This past weekend I and a friend were watching Les Miserables the musical. When I was 17, I started reading the book written by Victor Hugo. As I saw scene after scene unfold, I saw something that I had recently been clued into and wanted to share. Something was hidden out in the open, what I call Shadowy. I want to draw your attention to this little gem and another piece of precious shadow that is prevalent within our community and shine some light on the connection between these two energies founded in fear.
I once had a chat with one of the Founders of ShadowWork named Cliff Barry. He pointed out one of the shadow energies that accompanies fear. He identified it as the darkest energies that fear holds. He also mentioned that the lightness about this energy is also pushed into shadow or hidden. He called this energetic archetype PREDATOR.
When I say the word PREDATOR what thoughts come to mind. As the Darkest of energies we often associate this archetype with Child Molesters and Rapists. These words strike fear into many a heart of a parent or loved one. Archetype in its purest form is neither good nor bad. It presents a neutral paradigm upon which we layer meaning based on our own judgment and shadows. For example, a neutral form of PREDATOR is a hunter within the Animal Kingdom (see one of the coolest example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM). At one time a human form of predator might be called provider. One of the lightest forms of PREDATOR within the church is often called Missionary a word within the church that might conjure strong positive regard and may strike fear in the heart of some non-members. Likewise the word Rescuer within the church, lately, conjures fond thoughts of our Prophets clarion call extolled in his Biography. Yet, in some therapeutic circles the word Rescuer is considered an unhealthy stance. Yet, all these energies are encapsulated in this word PREDATOR.
Now when folks have a strong fear reaction to some person or group, the underlying energy is often PREDATOR. This was clearly present throughout the story of Les Miserables. Jean Valjean as a fugitive parole was seen as a PREDATOR by Javier. Likewise Javier spent his life hunting down criminals including Valjean. Fantine’s coworkers fearing the predatory advances of the supervisor, became PREDATORS by attacking her and used her weakness against her, her Daughter Cosette who was being used by the PREDATORY Thenardiers to extort money out of her. Later, Maurice was being pursued (PREDATOR) by the Thenardier’s daughter, Eponine, as he (PREDATOR) was chasing Cosette. I highlight these examples to show how this archetype is prevalent in this story.
The counterpoint energy to PREDATOR is that of PREY archtype. This archetype shows up often in such ideas as victim. PREY can become PREDATOR in another form of shadow called Victim Posturing. This turning the tables of PREY into PREDATOR is the most prevalent in what we call Entitlement Programs. When I say this is when I see abled bodied healthy normal folks using government aid intended for those who are unable to work due to a bon a fide disability.
Political issues, like the one mentioned above, often tap into this energy and manipulate it to promote a certain ideology. This last weekend, I read a very sad story where a GAY man was hunted down and killed near the famous Stone Wall Inn in New York. The word Homophobic was used in trying to ascertain the killers motives. The words used by the killer prior to killing the victim were words I would associate with hate. The fear that often is associated with such hate is appropriately associated with PREDATOR/PREY energy.
Recently, I was called Homophobic. It was implied that the use of such terms as Same-Sex Attraction and the desire d by such language to rid oneself of such attractions was a subtle form of Homophobia. The irony of such is that I see my SSA as a gift/blessing from God and in the words of Ty Mansfield from Voices of Hope “A divine tutor”…not a shunned identity. The other irony is that the person who called me such identifies as Gay. The reason I say this is ironic is that the energy behind the term Homophobic is PREDATOR/PREY in nature. By this I mean those who identify as Gay in Archetypal PREDATOR much like Victim Posturing use this term to lash out against or PREY on those who they see as PREDATOR. This PREDATOR/PREY mentality is often used politically as well and is quite prevalent today in the media and is being used by politicians and law makers in PREDATORY fashion in order to protect me and folks like me. They do this because in they believe I have fallen prey to PREDATORY practices of therapists and the Mormon Church.
Within our community, I have seen a much more prevalent form of PREDATOR/PREY mentality that appears to be shifting with the Voices of Hope Project, in the form of Heterophobia. Three years ago I opened up about my SSA within my addiction recovery groups at the urging of a life coach, mentor and friend. Prior to doing it, I called several of my buddies to ask them to be there as a support. Those friends who were straight rallied behind me and cheered me on. Several others who also experience SSA called and tried to convince me to keep my mouth shut. Many fed me with strong fear based messages. I was even warned that I would likely end up like Mathew Shephard. Strong PREDATOR/PREY language was invoked to keep me silent and in fear. Yet, I fought past that fear and shared openly. Some of the guys who hadn’t known previously about my SSA and who I feared and crushed on, approached me and hugged me and gave me an assurance that I still belonged and was one of them. At that point my attractions fueled by this predatory/prey mentality diminished. To this day I speak freely of my SSA in these groups to shine the light of noon day on these shadows.
I still combat my Heterophobia, especially when it comes to women, folks at work and church. I realize that such fear of the light is irrational at times and a product of my own misjudgment of people. This stems from an unhealthy PREDATORY/PREY belief that I need to control others thoughts; one of the darkest of Shadowy behavior. My participation on this blog as well as in my leadership capacities with North Star is my attempt to face such fears squarely in the light. As I have done so, I have found these fears no longer haunt/pursue me. Like, Jean ValJean, I am free and have no need to hide in the shadows. I also noticed that the predominant PREDATOR in Les Miserables committed suicide. I believe that Suicide is a the ultimate shadowy expression of PREDATOR/PREY and is often invoked in one of the darkest forms of Heterophobia. May we all escape this terrible energy of PREDATOR/PREY by shining the light of truth on them.