1. The Shadow
3. Reality Creation
4. Frequencies & Vibrations
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2. The Dark Night of The Soul
Real balance/wholeness can only be attained through integration of the unconscious shadow aspects on an individual level first and that means learning to love ourselves as we are, not as we pretend to be. False pretences have a limited lifespan and always catch up with us eventually, whether that be during a mid-life crisis or on our death bed. In the end our souls seek self-acceptance and strive toward growth, but this has to be an inward path.
Without the opportunity to self reflect and evaluate our lives, we remain in a perceived comfort zone and our lives don’t evolve more in accordance with a higher expression that transcends lower impulses based on the survival instinct. Transitioning out this state involves confronting personal fears and examining ways in which we have been using our ego to uphold a desirable image, at the expense of being true to our authentic higher needs.
Each of us has a very different process to work through depending on our unique disposition and dissolving unhealthy ego isn’t a single encounter. We experience multiple ego deaths on the path of awakening to greater self-awareness. Successively, we learn the ways in which we were projecting personas into the world to mask unresolved pain that has to be felt somatically through the body. The ego operates from rulership of the mind, disconnected from being and so trauma remains internalised, lodged in the body. This repressed pain is projected outward through repetitive dysfunctional behavioural patterns that feeds destructive habits and addictions. It also reflects in the people we attract, who act as a mirror to feed back aspects that need attention.
External forces exploit these blind spots to keep us in a state of learned helplessness, hopelessly dependent on a system that only seeks to serve its own interest. By demonstrating our incapacity to govern ourselves, something will step in to fill the role, and anyone/anything that wishes to command control over another’s reality will be doing so purely for self-interest. Benevolence respects free will and will help elevate others up, not take advantage of their weak spots to leverage their power.
Through personal inquiry we realise where our own ignorance, our fear, our projections and our self-interest have contributed to the collective climate and we no longer feel the need to externalise the blame continually. Self responsibility gives us power back. It is the through our external experience that we see our unconsciousness reflected, feeding back to us what is lurking in the shadows unintegrated. It is down to us to heed the call and to attend to those aspects that scare us the most. Nothing goes away until it is healed, it just expresses itself through ugly disguises. And this is why we have descended as a species and the world appears chaotic.
Exploration of the unknown can create discomfort because there is no familiarity. The ego works to keep any uncomfortable thoughts and emotions at bay, adopting characteristics that give the illusion of stability and confidence on outside appearances, but which mask for the unresolved conflicts underneath. This compensation mechanism is only effectual when we are functioning through our personas, but behind closed doors the inevitability of confronting ourselves starts creeps in.
Many of us prefer to take the path of least resistance and pretend that we have it all together, instead projecting our dark qualities onto others as a defence mechanism to deny responsibility for attending our inner space. In doing so we hand over our free will for exploitation by others, or we assert it onto others. This creates the victim-victimizer dynamic that keeps humanity divided. If each of us were to undergo the internal process, then the world around us would reflect these changes and we would transition to a more peaceful and cooperative earth. Otherwise the collective landscape remains contaminated by an accumulation of its individual’s unresolved conflicts, acting like a dumping ground.
Growth is not a struggle free process and the battle against the self is harder than almost any external challenge. Though it may seem relatively straightforward, relinquishing external attachments can be a very difficult process. In solitude we set the ideal conditions for undisturbed and unbiased introspection. As we transition through this inner exploration, there can be a strong sense of disillusionment that arises. We may have to reevaluate many beliefs and perceptions we hold about ourselves and the world, which were formed through conditioning. It is like the death of everything we previously held to be true. This can thrust us into a state known as the dark night of the soul.
