About Me

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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Get with the Shadow or you'll end up a bit too 'tightly wrapped' or ? Oblivious/Careless

In my opinion anyway.
Here's my ! Attempt to explain a thing I REALLY like. I gave up after a while, because it's VERY difficult to explain, but its better than nothing. Its a start.

Here's a bit by Robert Bly about how ?'processing' ones shadow affects ones 'authority'. Or perceived authority. I like this description as it communicates what I 'see' in others. Its a 'thing' I REALLY like to be around in other people.My favorite people have this quality. Anyway I just thought I would TRY !! To explain a bit about it. Not easy!

p54 A little book on the shadow', by Robert Bly.
"If a teacher has worked with his own shadow, she says that students, no matter how young they are, sense it, and discipline in that room will not be difficult, because the students know that the teacher has his crow with him. Other teachers, she says, who have not worked with their shadow, can talk about discipline all day and never get it. I like the idea that the work a person does on his or her shadow results in a condensation, a thickening or a denseing, of the psyche which is immediately apparent, and which results in a feeling of natural authority without the authority being demanded."

I must admit Sydney Poitier springs to mind in the film Dear Sir! But is not the best example. But it give you a clue as to what I think this passage refers to. Monks are 'dense' if that helps. Well the ones I like are anyway.

As far as the shadow goes, 'nice' is no good. There is no ? 'honesty' in 'nice'. A fuller appreciation of the 'depth and weight' of the human psyche, means 'nice' just does not 'fit'. Something a little more dense is requiired. Not wild and abandoned, just ? 'dense'. Dense is more honest. In my opinion. And I like being around dense people. The term I use for when people are NOT like this, is 'Sunny side up'. I actually find it pretty difficult to tolerate the company of people like that for very long. Its almost painful or something. Yeah, so there are some terms I use to describe it:

'Sunny side up'
'Tightly wrapped'
? 'Optimistic' - a more obviously STRAINED form of positive thinking.
There is always something a bit STRAINED about this ? manner. Whatever. I hope you understand what I mean, because I find this pretty hard to describe.
They do not look 'stable'. Not to me anyway.
It always looks like quite a lot of energy is required to maintain that ? Demeanor.
There is an energy of 'enforcement' about them.

This type of person I find DRAINING. Which is a shame, because there are a LOT of people that are like this.

The people I like are:
? 'Dense' (Meaning the way Robert Bly uses the word dense in the passage I mentioned earlier)
No evidence of 'strain'. More like 'loose garment' types.
No evidence of 'sunny side up'
No fear of the dark side of humanity.
Acceptance of the dark side. Peace.
Ability to have fun and enjoy the good things life has to offer.
It look as if there Is more of a 'steady cruise' of energy
There is an energy of 'containment' about them. No 'strained' energy.
They look 'safe'. 'stable'.

Some people are kindof relaxed, but a bit oblivious. People who have integrated their shadow, look ? Powerful and 'knowing'. They have a very ? Silent authority. An unspoken authority. It is felt, more than anything. It doesn't come from being impressed by words.
It is not ? TOO relaxed. Its is NOT casual. It is precise and considered, but not precious. Its like ballet really.
Also it is not ? 'grubby'. I see a lot of acceptance of very negative behavior in meetings. That is NOT an example of shadow work. Instead it is reckless acceptance of damaging and negative thought forms.

Jeez. I KNEW this would be hard to explain. Whatever. Theres an attempt. I see this as pretty important developmental work in ANY spiritual path, so that's why I mention it.
Hey did I tell you I don't do therapy? Just thought I'd chuck that one in, just to mess with your heads! Hahaa. Right I'm off. Have a great Thursday!


Most of Martha Woodroof in one place said...

This was the perfect post for me today--dense, if you don't mind my saying so!

When I was drinking and using I had a lot of self-spin about me. I think I was more a persona than a person. Long-term sober, I think there's much more Popeye about me--I am what I am. My plan each day is to live my life so as to be as much help and as little harm to myself and others, while at the same time not taking myself and the world too goll-durn seriously. I like people who are real. Is that at all what you mean by dense? Or not?

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

"as much help and as little harm to myself and others,"

Cool I like that. Havent heard it put that way before..

Yeah real is dense. 'Wild' is also dense. Real should be a little bit scary in its immediacy. not a sort of tell-all ? Devil-may-care approach to self disclosure. Some people think being real means speaking of highly personal things as a matter of course. Its more a 'depth and weight' of a person. Not just words as such, but more a presence.

I meant it more in the way Robert Bly describes it when he says:
"I like the idea that the work a person does on his or her shadow results in a condensation, a thickening or a denseing, of the psyche which is immediately apparent,"

johno said...

Sounds like P18 Big Book? "But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours."

"That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured-these are the conditions we have found most effective."

havent heard "dense" before though. I know a few people like you describe, usually comfy and quiet, but not timid, or secretive, often listening, seem to know when to and not to speak, not generally sheepingly following the herd, even within a herd...

I dont know many people like this, (but then I havent got out of AA rooms much til recently), the ones I found are on some journey, faith, religeous or other, but not one of "a general therapy course" i find.

I like them, met some leading and taking part in an Alpha Course last year, not born agains, just ordinary people, know their stuff, but not know it alls, passing on a message, service, trying to do the right thing, but not "preaching" the gospel!! Some people do some really inetersting things in their search. Not mental wacky, just real interesting. Extra- ordinary... and I think I have gone on long enough.