Archive for March 5th, 2012
When I woke up this morning I looked out the window and saw a new snowfall in the weak morning light and I saw this winterized head of some flowering plant gone to seed. I saw that the sky was cloudy and I worried that light would not be kind enough to catch the crystals that I knew were embedded in the cap of snow. After a morning coffee and checking of e-mails I noticed a break in the clouds and that sunshine was creating the scene I had imagined in my mind. I quickly grabbed my camera and took a number of photos from different perspectives until I thought I had the image that pre-existed in my mind, the image you see here. By the time I had finished eating my breakfast the sunshine was gone and cloud had returned. I was blessed by grace and for that am thankful to whatever gods were listening to my imaginal dream.
But now, back to the image itself, I wanted to catch the purity of new snow, the crystals gleaming like diamonds and at the same time, I wanted to catch the sense of darkness, of shadow. There is no contrast possible if light isn’t balanced by the presence of shadow. All white or all black renders the scene empty, lifeless. Yet even in winter when one finds contrast one knows that regardless of appearances, there is life within. I prayed for light and was rewarded with both light and shadow.
“The shadow represents that which is excluded from consciousness because it is threatening, painful, embarrassing or destabilizing. The shadow may be experienced individually or collectively; it represents a wider, richer range of energy that often operates autonomously and invades conscious life in disturbing ways, but which is ultimately necessary for the expansion and completion of consciousness. The shadow has too often been split off in Western thinking and we know, psychologically, that whatever is split off reinsinuates itself through behavioral eruptions or projections onto others.” (Hollis, Tracking the Gods, p. 33)
I have to admit that I have worked hard at excluding as much as possible, denying the shadow. And as a result, I have had to pay the price. Finally, at this stage of my life, I am admitting that I have a shadow that has depth and breadth, and that I have acted and related in the outer world under the unconscious influence of shadow. With that realisation, I can better see/sense/feel how our collective is in full denial of shadow, excluding any sense of responsibility as it projects that shadow on others such as climate scientists, environmentalists, other religions, other cultures, other skin colours, other ideologies and anything or anyone that gets in the way of the collective’s sense and belief in their entitlement to be the masters of the universe.