In praise of the Shadow, in praise of the Moon
The “yes but”, the “but” that’s healthy!
In previous Intuitive Guidance, we discussed the energies behind our YES and NO statements.
August is an opportunity to explore the dance of these 2 polarities. The number 8 is the pranic body, the experience of continuity or discontinuity between the different parts of ourselves.
Our psyche is built on this polarisation that Yogi Bhajan called the PERSONA and the SHADOW.
The Persona is the part that we show to the world, the part that engages in manifestation, that projects itself, that acts, that wants to succeed, that is seen, it is the SUN.
The Shadow is the hidden, deep part of us that we tend to ignore because it sometimes makes us feel ashamed and afraid. Yet it is precious because it expresses our deepest needs, allowing us to recharge our batteries and find our own rhythm. It is the MOON that allows us to be unique without being influenced by the outside world.
Basically, we receive an impulse from the infinite, a thought, which manifests itself as a desire. We follow this desire and say YES (the Persona) and the other polarity manifests as BUT.
This BUT hides 2 possibilities, one regressive and self-centered based on our fears (the Hidden-Self) and the other constructive and healthy based on our deepest needs, our uniqueness as an individual (the Shadow or the Moon).
The Hidden-Self belongs to the past. It was essential when we were children to deal with situations where separation was intolerable. Times when we were betrayed, rejected, abandoned, judged, ignored… and we adapted to survive. We adopted strategies to no longer feel the intolerable and to have the feeling of being seen again. Yogi Bhajan called it as well “imaginary personalities” or “sub-personalities”. This mechanism allows us to avoid being vulnerable and being hurt again by the other person. We spend an enormous amount of prana (energy) keeping these strategies that deny who we are in the moment to impose a sub-personality such as pleasing the other, being a victim, escaping into our fantasy world, running away, reacting by attacking, …. The Hidden-Self is when a sub-personality nourishes itself from the shadow. It becomes a tyranny of the shadow. It is different than our social mask. It is a way from our ego to take over the shadow.
Let’s take the example of an intimate relationship. I want to continue to be with this person, to discover each other together (to say YES to the relationship). This impulse is automatically accompanied by BUT! Another part of me resists. What’s behind this BUT?
The BUT of the HIDDEN-SELF is based on our fears connected to memories. The fear of being vulnerable again and the fear of giving the other person the power to hurt me. The fear of the unknown that opens up in the interaction with my partner and renders me powerless. The tension inside can be so intense that we feel like we’re dying. The inside is too painful, so we project the problem outside to relieve ourselves. Our beloved partner and this inspiring relationship become the problem, the enemy to be eliminated. We begin the sabotage, like a trance we can no longer control, we have to go through with it even though we sometimes know we’re lying to the whole world and especially to ourselves. Pride blinds us and prevents us from laying down our weapons. The fight is on, and nothing will stop us! By judging the outside world and each other, we maintain this illusion of control. We destroy, we flee, we distance ourselves to the point of indifference and we justify it with our rational mind disconnected from the heart and our feelings, we tell stories. The more we feed our energy into our Hidden-Self, the more it becomes the immediate and automatic response.
The BUT of the SHADOW is very different. The MOON allows us to connect with our needs and share them. Welcoming our Shadow means welcoming our sensations, our feelings. In an intimate relationship, it’s the possibility of accepting separation as a condition for being in a real relationship. It means recognising that the other person is not the solution to our problems. It means allowing us to be ourselves without constantly betraying ourselves and adapting out of fear of judgement or fear of separation. It’s about recognising the part of us that needs to be with another person, that is dependent, and the part of us that likes to be alone and savour these moments. It’s about recognising the part of us that is insecure, the part of us that needs time to integrate, …. The Moon also allows us to accept our needs and therefore the needs of the other person, without automatically seeing separation when these needs do not correspond to our expectations.
Without this connection to our Shadow, we can also become “needy” and drive away the other person who feels this pressure. The more our partner runs away, the more needy we become. It’s a vicious circle.
The Persona can dazzle us like the Sun. We can forget ourselves in the relationship. We are in admiration, or we are admired, we seek to merge and become one SUN as a return to perfect unity.
If the MOON is ignored, the only BUT available that will enable us to ‘respect’ ourselves again by setting up a limit is the Hidden-Self! The Hidden-Self becomes our only resource for correcting the fact that we haven’t listened to ourselves but rooted in the past, not in the now!
Without our MOON, a relationship is doomed to yo-yo. Physical and manifested separation becomes the only means of regulation. Sometimes we agree to stay in the in-between (we’re together without being completely together) to avoid inner tension while maintaining the illusion of building something together. An illusion because this relationship is built on the condition that we ignore parts of ourselves!
On the spiritual path, ignoring our shadow leads us to the spiritual ego. Our Persona is wedded to an ideal, to a luminous illusion, to a saviour’s mission… but without the MOON that brings us back to our inner reality. We get burnt out and/or we become dependent on our students, who represent the Moon in this Teacher/Students polarity. We become dependent on the “I like” that confirms we’re on the right path because our inner compass is non-existent.
If your life, however successful and financially prosperous, doesn’t nourish you in depth, doesn’t fill you with joy, stresses you out and makes you anxious, it’s a sign that you’re neglecting your MOON, your SHADOW!
Welcoming our Shadow, welcoming our Moon, means avoiding getting caught up in the action, accepting our contradictions, knowing when to stop, recognising our priorities, finding peace in troubled waters, recognising our depression (the absence of pressure) as a resource. It’s opening our sensitivity to much more subtle connections with nature, it’s the key to authentic communication and lasting relationships, it’s realising that we have nothing to teach but just to listen, it’s essential for managing our prana, our energy, our vitality, our health….OM SHRI CHANDRAYA NAMAHA !
KRIYA & MEDITATION