The Adversarial Relationship
In the first two parts of this series on the shadow and the soul we discussed the power of unconscious negativity and the nature of conditional immortality. The third secret law of the shadow concerns the adversarial relationship that exists between the shadow and the soul. The chief feature of that antagonism is this: The degree of emotional toxicity in our shadow is the degree to which we are separated from our true identity and our soul.
The Wheel of Life
Virtually everyone on this planet is disconnected in some respect from their soul and who they really are. The transcendent, overarching purpose of life is to discover our true identity and reclaim our Divine connection. We are locked to the wheel of birth, death, and rebirth until we do. For the most part we are more in tune with our shadow than we are with our soul; more in touch with suffering and self-absorption than with joy and unconditional love. While this condition need not be true, the reason it is true is that the vast majority of people who inhabit this planet have not gone to the trouble of confronting and clearing unconscious toxicity from their psyche. Clearing that toxicity is the foundation of all spiritual endeavor and all real growth. Without our doing that work the shadow finds it remarkably easy to frustrate our soul and our goals and limit our growth.
The Axis of Consciousness
Think of life as proceeding along two axes. One axis is vertical. The other is horizontal. Where they intersect is where life begins. The vertical axis is the axis of our soul. It contains our identity and purpose. Its qualities are a deep peace, unconditional love, insight, joy, and a clear acceptance for all the varied experiences that life brings us, the good as well as the bad. The farther up we travel on the vertical scale of the soul the more light we have in our psyche.
The horizontal axis is the axis of physical existence. It is the axis of success/failure, happiness/sorrow, and birth/death. The farther we travel along this axis from where it is intersected by the vertical access the more material success we have.
Duality and Polarization
Where the vertical axis is defined by unity and oneness, the horizontal axis is defined by duality, polarity and separation. When we live in duality we want to experience the positive side of each duality and avoid the negative side. We strive mightily toward what we think will make us happy and attempt to avoid what we fear will bring us suffering. How ironic is it then that what we struggle to avoid we often end up attracting into our lives.
The culprit creating this intolerable situation is the shadow. The shadow is not only sly but has also silently infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It operates without our awareness or our conscious permission. It could care less what we think, what we want, or what we hope for. It is not our friend but our enemy. Its mission is to defeat us and deprive us of fulfillment.
The shadow functions on both axes of life. On the horizontal axis it limits and controls our success, while on the vertical axis it locks us into darkness and deprives us of contact with our soul. As long as the shadow is charged with unconscious toxicity we are lost, ignorant of who we really are, and unable to fulfill our soul potential. However, when we heal that unconscious toxicity we release our internal obstacles to success and remove the hidden barriers to discovering our identity. True identity is found in the soul.
Temporary Relief Syndrome
Years ago, when I was the Publisher of the Yoga Journal, an article was submitted to us by a man who had attended a Yoga/meditation camp in Europe. Hundreds of people attended the camp and they all meditated together for several hours every day. During those meditations this man had amazing out of the body experiences, astral traveling in spiritual dimensions of great light. Many of his fellow meditators had similar experiences of their souls. Yet when he returned to the states, and the energy of those experiences had worn off, he found himself back where he had been, with the same internal problems and issues. Despite his transcendental soul experiences nothing fundamental had transformed within him. Why? The answer is quite simple. He had gone “up” into higher consciousness rather than “down” into the darkness of his shadow. While the soul light that he had gained from his meditations in Europe circulated in his system he was unaware of his shadow. Unfortunately, when he used up that soul light his problems returned with a vengeance. His shadow hadn’t been defeated as he had hoped. It was only waiting for the right moment to reassert its power in his life.
Seen from this context, meditation often functions as a drug. While it takes us away from our problems by lifting us into a higher orbit of consciousness, it does not necessarily resolve them. While it is non-toxic and centering, its effects are often temporary until we face, confront, and clear our shadow. All true growth starts in darkness, not in light. What starts in light leaves the darkness intact; what starts by facing that darkness will emerge into a higher light.
Marion came to me with cervical cancer. I started her session by putting one hand on the base of her spine, the other on the base of her neck. A lovely lavender light soon flowed from my hands into her nervous system. Within minutes she was deeply relaxed. I kept one hand on the base of her spine and placed the other one on her lower abdominal area. The energy coming out of my hands shifted, becoming a bright red. She tossed her head back and forth for a moment and then started screaming in German. It was Helmut this and Helmut that. What was amazing is that while she consciously knew no German she continued screaming in German for three quarters of an hour. Finally, as her catharsis ended, the energy going into her from my hands shifted again, becoming bright gold. Within minutes she became incredibly peaceful. The session was over.
When she came back to normal consciousness she shared her experience. In the first change of the energy, when it went from lavender which relaxed her to red which brought up her unconscious toxicity, she found herself back in Nazi Germany. She was married to a German general. With the war over he came home and told her how he had hated killing many Jews. She then told him her big secret. She had used her position to save the lives of many Jews and get them out of the country. Telling him what she did was a fatal mistake. He went crazy, beat her, raped her, ripped out her eyes and left her to die. Her screaming and yelling earlier in the session was her reliving those painful events. When that toxicity cleared the energy changed again, going from red to gold. She found herself lifted out of her body into her soul and floating in a golden energy, feeling clearer, more whole and peaceful than she ever had.
When I cleared that toxic experience out of Marion’s system a major impediment was removed from her life and she was able to have a direct experience of being at one with her soul. By going down into her darkness she was able to rise and experience the true light of her soul. She went back to her doctor a few weeks later. Her cancer was completely gone.