The theme of the scapegoat goes all the way back to biblical times, when Aaron scarified a goat for God, and also in ancient Greece where the community would cast out a lower member of society to represent purification of the community. One was a higher sacrifice and one was a banishment, but either way, scapegoating doesn’t feel great for the castaway. We understand this in modern psychological terms as the tendency of a group to cast out a member who may represent a source of blame. This is a factor of projection or displacement of uncomfortable feelings, which we assign to others instead of processing within ourselves. It is a way not to own our own shadows, whether individually or as part of a group.
When a group doesn’t accept all of itself, scapegoating can occur. Scapegoating is the dis-integration of what the group considers “Negative archetypes.” The concept goes back to ancient times and there’s something about the idea that I can purify myself by banishing another with my sins.
What happens in groups, if one person is fired or moves on, then the next most disconnected person from the matrix steps right in and starts creating problems. If scapegoating is active, the system isn’t seeing itself and it is distorted from the whole. Nothing is moving: blocks energy of transformation if stuck in the duality of right and wrong. Doesn’t allow for higher third polarity to emerge. If you remove the scapegoat, the energy will still look for another to attach to. The healing impulse wants to integrate by seeing alternate solutions. It’s really the system trying to make itself whole. The scapegoat is like mistaking the part for the whole. If we can pause, practice mindfulness, and begin to be curious and inquire what is going on behind the objects to see the system. Mechanistic viewpoint that thinks it can get rid of the part if its not working. Scapegoat is the dis-ease, disruptive, more primitive, and dichotomous of right/wrong.
In MatrixWorks, we bring an understanding of this archetypal pattern to the forefront of group awareness, so that a group may come to understand this tendency, and find new tools to work with it.
This is a preview excerpt from Mukara’s upcoming book, MatrixWorks: A Life Affirming Guide to Facilitation Mastery.