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The shadow is a concept first coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung that describes those aspects of ourselves that we reject and repress. Tragic circumstances that we see all around us can be related to the shadow, which directs our lives in unseen ways on an individual and global scale. Jung stated, “To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.” About someone willing to look at and work with his (or her) shadow, Jung observed, “Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.” Even a cursory survey of the current state of mainstream religions as well as new spiritual movements based on the traditions makes it apparent that beliefs and good intentions are not stronger than the shadow parts of ourselves that we have emotionally disowned. According to Jung, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” How does our shadow form? How can we work with it if we are blind to it? What are the specific elements of our individual shadow that, if healed, would lead to more fulfillment for ourselves and compassion for others? Without work with our shadows, we may be unable to open to the real fruits of the path.
Speaker: VJ Fedorschak is the organizer of the Western Baul Podcast Series and the author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.
Previous talks in 2023:
March 18, 2023. My Last Bully Is Me (Rick Lewis)
March 4, 2023. Honey In The Heart: The Rasa of Enjoyment, Delight and Celebration on the Path (Nachama Greenwald)
February 18, 2023. Wisdom Teachings of the Ancient World: Celtic Spirituality and Tantra (Mary Angelon Young)
February 4, 2023. Deep Dharmic Doo-Doo: Resistance is Futile… But So Also Is Acceptance (Peter Cohen)
January 21, 2023. Lies We Tell Ourselves (Karl Krumins)
January 7, 2023. How Do We Enter the Heart, and What Do We Find When We Enter? The Way of the Pilgrim and the Prayer of the Heart (Regina Sara Ryan)