some thoughts on (d)evil(s)17 Dec 2018
lately, i’ve been developing a much more nuanced understanding of all things “evil,” dark, shadow, etc.
i’m not quite sure when it started, but a year or so i started to hear whispers of people doing “shadow work.” given my lower-middle class, christian upbringing, i immediately thought of witchcraft and things of that nature. but as i heard and learned more, i realized shadow work was people actually just looking at the sides of themselves they don’t like, the parts they don’t talk about in public, the things in their stories they don’t want to remember.
i heard a quote once that was something to this effect: “
if you want to shine a lot of light, you cannot avoid casting a long shadow.
the visual that comes when i hear that is imagining a very bright light on a super tall lamppost. also, at sunset, the sun casts a super long shadow (note: i did my first 60 minute float yesterday and heard from one of the owners about sun gazing… O_O). i took that to mean, “if you want to put out a lot of light and goodness into the world, you have to be prepared to work with the fact that you’re going to produce a shadow and must know how to work with/hand it while shining all your light.” as i’m writing this, i’m thinking of all the people who get huge/popular/widely well-known and then collapse in on themselves. makes sense that these folks maybe didn’t learn how to deal with their shadows.
anyway, a few other things: on page 108 in 78 degrees of wisdom, a definition of evil that’s given is “behavior destructive to ones self or others.”
so simple. so much less insane and massive than i initially learned. there are so. many. tiny. actions. (and ways of being) that can be destructive to ones self or others.
two last things: i grew up thinking the devil was this singular being down in hell causing havoc up on earth of his own will. as i think about this definition of evil, im beginning to see more that we each have the capacity to be good as well as be (d)evil. and “monsters” are people who loose control of their ability to discern and then decide which capacity they’re going to focus on moving forward in the world around them.
2019 is going to be a year of me doing a lot of shadow work because (a) it’s time and (b) because i want to throw a lot of light. am i ready? of course not. am i going to do the work anyways? i don’t think i can move my work in the world forward any other way.
words / writing / post-processing
425w / 14min / 5min