Thursday, February 23, 2017

Honest shadow work

At the bottom of most of us is a primordial ooze.  It is an unpleasant, thick, goo, and it is where all our reflexive habit and thought patterns are stuck.  If you are stuck--and pretty much all of us are stuck--there has to be a stuck place.  The image that came to me for this is ooze, something like, if I might borrow from the Talking Heads, vaseline with sand in it.

I find it a bit comical watching people, particularly self identified "Nice People", try and do shadow work.  Oh, they might say, I just care too much sometimes.  I get too wrapped up in other people's problems.  Sometimes at the end of the day I find myself a bit irritable.  And just the other day I said something mean to my sister.

Honest shadow work is feeling deeply your own participation in evil.  You are capable of being happy when you read someone who once crossed you got run over by a car.  You are capable of feeling silent approval when self identifying "anti-Fascists" use Fascist tactics against Trump supporters.

Doing shadow work is not an idle or easy process.

And I will do a little more on myself.  I have been contemplating putting up a post titled "how big an asshole are you?", dealing with shadow work, but as I look in the mirror, what I realize is that I say all sorts of shit I probably shouldn't say.  I speculate about the depth of people's internal emotional states, when I myself am not even capable yet of feeling deep love or affection.  I don't know what I don't know, yet somehow I find myself preaching.

Some of the most basic things other people do naturally, I don't understand. I don't trust anyone fully (although to be sure, I don't know many trustworthy people).

But seeing all this is to the good.  If one thing becomes manifest, its opposite will sooner or later manifest too.  That has been my problem: I could not get distance on any of this, could not make it concrete, could not precipitate it so I could learn from it.

No comments: