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to an enemy by making it our enemy. Or
we feed something by pouring our energy
into hating it.
What we deny in ourselves, won’t let us
be, won’t let us live freely. To set ourselves
free, the shadow side must be integrated.
A spiritual life is founded on
immanent integrity of desire and
naked self revelation. Jung taught that
accepting our shadow selves was a
gateway into wholeness: “To do this,
we are obliged to struggle with evil,
confront the shadow, to integrate the
devil. There is no other choice.”
Most of us have deep seated fears
and doubts related to our ability
to be okay, how lovable we are to
ourselves and to others, how deserving
and worthy we really are behind the
identities we create and carry for
ourselves, and behind the mask.
We believe that this hidden side
would be rejected by others. We hide it
deeply because we deem it unlovable even
to ourselves. We don’t want to see this
side, because we fear ourselves.
The path of transformation usually
involves undergoing a rite of passage or
initiation. The hero’s journey is always
to face a great obstacle, a foe that makes
us weak at the knees. In this battle,
our “weakness” becomes our greatest
strength, or at least we learn to accept it.
How we see the world reflects how
we see ourselves; how we see ourselves
reflects how we see the world. In
discovering ourselves, ultimately we
discover that our nemesis was always
within. We were our greatest judge,
persecutor and adversary. Our path to
liberation lies in not only accepting this
hidden rejected side, but also embracing it.
On authenticity, Jung said, “I ’d rather
be whole than good.”
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna
pronounces, “We cannot be anyone we
want to be. We can only authentically be
who we are.”
Who are we?
We are vibrational beings of consciousness,
tapestries of sound and light.
In the mind of our distant past,
creator Gods birthed us into being
from consciousness. Within our DNA
are the ingredients for awakening and
remembering all the seeds and all the
possibilities from those seeds of creation.
Born again into dense physical
bodies, we are often disconnected from
the pure beingness (and belongingness) of
the Creator’s breath, the eternal unity of
inhalation and exhalation. In our history,
we were one with our Creator, born
together and fused in the mind of the
One. Empirically, we are all one breath,
because that is the essence of life, and the
essence of the Creator’s mind.
very person has a unique
footprint. I feel that we are all
somewhere along a continuum
that begins with being born
and ends with dying. That side of the
continuum is an illusion, as we were
around as beings for a lot longer than
our present life, and we will (hopefully)
be around a lot longer as beings of
consciousness in the “real world”.
The form doesn’t matter – it could
mean occupying a physical or spiritual
form, or both.
For now, we are incarnated in a
physical body. At least a part of our soul
(the real part of who we are) is with us.
The question of “what is life?” is
such a great one, because each person
has their own individual answer
(no two souls are made exactly alike).
In our uniqueness, we define our
destiny; we define our own answer to
If I sought my answers in someone
else’s thoughts, then I wouldn’t be able to
truly answer this question authentically
for myself. This is the importance of
reflection, of finding a still place within
to answer life’s questions and make sense
of the world.
What did we dream about
Have we been so caught up in our
studies, work, family, relationships,
health and all the rest that we forgot
expansive world of infi nite possibility?
How connected are we to our dream-
space, to the world without limitation
that defined our early development? It is
said that our first seven years define our
inner world, and the rest of our lives we
spend creating our outer world.
If stillness, prayer and
contemplation are not part of our life,
then when can we reflect? How can we
make quality decisions? How can we
tune in to our desires?
When thinking of the future, and
making decisions accordingly, it is
helpful to scan the past leading up to the
present moment. We can then use this
knowledge to define a new course that
sits well with the feeling of the past. We
are always expanding beings learning
new lessons and defining the course of
our lives. We all have an individual and a
collective destiny to carry out.
What is the “shadow”?
The shadow is that “ugly self” which
we don’t want to be. The shadow is the
hidden part of us that plays saboteur.
It’s usually that aspect that we do not
wish to see, that part of us that prevents
us from fulfilling our dreams. Carl
Jung named this the “shadow” as it is
the part we wish to hide and deny. It’s
the part that is deemed shameful, as
we subconsciously fear rejection from
family, friends and society if we reveal
this hidden dark side.
It is this rejection that gives power
to that which we reject – that which we
disown, owns us, just as we give power
‘ This is the importance of
reflection, of finding a still place
within to answer life’s questions
and make sense of the world.’
What is Life?
David Arenson asks
the universal mystery
– who are we and what
are we here to do?
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