“A projection of guilt onto others is endemic to the mortal world. From the moment we’re born, we’re taught a belief system that reinforces our sense of separateness: “I’m in my body, and you’re in yours. And God is outside us both.” More fractured perception emanates from our sense of separation than from any other thing.
First of all, if I’m separate from God, then I am separate from my source, and I feel traumatized the way a baby is traumatized if ripped away from the mother. This trauma induces fear, and I am then likely to be triggered by any person or situation that seems to be taking from me what I think I need—even if that’s not the case. My shadow would likely manifest as paranoia or neediness.
Second, if I’m separate from the rest of the world, then I feel powerless, given that I am so small and the world is so huge. This sense of separation leads me to believe that I am weak, when in fact, as a child of the divine, I have infinite resources of strength within. My shadow would then likely manifest as my playing small and being too fearful to stand in my own strength.
Third, if I’m separate from other people, then I am separated from the experience of love and unity that is my birthright as a human being.
I cannot help but feel a deep existential loneliness instead of the joy that I am meant to feel in the company of other people. My shadow would likely manifest as either overattachment or under-attachment to others, a superiority or an inferiority complex, manipulative behavior, defensiveness, or a domineering or controlling personality.
Last, all of the above aspects of separation involve a sense of separation from self, from which all other forms of shadow emerge. If I am separate from myself, and my true self is love, then I am separate from love. My shadow would likely manifest as anything seemingly not-love toward myself or others, from substance abuse to violence.
Since all shadow manifestations are rooted in thoughts of separation, then healing the mistaken thought that we are separate from the rest of life—from our Creator, from other people, and from other created things—is the ultimate solution to the problem of the shadow. This reconciliation of mind and spirit, the soul’s return to its divine knowing, is the point of illumination that casts out all darkness.
And what is the light we see, when our minds are reconciled to truth? We see not only that we are one with others, but also that all of us carry seeds of the divine. We were created by God, in the image of God, in the likeness of God. We are perfect, as all His creations are. We deserve from ourselves and from each other the same mercy that God “shows to each of us. And when we remember this—when our minds are healed of the delusion that our shadows define us—then showing mercy and forgiveness comes naturally.”
The Shadow Effect
Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson & Debbie Ford