Consider that the real battle is not against competing ideas and identities, that we can dream up in the form of religions, race, sexuality, political ideas, economic class, favorite fashions or whatever other type of divisions our minds can manufacture... but that the real battle is within our own minds and all of these ideas that separate us and the rest of humanity from our direct connection to the Love that is already within us. I've realized in myself (the hard way) that the real victory is in conquering my own mind, so that my heart can be free. The real enemy was always "me".
Consider that the outer conflict is created by the ego. Consider that the outer enemy is unconsciously created to project the sins of the shadow (inadequacies, shame etc..) on to. This projection, then, is a false attempt to create a sense of "self right-ness", which in turn verifies to the Ego it's "existence". The conscious identity needs the enemy to establish this sense of right - ness. The shadow unconsciously creates the conditions for the enemy to thrive. The "enemy" becomes a counterpoint to the conscious mind. The confusion is on both sides.
So, I have perceived in my own experiences that the shadow can not only create the perception of the "enemy". I think also that the shadow (we) sometimes manifests these conditions unconsciously in order to try to recreate the situation of a past trauma (or relationship) in order to find a resolution, or healing in the present.
All of these things all can create a lot of confusion and drama. The confusion is only eliminated when the mind becomes unified as One. I think that this unification can happen as I/we dig deeper, exposing the things (thoughts, desires etc..) that are hidden, but that are really dictating my actions by influencing the things I want to either encourage or avoid in life.
My view (and personal experience) is that this dynamic occurs in most relationships, ranging from family, friends and work relationships, to world affairs.. (This is the also the soul of codependency.)
I have also found myself in the role of the enemy by way of another persons projection. I then found myself in a confusing world of reacting to the negative energy that was coming at me.. From a place of "guilt" or misplaced confusion, I began to lose myself in an unnecessary reaction and defense. Later, I realized that I was only confirming to that person that they were right in their projection!! In my defensiveness, I was becoming what they had projected on to me.
When I quit reacting, things began to get better...slowly.
It seems to me then that the goal (as people, society) should be not only to do our best to create a general environment of well being, but also to create the conditions to illuminate (and eliminate) confusion within the mind.
Here are some interesting quotes from ancient and not-so ancient sources:
According to Carl Jung: "the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else." Jung writes that if these projections remain hidden, "The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object--if it has one--or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power." These projections insulate and harm individuals by acting as a constantly thickening veil of illusion between the ego and the real world." -from Wikipedia
"Jesus responded: when you make the two into one, and then when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside.....then you will enter the Kingdom.
Therefore I say that if one is unified, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided one will be filled with darkness." -Gospel of Thomas
Though he should conquer a 1,000 men in battle a 1,000 times, yet he, indeed who would conquer himself is the greatest of conquerors. -Dhammapada
We see others not as they are, but as we are. - Nin
It takes one to know one! - Anon.
I am constantly learning and re-learning these lessons!
Just a personal note: There is nothing new under the sun. I am just attempting to present info. here that has helped me. I hope to present it in a clear way based on my experience with anxiety which was a spiritual, psychological and emotional awakening for me. In retrospect of this experience I have been reading as much as I could to come to a deeper and more grounded understanding of this seemingly mystical thing that happened to me (so that I could share it with you). I'm not a doctor or a scientist. Please know this is only my experience. Yours will obviously be different, but since my experience was so similar to others I've talked to, I am hoping this may be helpful or useful to you in some way. It's also a way that I hope to share the love with you. That is my purpose here.