The Shadow and Light Selves, or: Me, All Along

This is a 2100 word piece about soul recovery and more, and an eight minute read. It’s actually very sensible, because it’s a deeply important thingummy. Apologies in advance for all the wanton sincerity. Last edit: August 2022.

Powerscourt power ponies
“Oh yeah? Put ’em up!”
“No! You put ’em up!”

It’s all a matter of perspective. My shadow self is and was my effective twin. I’d internally divided since early child­hood and the situ­ation only compli­cated from there. One’s shadow however isn’t another person; it’s you, and always you. The base mental tendency – well, mine at least – is to compartmentalise these things (the term ‘shadow self’ implies a separation) which is actually part of the core problem.

For decades, and from many sources, I’d been told about or shown symbolism of ‘twins’, and yet it’s not a ‘thing’ in my family. I tried to understand it; find parallels here and there, but nothing really satisfied. It’s only with my shadow self integration that I settled the meaning, but only for a time because these things are never so singular! My higher self pressed the twins button before it all kicked off to prepare me in her uniquely cutesy way.

I’d seen my shadow in journey dreams, and it was this frightening rage beast. That’s the case for most who walk this way. It seethed, and radiated fear under the pressure lid of my waking consciousness. You see, that rage was all mine, and not someone else’s, as much as I’d like to insist otherwise. I knew why I had that rage, yet I fed the divide by asserting “I’m not that!” and refused to embrace the truth of it, of me. I’d berate myself, self-loathe, and diminish everything about me. As a child, I was tempestuous and self-destructive. You can draw your own conclusions as to why I’d end up on this path of mine, and creating things like Earth Jakked.

It’s only retrospectively that I see the blinders. That’s understandable to an extent; self-review in contentious areas is really difficult, even when you’ve a decent track record at it. There’s always something you’ve simply refused to address and why triangulating who-you-are through others is vital.

It’s a long trek, and you’re neither the first nor last. Take heart.

Yet you have to really want to, and you have to be ready. These qualities are not a given and everything is in its own time. It’s dangerous jelly, because shadow integration involves a roller-coaster ride of ego-death. The same ego that refused to acknowledge my twin and perceived it as being a rage beast. If you ever choose this road, and especially if you’re a bit twitchy, never walk it alone, and especially not after dark!

The truth of re­integration, at least with me, was and is self-love, forgive­ness and inner surrender. Not some surface chat, but a deeply profound alchem­ical shift within the soul. Meditation, leading to divine connection with a big dose of humility and frank, heart-led inner conversations goes a long, long way. Once you’re all in emotionally, give your mind the space and time it needs to catch up. Don’t rush that which blends most carefully.

Deep soul recovery usually requires taking a shamanic journey, yet you don’t have to visualise it at all, if that’s not for you, or you’re unable to do such things. It doesn’t have to be an adventure to somewhere. In fact, I’d say it shouldn’t be that, unless there are specific circumstances. It’s all about how you feel, and the best way to deal with that is without visual distraction. In our sight-obsessed world, it’s all too easy to miss the woods for the trees. It’s well known that our reliance upon sight dulls our other senses. The risk with the visual journey is that you can force a recovery before its natural time. There’s a reason why soul fragments stay fragments and don’t come straight home.

My approach includes talking directly with (or to) your shadow (and indeed, all and any of your soul fragments). Again, no need to visualise or ‘go anywhere’ because… it’s you and you’re already there (which is here) and so is your shadow and everything else. Reassurance is the key. If you can’t be clear, non-judgemental, loving and open, then there’s no synergetic reason for re­integration to happen at all. And get this; talking to your shadow means… talking to you. This isn’t the time for ego and neediness. It’s the time for release. Only by letting go can you truly receive that which you need, being the inverse of everything you’ve been conditioned to think.

Metaphysical overview of reality and ting
The tomatoes dreamed of the rose and fell off the vine.

You have to be totally honest with yourself. Do you really know who you are? What if you’ve been in denial all this time? It’s highly consequential. How can you reintegrate if you don’t accept who you are to begin with? That’s soul loss in a nutshell.

The truth according to Earth Jakked.

There are deep answers you may not realise you need to bottom out, let alone know how to ask, so remain alert and go heavy on the introspection. Recall memories across the length and breadth of your life. Triangulate. Hypothesise. How did people react to you? What were your feelings at the time? What drove you, fuelled and inspired you? Are you morally good, or is that just a poster on your wall? Honesty.

I’d spent some weeks talking with myself in this context, and letting old hurt come to the surface. One night, during sleep, I found myself in a journey dream along with my shadow self, and it was no longer this ‘evil beast’ terrifying the bejaysus out of me. It’s amazing what a bit of self honesty can achieve. As a point of note, the whole evil beast malarkey was my projection and my denial keeping me away from this other self. My shadow presented as a woman, which is typical, because I’m more comfortable with the feminine. Yet it was surprising, because I’d long believed my shadow to be mixed up in toxic masculinity. It all relates to the trauma my lower three chakras endured, being at the physical (male) end of things. My belief at the time was that my shadow self strongly related to this area. I couldn’t have been more right and wrong at the same time if I’d tried, and I’ll come back to this in a bit.

