Rita on the shadow

Sunday, February 1, 2015

F: 6:30 a.m. Rita, you said you’d want to begin with Jenny’s second question. Have at it.

[Jenny’s second question: We are born as “potential” and create a “linear life” by the linking of experiences chosen and “bestowed” by life’s circumstances. Every step of the journey through a human life, one is “haunted” by the “shadow,” the un-lived potential for both positive and negative capabilities. As humans we are challenged to acknowledge this shadow (not repress it,) and find healthy expression for its energies. Is there a “shadow” aspect to non-3D Reality, and if so, what is its form and function?]

R: I hesitate between responding to the description of human life contained in the first part, or answering the direct question. I think I will begin by answering the question, merely noting that the description of human life is at best partial. Maybe we’ll come back to saying why, if the question itself does not take too long.

F: Any way you want to do it.

R: Taking the definition of the shadow as given – unlived potential – the short answer would be, no, outside of 3D conditions there is no shadow. But explaining what that means, and why it is so, may take a bit of work. And really it would have been easier in a way to address the first part of the question first. But – let’s see.

Remember the defining conditions of 3D experience:
A conviction (illusion) of separation
Separation from others in space
Separation from all other moments in time

All other distinguishing characteristics, such as delayed consequences, stem from the fact that you experience 3D existence as one moment of time, followed by another moment of time, followed by another moment of time, — forever, as long as you are experiencing yourself in 3D.

In such conditions, of course your awareness is going to be limited, and it is in limitation – in awareness, in choice, in “life unlived because of other choices” – that the shadow is generated.

The shadow, as Jenny rightly notes, is not inherently bad. It is not being repressed so that civilized life may exist, as Freud may be said to have assumed. It is the parts of you that are better than you, as well as those that are worse than you, that are not actualized. Sometimes this is from lack of opportunity. Sometimes it is because your consciousness rejects them. For whatever reason, this is the gnawing half-knowledge that your self-definition is inadequate.

F: As in Steppenwolf.

R: As in Steppenwolf, yes. Harry Haller came to see that not only his fears but even in a way his ideals were standing in the way of his proper growth, for it is difficult in life to let something within take you to unknown territory of its accord rather than yours.

F: I have read, and have always been irritated by, the saying that “man is a bourgeois compromise,” and never understood the meaning of it till right now. It means our lives, including our predictability and our experience of ourselves,

Funny, I got tangled up in my own statement. Interesting how the process gets continually less well-defined, so that now I am missing my own thought in the way I sometimes miss yours.

R: Not that it is happening more, but that you are more aware of it. Others around you see you do this all the time. Finish your thought.

F: Merely, our lives as we lead them are the result of our own self-limiting “safe” choices. What we think of as normal is in fact stunted. I might have gotten the sense of this much earlier, if I had not been so irritated by the word “bourgeois,” which in my youth was misused by every half-assed radical to try to show that he (or she, but mostly he) wasn’t middle-class, but was deeper than that. When of course that is exactly what he was. However –

R: The sense of the saying is correct. It is in the self-definitions and definitions of others and of life in general that stability is maintained, often at the expense of growth, but also often as a means of preserving the predictability on which normal life depends.

Such compromises are not possible in situations in which your awareness is not limited.

F: I see that. And, no limitations, no shadow.

R: Well, no unacknowledged limitations. Everything has limits, even if they are relative rather than absolute. But it is the ignorance of one’s existence, or part of one’s existence rather, that is the cause of the existence of the shadow.

F: Does this imply that outside of 3D we know exactly what we are, and that we integrate all that previously unacknowledged shadow?

R: No, we need to look at this a little more slowly. As always, it is the unsuspected assumptions in your thought that lead you in wrong directions. There is a form of duality here that I need to explain.

Jenny’s question, I take it, asks if we outside of 3D conditions actively experience a shadow relative to our non-3D being . The short answer is no, because outside 3D there cannot be the restrictions on awareness that generated it within 3D. However, do not take that to mean that our component “lives” are somehow changed by now being outside the restrictions that shaped them. If you led a Victorian life, your mind – your soul – remains what it was when you finished making active 3D choices, that is, when you dropped the body. It does not magically change to be everything it might have been and wasn’t.

Except – that is true and it isn’t true. True in so far as what you might call the in-process life (even though the life is actually ended); not true in terms of the overall view of the life – the completed self, we have been calling it – because that encompasses and incorporates all versions of the life, and therefore by definition can have no unlived potential.

Do you see why I made the distinction? It is merely for completeness, lest anyone think that their choices in 3D do not matter.

F: They do but they don’t.

R: You’re going to find it hard to make absolute statements whose opposites do not also apply. Every statement’s truth or falsity depends on the point from which it is viewed. Context is everything.

F: We have a few minutes. Care to say what was on your mind about the first part of the question?

R: No, on reflection anything I could say about it is likely to cause confusion rather than clarification.

F: So you don’t want to say why the definition strikes you as partial?

R: No, I think I’ll leave it alone. You can see what her questions meant; the fact that the literal words employed may seem to suggest things beyond what she meant is just a fact of life. I remember “the guys” taking me to task (for that’s what it felt like) for the words I would use to pose a question. They knew what I was asking, but they would use the form of the question itself to demonstrate to us assumptions I hadn’t known I was including. That is what I would be doing in this instance, and in this instance, upon reconsideration, I decided not to do it.

F: We still have nearly ten minutes, and I’m not too tired, if you want to go on. Charles says there is a different feel about this material from that in S&H and wonders if your guys are in a different group from my guys. At least, that’s the sense I get.

R: Try to resist this idea of groups as if you were talking about baseball teams or street gangs or professional associations. Think of it more as an on-line chat group organized around a particular topic or set of topics. The composition of the group varies from moment to moment, not only as people drop out or return to it, but as others are drawn in or released.

If you hold in your minds the fact that outside 3D the inherent connections are more obvious than they are in 3D, you will lose the need or the temptation to think of us as a jumble of units, or as marbles in a bag. We are more like drops of water than cubes of ice. Our continuity is as much in evidence as our particular individuality.

So, any given conversation will magnetize a different (and perhaps continually changing) group. You may not even be aware of it, but it changes by the moment.

The constants are Frank on the 3D end and Rita on the non-3D end, but this isn’t as simple as it sounds, either. And in the old days  it was Rita on the 3D end – and Frank on the 3D end – and “the guys” on the non-3D end.

The flavor of the exchange depends more on the constants than on the non-3D components which, as I say, fluctuate continually. The complication is that of course the person or people on the 3D end themselves extend into non-3D and themselves participate from both extremes to greater or less extent.

F: Okay, and our hour is up. Anything more you’d like to say today?

R: Merely that – as “the guys” used to say to us – I am enjoying the process and I trust you are as well.

F: I was then and I am now. Thanks, Rita.

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