Alan Briskin is, among other things, one of the authors of The Power of Collective Wisdom. He’s a person whose thinking I enjoy. I periodically check in to his writings. One of his coauthors, Sheryl Erickson, is someone that I was in contact with quite a bit, way back in the 90s.
This morning Alan shared an email about a series on collective shadow that he’ll be blogging about. An excerpt from that is below. I like his thinking on the angle of descent in to that shadow.
Finally, I want to offer a reframe for the meaning of descent. It can refer to a movement downward, even a sudden violent attack. It can also refer to origins, such as the background of a person’s family or nationality. All these meanings show up in my writing, but it is the angle of descent that concerns me. If the descent is too extreme, meaning unconscious, it can indeed result in a violent end. However, if the descent allows us to penetrate into the depths of our situation, and we return with greater consciousness, then we will be able to see our situation with new eyes and contribute to our world with new understanding. This is the journey we are all on, managing the boundary between conscious and unconscious awareness. Let it be a joyful one, opening the soul’s eyes, embracing multiple perspectives, and joining the company of those we most value and respect.
What really caught my attention from Alan’s email was his quote from NY Times Columnist, Thomas Friedman, reflecting on American presidential politics as gateway to exploring Shadow. “What interests me most right now, though, is a different question. It’s not, “Who are they – our politicians?” It’s, “Who are we – the voters?”
Now we are getting somewhere, right?