Friday, July 27, 2012

Shadow and Sathyam

As I further work on the concept of shadow and the questions that people(including me) have about it, a few of the confusions on it are the following -
1. Shadow is the storehouse of evil.
2. Psychology talks of being positive and nurturing the positive in us, how does Shadow which is dark, painful, unwanted part fit with this ideology?
3. There is a reason why certain behaviour cannot be accepted in society, that is why they are rejected.

My thoughts on these topics go on the lines of Sathyam Shivam Sundaram.
Shadow is not evil. It never was. It is a part of ourselves we have not learnt to integrate with our everyday lives. Parts of it might be offensive to some of our close people, parts might be immature, some parts might be so brilliant that their acknowledging might necessitate major changes in life. There might be several reasons for a part to be in shadow rather than foreground. Some parts even come to play only with age, for ex what we typically associate with spirituality. This part more often comes to play in individuals in the second half of life and is in the shadow till then.

Evil is a word most often used in context actions with immoral, malevolent or with destructive intent, deliberate actions designed to harm others. Thus often when we find a part of ourselves bearing ill will towards another person maybe out of jealousy or something else, we label this part of ourselves as 'Evil'. We believe that it is this 'Evil' that makes people do bad things. This 'Evil' is to be fought in every way.
But approaching this with a very non judgemental and incisive perspective, we see that in labelling this part of ourselves as evil, we have been hasty. We have forgotten the words 'deliberate action'. The part is only talking of what it is feeling. If you hear more deeply it till tell other things than ill will and jealousy, those are only to catch your attention.
Evil will come into existence when you - the conscious being, 'choose to act' on this feeling knowing its consequences. Till then it is only fear of a part of yourself that might be immature, repressed or something similar - i.e your shadow.
Thus shadow might be container for many of your feelings of your ill will. But it is not evil. It may be trying to tell you something else - a caution that may need you to heed it.
Evil comes into existence when you consciously act on it, impacting others negatively. You are the key, not the shadow. This is also very critical in working with shadow that we do not yield to it. We need to understand it and bring its understanding to us. From this place of knowing, our action may then flow. This is the place of Self. From here what seems to be Evil is not being in touch with this Self of ours.

For me the concept of Sathyam Shivam Sundaram talks of this. The Truth is the one that is absolute and is a reality. This reality is free of your wishes, projections, etc. When you see it thus, devoid of your projections, devoid of you shadow/persona, it just is. Everything that emanates from this space devoid of shadow is Divine - Shivam. The beauty is what is the feeling you -the conscious being  are left with.

This is what I link with Positive psychology. The minute we label something as positive we are creating its opposite also. But the same search when we apply to looking for the truth devoid of projection, everything seems positive and beautiful. Action then is to grow that which is appropriate to the situation alone.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Why do I have a shadow? Could I have grown up without a shadow?

           As we work with shadow, one of the way it eludes work with us is by blaming others for its creation -
          "Others did this to me.They should be working on their shadow."
            Blaming others for the shadow that I have., can we grow up without developing a shadow?
Ans to my shadow
It is a euphemistic idea of growing up such a way that we would not have a shadow. Our abilities, feelings and capacity to impact others existed before our minds developed enough to recognize and deal with it.  A new born child for ex, has such a huge impact on its parents. Its actions can drive people around it crazy. But it has no awareness of it and in no way can deal with this power that it has over others.Thank God for it, otherwise it would have been an ignorant tyrant on the parents. Though the newborns dont realise this, kids as young as 7 month olds start realising this and start manipulating to get their way done!
Our sexuality develops before our ability to build strong and responsible relationships with others. Our abilities to build relationship as adult is the basis for marriage which we now understand has to be done only after we reach 20s
Our minds are a tad slower in developing compared to these basic human aspects.We often cannot fully understand the consequences, advantages and disadvantages of our energies. 
Hence there is a need to safeguard these wild energies in us before we can understand and deal with them, to be able to take responsibility of them. Hence it is essential for our parents and society to help us from our wild emotions before we can deal with them. In the process these parts gets pushed underground for us to deal with them later. But as we grow up, our abilities become better, it is natural for these forces to start putting pressure asking us to deal with them again. Unfortunately, even after we grow up, many a time, this need to deal with these energies is forgotten. Our parents and societies also often are not geared to teach us how to deal with them effectively.
For ex, if you are 30 and not yet fully understood and expressed your sexuality, that emerged at puberty, then you are in for trouble!
It is when our ego and self are ready, that we can bring out our shadow and deal with it effectively.
This also reason for us not to blame others, particularly our parents for our shadow. Ultimately shadow exists because we did not acknowledge it in ourselves. Now, after our minds are mature enough, we can choose to acknowledge these parts of ourselves and thus bring them out.
This natural process may however be deviated at times because of injuries to the ego-self. This may leave us incapable of handling our shadows effectively. These may be cases of severe abuse, lack of safety for young children, etc. Such times, the adult may seek professional help in the form of therapy to heal the injured part and then develop the ego well.

Below is a link to the flyer of our upcoming prog on Shadow