The Other Side of Reality

Integration of one’s personal shadow is such a tough assignment, even for the most conscious, aware and sturdy of people. I wonder why nature made it this way.

The easiest thing is to see rejected parts of the self as “other” and perceive them as elsewhere, to forget we live in a world of mirrors. The hardest thing is to acknowledge absolutely everything we see as part of the Self without fear or revulsion, rather with respect for the truth.

Our senses seem to be designed so that we can only see one side of reality with our physical apparatus, and the rest must be perceived through intuition and other forms of observation and information gathering. If we are looking at the moon, we see only one side, the other half must be sensed in another way. It is the same with anything in the world, whether it is a physical thing, a situation or event. There is the conscious part, and the unconscious part.

I notice the difficulties regularly of acknowledging in the first place that the unconscious part even exists; and after that, since it is unknown, it seems to be instinctively cast as “other”, not self, is regarded with suspicion, as wrong or evil. Even if we get the theory, perceiving this moment by moment is the labor of making the unconscious conscious. It is work.

The work progresses when basic assumptions are challenged and we begin to imagine that there isn’t anything we see that isn’t exactly a part of us, as well as a part of everything else, since the universe is all made of the same basic fabric. The more we reject or revile something, that response tells us how unconscious it is, like that other side of the moon we just can’t see. Rather than split that side of reality off in our minds, something else happens as we attempt to own it and see how it fits into our wholeness. If we treat each part of the self, of others, and of the world with respect, compassion, curiosity, and actively reach out to it, a paradigm shifts. The mystery of life enters more fully, and life’s challenges are embraced differently.

I’m seeing the split very much in myself and in the world and want to work with this more actively in the new year. It seems to be very necessary work.


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