Shadow Work: Wider Views with Hadi Atallah

The greater the volume of thoughts we work with, the better the context we can create for developing options and trusting our choices. We usually allocate and reallocate our spiritual and physical resources to actually get our lives moving. Shadow work should be sufficiently planned for and in some cases, there will be only one aspect that can be activated, and everything else will depend on the results of that, such is the case with enlightenment.

What is enlightenment? Enlightenment is intimacy with all things. Intimacy is achieved by paying close attention to things. If we are truly that present and our microstates are not conditioned to remain on the same thing or contingent for that matter. Figure out the qualities that make it productive or else it would be psychosis. Have an ethical orientation of existence. Knowing the difference between the right to do and the right thing to do.

Assuming that we can collect everything that has our attention. If we are not sure what we are going to be using as a personal awakening system, do not worry. We are likely to keep all kinds of nutty toys and artwork and gadgets around our desks to spur creative thinking just like young people do. Creativity and intellectualism are dangerous territories. Young people come to college very emotionally charged, full of a lot of opinions and a lot of physical dynamism and as they discover the power of intellect a kind of balance can come into them. They can think about their feelings so that they can enjoy a kind of internalized cosmology of philosophy that no one can provide for them. And that bringing in the thing that they are missing can actually make us more dynamic. Nevertheless, cognitive scientists have now proven the reality of decision fatigue – that every decision you make, little or big, diminishes a limited amount of your brain power.

We may consider practising stress-free productivity. Instead of hopelessness, insert the meaning of being part of a larger picture. We are part of the Earth’s moving surface. We are unique and we have our unique expressions but we are part of the Earth’s moving surface in relationship with each other. And in the theme of interconnectedness, we think of ourselves as this skin-bound body and that’s who I am but when we think of what makes up this body like when I drink this glass of water this water is the ocean, is rain, literally snow melt from the sierras that comes down the pipes through to this house. Because I’m warm right now it’s because the sun 93 million miles away has been warming the planet. And I’m digesting food releasing energy that the plants happen to metabolize and the food that I am eating comes from the Earth. That’s my bones, my flesh and my muscles. All this sounds like a nice idea BUT IT’S REAL. We are just these elements just like the trees and the rocks and the grass, and the beavers and the elks. Knowing we are a part of really helps our psyche when we feel so separate and alienated. 

To that end, the feeling of interconnectedness will provide a logical sequence of things to do, to make it easy as possible for us to get on board and glean the most value from this stress-free technique. If you are not sure you are committed to an all-out implementation of interconnectedness, let me assure you that much of the value people get from this is good tricks like the quality of the mindset. Poisonous attitudes, for instance, could get you stuck. And one of the challenges is to find interpretive comments to introduce to the psyche that will deconstruct the unwell stuck place inside of the psyche, which could be uncomfortable and often misinterpreted as a kind of poison and in as much as it is not good to hear things there are lots of truths that friends would offer to us that may be painful and disrupt our self-esteem but ultimately if the medicine is proper it allows the old attitudes to dissolve and other things that are more comprehensive more adaptive and more mindful to ultimately re-coagulate in that open space. So often serpent venom in a well-timed, profound interpretation is thought of as a metaphorical equivalence. Like mercury in alchemy which is believed to of a great dissolving agent that would corrode the rock and liberate the gold. This is when the poison is thought of as medicine.

If you feel that you do not have either – you really do not have any central mental spot you would call home for dealing with your stuff – it is imperative that you create one. The universe is always working for the highest good. Surrendering is not an absence of responsibility. The old paradigm is ‘What do you want.’ The new paradigm is ‘What is it Life and Universal intelligence is seeking to express with me.’ Align yourself with this most authentic impulse. This is what is true. Then you take action, bring out the strategies and allow the ego to fulfil its tasks, and then you plan. Then you work with harmony and alignment with nature and your soul and your essence. When you surrender you end up working harder. You are on a mission. Like Moses, Jesus and Prophet Mohammad. They were in alignment. That was surrender. And there is where the magic happens.

