Shadow Work

bodhichitta freud jung purification shadow shadow work spiritual bypass vajrasattva Aug 01, 2020

The spiritual seeker sees our oneness with all and interconnectivity but it's only the true student of the mind that understands that if we're all one, we're also one with the ugly bits. Dr. Miles Neale explains in this clip from Return with Elixir.

We said that for each of the preliminary practices and the quality of mind that it exposes, you can go one step further into the shadow and there you will find lurking in the dark something else at the root. For example, the prostrations expose pride but pride is the obvious near enemy. What is the shadow reference? Unworthiness.

The other one was bodhichitta, the generation of the altruistic intent. That exposes the envy and underneath the envy is incompetence. Then there was the mandala offering which is designed to expose greed and grasping, then underneath that shadow, scarcity. Then we had the purification practice of Vajrasattva which exposes the anger. Underneath that, fear. Finally the guru yoga which exposes the delusion and then we had some debates because it's not a clean science about what that might mean underneath.

If we're gonna talk about spiritual bypassing, mature people that understand the nature of their minds come to accept that there is a shadow. They don't use it as a sneaky little thing to beat themselves up on but they have a healthy respect for the fact that as long as there is consciousness, there is also shadow. This is Jung's brilliance. In Freud it's a dirty thing. lt's treated with disdain. But where in Jung there's courage to admit this is the nature of the psyche, as long as there's consciousness there is an equal balustrade of unconsciousness and within the unconsciousness we have to come to accept that everything is within us.

It's funny because everybody likes this notion of interconnectivity. It's a kind of a sexy thing and it's out, we're all connected and we're all one and then you can't argue it right because from the scientific point of view and the mystical point of view it's it's true. But then what is also true about it that we don't want to look at? That also means we're also one with all the gunk in there. The incompetence and the unworthiness and the scarcity and the fear. We are also interconnected with all of those. They're also part of the net or the matrix. Any good student of their mind, if they adopt this kind of framework are also beginning to let go of the naiveté or hubris, whichever way, to accept this part of themselves. That's actually a revolutionary act of courage. That is truly spiritual.

There's such a huge investment in looking spiritual and yet how misguided some of that appearance really is because there isn't really an investment in looking beneath the surface. Like with my silly malas and all of this, pretending to be a teacher and all this accoutrement. Just spend 15 minutes with Emily asking about what I'm like at home, all the all the insecurities. Then you start to go what the hell is going on? That's not what I see.

What's really going to be the integration? Integration is going to be yes, I can be like this and I'm also like this. What's the relationship between the two of them? If there is animosity then you drive it subterranean and when it's subterranean it has more power. When you cast it out into the shadow, it has more power because now it's controlling you from the places that you have no access to. It's a very powerful image that the unconscious, from the Jungian point of view, is revealing things to you that might not be pleasant. But because it is recognizing it's time, you can do it now.

You can deal with your insecurity. You can deal with your scarcity. You can deal with your avarice. You can deal with your delusion. You can deal with this. It's time to include it. It was Rumi, the Guest House 'let them in.' Guests. It sounds nice. Rumi makes it beautiful but how many of us really like it and for how long do we like it.? Months of it? Years of it?

One of the funny things about the initiation is that most people want to finish the initiation quickly to get to the goody. It's like eat your peas before you have your cake. But the initiation and certainly the ordeal are so necessary because that's where you're building the the moral fiber.