A reader inquires…
“What do you mean by ‘Pathological Genius?’ I sort of feel it, but am still confused about it!”
Which is an excellent question.
The dwarf planet Ixion was named after a fellow who intrigued Zeus because he had no moral compunction whatsoever. So Zeus made him a God, and he proceeded to try to rape Zeus’s wife Hera (aka Juno) – a perfect metaphor for the Shadow. Recall that Zeus’s Mission was to destroy the traditional Matriarchy so he could replace it with the Patriarchy.
I’m not addressing mass murderers or serial rapists here, I’m addressing US.
Whenever we repress any part of our Self, we submerge it into the Unconscious. It doesn’t go away. It typically constellates with other repressed material and negative Archetypes and becomes a Sea Monster that appears to constantly try to attack us, or at least persistently try to intrude into Consciousness. Taurus Freud saw this phenomenon as disruptive to the Ego’s attempt to craft an acceptably acculturated Persona. If we’re stuck in Scarcity, we may need to pay Attention to this Perspective. Leo Jung on the other hand saw this phenomenon as the Psyche, seeking Wholeness, attempting to bring the repressed Energy into Consciousness and enlist the Ego to help re-integrate the repressed material. Freud’s ideal is that a person should “fit in,” while Jung’s is that a person should seek Wholeness. In Mazlow’s Universe, Freud’s Perspective would come first, Jung’s second.
It’s easy, if your orientation is toward “fitting in,” to see Ixion as symbolic of what we need to be Ashamed of, make Amends for, and otherwise generally keep under the blankets – Lord of the Flies. On the other hand, if your orientation is toward Wholeness, Ixion represents our Inner Orphan, Victim of Abandonment. Of course parenting and religioning and domesticating are writ all over these processes. To distinguish the two we have to back up to the origins of the repression. Abusive children learn their tactics from abusive adults. Orphaned children mirror the Abandonment they received.
Neither one started out as a Monster, except perhaps in the eyes of a severely repressed adult. The deeper the repression, the more Monster-like the Shadow becomes. As Karma, repression can accumulate and deepen over a series of Lifetimes. The deeper the repression, the harder the Shadow tries to get into Consciousness, creating Self-Sabotage and eventually resorting to illness. That’s a radical Perspective, not to be Confused with the notion that we are to Blame for our own illnesses. Instead we have to Take Responsibility for our illnesses, and tracking them back to repressed Energy is a Powerful and potentially “Miraculous” part of that process.
Remember always that Responsibility means Able to Respond rather than React. It does not mean Blame. Blame looks to the Past to try to attribute Cause; Responsibility looks to the Future to try to improve Outcomes. Blame is a Manipulation, an attempt at Intimidation, Power Over, and Competition. Blame is a Bully. Responsibility is an aspect of Power With and Collaboration. Blame is a Universe unto itself; when you’re IN Blame, it’s very difficult to see out of it. Learn to Discern it.
Ixion is these days traveling in the company of dwarf planet and Centaur Pholus, which represents Taking Full Responsibility. We are Healers, which means that above all we should do no harm. So if our Inner Monster has done harm, Taking Full Responsibility does mean a searching and fearless inventory and Amends where necessary. To do that we’ll need to carefully Discern Guilt over “victimless crimes” and other places were we violated someone’s irrational rule but did no actual harm, from places where we actually did harm someone. That Discernment and Self-Forgiveness is a bigger part of Healing than the Amends.
But there is another strong intergenerational process that we haven’t considered yet. Consider the astrological Square, or Mastery through Challenge. Working with our Squares is never Satisfying. But it is always Educational. “We” (on the Soul level) Chose Squares in our current Lifetime because we really wanted to Explore some subject very thoroughly. We don’t generally give ourselves credit for the Mastery inherent in our Squares, because it never feels like a job well done. But if we look at our Squares objectively, we see that our root objective has been to Explore the subject at ever deeper and ever more subtle levels. The lack of Satisfaction simply provides the Motivation to do so.
“Our” (soul level) choice of parents and other significant adults works in a similar fashion. If we really want to bring something up into Consciousness in a Lifetime, arrange for it to be repressed. It won’t leave you alone until you Consciously Embrace it as your own. So we “hire” parents to help repress our Deepest Desires and our Greatest Skills. We flail and flail against those repressions till we finally realize that we’re fighting ourself, and surrender to allowing our Orphans to come home and take their proper role at the head of our internal household.
So while a small portion of our own personal Ixion, our Pathological Genius, will be Amendable harm that we have perpetrated, the largest portion of it will be the Skills and Desires that we wanted most to bring into Consciousness in the Lifetime.
You can think of Ixion as a photographically negative image of your North Node.
“It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson, Return to Love
We repress our Genius by “hiring” significant Others who will Shame us for it, so it appears to us to be Pathological.