Too many people I know tried to work on a single task, and it always makes light-years of difference when they expand their actions rather than their thinking. Remember that the belief system is not as profound as the practice itself. The ego is seeking, seeking, seeking to find purpose trying to reinforce itself. It is a vehicle. The biggest part of seeking here is that you are avoiding your purpose and not seeking it. So stop seeking and start living and evolving. This is our one true purpose. Move in the direction that has you grow. Where you feel energy most.

As you go along, you are likely to dance between using what you are used to and evaluating any possibilities for new and different gear to work with. Let us assume that we all are starting from scratch and that the mind is thought, within thought, within thought, within thought but the key thing is that at the centre of it is a fragrant of emptiness. That’s the awareness which is always silent, insubstantial, intangible, boundless and fragrant. Beingness, is awareness which is happiness.

Happiness is a surprisingly useful tool in this process. Life is simple. It doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you. And everything happens at the right time and in the right way. Just trust it. Not in your mind but in your heart. The heart is connected to everything. There is where the doorway to freedom lies. Engage with your heart and do not manage. What we try to control, controls us.

Should you implement this process, we need the easiest way for us to be reminded of shadow especially when things are moving fast for us. Shadow is something that is created by the unconscious, a structure in the brain that incorporates the extremely important in how we express and act in our lives. I want you to imagine that you live in a house, a house where you’ve lived your whole life but there’s a basement floor in the house which you never knew existed. And every once in a while a man in the basement writes a message, rolls it up in a bottle, stuffs it in, pokes it out from under the cross space and it rolls down the lawn and stops at the sidewalk. Somebody picks up the bottle and reads the message and they walk up your door and want to talk to YOU about it. That’s what shadow is. We project shadow, and it happens almost automatically and unconsciously. It is hard work going down that basement and figuring out some of our darker aspects.

Nevertheless, let us go for simplicity, speed and fun. They all represent the biggest opportunities for improvement. The best rehearsal for the future moment is to invest in the present moment. Speaking is something that is very amazing. We think we are in charge of speaking and therefore rehearse what we’re going to say. We are more or less coherent with each other. Learning to inhabit that and realize we can make it up on the spot. Just inhabit the moment and you got what it takes. The capacity to speak and be intelligible is an already acquired skill. The rehearsal we need to do is very very minimal. Imagining the Self in the future is pointless and impossible and anxiety-provoking. Take care of yourself here and now. And once it’s done. Drop it. Judge the activity for compassion, like apologizing to another, but don’t judge it for the Self.

Furthermore, it is helpful to have a sense of the volume of stuff we have to deal with. Gather all the things that require attention in one place. You will automatically be operating from a state of enhanced focus and control. Nevertheless, the unconscious would make us hay from what we would extract from it in order to create and put it out in the world. And maybe that payment would be a kind of suffering, a kind of neurotic process that someone must go through. But that the unconscious can be somewhat selfish about its own material and so there is a heroic element to getting a piece of it for one’s Self.

We have no doubt a lot of things fall into the unconscious, yet avoid premature cognitive commitment. It’s where we decide without thinking and jump to conclusions. It could be conclusions about ourselves. Stop taking shortcuts, particularly shortcuts that would hinder what we want to be. If it is immediately evident that something is wrong, our longing is a true connection with life, showing up, and learning from our challenges. We don’t have to like it but it should be true. Everything treated right is a dharma gate. We will have to be consistent, and it will be necessary to evaluate everything from the same journey to get it that way. If you consider questioning whether the journey I am writing about is clear and meaningful, always remember that the longest 18-inch journey is from our minds to our hearts.

Moreover, everyone has permission to spend the whole day in hate mode, but never allow the inconsistency to be taken for granted. Keep it short. It could feel really good to hate. We don’t like feeling small and vulnerable. Although the great saints tell us that when we can welcome feeling small; it is a gift to feeling simple and free. It is a gift to come down where we ought to be. If we could come down and be simple there is hope to move beyond hatred.

Conclusively, have a little doubt to stay sharp. How to build confidence? Consistency and not intensity or volume. Consistent little challenges. And small doses of something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Don’t go with the flow. Be the flow. There is a natural ebb and flow to life and by living in our hearts and trusting our intuition, we can be the flow and live the life of our dreams. This knowing comes from inside of us. And in this way, we tap into the limitless potential that brings abundance and goodness into our lives and the lives of the ones around us.

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