Everything that exists is in you, and everything that is in you is also in everything that exists. There is no boundary between you and the object that is near you, just as there is no distance between you and objects that are far away. All of them, the biggest and the smallest, the lowest and the highest, are represented in you. A single atom contains all the elements that exist on Earth. All the laws of life are contained in one movement of the spirit. One drop of water contains all 38 secrets of the boundless ocean. In a separate form of the manifestation of your existence, all forms of the existence of life in general are contained.
A person says “I”, meaning by this many of his manifestations: “I am a man, a German, a father of a family, a teacher. I am active, dynamic, condescending, diligent, I love animals, I hate war, I drink a lot of tea and cook with pleasure.” Such definitions were preceded by some choice that you had to make, activating one pole and excluding the other. Activating the “I am active and diligent” position eliminates the “I am passive and lazy” state. At the same time, most often there is a subjective and convincing value judgment: “A person should be active and diligent, it is not good to be passive and lazy.”
Objectively, this is only one of the possible views of things. What would we think of a rose that says, “It is good and right to have red buds, but it is wrong and dangerous to have blue ones”? The rejection of one of the manifestations is always evidence of closure within the boundaries of one’s ” I “(after all, a violet or a bell does not consider blue flowers “wrong”!).
Any identification based on any decision puts the opposite pole out the door. But all that we do not want to be, what we do not want to have, what we do not want to live with, and what we do not want to allow into our own identification, forms our shadow. Giving up half of the opportunities doesn’t make them disappear, but simply eliminates them from view.
The word ” no ” expels one pole, but it cannot make it cease to exist. From that moment on, the rejected pole lives in the shadow of our consciousness. Young children firmly believe that if you close your eyes, you can become invisible. In the same way, we believe that you can get rid of half of your qualities without noticing them in yourself. So, by allowing diligence to be in the beam of our consciousness and sending laziness into the dark so that it is not visible, we equate” I do not see “with” I do not have ” and believe that it is the same thing.
The shadow (a term introduced by Jung) is the sum of all the rejected areas of reality that a person does not see in himself or does not want to see and therefore is not aware of. The shadow is a great danger, because, having it, a person does not know about it, and often his intentions and efforts lead to the opposite results. All the manifestations that come from the shadows, a person attributes to an anonymous “world Evil”, because he is afraid to discover the true source of ill health in himself. Refusing to engage with a part of the world has the opposite effect. Rejected areas of reality force a person to engage in them especially intensively. After all, by expelling a certain principle within, a person thereby releases the fear and denial that appear whenever he encounters this principle in the external world.
To understand this, it is important to remember once again that by the word “principles” we mean those areas of being that manifest themselves in a large number of specific forms. Any manifestation of a phenomenon is an expression of some meaningful principle. For example, multiplication is a principle that can be expressed in various specific manifestations (3×4, 8×7, 49×348, etc.).
We must be aware that the external world is built on the same global principles as the internal world. The law of resonance states that you can only come into contact with something with which there is a certain resonance. It is with this that the identity of the external and internal world is connected. In the Hermetic philosophy, this identity of the outer and inner world, that is, man and the Cosmos, is expressed in the words: The Microcosm is like the Macrocosm. (In the second part of our book, in the chapter on the senses, we will return to this question again, but we will look at it from a slightly different angle.) We define half of existence as the external world, because we do not want to accept it into our inner world. We have already said that it is the” I ” that is responsible for the separation from the rest of Existence. “I” presupposes that there is a “You”, which is understood as something external. But if the shadow consists of those principles that we do not want to perceive as “I”, then it turns out that the shadow is identical to the external one. It is also perceived by a person as external: if he had found it in himself, it would have long ceased to be a shadow. With the rejected principles that seem to come from the outside, we fight as passionately in the outside world as we did in the inside. We continue to try to destroy all the areas that we perceive as negative, but since this is not possible, these attempts turn into an endless process.
Here lies an ironic pattern, which no one can avoid: most of all, a person is engaged in what he does not want. At the same time, he gets so close to the negated principle that he begins to live by it!
Violent denial of any phenomenon leads to the maximum rapprochement with it. That is why children, growing up, acquire those habits that they most hated from their parents. Opponents of war often become militant over time, moralists become frivolous, and supporters of a healthy lifestyle become seriously ill.
