The Shadow and the Ego – Self-Creation and Personal Transformation

The soul exists essentially as threefold in nature between multiple planes, and as “dual” in nature within the material plane.  All of life as we know it is comprised of both masculine and feminine energy as an inner and outer aspect of the same mind or idea. This same principle is playing out in the dual aspects of the conscious and subconscious mind, the Cerebellum and Cerebrum, the right and left hemisphere of the brain, and in sexual gender. The soul, which is archetypal in nature, is always acting “on itself” to “create itself”. It’s essentially comprised of both a higher and lower nature that it brings together as an integrated “whole”. The Soul self- creates using both the subconscious and self-conscious mind, which together as a whole create our entire experience of what we call reality as both an inner and outer experience of the same nature and thematic idea, symbolized in Sacred Geometry by the Monad.

The most fundamental form of self-creation comes through the feminine and masculine process of “relating and contrasting”. We can only “know ourselves” as something specific by how we enter into relationship with that same idea in everything else. All ideas (archetypes) are dual and polar in nature and form “extremes” as opposites aspects of the same overall pattern that are complementary to one another. One acts to provoke and call forth the other one, where it shapes and defines itself in contrast and comparison to the other. All ideas are created through combinations that form a dynamic chain of cause and effect, where every idea requires a cast of stars and various personalities in order to play out as an experience of themselves “being that way”.

The higher soul, which possesses and operates both the subconscious and conscious aspects of the same material mind, divides and creates itself as two separate entities; one known and accepted as being desirable, the other sealed in darkness and judged as being evil and therefore unwanted and rejected. These two aspects of us form almost entirely different “personalities” whose existence depends on one another. By revealing and acknowledging one, we simultaneously undermine, contradict, and dissolve the other one. Both of these aspects form a “false image” because they’re based on partial information and don’t include the “whole person”. They’re articulately shaped and developed through a process of discrimination, choice, and will, where through various forms of “judgment” that separate out what actually exists as a whole into individual parts, that it then picks and chooses what to include and what to leave out. What’s good and deemed worthy we keep and include, and what’s bad and deemed evil or ugly, we reject and ostracize. Through this process of self-judgment and natural selection, we begin neatly fashioning opposing aspects of ourselves as our ego and our shadow, both formed and developed through the same act.

The Nature of Judgment

The idea of judgment has a tendency to always be used in a negative way to indicate placing a value judgment on someone else for traits they don’t outwardly display, yet the act of using judgment is a fundamental process for making decisions and what we choose or don’t choose for ourselves, and how we ultimately shape ourselves accordingly. To use “good judgment” means you’ve evaluated the situation in terms of morality, actions, and the consequences it’ll produce, and are making an objective decision as a result. To be “judgmental” means that we project qualities and traits onto a person that they don’t actually have as a way of perceiving and experiencing them. We look “through the eyes” of our judgments as a way of seeing others, and as a result, never really see who they actually are as a person, but rather who we are as a person by how we make them out to be.

As kids growing up, we’re conditioned and “given” or trained to a “value system” that forms the basis of all discretion. We’re taught what’s good and what’s bad, what’s right and wrong, and what it is that if we do it makes us a “good person” and what it is that if we do it makes us a “bad person”. What will bring us the attention we desire, make us feel loved and adored, an accepted part of a group, or what will cause us to be disliked and ignored, ridiculed and criticized, and ultimately cast out and not wanted. As we encounter situations and ideas that appeal to certain parts of us, we contemplate those parts and what kind of activity is involved in them while simultaneously realizing what kind of person we’ll be if we embody and express them. We use the criteria we’ve been programmed with to judge ourselves according to those standards, and whatever we judge as being bad and evil, we refuse to express or be that way, and so we deny having those qualities and traits, disowning and repressing them where they still remain an inherent part of our subconscious makeup, and we begin fashioning another aspect of ourselves in contrast to it.

Creating the Shadow and the Ego

Many have been taught to believe that the idea of the “ego” is a bad thing that we should work at dissolving, getting rid of, or even “kill it” because it’s a false image of ourselves that we mistake for being real and create ourselves out of as a result. Yet the term ego is synonymous with “identity” which is something we’re always creating just through the nature of our experiences. Like everything else in the material world, it’s a product of our soul and mind, which is what’s producing the entire material world. We create experiences as the natural expression and operation of our mind, then “sense ourselves” within those experiences, and form an idea or image of ourselves “as” a certain type of person. As a soul we create ourselves to be an archetype (god) by how we combine universal archetypes as attributes, qualities, and characteristics to form a new and unique personality. Out of our personality comes our identity as a natural outgrowth. Our personality, which is a product of our subconscious mind as all our natural tendencies and behaviors that we’ve fully integrated up to that point, lend itself to telling a natural story as the “theme” of its very perception of the outer world. How we are inwardly forms and produces the world we see outwardly as its polar or complementary opposite.

