The Unseen Self (pt. One)

Much of what we perceive as reality, particularly what we learn through the educational system, bears little truth. Usually just enough truth for it to make sense based on the theories and narratives given to us pertaining to modern science and world history. If you’ve kept up with posts, it shouldn’t be anything new that the educational system isn’t meant for us to become freethinking individuals, but rather to condition us to obey and respect authority and get used to routine.

Information about our reality has been hidden from the masses until recent decades. Some basic truths have been misused and subverted by greed for power in an egocentric exploitation. History, art, science, energy, and particularly psychology, have suffered this dark process. But like water, the truth is always flowing somewhere and is available to any intelligent person who has the courage to seek out the water alive in its current form. Water has often been used as a symbol for the deepest spiritual nourishment of humanity. We don’t want to seek where the main flow of water is, but the leaks within the cracks, usually found within the darkness that many fear to tread. Because of this fear, it will turn up again and be ignored as before if one isn’t prepared for it.

One such place, and arguably the most important, is our own self, our shadow self—the dumping ground for all the characteristics of our personality that we disown and keep hidden from public view. It is the part of us we fail to see or know. Yet, these parts of us are extremely valuable and cannot be disregarded. The only way to become whole is to recognize the shadow, accept and honor it.

We are all born whole, but somewhere along the way, while running around naked through the Garden of Eden, we partake in eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, where things become clear and separated into the dualistic nature of the world. This begins the shadow making process; when we divide our lives—our selves.

We sort out our born characteristics into those that are deemed acceptable from our parents and society, and those that need to be kept hidden. This keeps one civilized, as a functioning member of society, but as the refused and unacceptable characteristics sit within the dark corners of the mind for too long, they take on a life of their own, known as the Shadow.

The Shadow is that which has not adequately entered into our consciousness. If it accumulates more energy than our conscious ego, it manifests in an overpowering rage, or slips out in erratic, unusual behaviors, and can even lead one into severe depression. Once society or culture demands that we live out only part of our nature and refuse other parts, we are no longer whole. Society gives us more convoluted and sophisticated power, in exchange for the simple human in us—the innocent child within.

In the allegorical story of Creation, the Garden of Eden alludes to the naive innocence of childhood, where we felt free to run around naked without care. Kids should not be subjected to this division of self so early in life, for it robs them of this wonderful time known as childhood. They should be allowed to remain in the garden until they are strong enough to stand the cultural process without being completely broken by it. This strength comes at different ages for all individuals.

This is a major problem in the world today. With parents working, or separated, leaving kids in the hands of government-owned institutions or left to their own devices, they enter this process at too young of an age, leaving scars within the subconscious that reveal themselves later as psychological and emotional disorders, such as the prevalent gender-identity disorder plaguing our world today.

Other than this, another truly sad thing is when some very good characteristics turn up in the shadow. Some of our greatest talents, the pure gold of our personality, get relegated to the shadow because it can’t find a place within our society or western culture. Drawing the skeletons out of the closet can be fairly easy, but to own the gold in the shadow can be downright terrifying. Ignoring the gold can be as damaging as ignoring the dark side of the psyche, and some may suffer a severe shock or illness before they even learn how to let the gold out—which is linked to our higher purpose in life.

Everyone must engage in this cultural process to redeem themselves from the childlike, animal state—breaking away from the Garden—but must also put our fractured, alienated world back together again to spiritually restore balance and harmony—a return to Paradise.

(To be continued…)