Could Ukraine Be Middle Earth?


For those Lord of the Rings fans, the term, "Middle Earth" should ring a bell. As I watched the news regarding the war in Ukraine, I had a thought. Could Ukraine be Middle Earth? The random thoughts I have may appear to be disconnected at first, like where did this come from? In listening to the atrocities that were occurring, however, I began to see Ukraine as a land in between. It is like an innocent bystander who gets shot because they are caught in the crossfire. It occurred to me that Ukraine could be the stage representing a much larger conflict but on a smaller scale.


Ukraine really is about a conflict between liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. Recently, this seems to be the zeitgeist. Is it safe to rely on the majority to decide for themselves their future? Wouldn't it be better to have a centralized regime that is trustworthy to run the show and make decisions for the people so that people can relax and live their lives?


Thus, Ukraine. Having this Middle Earth is better than massive destruction if all of the free liberal democracies battled against all of the authoritarian countries. This is what politicians refer to when they warn of a world war or the use of nuclear weapons. The solution seems to be to play out a battle on a smaller scale in a land in between, as I imagined Middle Earth. This is what I am seeing, even though I am not in agreement with it.


We talk about the intersubjective field in in-depth psychology, such as psychoanalysis or analytical psychology. Between the analyst and the client or patient, a field is created. Each individual's unconscious thoughts and fantasies are projected onto this field. Because of this, analysts tend to feel emotions outside of their own and clients may sense their repulsion towards them. In a therapy session, this field is created by two subjectivities. Treatment expands fluidly, creatively, and multi-dimensionally through this perspective. Psychologists who practice this approach enter the client or patient's world with a sense of empathy. This empathy does more than just listen but is a continuous and mutual process between the therapist and client. My view is that Ukraine has become this intersubjective field between these two struggling powers, one governed by self-determination, the other by an individual or small group.


The war is an indirect means of combating an enemy while remaining hands-off. Although the West keeps sending artillery to Ukraine to fight Russia, it "stays out of it". It is up to each of us to decide who we trust with our future. Taking responsibility for this future, staying involved, and possibly fighting for what we believe in is a necessity if we answer I trust me. Our Ukrainian friends are teaching us this lesson, even if it costs them their blood.