Now That the Brits Have Left the European Union

A beautiful sunrise

Where will their dissatisfaction and anger go?

On the first day after the “Brexit” vote (a vote for the British to leave the European Union) a reader of the New York Times has written: “Good for the Brits. What were they really getting in return for losing some of their autonomy to foreign governments?”

You don’t have to be a student of psychology to appreciate one importantly significant element: an object for their dissatisfactions that lay outside their own borders.

Now that the Brits have voted to leave the European Union, the British are faced with having lost the EU, or “Brussels” (the seat of the EU headquarters) as they often refer to it, as the object of anger and blame for their economic and other dissatisfactions and frustrations. Now, the British, the Scots, and the Irish are free to turn their anger against one another.

Barely has the sun risen on the first day of “British Independence” than the Scottish president has announced her plan urgently to schedule another referendum for Scottish independence; and in Northern Ireland, Declan Kearney, Sinn Fein’s national chairman, delivered a strongly worded statement in which he stated that English voters had “dragged Northern Ireland out of the EU.” “English votes have overturned the democratic will of Northern Ireland… This British Government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland.”

Scotland presently has England upon which to focus its panoply of dissatisfactions and frustrations. If/when eventually Scotland does become independent of England, it will then transfer its anger to the EU. This is human nature.

And within England there are already more heated internal divisions. David Cameron, Prime Minister for the past six years, a Labor leader who believed that Britain’s remaining within the EU was the way to be “safer, more secure, and better off” has announced his inevitable resignation.

It is human nature to want to blame someone or something outside for our dissatisfactions. Being a person of integrity, wholeness, means owning as much responsibility for the consequences of our choices as possible. The key word here is “wholeness.” The strength of the European Union lay in its Union, its literal integrity. It is a sad day that an important element of this integrity, this wholeness, has been lost.

And we see already that the wholeness, the integrity of the United Kingdom itself, is now seriously threatened. Any “whole” must, by definition, be imperfect, as it must containeverything. As Carl Jung observed, “everything has a shadow.” To be whole is to own one’s shadow. There is no possibility of integrity, of whole-ness, by splitting off a piece. There is no getting rid of imperfection. There is only staying connected with all elements and working with them. This is a sad day for the world.