Inspirational Articles

The Shadow of the Spiritual

The Shadow of the Spiritual

By Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak

The past few months we have seen a number of events around the world that have both exhilarated and terrified the global community. The election of the first African American as President in the United States is both an historical milestone and, hopefully, a beacon of change in their approach to the rest of the world as well as their own country. The rapid decline in stock markets around the world sent the wealthy running for the exits. The media has kept us well focused on these events and not much more. Well, Canada did have a federal election but not much changed here, same prime Minister, same policies.

Through all of the fear and greed there really is something exciting happening. As has been predicted for years there slowly is a shift in the global consciousness occurring throughout all this turmoil. Whenever we change, whether individually or globally, the shadow aspect of the event always comes into play in order for a true transformation to occur. For a true change to occur at the spiritual level even the spiritual has a shadow aspect that must be shifted. Nothing within the physical world escapes this duality; it is the nature of our planet and human consciousness.

The Spiritual

As Anthony DeMello wrote in his book “Awakenings”, there are only two key human experiences, that of love and that of fear. The Spiritual element of humans is based on love while the shadow of the spiritual is fear. The true spiritual experience is one of love, abundance, prosperity, compassion and connectedness to all things on the planet. The experience of love comes from within and we share it outwardly with others. The movement of this love to others moves us to care about the planet and her inhabitants, to be free of judging others and their pathway to awakening. It experiences abundance and is moved to share so that all may take part in the bounty of the earth. For the spiritual to fully encompass our journey, we will experience the shadow side of the spiritual.

The Shadow

The spiritual shadow is what we are witnessing and living through today. It is the manifestation of fear that feeds a poverty and lack of abundance mentality. That is why the global financial turmoil is occurring. Fear has fueled the greed and hoarding part of us. It is the flip side of the spiritual experience. In the shadow we know love but only if we are loved by others and more specifically are in a relationship. We have a sense of entitlement that we get to have as much as we want with little regard for others. This greed, then, leads to the hoarding of money, goods, products, even love and compassion. The statistics are clearly showing that those who are considered wealthy continue to accumulate more, while those without, right across the planet, continue to see their wealth or access to it, decline. The shadow of the spiritual feeds our greed, our need to hoard, our sense of entitlement and our need to control. All of this can be reduced to one shared global experience, fear.

What we are seeing at the moment is the extreme end of the shadow. Fear leading to blind panic and irrational behaviour. The shadow has both positive and negative qualities that we need to learn from. Whether it is the microcosm, the individual, or the macrocosm, globally, we can learn to integrate how we view and use money, goods and services and how we take care of the planet and her inhabitants. By understanding the world has more than enough for everyone, we can temper this fear that wrongly tells us, there is not now, nor will there ever be, enough. The only reason people believe there is not enough is because hoarding centers most things into the hands of the few and what is left over goes to the rest.

From the shadow, we can learn the right use of the planet and her abundance but only if we can connect this to the spiritual element that we are all here to share and partake of the plentiful bounty of the earth; only then does fear not become the dominant experience of abundance and prosperity. While it may appear that the world is in chaos there is actually much hope in the outcome but only if we are willing to learn from it. Two examples of those who have accumulated great wealth and then embraced the true essence of spiritual abundance are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. While extremely successful in their careers, they have donated the bulk of their combined wealth to charity. Specifically, these funds provide for research to develop better treatments while providing care and nourishment for Aids, malaria and tuberculosis patients in Africa and globally.

A Turning Point

What is occurring at the moment could in fact herald new possibilities in how we view and experience abundance and prosperity. It must include how we care for those with less, physically, mentally and spiritually. In wealthy nations like Canada and the U.S. to see the homeless, the need for food banks, and for some, a lack of medical care, all point to our inability to share our own wealth and compassion. As for globally, it is virtually criminal that wealthy nations do so little for impoverished, war torn countries. The ad campaign that set the slogan “think globally, act locally” needs to be our motto. All people, places or things that go through true transformation begin a journey in which chaos is only a step in the larger picture to true change. The chaos of financial institutions and governments worldwide all present us with a chance to truly change from a place of concentrated wealth to shared resources, from control and power over others to self determination. This is more than a bad time in history. This is a spiritual turning point in the shift of the planet, but it requires work on our part. In elevating our consciousness to see the bigger picture we can move past the panic gripping the world and gradually we all will benefit from a new sense of shared prosperity and abundance without the fear.