As I have explained in many of my previous posts on the subject of shadow, meaning my unconscious beliefs and behaviors that I am trying to bring to light and share with others, in order for others to benefit from my style of discourse and intent to shed some light on our human condition, I am wondering how I can come to a measure of reconciliation for the dilemma I am now examining in full view of my ardent readership.
I started recycling metal, glass, plastic and paper at a local food co-op forty something years ago in the days of my feckless youth. I not only had to separate the various materials, I had to haul them down to the co-op in my little yellow Toyota Corolla instead of walking or riding a bike. These days, all I have to do is sort them into three piles, like sorting my laundry for different fabrics, and put them out on trash day to be picked up separately from the regular trash by a locally owned recycling company, which is ever-increasingly stymied from realizing anything definable as a profit and which has sometimes even been forced to just deposit its haul in a landfill in order stay afloat while trying to keep people continuing to put stuff out with some form of regularity to be picked up.
What I am trying to get at by this is that there is a shadow to be found in my attempt to try and make a difference in even the most mundane of activities, to bring about a change in my own thinking and with the hope that my small part in the fabric of humanity is multiplied by degrees of magnitude beyond my wildest imaginings. I wonder if doing my part, however small, is motivated by my desire to make a real difference, or is in some measure, simply a way to alleviate that sense of shame and fear that I carry in a world spinning head-long into chaos by forces beyond my control, forces intent on turning me into one in a zillion of hapless zombies like in movies that distract us from our reality and with what was once described in my day as a young activist as having "little or no socially redeeming value."
The possible resolution to my dilemma of a green philosophy is a realization from a Buddhist monk somewhere who said something to the effect that "what you resist persists, what you stop resisting, disappears. By coming to terms and embracing the unconscious beliefs and behavior that I have around being green, can I simply disappear the dilemma and turn it into a catalyst for real and lasting change? Can I turn darkness into light?
The answer, as always, is a resounding yes, however it begs the next question as to how.
The how is to, first of all, get that by blaming those very sinister forces that I have described here with a bit of irony and a lot of sarcasm, are not the cause of my dilemma or my purpose in being here. The cause of my dilemma is my resistance to it being the way that it is. This resistance has shown my hidden face in how I described the motivations of those who might wish us ill in the name of power and control. This resistance is the cause of my dilemma and my shadow. By now embracing this shadow, this unconscious need to control my world while still enjoying some of the many advantages of a standard of living that makes my recent fall into semi-poverty seem negligible by world-wide standards of measure, I am no longer the once bitter young advocate for social change and have become a new warrior for a world that works for everyone, with no one left out. When I was resistant to the way things were, I was still part of the very conditions that I so ardently deplored. By embracing those conditions with a Buddhist sense of detachment, I now have the power to effect real and lasting change, one step and one person at a time.