Getting Rid of Your Shadow

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kiki
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Getting Rid of Your Shadow

Post by kiki » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:23 pm

Ever try to get rid of your shadow on a sunny day? It can be a pesky little devil, can't it? You can't run from it, you can't pick it up and throw it away, you can't destroy it with any sort of weapon either. It follows you everywhere and sticks to you like glue, but if you persist in trying to get rid of it you just may get a bit loony in the attempt. It seems to be indestructible, yet its nature has no substance.

Perhaps it would be better to determine what it is that casts the shadow and get rid of that instead. But who in their right mind would do that when that would mean getting rid of one's body? But in order to rid yourself of the shadow, just such an action would be needed, wouldn't it? Doing that goes against one's natural instinct of self-preservation, and so, even contemplating such a thing creates fear and repulsion. What to 'do'? Stand completely still and turn around.

Waking up to one's true nature can be likened to the attempt to rid oneself of their shadow. The shadow is all those things created by the "body" of the ego - all of the likes and dislikes, all of the concepts and ideas, all of the philosophical creations to explain the universe and one's place in it, all of the reactions to the flow of emotions and physical sensations. All of these things seem to be present, and yet what are they other than shadowy illusions?

Perhaps it would be better to get rid of that which casts the shadow instead, the ego. To do so, however, also creates fear and repulsion, or even determination and effort. In either case, what often isn't recognized is that these are also shadows of the ego. What a quandary! Wherever the ego looks it seems to see its shadow.

Perhaps a little deeper understanding can resolve this cunnundrum. Without a source of light no shadow could be cast. By simply turning around the source of that light, the sun, is realized and the shadow fades from view. Is it still there? Of course it is, but being out of sight for a while there comes a sense of relief, a sense of freedom from the shadow and the "heaviness" of its darkness. When you turn around again, there it is, just as before but with one difference - you now know how to "tune out" of the shadow's influence.

By simply turning one's attention in another direction the shadow seems to disappear, but only seemingly so. In effect, the sun is the source of the shadow as well as the escape mechanism away from it. Shadows, then, are no longer seen as problematic. Similarly, in waking up one simply turns one's attention away from the shadow and puts attention on that which illuminates the shadow casting entity, the ego. When this "practice" becomes familiar the ego is no longer seen as problematic either.

Were it not for the source of light, awareness, the ego wouldn't even be apparent. Become aware of this "light source" by "standing completely still" and turning your attention around 180 degrees, so that awareness becomes aware of itself. Will the shadow still be there? Of course, but now it's known that its influence is not everpresent. This light of awareness sometimes completely extinguishes the shadow casting ego and one is left completely free; and when the shadow reappears, as it surely will, there is the knowledge that attention has reverted in a different direction away from the source light - awareness.

Now creation takes on the quality of an ever changing play of light and shadow, entertaining the viewer who knows the source of the play (ItSelf), providing relief from the previous shadowy beliefs of the ego entity. When those beliefs are illuminated with this all embracing light nothing is seen or experienced in the same way again. Shadows are still there, but no longer seen as problematic, no longer believed to be real, no longer haunting your every step.

You are the source, you are the light, you are that which illuminates everything - you as awareness. Turn around and discover yourself, then see shadows for what they are - temporary phantoms of darkness illuminated by the light of You/awareness.
Last edited by kiki on Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Triple T » Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:56 am

Thank you, Kiki!

What a wonderful gift.

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Post by summer » Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:23 am

We hear a lot about "embracing our shadow" And that 'the shadow' holds the negative sides of ourselves that we don't want to acknowledge as being within ourselves. Like anger, or the need to control and manipulate others, self pity and the "poor me, story"

And in that state of denial, we project these qualities on others.
They are the reason why I act angrily, or cry, or feel upset.

And that wholenes comes, when we embrace these qualities that we think are negative, as being an integral part of ourselves.

Is the 'shadow" the same thing as Eckhart's "pain body"?

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Post by kiki » Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:37 pm

summer wrote: Is the 'shadow" the same thing as Eckhart's "pain body"?
Yes. And due to the light of awareness (YOU) that shadow/pain body is illuminated. So you see, under no circumstances is the reality of your being missing.

