I read this quote yesterday.* “Darkness cannot exist in the presence of love. It can only exist when love has been tossed aside or submerged in the presence of doubt or despair. It can only exist when love is undermined within ourselves so that we no longer believe in it. In the place of love, darkness has nowhere to stand.”
I have not written for a long time. I am keenly aware of that. I am learning that for so long during this hiatus, I have been confusing accepting my shadow, truly integrating it, with suppressing my shadow. We are not supposed to have this shadow, this darkness in our selves. My interactions with others are sometimes fueled by an energy that is uncomfortable for me to be in. Not just to be in, but to work out of.
But it is my shadow, those parts of myself that are real, but yet are uncomfortable that fuel me to be truthful and to be able to stand up even when to do so is unpopular. It is the anger of seeing abuse and disrespect that cause me to confront people in those situations, even when it is uncomfortable to do that.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious….The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular” (2)
My job as a criminal defense attorney was to fight for those people who did very “bad,” things and were facing the consequences. I was able to project out of my shadow at the Judges and the prosecutors and yes the police! But I did it out of a seething what society calls “rage.” But it was not rage, it was a resistance to injustice. Yes I was projecting my shadow and my anger for my abuse at those peoples mentioned above. But it was not done with a malicious intent.
Now because of this 5 year “battle,” with depression, I am learning that the rage itself was and is valid. And those parts of me, that pissed off sixteen year old with a black leather jacket on and a cigarette or a joint in his mouth, is wonder full and I need that energy to exist with any sort of balance in my life.
What has always attracted me to Hillman was that seed of underlying what I will deem as anger I felt that he had. Critiques of culture do not come from places of joyful acceptance of it the way it is. That is where I am and I struggle to move forward accepting my shadow energy and working out of it. My shadow energy is almost endless when I can truly tap into it.
(1) Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 150.
(2) Carl Jung, CW 13, Pages 265-266
*Julie Redstone, “The Influence of Darkness on the Consciousness of Man”