the child that plays and dreams in the fairytale. Where we all are kings and queens, princesses and princes, witches and wizards, warriors and Amazons, millionaires and and rockstars.

It’s the fantasy of the child within the adult that lives in the dream – and walks through life with one foot in this world, and the other in perception through the lens of fantasy.
In fantasy, we are all powerful; we create our environment, have unlimited potential, weave magick with our minds and hands and words and eyes.

In reality, although there is some truth about being co-creators, the bigger truth is that life happens, period. We cannot hold back tragedies or traumas, we cannot prevent suffering or wrongdoing or inhumanity or cruelty.
(At least, not in the way that our fantasy would have us hope)

And we cannot, with a wave of our hands, undo the past, or rewrite the future (which is to say, to change yourself so much in this moment now, that the future version of you will be so different, as to be unrecognisable in the difference). Change IS always possible, and it always happens now. But even change has its own trajectory, velocity, acceleration, direction. True moments of instantaneous change are moments of grace, and even then, they build on all of the growth that has led to that moment).

New Age hubris says we can do those magicks. It is corroborated and confirmed by the child self that lives in the fantasy,

And all of the above is enabled by the adult that has lost (or perhaps never developed) the ability to discern fantasy from reality; the ability to leave the safe comfort and familiarity and excitement of fantasy, in favour of the real world in which we are all connected and exist whilst human. And, to boot, is scared of being powerless and helpless, and terrified of being defenceless and naked against life’s onslaughts; and, in addition to that, is seized with primordial terror of the consequences of failing to excel, of not being good enough, which means not being good, which may mean not existing or deserving to exist (or some other version of the deep and gnarly un-nameable fear)

So we have workshops which offer mastery in a few hours or days, a bait and switch from that which is the dedication of a lifetime and cultivated with the guidance of teachers and masters and in deep stillness, to that which is crowned by the lamination of a Microsoft Office template certificate. (printed on high quality paper, of course)

I have no answers to this, and I’m not even entirely convinced of the veracity of my own observation. I may just be very sad.