The Shadow Knows
Updated: May 22, 2022
(I realize this post is longer than usual, but I sincerely hope that you give it a read and contemplate how, by the end of it, it may have helped you in your own growth.)
I mentioned on my website recently that I’ve been introduced to the writings of Carl Jung. The reference on my website was in regard to how Jung considered tarot a method of identifying archetypes that we share in all cultures.
However, on further Jung reading, I’ve become acquainted with the “shadow self” concept. As Connie Zweig wrote in Meeting the Shadow, “the shadow goes by many familiar names: …the lower self, the dark twin…the alter ego, id. When we come face to face with our darker side, we use metaphors…meeting our demons, wrestling with the devil…midlife crisis”.
To put it into Reiki’s perspective, I find a similarity between Mikao Usui and Jung. Usui Sensei believed that to reveal our true selves (and find our purpose) we need to peel back the layers of society’s morals that have been overlain on our psyche (I believe this is a Buddhist belief and not specifically attributed to Usui Sensei).
We were born beautifully innocent and full of promise…each of our lights as bright as all the other innocent lights. Then, we learn to do things this way, or that way, we learn wrong from right, to do things only this one particular way. We learn judgment, we learn to ridicule ourselves and others... and through these layers of education from our closest society, our innocent light dims.
As Jung determined, the shadow self holds our deepest dark thoughts which we are unable to bring to light because of our earlier lessons, and yet, it also holds just as deeply creative and powerful aspects of our soul. In other words, by not embracing this part of our soul we are not recognizing our authentic selves (Usui Sensei), thereby repressing our talents and lessening our impact on the world (Jung).
This is today’s revelation for me. I’m learning, so I thought I’d share my learning with you. I’m hoping you see these blog posts as lessons for contemplation of your own growth and development. Sadly, I have no answer as to how to address this darkness of the soul at this time. I just understand as part of our individual development toward enlightenment we need to… if not address the shadow self head-on... then at least acknowledge it is there. And as simple as that, we’ve grown.
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ― Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
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