|29 Apr 2002 @ 16:16, by John Finn|
Just a few thoughts........
To embrace one's Shadow is to be more whole. Yet how does one 'embrace' something that is unconscious thus not known. And what does 'embrace' mean anyway. Sounds like some New Age concept to me. Jung came up with "Shadow" as a concept, and he saw it as the unconscious receptacle of everthing that we would reject about ourselves if brought into consciousness. Robert Bly in his book on the Shadow sees it as a bag that we fill with the things we don't accept about ourselves; thoughts, feelings, acts that we find repugnant put in the bag and forget. Throughtout life we lug this bag around, it only making its presence known when we sometimes get mysteriously triggered, discovering we have far more "stuff" going on than the issue warranted.
So how does one work with Shadow? What wakes up the conscious mind enough to see the shadow? One method is to play; Shadowplay.
To play with the Shadow is to may light (lite) of the darkness. One could start by dressing up, costumes are good! Doing this with others is the key. I'm not suggesting S&M because in my experience the people involved mostly take themselves very seriously. That's different. Dressing up and acting out fantacies is not necessarily one's Shadow, but within the play one can glimpse the Shadow from time to time. It is these moments of 'realness' that get our attention. For instance one may take on the role of a King and find the majesty and power feels good, and from somewhere comes the tyrant, ordering executions and torture, and you are enjoying that too. If you have the courage the game is; you go with that and the Shadow slowly emerges.
There are layers of Shadow, and with play one can stay just on the surface. However, if one is committed, there is a lot to discover. Particularily in a debrief. It is important to keep it light, even when there is a heaviness, for all of the Shadow is just feelings, thoughts, desires, and supressed psychic energy. Once Shadow has been brought into the light it is light. Perhaps not always right away, but in time.
I mention this work as I deem it important. Especially if we are to address fundementalism in all its forms and including our own. What is grace if it is not awareness?