The Resistance to Change: Understanding the Global Uprising

Global Unconsciousness

“Globalization” means more than economic trade across borders; it means shared ideas and shared knowing. It means that we as human beings are part of a global conversation due to our increased connectivity and shared access to information.

When we look at how our society behaves, and here I include all human social relations without borders,  we see a historical pattern of resistance to change.

If we consider the concept of collective unconscious, we may understand that the resistance to social change is an unconscious process. But this unconscious process results in actions that have global repercussions.

Global Shift

Our reality has been shifting during the last century and the beginning of this century. Our growing global perspective is shaking many established social dogmas in different areas: religion, biology, sociology, environmental science, and psychology, to name a few.

Let us consider what we see around the world that feels impossible to comprehend: hyper-racism, radicalism, tribalism, xenophobia, torture, violence toward women, human massacres and displacement, lying, cheating, stealing, and murdering; drug wars that kill people but don’t stop addiction; death from preventable disease; poverty amidst the greatest technological advances of human history—plus countless more examples.

If we view these devastating events across the globe as disconnected, they are certainly demoralizing. If, however, we consider them from the perspective of the Jungian concept of the Collective Unconscious, we suddenly see the pattern:

All of these incomprehensible disasters are actually the peak resistance to a great change and evolution in the story of humanity. Our greater connectivity is bringing an immense change to planet Earth.

Resistance is Natural

The practice and study of psychology and psychodynamics teach us that change brings resistance. 

The moments before great changes—whether in our inner or our outer world—are when we experience peak resistance.

If we are able to go beyond that peak and break through the resistance, a significant change will occur. We will then reach a higher level of consciousness and awareness.

Resistance is simply the feeling of coming up against the edge of what we have known before. It is our unconscious mind’s way of saying, “Wait! You’re about to enter uncharted territory! Are you sure you want to go there?”

When we wake up to the resistance, we can speak to it. We can answer that warning and say, “Thank you for warning me! I so appreciate that you are looking out for me and taking care of me. Yes, I really do want to make this change, even though I am not certain where it will lead me.”

Acknowledging the resistance will allow you to  release the fear. You can breathe into it and turn it from trepidation to excitement! 

Resistance is Global

What happens when the change is happening on a global scale? The resistance occurs on a global scale as well.  

The state of global resistance can feel very unsettling. It looks like countries and peoples in conflict; it looks like political and social strife.

In nations across the world we see violence, repression, and calamity. We see increasing divisions among people, from the Brexit vote to the Trump administration; from continuing violence sponsored by ISIS to the decades-long Middle East Crisis; from corruption in African nations to dictators in Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

Rather than seeing the constant flood of bad news as a sign of irreparable chaos, what would it be like if we viewed it as the dark before the dawn, the crisis before the catharsis, the resistance before the rebirth?

Global Consciousness

Just as when we are up against our individual resistance, when we meet global resistance in our collective unconsciousness, we must create consciousness.

By becoming aware, we enter into the realm of choice.

We can say to global fear, “Yes, this is the change I want to make. Thank you for your warning, but I do not need you. This is the direction in which I want to travel, even though it is brand new and unknown.”

It is tempting to fight the violent movements we see. But fighting does not break down resistance. Violence does not stop violence. In fact, it feeds it.

The only true way to move through the resistance is to name it. To become aware. To expose the hidden fears driving us.

Once we become awake in this way, we will see that all of our fellow humans are also up against this same resistance. We will see that the best way we can help them is to offer our hands. To reach out to them with compassion and a genuine desire to help and to heal.

What does this look like? It can be as large as organizing a peaceful movement or as small as being kind to a stranger. It looks like educating with empathy and listening to new viewpoints with patience and the desire to understand, not to correct.   

The powerful intention of many people across the globe awakening will be what breaks through the boundary of this great resistance and catapults us into the next era of conscious human existence. Won’t you lend your love and light to this effort?

Dr. Pedro D. Guimaraes