We know not where we are.
…..Henry David Thoreau
Many people awaken in adulthood to a growing desire for greater self-awareness and authenticity and for a deeper intimacy with others, both of which can be achieved with shadow-work. We suggest that this awakening desire is a natural developmental process that occurs in adults, which has been charted in the transpersonal and spiritual literature. Unlike the transition from adolescence to adulthood, which occurs biologically and therefore automatically, the transition to greater consciousness must be chosen and then enacted intentionally. This change involves, first of all, a shift in focus from the exterior world to the interior one. We suggest that you relate to this shadow-work as a mystery. When the Other arrives, honor that part of yourself as a guest. You may discover that it comes bearing gifts. You may discover that shadow-work is indeed, soul work. When shadow-work is neglected, the soul feels dry, brittle, like an empty vessel. But when shadow-work is attended to, the soul feels round, full, sated. When shadow-work is invited into a life, the soul feels welcomed, alive in the gardens, aroused in passion, awake in sacred things…….C. Zweig & S. Wolf
inviting compassionate presence into deep shadows is profound, but it does not need to be heavy…..rather, allow it to sift in like a sweetness to savor…..offer well-being to your whole being….no complacency, no dead days……
The roots of our alienation from the sensible world, from both the landscape and our own rich experience of it, are many, interwoven and tangled below the surface of the modern mind. Our separation from the natural world has its source in amplified forms of dualistic thought. We want to know if something is good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral. This disavows the relational aspect of reality and renders our experience absolutist in flavor, rigid in feel, and without texture or context. Dualism is defensive response to living in a world of continuous change, an interdependent reality. The cumulative and corrosive element of dualistic consciousness seems to manifest as oblivion. We are concerned about subject (ourselves) and not object; object becomes little more than something to satisfy ourselves, and with a now one-dimensional interest, the experience of depth becomes irrelevant. We end up not only alienated but also living as ‘surface dwellers.’ I see strip malls, long, lined up, and flat. They are impenetrable facades littering urban America and further setting the stage for all sorts of ‘not-noticing.’……Laura Sewall