Be whole and holy

Today is Halloween, the day before All Saints Day. Actually, Halloween was originally known as All Hallows Eve. It’s similar to Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It appears that before we can approach the holy, we need to give expression to the “unholy,” the dark or shadow side of our nature.

Unfortunately, Christianity and some other religions have created a dualism between material and spiritual, flesh and spirit, mundane and sacred. This split also exists within ourselves. There is the “good” self that we consciously identify with and present to the world when we want to look our best. Then, there are all those parts of ourselves that we’re not real proud of, that we don’t want to acknowledge, that we surpress and deny. This stuff is pushed down into the sub-consciousness where it becomes the shadow personality. However, if not acknowledged, it can build up and manifest in uncontrollable, unhealthy acts, e.g. celibate clergy who engage in sexual misconduct.

A healthier way to deal with the shadow is to acknowledge it. As one good book’s title says, Make Friends With Your Shadow. When we make friends with our shadow, acknowledging its needs and desires and giving healthy, consciously moderated expression to them, the unhealthy, destructive expressions are minimized. We can then become whole or holy. As Osho says, the goal is to become Zorba the Buddha enjoying a passionate material life along with spiritual enlightenment. It doesn’t have to be either/or but both/and. We can be conscious, spiritual beings embodied in this material world living with our heads in the clouds and our feet on the ground. This is the path I follow and teach to my clients.

Peace,

Steve


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