Is shadow work evil and sinful? The answer:
Shadow work is not evil, and it is not sinful. Shadow work is actually the opposite. People who do shadow work become more self-aware about the unintentional evil they do.
There is a lot to say about whether or not shadow work is evil or bad. But before we get into that, let's make sure you understand a few things.
What is the shadow, and what is shadow work?
The shadow is the unconscious side of yourself that's disconnected and unfelt. It's the part of yourself that's been rejected since childhood, and you have no awareness of.
Shadow Work is integrating the entire spectrum of your being. It's the intentional process of admitting the parts of yourself you've ignored and repressed.
Is shadow work a sin? Is shadow work biblical?
Shadow work is not a sin. What shadow work does is get us in touch with the sinful side of ourselves.
For example, have you heard of the biblical quote: "Father Forgive Them, They Know Not What They Do." (Luke 23:24)?
Most people are completely unaware that some of their behavior is unacceptable, rude, or evil.
The source of your behavior that is both unacceptable and unintentional is your shadow. Your shadow is your other half. It's the side of your personality that you've repressed.
Nobody can eliminate a part of who they are. Instead, the qualities that they learn to repress are tucked away from their conscious awareness.
Because these qualities have become disowned, they won't even see how they express these qualities in their daily lives.
They know not what they do.
The purpose of shadow work is for the person to become aware of these qualities. By becoming aware of who you are and how your unconscious influences your life, you can better control the evil you cause.
Is shadow work evil? No. It channels unacceptable desires into acceptable activities. As a result, it prevents evil.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
Shadow work helps a person accept themselves and their entire being.
Because shadow work serves as a confessional. It gives a person space to see the error in their ways. To self-reflect and forgive themselves for who they've been and what they've done.
Shadow work is an essential tool for self-love.
Corinthians 13:4-5: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
Is shadow work biblical? No. But it is a way to cultivate a love for others and love for God's creation.
Is shadow work bad?
Shadow work is not bad. It's actually very good. Because it allows a person to become self-aware and take responsibility for their actions.
People get the idea that shadow work is bad because the phrase includes the word "shadow"—as if it's some kind of edgy or satanic activity.
But shadow work is actually heavily influenced by Christianity. It's used as a tool to build self-awareness and acceptance for what we are as unique individuals and as part of a collective.
Arguably, shadow work builds our connection with God because we can consult our inner voice through it. As well as other benefits, which include:
- Genuine Self-Acceptance
- Complete Self-Knowledge
- Defused Emotions
- Accurate View of Reality
- Healthy Relationships
- Creative Insights
- Disrupt Destructive Patterns
- Reclaim Life Ownership
However, for people who lack the self-awareness that shadow work can offer, they experience feelings of:
What if I want to experience the benefits of shadow work within my religion?
Although shadow work is somewhat of an esoteric topic of psychology, I can understand why someone wouldn't be so quick to perform typical shadow work exercises.
So instead, I've compiled some exercises that are more aligned with religions that do well to bring the benefits mentioned earlier.
When you're on a fast, you build a better connection to your higher self, and you're able to think more clearly. You're also letting go of your conscious neediness for fast food and junk.
According to people who refrain from sexual expression, you experience a boost of energy, increased vitality, clear thinking, more creativity, etc.
Shadow work is naturally a confessional. Wherewith enough introspection and self-inquiry, a person can have a very emotional breakthrough full of catharsis.
Your shadow is validated when you express gratitude for your present situation. This sort of agreement between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind is the entire point of shadow work.
By celebrating your life through gratitude, you allow higher unseen forces to notice and grant things in your favor.
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work Course is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This course is updated every year and gets new content at no additional cost. Learn more here.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This short course goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for people dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.
Manifestation Manual: The Path of Least Resistance bundle teaches you some holistic and systems thinking along with how to mend your inner child wounds so you can align with your higher self and move forward in life. This includes 20 video clips as a free bonus.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a small sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through my BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.