Shadows and Belief

02007-10-17 | Musings | 4 comments

Regarding this post from the other day.

How to recognize one’s shadows – see Ken Wilber’s blog entry – which I mentioned here.

If you are an atheist and religious folk make you angry – you might have a shadow. If you are a religious person and atheists make you angry – you might have a shadow. To put it very simply, if something makes you raise your voice (or have angry thoughts) every single time – maybe there is a shadow lurking there.

Can consciousness be reduced to brain function? That seems to be a major issue.
From the above linked interview:

I have to tell you, I’ve had some uncanny experiences. Once, in fact, I had a very strange experience where I seemed to be getting information from a dead person. I racked my brain trying to figure out how this could be happening. I did come up with an explanation for how I could reason this away. But it was a very powerful experience. If it could truly be demonstrated that there was more to a human being than the physical body, this would have tremendous implications.

At this point there is no way of knowing, except through interior experience. Maybe it can truly be demonstrated in the future. In the meantime we have to trust our experiences and be willing to accept that not-knowing is fine. The human experience will always contain a measure of not-knowing. That’s part of the territory. I find that to accept not-knowing, or to surrender to it, creates space – it opens the hand of thought. It may well be more difficult to hold that space than to jump onto this or that side and it may feel unsettling at first.

I think the question is this: would your life change if you discovered that there is only this – no reincarnation, no afterlife, no heaven above us – only sky? Would you act differently? And the reverse is also true: would your life change if your reincarnation, your afterlife, and the heaven above us depended on it? Would you act differently? I think the answer should be a resounding NO – to either question.


  1. yumiko

    Part I: …you might have a shadow.

    And not only atheists and religious folk. It can be friend to friend.
    I’ve had people that I have met (now friends) try to convert me to their religion…which I said, “Thank you. That is a high compliment…but,…” Disappointment and lengthy/short discussions appear as an aftermath of that answer.

    It is all about wanting someone to change to another’s way of thinking. You meet someone, you like them and then, you want them to change them? Unfair. it’s controlling. Better to come to a conclusion of allowing each other/s to develop a life/relationship together and separately. Two whole parts. Treasure what you initially like/d about them, past the religious or any belief system.

    Part II: I think the question is this: would your life change if you discovered that there is only this…

    “If this is already a past life and you don’t know it?”
    “Is this a significant past life?”
    “If you only remember your significant past lives…does this mean…you won’t remember this one?”
    If, If, If…

  2. dave

    Probably most everyone has some shadow element they’re dealing with, knowingly or unknowingly. Hell (there’s that swearing again) at 45 I’m just now starting to be able to let go of stuff I’ve harbored for years and I was lucky enough to have had a happy childhood. For some reason, I’ve found it much easier to accept a friend’s faults than a family member’s.

    In my opinion, whether this is it or there is an afterlife shouldn’t matter. Either way we should be trying to live in the moment & be a generally kind person to get the most enjoyment out of this life if this is it or to pave the way to the next life if there is an afterlife.

  3. eric

    the only real change that might come from either one of those questions (which is unlikely we’ll discover in our lifetime) is that it may make people focus in a little more on how truly fragile we are.

    …IF this is the last stop and there is no more after this then should we take full advantage of EVERYTHING? “I’m gonna get mine!”

    …IF there is something after this than are we really preparing now for what lies up the road?

    Will we ever really know?

    …my guess is no. kinda goes against the design of the whole thing don’t ya think?

  4. ~C4Chaos

    so i read this post and also read Your Lying Shadow post from Scott Adams. you two are talking about different kinds of shadows. but somehow i think that they’re both related ;)



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