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Owning Your Shadow and Paradox

Owning Your Shadow and Paradox

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Published by Louiza Patsis
Balance, yin yang, paradox, religion, practical
Balance, yin yang, paradox, religion, practical

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Louiza Patsis on May 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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From www.Louizaspiritualityandreligion.blogspot.comOwning Your Shadow and Paradox 
I liked the short and deep book 
Owning Your Own Shadow
by Robert A. Johnson. Itadvances my idea of yin yang balance. One must embrace their shadow. It aids, I’d say,in getting what you want, being authentic, and weeding out undesirable people, placesand things. One thing he writes that is great is that, if one embraces their shadow, theycan also have the most beautiful, powerful parts shown to themselves, and then revealedto the world. I will look more into that.Below are some great parts of the book:The center of the seesaw is the place or enlightenment. To me, this harkens to the centralline of the yin yang circle.It would have been “sheer genius” had Marie Antoinette honored a peasant task likemilking a cow like her refined life, and may have stopped future events.Page 8: “it is more disrupting to find that you have a profound nobility of character thanto find out you are a bum. Of course you are both; but one does not discover these twoelements at the same time." LOLRituals such as sacrifice, bloodletting, fasting and sexual abstinence safeguard the culture by paying out the shadow. We must integrate the shadow in modern times rather thansacrifice. Interesting…Sometimes, the more refined our conscious personality, the deeper or darker our shadow.This may be true, I think, if one is not aware by mediating and working out. IF one never curses, I am suspicious.Children sometimes carry the dark side of creative parents, like the proverbial naughty preacher’s child.Events such as wars, economic crises, etc. represent a repressed shadow.Page 26 The Christian cross was originally balanced horizontally and vertically. Itmobilizes balancing: right, left, high, low. If one can do this, they are catholic or whole.Lucifer was cast away, but we can embrace “him”.People used to be at the mercy of land and more connected to nature and sexuality. Nowin cities (most of us), we are not as much connected.To refuse the dark side may lead to black mood, psychosomatic illness or unconsciouslyinspired accidents.
George Bernard Shaw said that art is the only alternative to war. That’s great!Page 31 “Unless we do conscious work on it, the shadow is almost always projected; thatis, it is neatly laid on someone or something else we do not have to take responsibility for it. This is the way things were done five thousand years ago, and most to of us are stillstuck in this medieval consciousness.”Page 37 This is thought: ‘You can refuse a shadow projection and stop the endless cycleof revenge if you have your own shadow under conscious control.”Page 40 “’Love’ is the one world in our Western tradition adequate to describe thissynthesis of ego and shadow. Faust shows with great power that the redemption of the gois possible only as the redemption of the shadow parallels it. Faust’s character is filled out by the addition of his shadow. He is made whole by his encounter with Mephistopheles,and the same is true in reverse. Better said, neither ego nor shadow can be redeemedunless its twin is transformed.”Page 43: “It is very puzzling to examine our capacity for projecting our best qualities. Itis as if we rear that heaven might come too soon! From the point of view of our ego, theappearance of a sublime trait might upset our whole personality structure.”Page 45: jack Sanford, Episcopal priest: “There are, in my view, two ‘shadows’: (1) thedark side of the ego, which is carefully hidden from itself and which the ego will notacknowledge unless force to by life’s difficulties, and (22) that which has been repressedin us lest it interfere with our egocentricity and, however devilish it may seem, is basically connected to the Self.”Jung warned us that it would not be too difficult to get the skeletons out of the closetfrom a patient in analysis but it would be exceedingly difficult to get the gold out of theshadow.Page 46: Two things go wrong if we project our shadow: First, we do damage to another  by burdening him with our darkness – or light, for it is as heavy a burden to makesomeone play hero for us. Second, we sterilize ourselves by casting off our shadow. Wethen lose a chance to change and miss the fulcrum point, the ecstatic dimension of our own lives.The Tao or middle way is a creative synthesis. Page 48: “One cannot stay very long inthis middle place, for it’s a knife-edge, outside space and time. A moment of it is enoughto give meaning to long stretches of ordinary life. India warns that if one touches that place fore more than a short time one will lose one’s orientation and die. There is a smalldanger of this to most of us, however.Page 52: “…the most terrible things go on ceremonially in the Mass, but the altar rail is acontainer, and the priest, who is almost inhumanly close to the drama, is robed to protecthimself from the too-great power of the event. He also does his rituals in the sacristy
 before and after the Mass, to protect himself from the superhuman force he has involved.Remember, a symbolic or ceremonial experience is real and affects one as much as anactual event.”Creativity and vitality can come from accessing your shadow if correctly handled. If incorrectly handled, it can lead to destruction.At times like a marriage breakup or being fired, we can take shadow energy and use itcorrectly.Parrots learn the meaning of curses more easily than other words because they sense theenergy vested in the curses.If two people meet and there is a potential for a relationship, egos cause power wards.When the two can listen to each other, hear each other out, what they each saycomplements the other, and a mandala is formed. God is present in the unresolvedconflict. I add: If there is a commitment to grow and develop with one another.Many people say they are religious, but don’t’ have religious values in day-to-day life.Life is full of paradoxes: Love without power is insipid and weak. Power without love iscruel. You be (receive, yin) and do (action, yang). “We hate paradox since it is so painfulgetting there, but it is a very direct experience of a reality beyond our usual frame of reference and yields some of the greatest insights. Here is a list of paradoxical religiousand practical values from pages 78-79.
Religious Values Practical Values
losing winningoutgoincomefasting eating passivity actiongiving earningselling all andgiving it to the poor owning poverty possessionrepose activitycelibacy sexobservation decisivenessobedience to authority freedomduty choiceobedience democracymeditative sharpconsciousness consciousnessecstasy sobrietyvision focus belief that less belief that more is better is better 

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