I have heard of the Shadow. It is that part of ourselves that we do not acknowledge. It is the unlived life. It is the dog we do not feed. It is the devil, but it is not evil; it is our salvation from our own egos. I’ve never heard of this definition until lately.
The shadow is necessary, and it is intrinsically a part of us. Our western, christian culture refuses to accept it. We see divinity as the Holy Trinity: The Creator, the Love, the Breath. But the tripod of the divine is incomplete; we need the fourth leg, the Reality, to round it out. That is the shadow, that is what grounds us, that is what bridges the chasm between sacred and profane and allows us to cross over while still in this life. If our heads are in the stars, then our feet are in the clouds; we lose our footing, and the shadow is there to keep us anchored.
It is my goal, then, to discover the parts of myself and my ego that are in the shadow. It may kill me, it may be a crucible, a fire that disfigures me. In identifying what is seen, I may discover what is unseen, and though I may not like it nor put it on display, it must be recognized if I am to be made whole. Consider the unlikely union of the characters Faust and his tempter Mephistopheles; they are polar opposites, but by the end of the story, they are tempered by each other and become parts of the same whole. Both achieve salvation.
Day requires night; this is a known fact to me, but seldom do I apply it to my own ego. I hide a lot of ugly baggage, and it is time for me to step into my own shadow, identify the baggage, and either unpack it or eject it from my soul. Relocation of the personality’s center of gravity is a form of suicide; I’d rather my ego die than my body. I could use some selflessness right now.
“Why don’t you die now and enjoy the rest of your life?” — Meizumi Roshi