Back in September 2009 , I posted about my shadow of obedience or compliance. In that post, I never really addressed how that shadow was keeping me from living a life of authentic, empowered self-expression, only how my resistance to that shadow keeps me in a world that is unworkable.
I want to start using a different term for shadow, because I have noticed how that term can be confusing to some readers, even though I have addressed and re-addressed my definition countless times here on this blog. I define shadow as simply “unconscious belief or behavior” so I will use that term “unconscious belief/behavior” to see how it might clarify what I am trying to do with my life in examining the multiple layers of my unconscious belief/behavior, like peeling away the layers of an onion to get to my core, that is, who I am. And to be clear, I don’t mean “core values” because values is just another word for belief and that means I have unconscious values that can block my access to my authentic self, as well.
The unconscious belief/behavior that can be found in obedience or compliance is a reflection of my own resistance to being a fully realized, responsible, human adult. It has been showing up or has been appearing to me all of my life as resistance to authority, whether it be political, social, religious or even moral authority, that is, a definition of what it means to be a “good” or “just” or equally a “bad” or “evil” person by the way I behave towards others.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to say that acting in obeyance or compliance to an authority outside myself is a bad thing or that it is a good thing either. I am, however, trying to say that unconscious belief/behavior in the area of obedience or compliance to an authority outside of myself can be a trap that keeps me stuck in the idea that I really have no freedom and that if I act or react in any way against an authority of some kind, that I am, in fact, a rebel.
How did I get myself into this trap, because I did get myself into this trap all by myself even if I believe that others helped me, others like my parents, my teachers, my bosses, or the cop who pulled me over for some reason, or just in the idea that I must listen to authority “for my own good.”
The answer is “I got myself into the trap of obedience or compliance when I identify both with whatever authority I have established for the moment and when I identify with the idea that this authority is right and therefore I am being made wrong. This is the shadow of obedience or compliance, where my ego creates an identity and when it does that, it creates separation between myself and that which I objectify as authority.
What happens then, when I identify with authority outside of myself as an object or as effect? Can I be authority as subject and cause instead? The answer is, of course, YES! Is it that simple? YES! Does it mean that it is easy? Heck NO!
So now I will bring us back around to the difference between obedient or compliant as a way of belief/behavior and obedience or compliance as a way of being.
When I am obedience or compliance as a way of being, I shift from reacting to authority “out there” to choosing authority as a mirror of who I am. When I do that I become authority. When I am authority, I have nothing to resist or rebel against. When I am authority, it is easier to see the lesson that I created for myself to learn. When I am authority, I am also obedience and compliance, which is a way of being, not obedient or compliant, which is a way of behaving. When I am obedience and compliance, the world is workable, I am authentic and I am truly FREE.
The very best use of life
...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!