This is the archetypal initiation that every soul seeker will have to traverse through on the path to self-transformation on their hero’s journey. No one passes through the alchemical fires of purification without the necessity to confront their own darkness. This transition can bring many uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to the surface. We are likely to feel confusion surrounding who we are and what our purpose is and less motivated to interact in the same way socially as our interests and priorities change. This can induce a temporary sense of isolation and feeling misunderstood. We realise that we’d been wearing a mask and projecting a persona in order to adapt to different environments and to meet others’ requirements of us. We’d identified this as our true identity. We start to yearn for uninhibited free expression.
This dichotomous split between the authentic self and the projected ego self can create inner conflict as the part we wish to reveal the most about ourselves is the part we largely keep private, whilst our projected persona knows what types of behaviours and conversations are most appeasing and least controversial to others. For those with a deepening self-awareness, this dichotomy becomes more pronounced and under certain conditions a complete schism can result where the authentic self is almost forced to dissociate from the ego self in order to protect itself, primarily due to projections from those who are not accepting of the self behind the mask and attempt to appeal to the aspect of our ego that fits their worldview and expectations. When the authentic self absorbs this level of projection, it is forced to retreat back into its inner space of solitude. The ego takes the fore, protected by various defence mechanisms that it automatically employs to prevent disappointment.
This conflict is necessary on the path to integration, as we deepen the connection to ourselves and start to shed layers of negative ego that are obstructing the channel to our highest potential in alignment with our authenticity. Every individual has their own unique blueprint, and this can be activated as we break out of the restricted container of perception we have been conditioned into. Living according to external dictates, no matter how well these are presented, restricts our individual expression in substitution for group think. This external pretence can only hold up for so long, before the internal resistance reaches fever pitch and we yearn to express our individuality free from rules, regulations and expectations.
Individual free will has been purposefully manipulated so that it makes choices that conform to the status quo. This way, individuality can be disregarded as disruptive or even dangerous. Highly repressed individuals will project their own lack of courage to explore their individuality onto those that choose to operate outside the established paradigm. This is an attempt to reconcile with the repressed discomfort stemming from limiting belief systems acquired through conditioning, which restricts perception. Anyone who was truly content would feel no need to get involved with others affairs. They’d wish the best for others as a reflection of their own happiness.
To adjust for this conflict, we become more aware of which energies we resonate best and naturally become averse to spending time with people who drain our resources and deny us the freedom to be our true selves uninhibited. Naturally, It becomes less appealing to continue to adhere to the herd mentality. For as long as we seek validation or popularity, whether in the real world or over social media, our attention remains divided and distracted and we feed the ego with gratification, which can become an addiction. The social media culture has become a reflection of this, where chasing followers and receiving ‘likes’ trigger the release of endorphins that can feel very rewarding in the short term, but ultimately detract from a deeper, more authentic and evolutionary connection.
When we spread ourselves too thin, we diminish the potential to best nurture the closest connections who provide the most impetus for mutual growth and true intimacy that transcends surface level interaction. We recognise energy as our most valuable commodity and the necessity to keep this regulated by surrounding ourselves with those who inspire our development rather than siphon our energy, leaving us feeling drained and in need of recharge. We recognise that a relationship is a mutual exchange which should be more or less equitable, without using the other to compensate for our own shortcomings, whether this is done consciously or otherwise.
Our relationship circle can be seen as an energy field, which is a reflection of who we are, demonstrating the interrelationship between our inner and outer world. As we attend to our personal needs, it becomes easier to restructure our relationships to match that. Naturally, the more we restructure our relationships, the better our internal state becomes, working like a continuous feedback loop. By strengthening our field, built upon quality of connection and trust, our personal environment becomes less penetrable to energy draining interferences and creates the conditions to magnetise others who are in greater alignment. That way, our relationships become more self-regulating.
It’s important to ensure that we are seeking new connection from a place of integrity and not desire stemming from the ego, which can conflate self-interest and materialism with what’s necessary for our highest growth. Many times we attach to or idealise another because we perceive them to be in a more favourable position to us, but we are often judging this based on external appearances alone. These individuals may be suffering internally and compensating through their ego to mask for unresolved trauma. They may have sold a part of their soul in exchange for security, stability and/or success. Our need for validation from them is reflecting a part of ourselves that is still coming from a place of low self-worth or disempowerment through lack of true self-awareness.
