A Guide to Shadow Symptoms

In this list, the “symptom” is what we may think or feel about a person or situation. However, in healing and becoming whole/holy, it can be very helpful to know that the symptom is not the complete truth, but is actually a projection from our Shadow. This means that we deny, ignore, or suppress our true thoughts and feelings (usually without even realizing it), so those thoughts become unconscious “shadow forms” which appear in our lives as the symptoms. When we recognize the symptom, we can then translate it back to its original shadow form (the truth in ourselves that we ignore), and with this new awareness of our true feelings, we can begin to heal.

“I looked, and looked, and this I came to see:
That what I thought was you and you,
Was really me and me.”
an old proverb

From Ken Wilber’s excellent book, No Boundary:

The Common Meaning of Various Shadow Symptoms
A Guide for Translating Symptoms Back to Their Original Shadow Forms

Symptom Its Original Shadow Form
Pressure Drive
Rejection (“Nobody likes me.”) “I wouldn’t give them the time of day!”
Guilt (“You make me feel guilty.”) “I resent your demands.”
Anxiety Excitement
Self-consciousness (“Everybody’s looking at me.”) “I’m more interested in people than I know.”
Impotence/frigidity “I wouldn’t give him/her the satisfaction.”
Fear (“They want to hurt me.”) Hostility (“I’m angry and attacking without knowing it.”)
Sad Mad!
Withdrawn “I’ll push you all away!”
I can’t. “I won’t, damnit!”
Obligation (“I have to.”) Desire (“I want to.”)
Hatred (“I despise you for X.”) Autobiographical gossip (“I dislike X in myself.”)
Envy (“You’re so great.”) “I’m a bit better than I know.”

Joseph Campbell 1987 unreleased interviews

Thanks to the Joseph Campbell Foundation (jcf.org) for sharing these excerpts from two “previously unreleased interviews with Joseph Campbell filmed shortly before his death in 1987.”

Interview 1:

Initiation Through Trials
Discussion of the Sun Dance rituals of the Mandan tribe, and their significance for the males of the tribe, who have to be actively placed into their adult roles through hardships and pain.

The Mythic Symbology of Release
Winged fish, feathered serpent, the Bodhisattva, and the Christ–images of a shift in consciousness.

Myth As the Mirror for the Ego

Interview 2:

The Birth of Mathematical Mythologies
A totally new idea on the importance of recording observations of the heavens…

The Dynamic of Life
Demonic or dynamic—tricksters and the disordering principle.

On Becoming an Adult
Myth lets you know where you are across the ages of life – at 40 or at 80…

Mythology of the First City States
Agriculture and the domestication of animals 10,000 years ago in the Near East creates larger communities and new cultural organization – from herders to warriors…

Interpretations of circumcision… from Judaism to the Sudan.

Sun, Moon, Serpent, and Bull
From bullfights to marriage, Joseph Campbell discusses symbols of sacrifice.

Mythology of the Trickster
The Trickster in Native American mythologies–Shadow, Creator, and Fool.

more on The Shadow Effect

In this video, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford talk about their new book The Shadow Effect with Alan Steinfeld of New Realities.com.

“What’s hard is not the spiritual life.
What’s hard is living an unconscious life.”
– Marianne Williamson

I thought The Shadow Effect was really amazing, but I especially recommend two books by Jungian analyst Robert Johnson: Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche and Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection. These are books everyone should own.

Shadow on the Earth

I came across this image of the Earth spread out like most World maps, except this one shows the shadow that moves around the planet carrying the Night. A very cool photo. Just click on the picture to see it BIG. I found this on a web site where you can see the progression of Night in real time.

The shadow made me think of the theme song from a TV show I used to watch called “Tales from the Darkside.” I’ve remembered the opening title sequence forever. The guy’s voice is scary, but it’s like a poem/lullaby. For some reason I happen to have this song, so now you get to enjoy its creepiness…

“Tales from the Darkside” theme

“Man lives in the sunlit world
of what he believes to be reality
but… there is, unseen by most, an underworld
a place that is just as real,
but not as brightly lit… a darkside”