Such a title promised controversy … what we might end up reviewing is err ‘Garden Porn’. Today is the first warm day we’ve had since err March? Maybe? Great day for Gardening. See Below is an example of ‘Garden Porn’.
“Today was a beautiful warm dewy morn, I mean day. I couldn’t wait to get out and meet the ground. Lover long that he is. Finally the moment, the ground and I swelled with anticipation at our inevitable meeting. I knelt down and gently stroked the newly plucked earth – exploring each crevice and undulating curve. I thrust my fingers in to the sugar mulch preparing for what I knew would come and come it would, cum – I mean come it did, over and over and over again – seeds flowing every forward ever onward in a delirious rush of orgiastic flowing estuary – stop it spell check – I mean ecstacy – nay Tantra – I became one with the Universe and for a too brief moment – there was no “I” … then as my conscious return to the Earth, alighting gently as Jacaranda Flowers falling in November – I felt an Earth Worm move – again. I was reborn.”
Garden Porn aside – Do we know someone like this? A person swathed in an atmosphere of militantt-ry-ness and hypocrisy. They love a protest or a cause. They speak the language of warfare and power but they themselves are confusingly – disempowered or ‘doth protest too much’. Their anger burns and festers in to rage and it leads them – everywhere. They are definitely anti-something all of the time but that something could change sometimes while you are talking to them. It is both a greeting when you meet them and their business card, their stated reason to breathe. They want you to join in the new regime, new world order. But – they are inconsistent in their anti-anti-campaigning. Over time they begin to look and act like the adversary they claim to oppose, ignorant of the part they play in creating disorder.
They are a person of small awareness and courage who has for whatever reason given up the internal fight and stalled their growth by externalizing the key inner conflict that defines their life and identity on earth. They have missed the gift of the Shadow Self. Projecting your own conflicts with power on to another and claiming to ‘rescue’ or ‘assist’ them – is a supreme act of cowardice and abuse to use another so. I am told of a mythic African Tribe whose members insist on payment when one person dreams of another – for using them so. And as we know, waking or sleeping – this world is a Dream.
What am I saying? So rudely from behind the curtains of my blog … well, bluntly and somewhat provocatively, I am saying … unless and until you have resolved your own inner conflicts with that you call your ‘enemy’, that which you believe to be ‘not you’ … friends, with respect – “You are your Enemy” and you will become more like your enemy in every respect until you find the ‘Enemy’ within you. This is an inevitable consequence of the way in which Consciousness develops and how human beings grow into adulthood.
We all have a ‘Shadow Self’ – because the human mind has a division between that which we are aware of and can consciously control, i.e. our Conscious Mind, and that which we are unaware of and cannot control consciously, i.e. our Unconscious Mind. So, our Shadow Self is everything we perceive which we consider to be “Not I”. This is quite something and if we are staring at the sky or the desert or another beautiful landscape it is not always easy to feel a personal connection. But sometimes when we meet a person, or a ‘thing’ – you sense the ripple of the presence of your Shadow Self.
It is hard to define the Shadow Self the way the Masculine Mind would like. You cannot really photograph it, measure it or stick it in the Dictionary – but you can sense and or feel the presence of your Shadow Self. Everyone’s Shadow Self is different. Your Shadow Self is unique to you, your story, the place you live, the things that have happened to you and your family. You know you are in the presence of your Shadow Self, the ‘you, you do not know yet and sometimes do not want to know’ – it feels like a version of Darth Vader staring you down. Doing that breathing and you will squirm internally. It can also include feelings of being noticed, watched, preyed upon, scared and even and unexpectedly ‘turned on’.
Counselling, Therapy, Healing of any kind puts you in touch with companion travellers across a wide variety of disciplines. All trying in their respective ways to liberate through inner work and transforming personal consciousness. Maps of these paths have been handed down to us by our ancestors in the form of folk stories and fairy tales. Here is one from the “Red Riding Hood” school of shadow encounters. I had a colleague who worked in Drug and Alcohol with prison populations. She once shared with me in measured tones that in her youth, she’d had a brief relationship with a man who was later found guilty of committing serial murder.