Until we attend to our inner space through commitment to healing, our relationships with others will continue to mirror those wounds and we will live in illusion, believing the solution lies somewhere on the outside. This often results in compliance to a dysfunctional society, and adherence to destructive belief systems masquerading as progressive and unifying, which, over time, indoctrinates us into a hive mind, divorced from our own individuality and connection to spirit. That way we judge success based on wealth, perceived social status, and may wear our obedience to external authority like a badge of honour, virtue signalling so that others are bought down to our level to justify our own choices.
A person functioning with their foundations firmly cemented can more freely exercise their personal agency without fear of loss or failure. This secure base allows them to explore wider possibilities and to take risks. They are also comfortable and mature enough to know that the opinions of others who don’t know or understand them bear no reflection on their self worth and so does not hinder their progress. Any attempts from others to derail them out of jealousy or bitterness can be quickly identified and more efficiently diffused, because there is the support and trust of those closest to them.
Most importantly, we want to feel in control over our individual interactions so that we don’t lose energy trying to rectify any resistance that emerges through miscommunication or unrealistic expectations. Those who exploit others energy can become adept at utilising manipulation tactics to incite guilt when someone tries to erect healthy boundaries. This often comes in the form of gaslighting or self-pity, to manipulate the other to feel they have acted selfishly or not been loyal when they decide to relinquish an unhealthy attachment.
We have a tendency to downplay emotional manipulation from family members the most because we really want to see the best in them. We have a greater degree of control when it comes to the friends we associate with, but with family we feel a strong sense of duty and obligation to maintain harmony and contact, in fear that something may one day go wrong and things were left unresolved. But we mustn’t take on a burden of guilt that isn’t ours to bear. The onus is not on us to prove ourselves to those who choose to cast judgements about aspects they have taken no consideration to understand, nor is it our job to continually try and help ‘fix’ others who are not willing to take responsibility and help themselves. We only have so much control over others, and others perception of us is a reflection of themselves. We can become a dumpling ground for others’ unconscious projections when choosing to follow our own path and disengaging from unhealthy patterns that have been recycled down the ancestral line.
Though we should always maintain appreciation and connection in our hearts for those who we shared memorable experiences with, we have to allow the space to invite in connections which are more in resonance. The expectation to hold onto any relationship out of obligation or loyalty alone may hinder personal growth if we need to make adjustments that would mean the relationship cannot hold the same resonance. When paths diverge, there is always the potential for realignment. Closing a door completely on someone based on current requirements could sever a valuable bond that may reignite further down the line. This is where the importance of communication comes into play. Any strong connection should have established boundaries that afford one another personal independence without infringement or attachment. If such boundaries are breached, then this indicates a dependency that needs to be resolved.
An individuals learning requirements are constantly shifting according to the expression of their free will, and so relationships will adjust to match that. Relationships offer one of the best opportunities for growth. We can’t predict who and when certain people will materialise in our lives. Any fixed expectations hinder the organic evolutionary process. Providing we continue to move forward, committed to personal growth, this allows reality to bring us the people and experiences we need based on our current state of being. Most individuals with a true sovereign connection will know that their life can meander down many different avenues as they learn and evolve, which leads to some connections falling away as others fill the space. There are many souls inhabiting the planet that have the potential to be of service to one another, each serving a unique purpose.
Those who maintain the same friendship circle throughout their lives will likely be those who value security over growth that comes from exploration of diversity and the unknown. This may suffice for certain individuals at this stage in their development, though it can lead to stagnation and subsequent regret later in life. This may in part contribute to the well known ‘mid life crisis’ phenomenon where a lack of fulfilment starts to weigh heavy on the soul. All relationships still entail learning. They will trigger unresolved aspects within ourselves that can be bought to light by those who understand us beneath the surface, and so may be able to identify our blind spots where we can’t. This can create some difficulties at first as we resist those aspects that we most need to work on, but over time, as we integrate, the tension diminishes and we reach an equilibrium that consolidates the strength of the relationship with little/no more projections onto one another.
