Explore your Dark side – your Shadow

Boy Looking UP Shadow
Photo from Richard Beatie memorial photos collection

Self-study requires to look at your dark side!

Personal notes based on Alan Watts ~ Exploring Your Dark Side

The main task of psychotherapist is to integrate the evil.

Like every play needs a villain, in life there has to be the shadow, because without the shadow there can’t the substance.

Holy person is one who reconciled his opposites. People around them can’t make their minds about them…  are they saints or devils?

Holy people create a lot of trouble… like Jesus…

Jung knew that nobody can be completely honest.

You can try and have great deal of success in exploring your motivations, and your dark unconscious depths, but at some point you’ll say, “Well, I had enough of that… “ In a strange way, there is a certain sanity in that!

Real deep Humor is laughter at oneself. Why is that? Is that because there is a deep difference of what goes on the outside and what goes on inside. There is the difference in front and the back.

In front, everything is orderly, and it supposed to be messy on the back side. That’s why you prefer to wear the front side.

Everybody takes the shortcuts (like sweeping the dirt under the carpet). Everybody plays tricks. Everybody in him/herself has an element of Deception.

To be is to deceive… think of it as a butterfly pretending it has eyes.

… in the same way, Life is a Drama, and the Drama is the Deception…

Maya concept – the world is an illusion; it’s playing, it’s there while it isn’t. It’s a trap; it sucks you in and you can’t get out of it…

Remember what Shakespeare said?…

“The whole world is a stage, and all the men and women merely actors.” ~ Shakespeare

What was he telling us?

With an idea like this, follow it to its extreme… don’t back out of it!!!

If you find you’re selfish, go to the extreme of what selfishness means.

If you have a desire… see it through… what would it mean to have this desire fulfilled?

Think it right through – what it’d involve being in that situation?

When you form a relationship with another person – think it through… how inconvenient they can be (ha!)

Personal notes based on Projecting Your Personal Shadow | Dr. Steve Mortenson | TEDxUniversityofDelaware

Personal shadow and shadow projection.

Personal shadow – parts of our personality that we push out of our awareness. We deny that they are there, as we don’t want to admit them. It’s a part of childhood in sense, that if you ever felt embarrassment, you got a shadow.

Let’s look at useful, helpful people, and see how impossible it is for them to say “No” when they’re asked to help. Maybe you are one of those people, so let’s see what’s happening. We’re afraid, that if we say “No”, this person might suffer, and also they won’t love us much. One thing helpful people put into their shadow is there ability to draw a boundary! Because of that, they find it almost impossible to ask for help. The fear is that if I ask for help, I’ll be a burden. Helpful people put their ability to ask for help into their shadows.

Similarly with politeness, kindness, respect. It becomes very difficult to tell someone what they don’t want to hear; very difficult to speak your truth, to say what you feel, what you really want! If you spend your whole life being polite and kind, you become a people pleaser. Polite people put their ability to speak their truths into the shadow.

For children the shadow is a defense against being shamed; so we push all the socially risky parts of ourselves into the shadow.

But then, as an adult you need to be honest, and you need to be polite! You need to be helpful, and know when it’s time to ask for help.

When someone triggers us by saying “No” to us, or by being impolite; it’s because, you disagree with that behavior, but your shadow envies it, envies that person ability to be honest! A part of you wants to be this way.

We push our unmet needs into our shadow.

We project our own self judgement on other people. For example, we might think that they don’t like us… while they don’t really care; Or we might assume, that they think we’re not smart or competent enough, while that’s what we’re afraid of.

“How often we feel judged without person really judging us? How often it’s us afraid to look deeper into ourselves?”

What about moments when we’re not what we want to be. Times when we’re arrogant, or impatient, or refuse to listen to others. Somehow we say to ourselves “I’m not really like that” But then, we see someone, who’s not afraid to show their arrogance, and impatience… and that just sets us off!

If you say: “See this guy is such a “know it all”, so arrogant” , you’re projecting your arrogance on him. And now I made him double-bad; and now I have a license to treat him/her poorly, because I can’t see that person clearly!

We’re afraid to see something in ourselves, so we project onto another person, and get very aggressive about him/her. That’s why we get set off and loose personal power.

For me at was a person, who acted like she knows everything better than anyone else and never listen to anyone’s advice… and is all over the board… not focused… WOW… sounds familiar… shoot! I’m this way too!

… step back and owe your “lesser angels”!

If you say: This person is not focused… and so am I right now! I owe my problem – I will work on it!

Everyone who is a critical person has been harshly criticized!  What’s the way out? See others with compassion! “I wonder what made this person into being so critical?”… “I wonder what made this person to be so arrogant?”

The more personal power we hold, the less fear and anger we hold towards others, and the less power difficult people have to set us off.


Alan Watts ~ Exploring Your Dark Side
Projecting Your Personal Shadow | Dr. Steve Mortenson | TEDxUniversityofDelaware

Questions to Consider

Do you want to be enlightened?

Why do you want to be better?

Why do you want the world to be a better place?

Categories: Inspiration, Mindfulness, Self-Study

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply


  1. I still love Ashtanga, but we’re just friends now… or All is Here! – Yes to Dreams

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