Balance and the shadow mask!

I’ve written about balance before. To have peace, or harmony, or calm, everything needs to be in balance, and we see this all around us. Day and night is the first example, and you may say that they change as we progress through the year, and you’d be right, but they lengthen and shorten in opposite ways as we cycle throughout the year. This can clearly be seen by the solstices of summer and winter and the autumn and spring equinoxes.  In fact, life and energy increase and decrease in balance the wheel of the year as do tides with their ebb and flow.

In fact, Newtons third law of thermodynamics states ‘for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction’.

It is maybe a bit of a shame then that we seemed determined to always hunt out the light and shun the dark.  I recently recorded a short video for a social media post that pointed out the juxtaposition between always searching for the light, as moths seem to do, and being blinded by it at the same time.

It is funny then, that I was told a while ago that if I wanted to reach people who I struggled to get to listen that I should shine so brightly that people would be attracted to me.  Haven’t quite managed that yet, so maybe I’m not shining brightly enough, and there’s the irony again.

How often in movies, or even in real life, that if we are lost then we will seek out the light because probably there will be civilisation there and that person or people will help us?  And yet, we don’t know, what those people will be like, or come to that even if they are people. 

There’s the plot for a horror movie…

But the light, if we are not careful, will also blind us and totally narrow our focus.  Often when I’m out walking the dogs early in the morning I see other dog walkers. I know they are there because they are blindly shining their torches all over the place.  I can see them from miles away. They never see me though, or at least, not until they are right on top of me, blinding me with their light. ‘Oh, I didn’t see you there, how can you see in the dark?’ They say.  Not only are they blinded to just that narrow area they have illuminated, they can see nothing outside it. Many’s the time I have stood quietly, with the dogs sitting and people have walked right past without knowing I was there.

However, we need to be at or in balance ourselves and I think quite possibly it is the lack of balance that causes us our greatest difficulty. Finding that balance brings the greatest sense of peace, and its right there if we just let it ‘shine’.

Personally, it took over thirty years of fighting against the dark to find it. However, when I did, the peace that extinguishing that inner turmoil gave me was incalculable. All of a sudden, I was no longer afraid of missing out, because I was at peace on the inside, and I felt balance within my soul. In fact, it was so marvellous a feeling that it is represented in the large tattoo on my back by two magpies that are a reflection of each other.

We have been instructed for centuries that the dark, the shadow worlds are something to be rejected, abandoned and all efforts should be made to search for the light.  Probably as a result of some of the teachings of organised religions. Yet if we don’t look in the dark places of ourselves and observe what is happening in there, how can we properly know ourselves and have a chance of finding the elusive balance and inner peace that goes with it?

If we look at those dark places within us and explore them, places that house those thoughts you would rather not acknowledge, those sides of your personality you’d rather forget existed and make you feel uncomfortable, it’s likely that what you’d find there are repressed thoughts that may lead to seriously untapped potentialities. ‘Things’, that you have hidden because of everything you were taught, with good intentions, by your parents or schools and are actually unhelpful.

Those could be the dreams that you had as children and were told were unrealistic or how you should fit into society and be thought well of by others.

Personally, I am only just beginning to properly sort out the contents of my dark places.

One of the lighter elements of this for me is a love of frock coats, those long gothic, fairy tale steampunk coats you see in movies. I didn’t wear them because they didn’t fit with the image I wanted to fit in with and I was always worried as to what other people would think of me.  I wanted to fit in.

Now I wear them whenever I want to, and I love it.  Judging by the comments I receive, so do most other people. Now there’s an irony.

Whats in your shadow?

Simon Pollard    Urban Countryman  January 2024.

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