This is a powerful initiation phase that births strong union that binds two individuals on an energetic level and represents a level of commitment that transcends the personality structure. Once sufficient alignment is reached and maintained, co-creative potential is activated. Both partners flow in unison, able to keep one another centred and to provide relevant assistance should one of the partners fall more out of balance. Communication becomes fluid and purposeful, with no expectation to fit to any preconceived societal notions. Both individuals afford one another the freedom to exercise their independence, trusting that they will intertwine organically, and that any lack of contact is not to be taken personally, because there are no issues concerning trust or loyalty and the strength of the bond is not determined by the extent of communication.
Personality and The Ego
As we ascertain a higher self-awareness, we are able to see the ways in which our persona best adapts to external conditions. This disposition has an inborn component and is reinforced through environmental conditioning. There are four main cognitive functions that are expressed and make up key variants of personality. These are Thinking, Feeling, Sensation and Intuition, as defined by Carl Jung in his Theory of Personality. Everyone possesses these cognitive faculties and there are two directions from which this energy can flow, either internally (introversion) or externally (extraversion). In total this accounts for eight functions.
Because we can’t utilise every function at once, we develop an order of preference. Those with a thinking preference, for example, utilise a logical and methodical approach to information processing (introverted thinking) and action (extraverted thinking). Those with a feeling preference would primarily operate according to personal values (introverted feeling) or external, collective moral standards (extraverted feeling). Thinking and feeling are referred to as the judging functions.
Sensing and intuition are recognised as the perceiving functions. Where one individual may be best adapted to perceive through their senses, others would prefer extrasensory perception, or intuition. Both these are equally important but sensory perception focuses on immediate, five sense, physical reality in a more realistic, practical and linear fashion. It tends to focus on existing structures and systems and prefers to work within them. An intuitive perception is more theoretical, generating ideas and possibilities through drawing on a more expanded and abstract perception which accounts for the past and future from a more holistic standpoint. This may enable them to identify symbols and predict patterns more readily than the sensory perception, though a sensing type may be more rooted in the present, seeing things as they are.
Sensing and intuition again will express differently depending on whether the energy flows internally or externally. Whenever a cognitive function is expressed externally through extraversion this is regarded as objective because it is based in the manifest reality. When a function is expressed internally through introversion it will be subjective because it is based on the internal personal landscape.
Because our primary function comes most naturally, it provides an easy comfort zone, but to become well rounded and developed we must seek to work through and integrate all eight cognitive functions through interfacing with reality to observe, understand and learn. That way we know what situations it is relevant to utilise which function so that we can navigate through our experiences more efficiently. When we stick to our comfort zone, we miss personal opportunities and develop biases, assuming our preferred mode of expression is more beneficial than others, in which case we may project what we find harder to integrate onto others who illicit those qualities.
Integration enables us to relate to others from a place of acceptance, knowing that every individual is operating according to what comes most naturally to them, and whilst we may find it more difficult to relate to that mode of expression and living, we appreciate that the human condition does not take a one size fits all approach. Providing every individual is committed to their development, and doesn’t use their habitual strength as a crutch of avoidance, then humanity can converge based on this shared objective to promote their highest evolution for the betterment of the individual and the wider needs of the collective. That way, we can help others in areas where we excel and where they need to work harder consciously to assimilate the components of their personality structure that don’t come as easily to them, as their energy is invested on their primary strengths.
