Monday, September 3, 2012

Shadow Law # 16

...All the shame, guilt and repressed parts we hide, even from ourselves. These unconscious aspects will sabotage our best efforts in life unless we learn to accept them.
Cynthia F. Davidson, from the Wisdom Wheel Shadow card 
(see to order cards, posters or stones)

'Only the Shadow knows...' intoned the popular American radio program during the 1930s and '40's. What our Shadow sides 'know' is often more obvious to others, than ourselves, unless we do our psychological Shadow work. 
During your next ten days with this 16th Law, make notes or journal about the things that are difficult for you to own, or admit aloud to others. These include secrets, shameful or ugly thoughts, 'unhealthy' motives; everything you are able to see, and judge harshly about others, will be reflected in such a list. 
The Shadow also contains a lot of our Power (Law # 32). It often reveals itself in dreams and nightmares. Everything left out, which we refuse to integrate into our waking minds, tends to show up whenever we are alone, or gone to sleep. 
Reexamine your fears and phobias now. Look for evidence of how you respond to what is Unknown about yourself, and about life in general. Reconsider what is behind your decision-making and your Choices (Law #20).
The Law of the Shadow sits next to Trust (Law #10) on the Wisdom Wheel. Take a moment to reflect upon this. These two have a deep and abiding relationship throughout our lives. Whenever we give our Trust, we risk having it broken. It hurts so much when someone betrays the Trust we have put in them, or when we betray someone else's. More often than not, the Shadow side (of one or both of you) is responsible when Trust is not honored.    
Unless we examine our Shadow sides, we will hurt others, and be hurt by them, and fail to comprehend why. Before we can wisely place our Trust in others, we have to fully Trust ourselves. And we won’t know ourselves, well enough, unless we've probed our own Shadows. And we won't be prepared to handle the truth about the Shadow's workings in other people either.
This is not an easy Law to take on, so be kind to yourself during the next 10 days. As you explore the Shadow, and discuss it with others, be prepared for push back and denials. People are quite sensitive about this subject and there is a great tendency to project ones' Shadows upon Other(s). 
As the great psychologist, who popularized the Shadow, Carl Jung said, 'Would you rather be whole or be good?'   
Here's some wisdom from others about the Law of the Shadow.

The shadow is simply the whole unconscious… The individual who wishes to have an answer to the problem of evil has need, first and foremost, of self-knowledge, that is, the utmost knowledge of his own wholeness. He must know relentlessly how much good he can do, and what crimes he is capable of, and must beware of regarding the one as real and the other as illusion.  Both are elements within his nature, and both are bound to come to light in him, should he wish – as he ought to – to live without self-deception or self-delusion.
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, discovered most people deal with the challenges of the Shadow in four ways: denialprojectionintegration and/or transmutation.    

The person we choose to be automatically creates a dark double--the person we choose not to be.
Thomas Moore in Owning Your Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert A. Johnson

A good way of learning to detect one’s shadow is to notice what qualities in others make us angry or irritated.
Irene Clarmont de Castillejo author of Knowing Woman

…each person must take responsibility for the dark side of humankind…
Lauren Artress in Walking a Sacred Path

The shadow consists of the unexplored, feared and unwanted aspects of our personalities – whatever doesn’t fit into the ego ideal of the good self.
Christina Baldwin American author, books include Calling the Circle

Whereas the ego weaves together the worlds, the shadow unravels the world. Whereas the ego acts as a catalyst of creation in the world, the shadow acts as a catalyst of destruction. Whereas the ego supports the status quo, the shadow is an agent of transformation.
Connie Zweig & Steve Wolf, psychologists and authors of Romancing the Shadow

                                             Between the idea
And the reality
Between the emotion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
T. S. Eliot, English poet, works include The Hollow Men

What has no shadow has no strength in life.
Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel prize-winning poet

If any help was going to arrive, to lift me out of my misery, it would come from the dark side of my personality.  
Robert Bly, who calls the Shadow, 'that long bag we drag behind us,' heavy with the parts of ourselves our parents or community didn’t approve of.

The Shadow, of course never dies; we always cast a shadow. But how we relate to it, and it to us, depends on whether it is known. Once known, we have inevitably lost an innocence that can never be recovered. What replaces it is knowledge about the complexity of our nature. Sometimes we are fortunate, and this knowledge elicits a kindness and tolerance in us for others — even, perhaps for ourselves.
Deena Metzger, American author, books include Looking for the Faces of God and Writing For Your Life

To honor and accept one's own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline.
Robert A. Johnson in Owning Your Own Shadow

Furthermore, it is important to point out that every Divine Quality has its shadow side. It is precisely because of our fear of falling into the shadow that we have difficulty developing a particular quality. The shadow side of mastery, for instance, would be ruthlessness or selfish manipulation.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan in Awakening: A Sufi Experience

…No matter how fast you run, your shadow
keeps up. Sometimes it's in front!
Only full overhead sun diminishes your shadow.
But that shadow has been serving you.
What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is
your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.
I could explain this, but it will break the
glass cover on your heart, and there's no
fixing that.
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.
When from that tree feathers and wings sprout on you,
be quieter than a dove. Don't even open your mouth to coo.
Mevlana Rumi (1207 – 1273)

To battle a demon is to embrace it, to face it with clarity of vision and humility of the heart. To run from a demon is as effective as running from a rabid dog, for surely this only beckons the chase. Whatever we resist — persists. These demons, these parts of us that haunt us, torture us and reduce us, are the agents of change.... Without our demons we would grow spiritually flabby.
Stephanie Ericsson in Companion Through the Darkness

 Ten days from now, we'll take up the 17th Law of the Journey. Until then, have some fun getting to know your demons.

No comments:

Post a Comment