Light is Easy to Love, Show Me Your Dark Side!
*When we observe small children, we find it obvious that they are totally devoid and incapable of any form of moralism or racism; comparison, to a child, arises simply out of curiosity.
It is interesting to note that, contrary to human nature, Mother Nature is totally devoid of any comparison or judgment. In her realm, the functional and dysfunctional coexist very comfortably, and with infinite wisdom, Nature auto regulates every imbalance without condemnation; consequently, there is no right or wrong, good or bad. There are only manifestations of what is, here and now in the present.
The idea of a daisy feeling inferior to a rose is ridiculous. Mental comparison is an ego-oriented trait, an illusion that separates us from the moment and, therefore, from life itself. In a world full of opposing extremes that find balance, we, however, continue to exist in separation, engaged in the eternal conflict between attraction and repulsion, light and darkness, which are the foundations of emotional turmoil and potential disease. Without balance, there are no victors. War is perpetually waged between opposing adversaries, maintained in a permanent state of comparison and judgment, which will always sustain a verdict of supremacy for the victors and subordination for the defeated. Without victory there is no defeat and vice versa. As such, they are inseparable; consequently, conflict is infinitely propagated!
Our aim is to create a state of balance in which self-healing can occur. To do this, we must become more aware of the implications comparison and judgments have upon our emotional health. Refraining from any form of moral judgment is not easy; comparison is inevitable, especially when others behave in ways we consider bad or incorrect. Since the behavior of others is in conflict with the contents of our ego, influenced since early childhood by those we regarded as role models, when our principles clash with others, suspending judgment does not exonerate who is irresponsible, hurtful, or unfair. That is their responsibility. On the other hand, we must note and acknowledge the emotional reaction others’ questionable behavior incites within us!
Moralistic projection is a means for observing our own shadow character at play consciously. While others push our emotional buttons, our shadow, bought to the surface, is exposed through a mirror image projecting and reflecting back old emotions that can be observed in the actions and reactions of others, albeit unwillingly!
This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but before discarding it as ridiculous, let us look closely at the dynamics of this mirror mechanism, because it is one of the most common ways to lose or gain a sense of personal power.
The prominent American philosopher and writer, Ken Wilber, emphasized an important observation regarding the shadow. He clarified that, if a person or event arouses interest without feelings or reactions surfacing, then it is very likely that the interaction is neutral and is not occurring through mirror projection. If, however, the event or interaction disturbs or irritates us, or even better, if the event or person immediately becomes the object of our moral judgment, then we are emotionally involved, and it is more than likely we have fallen victim of our own shadow’s projection and have shifted all our attention toward the mirror that aptly reflects what is unrecognizable or unacceptable within ourselves.
For those who desire to expand their knowledge, there are many very good books dedicated to this fascinating aspect of the human psyche, but in the meantime, here is a list of guidelines that clarify the various strategies of the shadow’s expression:
- The shadow of guilt and shame—Unable to maintain a “perfect” picture, we are forced by remorse to suppress ourselves or become secretive, hiding our bodies, needs, impulses, and prohibited desires (even banal desires). Fear of being judged as bad, wrong, or ugly brings shame and guilt about having been “found out” and seen as being other than perfect.
- The shadow of privacy and shyness—“Still waters run deep.” This shadow aspect represses impulses and desires through fear of revealing our true nature to others. Secrecy, discretion, aloofness, and apparent shyness often conceal self-denial.
- The shadow that blames and complains—When we justify our behavior by blaming others for our weaknesses, criticizing, and complaining, we project our fears rather than take responsibility for them; it is easier to blame someone we perceive as inferior, but to do so we need a scapegoat that reflects, like a mirror, a part of ourselves we wish to disown.
- The shadow of superiority and arrogance—Expecting others to change what is unacceptable in us is an unconscious way to appease our own pain of unconscious non-acceptance. Convinced of our importance, we wonder why we should care about others when their presence and their problems are irritating and irrelevant. Seeing the other as inferior and incapable reflects a deep sense of insecurity and difficulty in healing old emotional wounds.
The shadow has only one desire: to be accepted. But only the metaphysical, non-judgmental heart center is able to accommodate it. This is true especially during a dispute. Moral judgment recognizes only “saints” and “sinners,” but the metaphysical heart center knows no disparity. Tolerant of even the most aggressive opponent, its answer will always be the same: “Let’s just agree to disagree!” This does not mean the metaphysical heart submits to bullying or sugar coating bitter pills for the sake of niceties. Acknowledgment of the shadow through the metaphysical heart is not a form of piousness or respectability; it is about being authentic and having the courage to be genuine. Whether we are consciously aware or not, without exception, the shadow exists within us all. The aim here is not to point fingers or feel inferior. Our investigation’s primary objective is one of authenticity, simplicity, and practicality, and for that reason, whatever arises, in whatever form or dimension, is a question to be “laid at the feet” of the master within. So just remember, keep it simple and acknowledge honestly what is … whatever it is … as it is.
We live in a holographic reality. Existence has gifted mankind with an incredible instrument in the form of an enormous mirror that perfectly projects and reflects our inner states on every event, person, or situation we encounter. All through the ages, the human shadow has been projected—medieval paintings of torture, slavery, bloody wars, horror movies, pornography, the trash media of today. The shadow is our scapegoat. It is indelible, invincible.
Fighting the shadow is a futile crusade against a mechanism that reflects how we, as humans, are comparable to little children who need to point fingers (or guns) at a culprit in order to feel like heroes and righteous “saints” worthy of recognition, respect, and love.
The shadow, through unawareness, remains an alienated, incomplete, unacceptable, and often frightening aspect of human unconsciousness. While acknowledged and emptied of dualism, it is a fertile uterus ready to be impregnated by the seed of creativity, which is light.
As children, we were taught that light is only perceivable in the dark through the lyrics of the nursery song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” lyrics taken from a poem by early nineteenth-century poet, Jane Taylor:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky,
When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, Twinkle, Twinkle all the night.
On a cloudless night, the heavens host an endless array of twinkling stars. The profound darkness and vastness of space enhance the light, which is reflected and projected, producing a spectacular scenario for all on earth to see. That very same sky, at the break of a cloudless dawn, transforms its scintillating, celestial masterpiece into a cloak of azure blue. The stars are now unperceivable to the naked eye. Their presence is, ironically, obscured by the light of the sun. In her gratitude diary Kay wrote:
“I have taught myself to accept what I can’t change and still be happy.”
This statement proves the existence of the heart center’s transformative power of self-healing in regard to one of her shadow aspects—control. Fruit of the creative force is born from union and not from separation. As the greatest catalyst for spiritual growth, the shadow is not an enemy to be defeated; it must be transcended.
Our own star—our authentic self—is not perceivable in the light of day, or rather, on the surface of our being. Just like the stars, our numerous strengths and talents have been obscured by daylight, whereas when we venture into the unknown of our own obscurity—our shadow—every twinkling star (talent and essential quality) is now visible and accessible because, as our starry night sky demonstrates so magnificently, only darkness can contain, sustain, emanate, and increase the intensity and brilliance of light.]*
Caroline Mary Moore
*Text from: The Holistic Approach To Redefining Cancer