If individuals can recognise what they can bring to one another when their paths to converge, even if this comes about as a result of recognising a personal trigger, then we can work to learn something from our interactions, rather than projecting our own insecurities onto those who possess qualities that we perceive we lack. This requires a conscious commitment and open communication between people if they want to avoid conflict. This takes work as friction can ensue form frustration in our perceived lack of capability when comparing to the other person in their field of expertise. If we can nurture self-acceptance through self-compassion, then our development becomes more of a challenge, rather than an obstacle, as we seek to better ourselves for the right reasons and not just to prove a point.
Most individuals struggle to progress beyond their first two functions, because they are conditioned in their comfort zone. It’s the parts of ourselves that scare us the most that are the hardest to integrate. For some that could be establishing stability. This could be rooted in the fear of becoming too restricted in freedom of expression and losing touch with oneself. These individuals would prefer novelty over familiarity. For others it is exploration of the unknown. They fear they will become ungrounded and lose touch with themselves. They prefer familiarity over novelty. It all depends on through which lens reality is being viewed.
It’s hard for us to accept both expressions as true. It seems paradoxical, but that’s because we are polarising to one perspective to feel secure and not seeing the full picture. We dismiss the other half of ourselves as false, unnecessary or even evil. What we don’t actually realise is that this missing part of ourselves is making us unhappy. It forms a shadow. To reconcile with our unintegrated aspects, we need to make the unconscious conscious. If we are unaware that we have the innate capacity to move toward wholeness, then we will remain in ignorance. To assimilate the shadow in this case would be to either zoom out to view reality from the bigger picture, or zoom in and understand the importance of the finer details. We have to accept our nature as both human – with physical needs and responsibilities, and spiritual beings – with a greater purpose and destiny.
Whilst an unhealthy expression of personality can contribute to attachments, addictions and insecurities, the ego can be harnessed in a healthy way in subservience to our higher awareness, which can take the driving seat and keep the ego in check so that it doesn’t hijack control and drive self-destructive tendencies. This is what integration is really about, in terms of activating a higher potential in alignment with our authenticity, of which our personality equips us with the tools we need to navigate reality in the most efficient way, including building healthy connections that serve to assist us along our path. Attempting to eliminate the ego by viewing it as a hindrance is to disconnect ourselves from the human experience. This limits our learning potential and therefore evolutionary growth. There is no shortcut.
Unhealthy ego is largely projected as a defence mechanism in an attempt to alleviate fear, which stems from a fear of the unknown, rooted in the fear of death. The fear of death gives rise to insecurities that can express itself in two main directions, though both can be attributed to the same underlying cause. At one extreme of the spectrum is the anxious/passive type. Fear causes one to cower and retreat, suffering anxiety and worry. He believes that his life may amount to no value or that he is unloved. He takes on the role of the victim and exploits others energy to find solace. On the other end of the spectrum is the narcissistic/dominant type. Fear of annihilation causes man to meddle with nature. He believes his time is limited and he must resist the organic ageing process, compensating in ways such as excessive material acquisition or an obsessive drive to achieve, exploiting others for their own self-serving means. At the extreme, this manifests as assuming the role of God, completely consumed by power.
Both these expressions are rooted in disconnection from our spiritual nature. Disconnection from our deeper nature can lead to various psychological imbalances, most notably anxiety, rooted in worry of the future, and depression, rooted in regret of the past. Anxiety activates and over charges the nervous system, initiating a sort of continuous fight-flight response that can burden the immune system to the point of illness. Depression subdues the nervous system, slowing down and weakening the body’s natural defences.
When we recognise and embrace the reality that we are spiritual beings having a human experience for a finite time, we recognise our part in a greater divine order and know that our very existence is a miracle imbued with meaning and purpose. We no longer need to feel small or hide, because the seed of the divine lives within us. We no longer to need to possess or exploit because we are the creators of our own destiny. We are all connected and every action has a reaction, so when we hurt another we are hurting ourselves. When we reconnect to our spiritual nature by developing self-awareness, fear diminishes and we know death is just the gateway to the next phase on the evolutionary journey.