the sacred duality of light & shadow


We know not where we are.

…..Henry David Thoreau

shadow light

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

9 thoughts on “the sacred duality of light & shadow

  1. I love the analogy of strip malls. Our mind are controlled almost every waking moment. Rare are the one who rise out of the torrent … As deliberate as its intention, must be ours to be free …

    • I just returned from white water rafting and hiking in the Grand Canyon…..what a shock to return! how overstimulated and ridiculous the plasticity can seem……I am humbled to realize how our perception glosses over…..indeed, deliberate intention must be held…..blessings g.f.s……

  2. Deeper than the color of my eyes, the threads that weave me into existence (being). Just as there are some who look no further than my eyes, there are days when I venture no further into the river, the meadow, the storm that is my soul. I float along with the current, oblivious to the wonder beneath the surface. Yet, it is my loss in doing so – in failing to ‘fall’ into the sweet abyss that swims between what is inside me and all the universe waits for in me. Beautiful, Blue. ~ Bobbie

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