Friday, September 29, 2017

A compassionate confrontation

For each of us, there are aspects of ourselves that for a variety of reasons we do not want to be in conscious relationship with. Whether that be the truth of our selfishness, unacknowledged narcissism, unconscious judgmentalness, compromised integrity, painful longing to be seen, or very disturbing feelings of unworthiness.

While we may project a very different image to others and to the world, these undigested energies and qualities long for reunion, yearn to emerge out ofthe shadowy nether regions of psyche and into conscious awareness. Especially as spiritually-oriented people, it's very difficult to come to terms with our narcissism and self-absorption. It's just much easier and safer to pretend that these qualities exist "out there" in others and in the collective.

It is a tremendous act of love to compassionately confront these opposites within us, and the paradoxical nature of being an open, sensitive, vulnerable human being. Not just an act of self-love, but a full-spectrum love for others and for the world… for when we take responsibility for and re-own this material, we bring an end to the violence.
Just because we are not in conscious relationship with the darkness does not mean it is not there. It remains seething under the surface, sure to erupt in less-than-conscious ways when we least expect it, often in our close relationships, and in ways that will result in suffering for ourselves and others. The nature of this material is to express itself, not as an enemy come to harm, but as an ally of wholeness and integration.
It is to the degree that we are not tending to this material that we will inevitably project it onto the "other," whether that "other" be another person, the natural world, or sent into the collective in seed form. In this sense, withdrawing our projections and re-owning the darkness is the activity of extraordinary light, and one way we can love the world and help the precious beings that are here.

Art from Jung's Red Book

My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next event, The Magic of Being Fully Human, to be held in Ojai, CA on October 14-15.