(Posted on: May 1, 2013 by David McMillin)
(NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of "A Search For God" study group one of the participants asked for more information on "the shadow" as it pertains to 'Know Thyself." – David McMillin
In the context of this lesson, the shadow is the part of ourselves that we don't recognize. It's often unconscious, but just below the surface. The shadow is a blind spot in our self-knowledge that allows us to ignore some of our own shortcomings by focusing on the same problem in someone else.
In Carl Jung's approach, the shadow is one of the major archetypes within the collective unconscious. In terms of the soul's journey, it probably has its source in the original spiritual rebellion.
You may have noticed: The higher the spiritual ideal, the longer the shadow that is cast. You will sometimes see this dynamic at work in an organization with a high spiritual ideal. Being raised as a child with a rather strict moral code can encourage a strong shadow.
Here is one of my favorite bible verses that suggests a shadow:
Matthew 7:3 – "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Here are a couple of my favorite Cayce quotes that address the shadow:
Also we find the inclinations for the entity at times to become, when aggravated, rather severe in its criticisms of others. This should be tempered; for what one says of another will usually be one's own state also – in one form or another. (1669-1)
Know in self that the greater part is ever within self when trouble arises between self and daughter, between self and neighbor, between self and husband. For that we think, that we give voice to in condemnation of others, we will find within our own selves. (3457-1)
So when someone pushes our buttons; when we would criticize or think badly of another person, we can just stop and be mindful and ask the inner self if maybe we have some of the same stuff going on within ourselves that we are reacting to in the other person. Is the other person just a mirror? Sometimes attunement with prayer and meditation that focuses on a troublesome relationship can be helpful in recognizing the shadow. – Blessings, Dave