In the dream, and with softness, she said, “Do you recognise me? I’ve put on some weight.” I looked and knew her, but I couldn’t place her name or where I knew her from. “Yes,” I replied to avoid embarrassing her, as she’d mentioned the dreaded ‘weight’ word. Her face was complex and non linear in time and dimension. There was so much geometry there, from pain to beauty. It’s the kind of emotion-visuals you can only comprehend in such hyperstates, unless you happen to be gifted like Munch or Dali. She conveyed the spectrum of life, light and a sweet sprinkling of my childhood freckles.

So we sat down across a wooden café bench, and I immediately distracted myself, looked aside and started sliding down a dream track. “No, don’t get away from me,” she said and deftly span me around with the long tendrils of her dress, like a Chinese ghost might do. I found myself eye-to-eye as we witnessed one another, and I knew then how very much I loved her. That special, perfectly balanced and all-aware inner love without equal. Her face was now clear to me, and beautiful. Thus ended the dream, and I awoke immediately thereafter. The integration had begun and I quickly understood a thing or two.

With gratitude
Just who’s looking at whom, exactly?

The shadow self, at least for me, is a matter of relative per­spect­ive. As it trans­pires, the part of me known to the world as my waking conscious­ness was the real shadow in this story. I’d been fighting with myself believing ‘the other part’ was a fragment of wayward consciousness. Yet it was my waking consciousness that’d been the one skulking, running and fearful of recovery. I had been wholly deluded that it was the other way around. What I thought to be my shadow, turns out to have been my light, as well. And there I was, thinking I needed to convince my shadow to come home. How conceited; it was as much the other way around. I’d been clinging onto false ego (hence the split) and inverted everything to survive that far. It was ‘me’, the physical self, that had also been the shadow, all along.

The inversion realisation made a great deal of sense. My upper chakras had been so catastrophically desecrated that two have had to be rebuilt from scratch, which is still ongoing. That explains the ‘I’ve put on weight’ statement. Essentially I’d been so traumatised that I’d detached from what I’ll now term as my ‘light self’. That light self, being my upper chakras, is the feminine/spiritual/softness that balances my masculine lower chakras. Neither aspect functions properly without the other, as neither is complete without the other.

My waking self at that time was pretty much the archetypal shadow, hence all the self-loathing, rejection of masculinity and latent anger towards the feminine, being abandonment issues in my case. This inversion and wanton self-deception of who-is-who is almost comical, had it not been so tragically harmful to others over the years. Note how I believed myself to be the ‘main’ self? This is really important to grasp, because you’re doing it too, right now. There is only one self, yet there are many within the one, like drops of water in a glass. So which drop is the main one then? Yeah, and that is soul fragmentation the moment you pick one out, and I was as much of a fragment as any other.

And here’s the kicker. I’d met my light self countless times before this particular journey. Yet the connection had always been fleeting, lossy, and left my heart yearning. No wonder; my upper chakras were in ruins, so that part of me couldn’t reseat. I’d failed to mentally connect this inner-self to being my light (the perceived ‘shadow’) self, such was the rigidity of my thinking. That’s another symptom of soul fragmentation, by the way. The common label ‘shadow self’ is deeply misleading. Once I was ready and able emotionally, we came home together, and who was who and which was which has been a woods-for-trees thing all along. It was never about a god damned label.

Walking a way
Back to Taoism again. Just don’t repress shit, okay? Everything has consciousness and seeks to express itself.

Walking this path means you have to let go of everything to reach the centre, to meet in the middle; your heart. That place of special, perfectly balanced and all-aware inner love without equal. There is no duality with soul recovery. There is instead a growth of consciousness and ability. Previous areas of emotional weakness quickly strengthen and stabilise. Like replacing the missing cog in a clock, everything suddenly ‘just works’. It’s the most beautiful thing.

The depths of you will experience a symbolic death, which is a flashy way of saying ‘profound change’. The ego is a static beast, and change implies anni­hilation. As in all ego-death journeys, there’s a danger of experiencing the emotions very literally and acting upon them. That danger period can last for many months, especially if there are worldly pressures upon you as well. Don’t blink and keep your friends close.

At the top of this page I said I’d found my twin, yet was more complex than that. An old analogy of mine is that we’re like mountaineers climbing a range of mountains. When we reach the summit, we spy an even greater range of mountains in the distance. The trick is to avoid making camp thinking we’re done. And so it is with soul recovery and integration. Despite all the Good work, if you feel you’re still missing something within, consider if that’s because something within is still missing you? Sometimes we have to come home, because it won’t come to usExternal hyperlink. Think about it, and let your ego dissolve in the realisation.

I have this alchemical metaphor of ‘the anvil of circumstance and hammer of consequence’. My journey has always been against that anvil, which is part of the process to beat me across the line for the next cycle. It begins when I ask my higher self the questions I’ve been primed to ask; in that I’m emotionally ready to hear the answers. Slow and steady wins the race, and don’t go it alone, no matter how bloody strong you think you are.

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