Actually it was on the back of a number 42 bus in Stuttgart, and I was on my way to see a friend who lived on the Ameisenburg.
It didn’t take long, it mightn’t even have lasted ninety seconds. The effect on me was profound and rumbled on for the next four weeks. You see, it was at the time of a housemove – not just in the city, but to Britain. No mean consideration, lots to doubt about and plenty of stress! There was the flat and its contents, storage, new homes in the UK, transport, jobs and goodness knows what else.
And on top of all this… BANG!!
There were all my shortcomings displayed all in a line, as it were.
I was truly thankful that I’d had the foresight to have planned much of the house-move in advance. Whilst I was struggling with the depressive thoughts brought about by this meeting, I was still able to function in a jobsworth kind of way and get things organized.
It was around a decade’s work to plumb all the depths that had been opened.
This was my meeting with my unredeemed self.
This is something that we as humans must meet at some point in our lives. There can be no avoiding this because it is part and parcel of the way we modern people live. All the uncomfortable details of our lives are stored there. After all, who wants to live with discomfort in our modern world, a world which is purposely designed to meet all our creature comforts?
That is to say, we don’t need to bother ourselves with discomfort of any kind at all. Which means we don’t have to, and what with nice people around us who are polite and reserved, they add to the impression that all is well. Which is, after all, why they are polite but more importantly, why they are reserved. It would be impolite to speak of the things that genuinely trouble them. It might offend someone else; it might put a pin through their illusions.
All the issues such people are reserved about get left unsaid and eventually forgotten about. It is such images as these that go to make our subconscious. For in our subconscious are all the all these things, and in that the things one avoids all have much the same character, the conglomeration of these will have a very personal character.
But this is the kicker: most of us aren’t aware of forgetting. It’s pretty obvious when you think about it, how can one realize something that one has forgotten all about? More importantly, it’s very easy to gloss over the things that one has forgotten. Well, that’s understandable: they were forgotten, weren’t they? Do this enough – and our modern world is based on comfort, not reality, the very thing to inspire forgetfulness – and you have a heap of useful thoughts binned in one’s subconscious.
The result is that we live in a world that is adapted to this end, of actually creating these problems that arise from the subconscious.
That doesn’t mean it’s not there, and it doesn’t mean that it has any fewer teeth. Indeed, if you’ve followed me so far, you’ll see that leaving it in peace actually sharpens these teeth.
Because at some time or other, the situation you find yourself in will trigger one of these subconscious thoughts. What is more, it is always at the very worst moment. It’ll happen when we’re under a lot of stress at work, or perhaps it’s where marital problems have risen again – that kind of thing. Or my house move! Some people have rhino-hide skin, and will never find themselves provoked until their life falls apart – but then they will be destined for the lunatic asylum.
But of course, dealing with one’s dark side is entirely voluntary, that is if one is aware of the possibility at all. Most of us choose not to, for dealing with the not-so-nice images that will be raised is the very reason most people supress them! What’s more there is an army of helpers ready and willing to help you fit yourself back into your former self should you wish to choose this path rather than work with the issues raised.
The point of this post is to bring life to a term that many here will be familiar with – yet have little understanding of in their own lives.
This is a phenomenon known in esoteric terminology as the Lesser Guardian; most esotericists satisfy themselves with the terms and rarely look beyond – which is the very process I have been describing here: that of driving things into one’s subconscious through a lack of awareness. There will be some reading this who will have met their Lesser Guardian and not even know it for what it was! After all, Anthroposophists like terminology, don’t they? After all, there’s no other way of describing these things, is there… not at least if one is to remain in polite society, that is.
All of which I have explained in relatively simple terms. I will add that I was twenty seven when I was sitting in that bus. It changed my life, the consequences of which would rumble through my 28th year and beyond.
Now to round off this post, a few of you may recognize the symptoms of a modern malady. I will be awarding Brownie Points and Love Hearts to those who have sufficient perception to recognize it.
This was first published as the tenth in a series describing the effects of the subconscious in our daily life.