When the ego is seen not to be who you are, then the shadows it casts are no longer bought into. They may be there but identification has shifted away from the obstacle/ego which casts them. Eventually, they no longer show up much at all for awareness/you has stabilized consciously as who you are (you have "turned around" and the light source has recognized itself).

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Post by summer » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:02 pm

Thanks, kiki,
Awareness dancing in a phenomenal world of light and shadow.

It is a truly spectacular show :)

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Post by heidi » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:49 pm

Hey Kiki - Thanks for that illuminating piece :) It's an honor to have you and your awareness here.
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Post by enlighten » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:49 pm

cool :)

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Post by Shion » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:09 am

Insightful and beautiful :D

Perhaps any child can understand this more clearly than some adults.
I say this with the idea in mind of kiki's explanation illustrated in a book for children.

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Post by NoordZee » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:51 am

Thank you kiki for yet another beautiful piece of writing. That analogy with the shadows is brilliant :)
"Veritas vos liberabit"

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Post by dubhasa » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:34 pm

Beautiful Kiki. Much appreciated.

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.

Post by OnlyNow » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:05 pm

...............
When the Pupil is ready the Master appears

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Re: Getting Rid of Your Shadow

Post by Sw Anand Devagni. » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:53 pm

Dear all,

For another persepctive on this, may I invite you to take a look at the page http://www.kenwilber.com/blog/show/51 which has an interesting pdf on the issue, taken from No Boundary, which I warmly recommend.

Love,

D.

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Re: Getting Rid of Your Shadow

Post by Agnieszka » Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:26 pm

I'd love to not be but sometimes I realize that I'm beginning to be obsessed by my ego. Something arises, a feeling or thought, and I automatically recognize it: oh, it's again my ego. And the question, probably posed several times on this forum, for which I'm sorry but was too impatient to spot the answers, is: who is recognizing and accepting the presence of ego? The real me=awareness? And who is making the decision to "turn around" and see "the shadow"? The awareness or the ego itself? Thank you :) agn

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Re: Getting Rid of Your Shadow

Post by suraj » Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:27 pm

Agnieszka wrote:I'd love to not be but sometimes I realize that I'm beginning to be obsessed by my ego. Something arises, a feeling or thought, and I automatically recognize it: oh, it's again my ego. And the question, probably posed several times on this forum, for which I'm sorry but was too impatient to spot the answers, is: who is recognizing and accepting the presence of ego? The real me=awareness? And who is making the decision to "turn around" and see "the shadow"? The awareness or the ego itself? Thank you :) agn
I often wonder , how similar the experiences are of people at the forum. This is exactly how I feel , Agnieszka :) I don't know the answer, and so I ask the same question again . WHO?
I AM

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Re: Getting Rid of Your Shadow

Post by kiki » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:28 pm

Agnieszka wrote:And the question, probably posed several times on this forum, for which I'm sorry but was too impatient to spot the answers, is: who is recognizing and accepting the presence of ego? The real me=awareness? And who is making the decision to "turn around" and see "the shadow"? The awareness or the ego itself? Thank you :) agn
The impulse to awaken comes from consciousness itself; it just happens on its own. The recognition and acceptance of the ego's presence is "done" by consciousness itself - it is a spontaneous and natural thing. But what usually happens is that the ego co-opts this impulse and makes it its own. In other words, a flash of recognition happens and then ego goes on a journey to recapture it, to awaken, and then becomes frustrated when its efforts are thwarted.

My little metaphor is just that - like all metaphors it isn't the real thing so don't get too hung up in it. But to address your concern about who makes the "decision to turn around" - there is no "who" who decides. The most that can be "done", and again this is where words become problematic, is see how one remains fixated on the ego, how one continues to feed its existence, how one's egoic strategies get triggered. In other words, what is being done to block the seeing of one's essential nature. In the immediate recognition of these things as they happen there is the opportunity to simply relax and let those things drop away so that nothing is being done anymore to obscure the natural state of awareness.
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
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