Most people presume that they are the sole master of their house. To acknowledge and then own one’s shadow is to admit there are many more sides to us the world generally does not see. To own one’s shadow is to reach a holy place- an inner center- not attainable in any other way. To fail this is to fail one’s own sainthood and to miss the purpose of life. The middle ground between shadow and ego is not a gray compromise but the place of ecstasy and joy. One cannot stay very long in this middle place, for it is a knife-edge, outside space and time. A moment of it is enough to give meaning to long stretches of ordinary life. Better suited to our Western life is the concept of standing in the middle of the teeter-totter with two feet planted so we can balance easily. This honors the duality but keeps both elements within reach. This is a strong and balanced life…..Robert Johnson
we do not have to fear our shadows….this is humanizing spirtuality….our contradictions give us life….no gray repression here….where is your fearless spirit?
Unhealthy ego converts spirituality to its own misguided uses in tricky ways. As soon as its territory is seriously threatened, it will appear, hungry and determined. This is spiritual materialism. ‘The ego tries as hard as it can to shield us from the direct perception of what is,’ says Chogyam Trungpa. A free individual, lacking the external controls set by an organized religious community, must learn to develop self-control. American diversity has created one of the most seductive examples of spiritual materialism. With so many paths to choose from, we can deceive ourselves into thinking that the more techniques we acquire, the more spiritual we will become. What began as a genuine spiritual search becomes a way of dressing up and hiding out behind exoteric explanations. Keep before you always your most unaffected goals; to become fearless; to be at home with your life just as it is; to rest gently on the waters of the mysterious universe…..Elizabeth Lesser
our mature sense of ourselves tells us when we fall prey to this materialism or when we stuff our shadows under the rug…..time to weed the garden, to allow the roses to bloom…it’s not about self-improvement….it’s about being authentic…..our best, most compassionate inner warriors…..
If we do not step out of spiritual materialism, then we may eventually find ourselves posssessed of a huge collection of spiritual paths. We may feel these spiritual collections to be very precious. We display them to the world and, in doing so, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as ‘spiritual’ people. But we have created a shop, an antique shop. Before we filled our shop with so many things the room was beautiful: whitewashed walls and a very simple floor with a bright lamp burning in the ceiling.