Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eliot Spitzer Blames Hooker Scandal on "Gremlins"

If you are open to it, you can find the cosmic mirror everywhere. On the Today Show with Matt Lauer, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer blamed his attraction to prostitutes on his ‘Gremlins.” As Spitzer said, “There are no excuses. I've tried to address these gremlins and confront them." Spitzer was apparently referring to the darker side of his personality about which he was formerly in much denial. When asked by Lauer if he ever was worried about getting caught, Spitzer replied, "It crossed my mind.” His response came across to me as prepared but pathetically understated.

Spitzer’s exposure and resignation is example of what can happen when we get stuck in one aspect of our personality, and the cosmic mirror is one way we can understand it. The structure of our personality can be thought of as comprised of many dimensions, each anchored by their polar extremes – e.g., kind-cruel, patient-impulsive, honest-dishonest, accepting-rejecting. Without our awareness, one end often can become exaggerated. The other end becomes denied. Before his resignation, Spitzer was viewed as a “White Knight,” “The Sheriff of Wall Street,” and “Mr. Clean.” He was a fierce defender of ethics. Then, the FBI exposed his hidden and darker side – frequently using the services of high-priced call-girls. When the FBI’s evidence was publicly released, his image was fatally tarnished.

When we are at a very early age, as children, we mentally split or separate our sense of people and objects in our outer world into purely “good” and “bad” compartments. As we do, we also place our view of ourselves into one of these categories. Like two ends of a magnet, these polarities of “good” and “bad” are opposites of each other. As children, we also use a variety of other polarities or opposites in order to make crude distinctions for ourselves. For example, as a child, we construct and organize our world around such polarities as “light” and “dark,” “warm” and “cold,” “love” and “hate,” and so forth. As an adult, all of us do this as well. But many times, we can get lost or trapped at one end of a polarity or the other.

Ironically, Spitzer’s illicit behavior was not unlike the crimes of those he prosecuted when he was the New York State Attorney General. From the view of the cosmic mirror, Spitzer got caught up in an overly inflated image of himself. This was his persona – his outer image to others. He failed to give sufficient voice to the darkness within him. He also denied the likelihood of being caught and the real consequences to his life should others find out about his behavior. It seems that he may have been able to see only the darkness in those he prosecuted; not in himself. He blinded himself to his own self-destructiveness. And as often happens, he ended up acting out his denied dark side. These are the lessons from within the cosmic mirror.

3 comments:

  1. Man, have I lived that! Not the whole "indulging in prostitutes" thing but swinging from one place to the other, falling hard off of the pedestal, etc. It's PAINFUL and, yet, seems to be the work of the soul.

    Does your book address how to move to the middle? I feel like I have a lot more awareness of my own shadow and see the polarities but I'm still really working on integration. I feel like just watching myself do what I do (i.e., being conscious) is helpful but I feel like some concrete tools would be helpful.

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  2. Having done much shadow work myself, I can attest to value of the process (which is on-going and always freeing.) I like the way you use stories in "current events" as a mirror.

    Like Kymberlee, I'm curious to know what process your book offers for claiming denied parts and integrating them into our 'new' selves.

    Congratulations on your book!

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  3. Good one on Personal Development and it helps a lot.

    Thanks,
    Karim - Positive thinking

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