The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are no exception. The protesters in the street shout "We are the 99%!" "Enough is enough!" "Contribute your share!" Those occupying the towers looming above mutter "Stop complaining." "You are incoherent." "Get a job." In the struggle between the voices of the masses and the fortresses of wealth, each side blames the other for the conflict. Beneath the surface divisions, however, both sides are cooperating to enact the primal pattern of the Lifeboat.
The Lifeboat expresses the tendency to separate ourselves from the uncertainty of the ever-shifting tides of living. To protect ourselves from sinking beneath waves of change, we create a protective structure we believe will keep us above the roiling currents. Yet, armoring ourselves against the sea of living disconnects us from nourishing flows of renewal. We dwell in isolation, fear the world, and contract into alienation and depression. The ocean of consciousness, however, will not let us hide forever. Surges of energy and awareness pound our defensive walls until they soften and we respond to their call.
In the Occupy Wall Street story, the wealthy 1% are doing everything they can to survive as they are, maintaining the Lifeboats separating them from the 99% who are suffering economic uncertainty. But, as Michael Moore observed about the 1%, "They can only build the gates so high." Beneath the surface of the situation, the pattern of the Lifeboat can point the way toward a solution. As long as both sides believe it is "us against them," their problems will continue. As soon as everyone involved sees their roles in the dynamic processes unfolding, methods for revitalizing economic health can be found. When the wealthy 1% acknowledge that their riches, influence and security are interdependent with the labor and wellbeing of the 99% percent, they can use their knowledge and finances to discover new methods for enriching the global economy. When the 99% acknowledge their vast untapped resources and the power of their labor and creativity, they can look into the emerging energies of the digital age and shape them into a new economy that nourishes each individual while strengthening the whole society. The beginning is looking beneath the surface and connecting with the archetypal patterns guiding and shaping the events.
Read more about the Lifeboat and other archetypes shaping your life in my forthcoming book, 24 PATTERNS OF WISDOM; Navigating the challenges and awakenings of the human journey. The ebook is available now from Amazon Kindle. The print edition will be available mid November.