Thursday, July 7, 2011

"The Shadow", as a Weapon

As I have stated before, I was seeing a psychiatrist when I was nine. I could not face any kind of social life, so I refused to go to school. I either spent my days hiding out on top of my Grandparent's shed, or in the wonderful hills and rocks above my home.

I have never been social, always disliked parties, and have avoided large groups. When I decided to start writing and sharing my spiritual musings on Facebook, it was a big step. I really shouldn't say I "decided ", because the pull of Love has deemed it so, and I really have no choice but to share.

I knew when I came to Facebook that I would be challenged. As I have said repeatedly, I do not hold any degree, or even a high school diploma. True, I do have a year of collage, having past the entrance exams, but remain undereducated in contrast to many of my Facebook friends. My college studies were mostly based around psychology courses, as I had hopes of becoming a teacher, but the social side made college trying, and I soon left the academic world.

My years of psychiatric inquiry, which, as I said, started at nine, and the courses I took added to a good understanding of what makes people, particularly me, tick. By the time I was twelve, I had a good handle on the concepts of repression, regression, denial and projection. I was alarmingly open.

I have found that in the spiritual community, the non-dual community in particular, projection has become a facet of self-inquiry. The concept of each of "us " projecting the "other " has become an "article of the faith " in non-duality. This projection, as conceived by Freud, was later named "The Shadow ", by Carl Jung, and adapted by Ken Wilber in a kind of spiritual psychology. It is a wonderful way of self examination, and has great benefits when used properly for self inquiry. It has, unfortunately, been turned around and become a kind of spiritual weapon.

In the last couple of days, this weapon has been turned on me twice, by those who are unwilling to look at themselves and their actions. This is, of course, OK, as no one needs to look at themselves if they don't want to. I will admit to being frank. I am Asperger's, and I will tell you things others won't. Honesty and integrity are very important to me. I pull no punches, either with myself or others. I have seen, and continue to see the ugliness in my life, my actions, and my thoughts. Sometimes it isn't pretty, but I could not live without full discovery.

The "weapon " aspect of projection, (the Shadow), comes in when someone is told an observation that they don't like, or want to deny. The first reaction is to throw "The Shadow " at the observer and dismiss the observation as a projection of the "others " own faults. This has become very common, and is often used by the self proclaimed "enlightened ". If it is pointed out that what is seen is not indicative of an "awakening " or "enlightenment ", "The Shadow " is thrown. This was demonstrated byRamesh Balsekar in his infamous sex scandal, and in the subsequent defense of his actions byWayne Liquorman, Ramesh's protégé. This is not what "The Shadow " is for.

"The Shadow "; projection, is a method of self-inquiry. It is not for making judgments of "others " observations. First, there really are no "others ", so any observations are only appearing out of the One. Looking deeply into ourselves, and seeing our fears and doubts cast upon "others " is deep work, and is a "lifetime ", ongoing process. It is useful and can bring about understanding. But the use of it as a "weapon ", has just the opposite effect. It says, "I do not have to take advice or criticism seriously, as I am "enlightened ", so it is just their inadequacies being projected onto me.", "I did not have sex with a student, or behave unprofessionally, or resort to name calling, it's your "Shadow " that sees this."

This throwing of "The Shadow " is not only a weapon against criticism, it is a weapon against our self, and it's spiritual development. We need to, if we are honest, look at our motives, question our thoughts, and see deeply inward. Even if we see ourselves as "enlightened " (which is often, if not always, a stumbling block in itself), we must be vigilant. "Awakening " itself brings this about. The "awakened " becomes the observer. Inner details become obvious, flaws are seen and accepted, not "thrown " at "others ". The proclamation of no faults, all bliss, should be a red flag to any coming in contact with such an "enlightened ".

Many of the self proclaimed "enlightened " remind me of the lyrics from the Steely Dan song; "Reelin' in the Years" ; "You been tellin' me you're a genius Since you were seventeen In all the time I've known you I still don't know what you mean". If you question one of these "enlightened " about their "enlightenment ", you had better duck, "The Shadow " will be thrown. Question your own "Shadow ", by all means, but if you throw it, you need to really question that. With openness, you need no weapons, just Love.


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