As we begin picking and choosing which aspects of ourselves we’ll keep and allow, and which ones we won’t, we begin neatly fashioning both our shadow and our ego as opponents or natural enemies of each other. As we shape one, we simultaneously shape the other to be its opposite. Whatever we judge harshly in ourselves and deny having by refusing to express it as a way of creating our outer image of ourselves, becomes our shadow or hidden self as our “dark side”, and whatever we accept and consider good and choose to openly and outwardly express becomes or ego, both of which are “false images” because they’re both based on only partial elements of our whole makeup.

Naturally, because shaping one automatically determines the other, anytime we’re looking to transform one, we automatically transform the other one by the same means. Because the most primal motive of the subconscious mind is “self-preservation” (it maintains habits and well established patterns as a means of self-creating), and becoming aware of the shadow while embracing it instead of rejecting it can mean dismantling and dissolving the ego, there’s a lot of resistance from the ego to maintain the shadow instead. In this way, integration of the shadow can represent death of the ego. The ego is such a well-defined idea about ourselves that when it’s undermined, it can throw us into a form of identity crisis. The process of synthesizing our dark side into our self-made image causes us to undergo a natural process of transformation as self-awareness and realization that integrates and therefore dissolves the shadow while reforming the ego to a unified whole by bringing latent qualities into outward expression.

Identity Crisis and Death of the False Ego

An identity crisis comes whenever what we’ve used to build our sense of self around either ends, abruptly changes, or is transformed through natural means of some kind. This comes in the most natural sense through the roles we play in life and what it is that drives our behaviors and gives our life meaning. When we have a family, we play a role in that family and build our identity around and out of it. When we’re in a romantic, long term relationship or marriage, we build our identity out of the role we play and how we experience ourselves in that relationship. When we work a career or certain position for years, we create ourselves according to or by way of that activity. When any of these change, and we no longer play the same roles in the same type of situations, we go through a temporary phase of not knowing what to do, or who we are, and what it is that gives our life purpose.

As we begin establishing our ego out of the accepted and embraced parts of ourselves, convincing ourselves that we don’t possess the traits we judge as being “bad and wrong”, and we build our “sense of self” out of our self-created experiences by way of expressing only certain aspects of ourselves, we create what we can call a “false image” of ourselves because it’s only based on selected parts. As we begin becoming aware of our shadow aspects, and instead of judging and denying them, we acknowledge and embrace them; we begin naturally transforming the ego through their integration, which changes and enhances our ability to express ourselves, what we’re outwardly capable of, and how we create experiences of ourselves as a result. By creating new types of experiences, we simultaneously reshape ourselves according to those experiences.

When this is done with full awareness and in an intentional manner, we can use it as the means to invigorate the ego and expand our range of expression. Because these are aspects of ourselves that we’ve never actually expressed, we can feel very awkward and uncomfortable, as if we don’t know “how to be”, which can cause us to abandon the idea and revert back to our comfort zone of our known and integrated aspects. Yet, because our shadow was established as a child out of our formative conditioning, as adults revisiting the same idea, we may find very natural and healthy ways of expressing those same qualities in a way that’s entirely congruent with our perception of who we are. All qualities of being and personality traits have their appropriate expression in the right context and within the appropriate situation. If we’ve judged it to be bad and wrong, it’s because we were looking at it through the wrong context, or the situation we were contemplating it in wasn’t appropriate for expressing it. Under the right context, any idea and the actions that ensue from it can be considered appropriate and beneficial somehow.

We all have multiple traits and tendencies for a reason, and our job is to simply find the appropriate means of expressing them in a way that’s congruent with all other aspects of ourselves. As we refrain from some while indulging in others, we create a kind of gap and imbalances that can make them seem difficult to reconcile. When we perform the behaviors of our shadow aspects and create the type of experiences they bring, we judge ourselves as being bad and wrong for doing it and we’re filled with conflict, guilt and shame as a result. As we do behaviors that are “contrary” to our normal personality, it clashes with our self-image and we begin beating ourselves up for it. Guilt and shame is like a cancer that eats away at our soul, greatly affecting our ability to express ourselves in new and novel ways. They come as the result of us “judging ourselves” in the same manner we were judged by others. As we were judged, we in turn judged ourselves in the same way, and that became the basis for us judging others, all using the same criteria.

Projection, Reaction, and how we Judge Others

All perception comes by way of our “perceptual lens” which is a filtering system based on our mental paradigm. We are always looking “through our mind” as a way of perceiving the outer reality. Our mind is comprised of both subconscious and conscious content. So we not only see what we’re aware of and accept as being true, but we also see what we’re not aware of and deny as being real or true. Because we still “disown” and fail to recognize all of our unconscious traits, we project them onto and see them in others, and form a strong reaction to them as “judging them” for having the same traits that we ourselves have that we’re not aware of having. We judge them according to the same values and beliefs and in the same way we judged ourselves. Content that we’re aware of and accept without judgment is projected also, but we don’t have an adverse reaction to it, we see it as normal. So through this psychological process, we literally judge others as a form of self-judgment. We make them out to be bad for outwardly expressing the same qualities that we ourselves secretly possess.

