“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
– Carl Jung
If we are to “see the light,” we have to acknowledge our shadow; and not worry so much about others’ faults (which is hard for me). Our lessons lie in our own darkness.
It’s hard to acknowledge personal “issues.” It’s easier to see them in other people. So we project our shadow onto others, “I’m good, you’re bad.” This is also a problem for groups of people, “my religion is the truth, your religion is false.” How often do we see self-righteous folks do terrible things to other people?
Fundamentalists consider God and Satan as separate entities outside of themselves. To be worshiped and feared, to fight for and against, to die for and to kill. Always trying to fix others and make the world right. Always the external.
Yet external revolutions always fail. Both culturally and personally. The Soviet Union tried to transform the world by exporting communism, but could only do it by force; and therefore failed. The United States tries to transform the world. And is successful when we improve our own country, and lead by example; letting the world follow us. But we fail when we try to force change onto others. Just look at the mess in Iraq today.
The fundamentalist Muslim world has turned Jihad into a sick external behavior. They can’t see or own their shadow. The West is bad, their societies are good (and oppressed). They are the true believers; others are infidels. They have the truth and want to force the world to acknowledge it. Until they see Jihad as an internal struggle between good and evil, their culture and societies will have their current problems.
I can’t fix anybody else; I can only heal myself. As I work on that internal revolution, maybe then I can help others without passing judgement.