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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Julian Assange: Saviour or Demon?

Julian Assange: looking to come in from the cold (others hope he stays there)

The question in the title is, of course, rhetorical. The tendency in many commentaries has been immediate deification or condemnation of Assange. Yet as I have argued, if we move beyond the immediate judgment of the man and his actions, there are much more fruitful questions to explore.

So Julian Assange is no saint. But who is? In my last post I used the WickiLeaks saga involving Julian Assange as a means to explore the way the male ego tends to project, namely through the Rebel and God-man archetypes. The idea of the Rebel requires little explanation, while the God-man is basically the part of us that likes to believe we can achieve masterful power and control over the world. The Superman character is the ultimate God-man. My intuitive reading of the situation leads me to sense that these archetypes are strongly represented in Julian Assange’s psyche – his subconscious, if you like.

Still, having soul issues which perpetuate drama does not make one’s cause or life a mere waste, or some kind of evil (although it may). It does, though, logically lead to a query. Is there a healthy expression of the Rebel archetype, or even the God-man archetype? The dramas that emerge from these archetypes can cause a lot of evil and destruction in extreme cases. Hitler, Mao ze Dong, Kim Jong-il – these are all embodiments of extremely imbalanced male energy (and yes, the same soul issues can be ‘negatively’ expressed through women, though we can assign them different names (which I won’t go into here).

Firstly we can note that the WikiLeaks drama serves a soul purpose from Assange. At a personal level his spirit is learning about the use and abuse of power, the appropriate expression of anger, and the limits of personal power.

Secondly the entire WikiLeaks drama will serve the spiritual evolution of humanity. The same is true of any personal drama which affects broader society and the global community, or captures the popular imagination of the public.

Mohandas Karamchand “Mahatma” Gandhi, for example, held a deep seated rage within him, and struggled with feelings of antipathy towards the British and almost certainly white people (and you couldn’t really blame him). As a young man he was kicked off a train in South Africa because he refused to give his seat to a white person. He was violently ejected from the carriage, and he sat there on a cold platform in the middle of nowhere he shook with rage. He vowed to fight the system and its injustices. This led to his return to India in 1917, where he took up the cause of peasants in Champaran province. The rest is history.


Gandhi’s method, which he called “satyagraha” was deliberately peaceful (although in practice they often led to mass violence and suffering). We all know that they influenced other rebels like Martin Luther King, The Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi. But don’t think for a minute that these people are/were saints. Each has held anger of some sort in the soul. Anger is not an evil in itself. It is what is done with anger that counts. The energy of anger can be expressed positively and creatively, or it can be expressed destructively.

Note, however, that none of these individuals mentioned above has/had a particularly strongly developed God-man/woman archetype. This makes them unlikely to become a channel for dark consciousness fields.

Despite the fact that Julian Assange has - dare I say – a strong ego, and even despite the fact that his ‘fight’ is fueled by unresolved soul issues, his fight can nonetheless help shift awareness in modern societies.

Finally, I must add that even though the deeper level of consciousness evolution is, in a sense, driving “the system” and much behavior in the ‘real’ world, it should not be assumed that empowered action in the physical domain is not important to human cultural evolution. It is important. Shifts in awareness which are not accompanied by equivalent shifts in action and behavior are shifts that do not become embodied.

The WikiLeaks case can create change. Those changes can follow directly from activists like Julian Assange who dare challenge the system. Consciousness not only shifts behavior. Action and behavior can shift consciousness. Changes in government policy have an enormous potential to bring about advances in the spiritual evolution of humanity.

The one danger with activists whose actions come too much from ego, is that those actions often have a subtle agenda for power and control, albeit unconscious. This is why ‘evil’ or restrictive systems and leaders are often replaced by other ‘evil’ systems and leaders.

What we need are leaders who are conscious enough to understand what it is that is driving their behavior, their push for “change”. This is why I suggest that ultimately shifts in consciousness will have the longest term benefits for the cultural evolution of humanity.

Julian Assange is an agent of change, but those changes would be even more powerful and transformational if his spiritual maturity was greater.



  1. Terrific post. Assange, it seems, is a messenger.

  2. I would also suggest that Assange is seen as two other archetypal figures by most people: either the hero or evil prince (of the Internet). - Rob

  3. There it seems that Marcus, unlike Julian Assange himself, has a deeper understanding of assange's inner emotions and thoughts, so that he is able to utter that the immature Julian’s spirituality is lessening his impact on the change of conscience of this world...what else can you, Marcus, say about the immature Julian, in view that you know him that well? easy it is just to open the mouth to judge a person of the stature of Assange..?

  4. I do appreciate where you are coming from. However I have no judgment against Julian Assange, nor do I have anything against his WikiLeaks cause. These intuitive reviews were meant to look into the shadow side of people. They are not meant to condemn people. One of the reasons why I stopped doing them is that many people - most, actually - are not able to gaze into the souls of others and receive their full humanity - including the darkness - without passing judgment on them. Or alternatively, they attack the messsenger. In other words some people misunderstand the intentions behind the "intuitive reviews" project. My intention was simply to show the way that the human psyche tends to be attracted to power and control, and that even behind people that are ostensibly working for good, their deeper intentions may actually subvert their conscious desires. With respect, Marcus