We live in a bipolar world, and because of that, we have been taught to avoid one of the poles – the evil, and to aim for the other one – the good (according to our impressions about good and evil). They form under the influence of the philosophical and moral points of view that our parents, teachers, communities, religions etc. give us. Due to this, every time when we say to ourselves “I am a good person (educated, honest, fair, a Christian etc.)”, we develop in our mind the exact opposite reality (the evil), that we immediately deny “I am not a bad person (uneducated, a liar, sly, a pagan etc.)”. Later we develop in our mind the idea that the Others are (uneducated, liars, sly, pagans etc.) in order to make a contrast. In psychology this phenomenon is called The Shadow.
Usually every time we say “I am something” for example “I am a Christian”, we make up two classifications a positive and a negative one. “It is good to be a Christian therefore it is bad to be a Muslim (a Buddhist, a pagan etc.)”. The second classification however becomes a conviction and we divide people into two groups – good and bad – according to their religion.
In reality, we cannot escape from the shadow that our body creates on the ground. It is the same with the Shadow that we have created in our mind, so sooner or later we have to face it. We first start to see it in people around us – colleagues, family, neighbors, and even in friends on the web. We start to see in them everything that we deny “I am not”. Because we are good, we use our knowledge and moral to persuade the people around us to become just like us. With time, we become more obsessed with our goal, and the more we try, greater the resistance we encounter. So little by little, The Shadow approaches and settles in us, and we decide to turn the tables. For example strong believers start to threaten the non-believers that they will burn in hell, because they are under the influence of evil, obsessed by sects and dementia. That is why religious wars occurred in the past and continue in our days (under the form of terrorism). However it is not only in the sphere of religion, it happens in every part of our social life, where there is some kind of classification.
Therefore, The Shadow, all that “I am not” takes control and evil sets its roots in our soul. People see this and tell us that we have changed, but we refuse to accept it, because in our mind we are all that is good.
Such scenarios we can observe every day, in every one of us. For example, when we are kids we deny the stereotype of our parents, that way we create a Shadow, but when we grow up, we do the exact same things as our parents and become their copies. The poor condemn the morals and behavior of the rich, but if they get the opportunity to get rich, they become exactly like them. The opposing political party denounces the governing party, but if they take power, they will proceed and act the same way. For a partner we choose a similar to us person, but with time he or she becomes a personification of everything that we hate and deny.
Everyone faces this phenomenon, in the bible texts it is called the evil. The natural reaction is fear, but the right one is love. Jesus has said: “Love your enemies”, because in them we project our personal Shadows, or else evil will take over. That’s why in the Lord’s Prayer we say “deliver us from evil”.
How to weaken The Shadow?
First – we should not blame ourselves or judge the others for what they are. God created the world as we know it, so we must accept it. Only then we will be able to reach the highest level of inner satisfaction and feel fulfilled.
Second – we should not condemn and classify people: good, bad, evil, rich, handsome, catholic, sectarian, etc., or ourselves, because we make the Shadow stronger that way.
Third – we should love all people and accept them the way they are, because thanks to them we are, who we are (good, honest, fair and etc.).
Forth – we should forgive everyone who has offended or hurt us.
In the end, we must learn to see in others our personal Shadow – that part of us, which we have denied. When we learn to recognize and integrate it in our mind, we will live in a united and perfect, to the smallest detail, world.