by Chris Krohn
Is it true that we create our own reality? That our world is simply reflecting back to us the beliefs and perceptions we hold within us?
Imagine that you are wearing magnets all over your body. Each magnet represents a belief you hold, conscious or subconscious, as well as your karmic contracts, memories of trauma from this life and previous lives, and all your wonderful (and maybe not-so-wonderful) traits. Through these magnets, we project all of this out into the world and the world reflects this back to us. We call this reality. This reality is not carved in stone, rather it is the result of what we project out. If we want to change our reality, we simply have to remove the magnets that are attracting experiences we don’t desire.
When we project, we delegate power to an external source or person, making that source responsible for our success or failure, happiness or misery. Projection allows the person to avoid the responsibility for looking internally for the cause of the situation, and also prevents the person from feeling self-appreciation for successes and joy.
That which we are, we project onto others. The qualities in others that we most admire are the qualities that we possess. The qualities in others that irritate us are also qualities that we possess. We blame them for creating unpleasant situations in our lives, not realizing that we are simply projecting what we are onto them. We feel victimized, angry and helpless.
On the shamanic path, we become master creators of our reality and destiny. The cornerstone of this is the realization that everything we experience is a result of what we hold within…resulting from past lives, from our biological ancestors and from our current life experiences. When we realize this, we can transform our lives by clearing and shifting what we hold within that does not serve our highest and most joyful purpose. We can choose our destiny from a place of freedom. We lose the need to blame others and to see ourselves as victims. We gain control of every aspect of our lives. We dream our world into being.
How do we know what we are projecting? Look at your world…your dominant emotions, your relationships with others, your successes and failures. Look at what angers you about others, as well as what you appreciate in others. It is all projection.
Shadow is an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative. Shadow is also the entirety of the unconscious… everything of which a person is not fully conscious. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow, especially in people with low self-esteem. Psychologist Carl Jung stated that, “Everyone carries a shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”
Shadow is those qualities we deny in ourselves, but project onto others, blaming and judging them. When we make our shadow aspects conscious, they become available for us to shift them so they no longer wreak havoc in our lives. How do we know what we hold in shadow? What qualities irritate or anger you in other people, society and the world? Do you not see these qualities in yourself? Look at the qualities you judge harshly in other people. If you are consistently irritated by people you feel are rude, then rudeness (in some form or another) is something you hold in your subconscious, but may deny in your conscious mind. As we identify each area of our shadow, and bring it into the light, we can heal the source of that shadow aspect, transforming our lives from sadness, fear, anger and failure to joy, freedom, love and success.