The nature of reality is formed by the projection and expansion of the psyche as both known and unknown aspects of us. An “aspect” is referring to attributes, qualities, traits, characteristics, tendencies, and desires that all lead to “being and behaving a certain way”. Whatever aspect of ourselves we’re embodying at any given moment determines how we’re being, what we’re doing, and what type of activities we naturally engage in. All of which combined create our experiences as an ongoing storyline out of which we shape ourselves. As we create certain types of experiences, we sense ourselves within those experiences as being a certain way. We create ourselves as a soul with an ego and a shadow, a good guy and a bad guy, by what we willingly embrace, embody, and bring into expression as an experience of ourselves. As long as both aspects are maintained through a lack of awareness and conscious use of will, we are never expressing to our highest potential or “becoming” our true, whole self as our soul. In order to embrace and utilize our full potential as a soul, we have to integrate all aspects of ourselves into the same idea and identity in a way that’s congruent and harmonious, eliminating all inner conflict and judgment of others. This self-awareness and process of synthesis produces a natural form of transformation that moves us from a fragmented state to a state of wholeness.

The Law of Vibration

One of the most basic ways to understand the nature of subtle energy (Soul) is to look at it in its most basic essence as vibration (our mind is a field of information vibrating at a certain frequency). All vibration has a “pattern” inherent in it along with a “self-organizing” mechanism that automatically organizes all essence, light, and matter into holographic structures as ideas of some kind. These ideas exist as what we commonly call “archetypes” which are not only ideas as a prototype or template for producing material forms, but also have active and passive properties that “animate them” with a certain type of personality or way of being. All archetypes are portrayed as mythological gods that are a natural part of our psyche. Each archetype has a personality as a combination of both positive and negative traits that serve to naturally express as a certain type of story that births or produces their identity as the “type of person” they are and what type of experiences they create by living them through a natural and spontaneous form of self-expression. Certain traits give us certain tendencies that we automatically act out under certain conditions and circumstances, and form certain types of operations or functions.

Likewise, our mind and soul also vibrate at a certain frequency producing a holographic structure that’s the dynamic integration and of all experience to produce memories as an accumulative summation. Because we look through and use this mind-field to perceive and interpret the world around us, we only see in everything else what exists as an essential part of our own psychological makeup. Because all of reality is produced through a form of “projection” and is organized to the same vibratory pattern as the mind viewing it, we can only serve to produce what’s of the same nature as we are.

What we refer to as the “mind”, which like the soul is also threefold in nature, exists on multiple levels and scales of existence at the same time and act to produce the same cohesive and coherent reality. The higher soul uses the vehicle of the mind to create the entire lower material world. It does this using both the conscious and subconscious aspects, where the subconscious is a part of the entire material realm of the plant and animal kingdom, and is what gives rise to the entire outer reality that’s then viewed by the conscious, self-aware aspect of the mind as an experience of itself in an expanded and more diverse form. So whatever is a part of the mind, whether conscious or unconscious, is what goes into creating our entire experience of what we imagine to be the outer reality of our inner world.

Using Spiritual Knowledge to Transform Yourself

Once we realize how this principle operates in our everyday awareness, we can use it as a tool for transforming ourselves. We can realize that anytime we’re having a strong reaction to someone and judging them as a result, that it’s showing us our shadow self. It’s allowing us to become aware of what lies within us, still actively expressing in a subliminal way to create us. Knowing this, we can turn our attention inward and examine our own judgments while allowing a natural chain of association to form that will lead us to the events of our life where we initially formed those judgments. We can sense those same aspects in ourselves that brought us the pain that caused us to disown them and repress them so far down within us that we forgot we had them. By becoming aware of the same qualities within us that formed the same judgments that we’re having towards another person, we can understand how we shaped ourselves according to those judgments.

The true secret to psychological healing is to bring what’s operating and creating in our life in an unconscious manner into conscious awareness. Just the awareness itself begins the process of integrating those aspects into our mental paradigm in a way that they can be congruently expressed in a healthy and beneficial way. All qualities, traits, and actions have an appropriate expression within the proper set of circumstances and situations. As we revisit these same ideas that we were trained to resist and repress as children, we can see them in a new light and use our discretion to determine how to embody and express them in such a way that it enhances and expands our range of expression to create new and unique types of experiences. As we relinquish judgment of ourselves and embrace our shadow, we simultaneously release those same judgments of everyone else and no longer have an adverse reaction to them. They become a natural part of our awareness, and they no longer stand out, and so we quit thinking about them because they no longer affect, and therefore determine us.

Dr. Linda Gadbois

Spiritual Life Coach and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine Mentor

 

 

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