Shadow work

“The ‘shadow’ is a term representing the personal unconscious, or the psychological material that we repress, deny, dissociate, or disown. Unfortunately, denying this material doesn’t make it go away; on the contrary, it returns to plague us with painful neurotic symptoms, obsessions, fears, and anxieties. […] One of the lessons that we learned the very hard way … is that if you don’t do shadow work, [all your other efforts] can get sabotaged by your own unconscious. […] Your shadow can accompany you all the way to enlightenment and back.”

-Ken Wilber (The Integral Vision)

So true, and yet it’s still unclear to me how this fits into Ken Wilber’s model of life, the universe, and everything.


Some truths I’ve learned about truths:

  • The truth changes, sometimes frequently.
  • Truths that seem contradictory can both be true.
  • The only definitive truth is subjective experience in the present.

Do these truths also apply to themselves? (Metametatruths?)

Fabric of society

“White segregationists said, ‘We can’t have integrated schools because black and white children might get to know each other and might marry each other and have babies.’ The Civil Rights Movement said, ‘This is not about marriage.’ But the white segregationists were right. You bring people together, they will actually learn to love each other. Some of them will marry and have children. It will actually change the fabric of society. When people worry that having gays in our community will change what marriage really means, actually, they’re right. When people worry that having a lot of Latinos in the United States will change the United States, they are right. We’re constantly making each other. … We’re going to create a bigger ‘we’, a different ‘we’.”

-John Powell (via Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise, p. 119)


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson (via Ryan Schoenbeck)


“When you are ready to learn, a teacher will appear.”

-Zen proverb (via David Holzer)