I have numerous totemic items around my house that fortify the environment with their imagery, energy, artistry and energetic properties. Many of them had to be stored safely away to clear the area for other activity while 115 people, including lots of children, came through my house during the weekend wedding event in September.
One figure that remained, who has been catching my eye and capturing my imagination through the past month, is the wonderful little piece of plastic that my youngest daughter Arlene gave to me, my Carl Jung Action Figure. The original packaging had a huge shadow of the figure behind it with scary graphics, “Beware of the shadow.” There’s Carl in his suit with his pipe in hand; like, “I’m just sayin’!”
In the dimensions that human consciousness seems to exist within, there is a back side and a front side to everything. An up side and a downside. An inside and an outside. A you side and a me side. A his side and a her side. This world and the otherworld. The living and the dead. There is what we do know and what we don’t know. The sayable and the unsayable. We live in a world of opposites that cannot be separated. Like the light side and the dark side of the moon, they are one thing. But we so often forget about or deny the back of everything, what we don’t see and remain unaware of.
“Shadow” in Jungian terms is the parts of self and life that we are unaware of. That, in my estimation, is 99% of what is going on. If we think we know, we are probably wrong.
Looking into a mirror, we see the front side of what we present to the world, with a little twist maybe the side view, or with a hand mirror the back view. Without a mirror we don’t see ourselves at all. Think about it. Everyone else sees us coming and going, sideways and all ways, but we don’t ever see our self ever without a reflecting tool. This doesn’t mean someone else knows us by seeing us, but – think about it – we don’t even see ourselves. This is a metaphor for everything, really. We don’t see the “other” dimensions of almost anything we are looking at. There is a whole lot of shadow going on. “I’m just sayin’,” says Carl.
To “know” is a virtue, something rewarded by teachers and parents and peers and public all through life. To not know – you failed that “course”. Embarrassment. Pain. Shame.
What? NOT knowing is the truth! Knowing is so, so, so, so limited and limiting.
We gotta get over it. I’m just sayin’.