In this post, we'll be going over ideas about shadow work for self-awareness.
First, let's quickly go over what shadow and shadow work is.
What is Shadow Self & Shadow Work?
Your shadow self, or shadow, is the side of yourself you have no awareness of. It holds all the qualities you disowned during your formative years.
Although you learned to repress these qualities and push them outside of your awareness, they still live underneath the surface.
They unconsciously guide your actions and are the unseen cause for many of the troubles in your life.
Shadow work is the intentional practice of becoming aware of your unconscious shadow and integrating these neglected qualities into your being—becoming whole.
This is a process of building self-awareness, self-acceptance, and universal Love.
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."Carl Jung
Shadow Work for Self-Awareness
For a time in my life, I didn't have anything to do, anywhere to go, or anyone to see.
To get out of the house, I would take my dog out for walks every morning.
While on these early morning walks, I would find a bench to sit on.
Then I would look out and observe the emptiness and stillness that is the World.
As I sat there alone, I'd acknowledge that my vision and senses are a part of this World that allows it to experience itself.
With nothing in my life calling for my attention, I was able to experience everything I saw exactly for what it was.
On my walks, I would find myself walking alongside tall bushes with bright-colored flowers.
"Everything is perfect, just the way it is."
I noticed that without thoughts in my field of vision, I could look and see the crispness of everything surrounding my existence.
I would stop walking and look directly at a flower that caught my attention.
The more conscious I became of its existence, the more it revealed itself to me.
The color became more vivid. The imperfections were seen as perfections.
It felt as if the more I looked at the flower, the more it looked back at me.
The World experiencing the World.
Connecting Higher Self & God
The higher Self is the part of you that aligns with God and is aware of this connection.
Every person is limited to their physical form and finite intelligence.
And every person is part of a much more massive system that carries infinite intelligence.
This massive system of infinite intelligence is referred to as God, Truth, Love, Self-Love, etc.
The systems in which this infinite intelligence thinks have no bounds because systems are infinite.
Your higher Self is the part of you that can connect to this infinite intelligence.
It's the part of you that sees the meaning you need to see, behind all the synchronicity that the infinite intelligence's systems output, to guide you to where you want to go or need to go.
The non-linear thinking it takes to get in touch with your higher Self, or intuition, is done consciously or unconsciously.
It's why some people can see "the writing on the wall" while others cannot.
Those who are not connected to their gut instincts, intuition, or higher Self, are those who are most likely to attribute God as a being that is "Other."
When we believe God is "Other," we take what we see for granted.
You think linearly only—which is enough to function in the world but severely limits creativity.
Anything is possible with enough creativity. The problem is that most people don't have enough creativity. We just like to think we do. So when we can't solve the problem, we blame it on some other issue. All this blaming is simply creative energy that wasn't robust enough to reach where it wanted to go.
Inner Wounds, Shadow & Higher Self
When we see God as "Other," we still live in a world of shoulds and should-nots—we see the World as an imperfect place.
The Truth is that we are all encapsulated within God—or "Oneness"—and it's up to finite intelligence to learn how to align with the Infinite Intelligence.
In other words, you must learn to connect with your higher Self.
This connection is usually blocked by inner child wounds and the constant belief of "Other" that your shadow acts upon.
When you believe in "Oneness," you no longer feel the world is imperfect. Instead, you realize that the World is Perfection, constantly making "objectively" greater Perfection.
Until then, you live in a personal hell where you seek to live up to arbitrary expectations to get Love.
When you're already worthy of Love and are Love—because that's what existence is.
Check out my brief video Receiving Unconditional Love.
Life is meant to be lived from a place of "I am okay," and you live and build your Life outward from that standing.
But everyone has it backward, where they believe "I am not okay," and they live in personal hell until they reach whatever expected standard they made for themselves.
Only to realize they were okay the entire time.
This is the difference between living in "survival mode" and more conscious living.
Ask yourself, is your Life an act of Self-Love or self-hate?
Check out What is Inner Child Work and Shadow Work.
Ultimate Reality & The Fabrication
All that I mentioned above are facets of the "ultimate reality" I believe anyone can experience.
Although I'm still reasonably young, I'm sure I'll stumble onto deeper insights simply by the nature of the World that is Infinity.
Understand that within this "ultimate reality" is The Fabrication, which is a feature of Existence.
A cesspool of all the stories we tell ourselves about reality—what's good, what's terrible, and all the beauty in-between.
It is everything we tell ourselves when we are convinced that God, Love, Truth is "Other."
How can you tell what is a fabrication of the mind?
Anything that measures or contextualizes is evidence of fabrication.
As human beings, we try to measure and contextualize the world because we want to understand the world.
The World is trying to understand the World.
In doing so, we make up units of measurement and contextual suitability.
Both of which are as real as you need them to be. So long as these constructs offer confirmation for your, or the collective, biases.
- Attraction is something we always try to measure when it's ultimately something that can't be helped.
- Money is made up, but it's a necessary delusion for society to function.