Using humour in counselling is always a risky calculation but she was a colleague, and we were not in the cloisters of a session. Her disclosure to me was more confession and sharing of shame. So I leaned in to my own discomfort, took the risk and said, “Sure. I hear you. Scary.” Then I paused, but something else in me took over, couldn’t help myself. I said, “But .. how was the sex?” She broke out in hysterical laughter and said, “The best I have ever had!” Something about bad boys when you are young! They wake something up. For more details – I can refer you to “Little Red Riding Hood” and her hood.
I have been a Sailor on the Sea of Consciousness for as long as I can remember. Maybe, maybe – my life story and the story of my family set my feet on this path or maybe I just decided to go. My family have lived in Australia for seven generations, the clan largely missed the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars but more importantly we met the Land of Australia and the Dreamtime. This was our life. Dad couldn’t wait to “Go Bush” when we were children and it wasn’t until my late adolescence that I began to detect a difference between perceiving the world when my body was awake and when it was asleep. Everything seemed to me to be a Dream. Connecting with and being taught by The Land was so commonplace, I never noticed it was something unusual among White Culture until I was getting ready to leave school.
I learned how to ‘Dream’ but I also realised there were many White People who could not, in fact they were barely aware they lived. I saw what Aboriginal Elders have called the White Man’s Madness or the White Devil in our communities and I found it as strange as they did. The lack of connection, responsibility and more importantly – the ability to Dream up your own life and dream up structures to hold community and the lives of those around us.
Said simply, White Culture teaches us that we have no power. It is always with someone else. Our parents when we are small. Our Doctor when we are sick. Our Government when we cannot look after ourselves. Our Education System and Teachers when we do not know something. Science or Religion is responsible when things do not work the way we want. The responsibility and therefore the power to change – whatever the problem is – always lies with someone who is not – us. Friends, this is the greatest lie ever told. And if you continue believing it and not trying to explore new ways of seeing yourself and the world around you – you can only ever be – a Slave to another.
This is all well and good, but – say you want to believe things could be different, where do you begin? Firstly – you need to build and reclaim your own Authentic Self. The real you, not the you that exists in a state of shattered pieces feeling resentment, jealousy, abandonment and rage because all are preferred to feeling the loss of your own Self. Who is that anyway? You – is a feeling, a sense of your own true self, a unique vibration – that is whole, unified, powerful and known by you and by others. OK – so how do I do that?
Good Question. The truth is there are many ways to reclaim your Authentic Self – but the key is, listening to yourself – that still small voice, listening to what you are really trying to tell yourself. Your Authentic Self is like an inflatable ball pushed under water. It is always trying to reach the surface of your mind. It is always trying to assert itself in your life and gets your attention usually through a major crisis, i.e. a break-up, job loss, family member loss, relationship breakdown – things like this. Something that forces you to connect to and acknowledge all those Shadow Experiences, Feelings, Memories – that you do not want to feel because they are scary and uncomfortable.
The journey back to wholeness is long but possible. The way there is to feel and let your body’s intuition and instinct guide you. Catch those thoughts that flash on the edge of consciousness and look more closely at them. See what they reveal. But most importantly – embrace the map of an Archetype. The Warrior Archetype is a map told in a story, a story that could easily be your life if you feel powerless or deprived of anything. You will need to encounter your Shadow Self many times. It will be you, but in the beginning you will swear and believe blind – it is not you.
Your Shadow Self is easy enough to find. Your own body’s intelligence will show you where they are lurking. All you need to do, just like Red Riding Hood is follow the path in to the scary forest of unknown parts. Follow your curiosity but also your rage, your jealousy, your sadness, your passion. Ask yourself – the most powerful question of all, just before you want to slay your Shadow …
“Who are you … in me?”
Here’s Disarm by the Smashing Pumpkins, says it all.