Do not forget that denial and struggle mean, in the end, approach and interest. Strictly speaking, the denial of one of the areas of reality indicates that a person has certain problems in it.
A person, trying to examine his body, is faced with the fact that only the front part of the trunk and the tip of the nose are visible to him. To see the face or back, to see the color of the eyes, he must look in the mirror. In the same way, we are partially blind to what is called the psyche, and the invisible part of it, the shadow, we can only see through the projection and reflection of the environment or the external world. In fact, there is no environment that supposedly affects us, forms or leads to disease. The environment behaves like a mirror in which we see ourselves and especially our shadow, to which we are blind in ourselves.
Reflection is useful only to those who are able to recognize themselves in this mirror, otherwise it is pointless to look into it. Looking at the features in the mirror, but not knowing that these eyes are exactly yours, you spend time on who knows what. If you live in this world without understanding that everything that happens and is experienced is you, then you are in illusions and deception. This deception looks quite convincing, but after all, the dream seems to come true while we sleep. Before we can understand that a dream is a dream, we must wake up. The same thing happens with the “big dreams” of our existence: to understand that you are in a world of illusions, you need to wake up.
The shadow inspires fear. This is not surprising, because it consists of those facets of reality that we do not want to have anything to do with, and that, in our deepest conviction, should be destroyed, because it has no right to exist… everything happens exactly the opposite: the shadow brings content to everything that is missing for us to recover, that is, to find wholeness. The shadow makes us sick, because it is exactly what is missing in order to be healthy.
The legend of the Holy Grail is associated with this. King Amfortas was hopelessly ill – he was wounded with a spear by the black magician Klingsor (in other versions of the legend-someone invisible). These figures can be read as symbols of the shadow of Amfortas. It was the shadow that had wounded him. He cannot recover on his own, because he did not dare to ask himself the question about the true nature of Evil. Since the king is unable to do this, his wound does not heal. He is waiting for a savior who can bring him recovery. Parsifal copes with this task. Even his name (translated as “simple — minded”, “simpleton”) indicates that he always passes through the golden mean, at the same distance from Good and Evil.
It was he who had the courage to ask, ” What is it that you lack, sir?» The question of Evil, of the dark side of man, has always had a healing effect. On his long journey, Parsifal did not run as fast as he could from his own shadow, but bravely descended to its darkest depths – until he began to curse God.
The one who is able to walk the path through the darkness will eventually become a true healer and savior. That is why all the mythological heroes had to fight monsters, dragons and demons themselves, they descended into the underworld if they wanted to preserve their strength for recovery.
The shadow brings illness, but the “confrontation” with it -recovery! A symptom is a part of the shadow that has descended to the material level, showing what a person lacks, and allowing him to experience what he does not want to allow into consciousness. By encircling the body and forcing the person to pay attention to it, the symptom returns him to wholeness. He is responsible for ensuring that the integrity is not completely lost.
Let’s go back to the mirror analogy. The body is the mirror of the soul, it shows us everything that the soul is not able to see without its help, without opposition. But what is the use of a mirror if we do not relate what we see in it to ourselves? We would very much like this book to help you learn to recognize yourself in the symptoms.
A person always believes that he is what he sees himself to be. We call this self-assessment a lie. In this case, we mean lying to yourself (and not to other people). Any deception in this world is an innocent joke compared to the dishonesty that a person shows towards himself. It’s the shadow that makes a person dishonest. Not lying to yourself is one of the toughest demands you can make. Therefore, since ancient times, all those who sought the truth have said: there is nothing more difficult than self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is the search and attempt to perceive the whole. The disease is of great help to a person, forcing him to become honest. In the symptom, we feel what we so persistently run and hide from.
Most people find it difficult to tell anyone about their problems (even if they know about them) – but they are ready to talk about the symptoms openly and with all the details, confessing to the first person they meet. In fact, there is no more accurate information than what is expressed in them at all. The disease mercilessly opens all the recesses of the soul. Honesty compensates for one-sidedness, returning a person to the golden mean. Suddenly, egoism and imperiousness disappear, illusions are destroyed, and all past experience is called into question. Honesty has a special beauty that is clearly visible in a sick person.