- "Finding a purpose" isn't necessary but is something we each create for our own fulfillment.
Interestingly, human beings give everything "objective" meaning... (as desired and planned by the Infinite Intelligence).
The past and future don't exist.
It's all a fantasy or a recording that loses its reliability, perspectival appeal, and accuracy much sooner than we realize.
Time is a measurement that was made up by man.
At the moment of this writing, there is no "one week from now."
There isn't a "you" one week from now. That's a fantasy.
The only "you" that exists is the one reading these words.
This "you" is falling through time, and your body's aging and health are the only real signifiers of how much life this physical body has left to offer you.
Why do these fabrications exist?
To give us something to do.
Like I mentioned earlier on in this post—
"For a time in my life, I didn't have anything to do, anywhere to go or anyone to see."
Very peaceful, but even peace gets boring.
Of course, there are other practical flaws in "letting God, the World, take care of you" and having the confidence to "let the chips fall where they may."
In this materialist world, you have to be doing something to make a living.
I think what matters most is how you approach it:
You can approach it from a survival standpoint, where you are constantly not meeting up to some standard. Thus, ignoring your inner resources and doing what your finite intelligence believes to be practical—despite leaving you unhappy with your limited life.
Or you can connect to your intuition, where you know you're fine as you are. Where you're willing to leave behind what you know deep down isn't good for your soul. And you use your finite intelligence practically to take/make opportunities the infinite intelligence has brought you.
NOTE: It takes a while to learn how to differentiate your emotions from your intuition. This is because, over time, emotions get old, and intuition becomes more legible to the attentive mind. Being only emotionally driven is survival-based.
You want to develop a healthy mix of emotion, reason, intuition, and action that best fits your personality and natural gifts.
The Higher Self Wants the God Connection Recognized
The "Transcendent Function" is that which connects us to the unconscious. Within the unconscious is where the shadow, inner child, higher Self, and all archetypes reside.
These aspects of our being are inherently our initial blindspots.
It's where we lack self-awareness—the parts of ourselves that we need to reconnect and integrate through our acceptance and recognition.
The more we uncover our unconscious, the more we build self-awareness.
The more we build self-awareness, the more our self-hate transforms into Self-Love.
This is the same as integrating "Other" into "Oneness."
Allowing everything within us to exist—on a personal level through acceptance—is the same as "letting the chips fall where they may" on an existential level.
Love, or acceptance of what is, is how you integrate what you Fear, or "Other."
The act of becoming more conscious is what it takes to change the fate of the world, if not your life.
My Opinion on Religion versus Spirituality
Both religion and spirituality are gimmicks that point to the real thing.
The "real thing" is admittedly beyond my understanding.
I believe that religion is a regression. In these modern times, it's a "sliding back" for those who haven't developed their non-linear thinking.
Spirituality is much closer to the Truth than religion is.
Religion is intended to be a gateway into spirituality. However, it's a sticking point for most linear thinkers.
Those who are plainly spiritual, however, would benefit significantly by looking back on religious texts.
It should be noted that these texts are a product of their time.
But they point to spiritual notions that seem to be universal among religions.
This is why I believe spirituality is preferable to religion.
God > Religion.
Let's do a quick exercise to demonstrate my point about non-linear thinking versus linear thinking:
From the Book of Mark 16: 17-18
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Linear Thinkers will process the passage more literally. Believing that God's followers will cast away actual demons and be safe from the harm of snakes and poison so long as their faith is strong and genuine.
Check out this video of a priest playing with a snake, resulting in his death—very literal thinking must not be mixed with the bible.
Non-Linear Thinkers will process the passage with more accuracy and discernment. The message will come across more like so—
- You will recognize those who are close to God. Those who are godly can ward off people who have ill intentions (demons).
- They will talk about the world in a way that may seem unintelligible (tongues) to you at first [much like earlier in this post].
- Those close to God can overcome the ill-intentioned people when they engage (drink the poison).
- People who are suffering will feel better around those who are godly (lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover)
You can replace God with Love, Truth, Loving, Conscious.
The ill-intentioned people, or "demons," are those who are of lower consciousness.
Meaning they don't know themselves, lacking self-awareness, thus self-love, thus love, therefore Oneness, consequently don't know the hurt they bring unto others.
REMEMBER THAT WHICH DOESN'T ENTER CONSCIOUSNESS (YOUR AWARENESS) DOESN'T EXIST.
BOTTOM LINE: People who are non-linear thinkers are more connected spiritually (they can pick up on the world's inherent synchronicity unconsciously much more easily) because of the way they process information.
More linear thinkers can build up their non-linear thinking skills by reading books like Aesop's Fables.
Everyone is better at one than the other.
Intelligence is a factor, but everyone can learn non-linear thinking. Think of it as a skill that some people are gifted in picking up better than others.
Another quick note: Reductionist thinking is inherently linear and "takes things apart."
Systems thinking is linear and non-linear ("puts back together)—it takes a lot of integration and practice to pull off well.
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.