A Blog about Shadows, the unconscious patterns of belief and behavior that block access to my authentic, sacred masculine self

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!

What is Aliveness and What is Shadow?

What is Aliveness?
Setting aside religious beliefs, I believe that my primary purpose in life is aliveness. My experience of aliveness comes from work that I began in Werner Erhard’s est Training in July 1977, work which is currently being continued today in the Landmark Forum.  I define Aliveness as:
a condition or state of being alive such that I am fully present and participating in any given moment of life without the patterns of judgment, emotion or other blocks to that state of experiencing exactly whom I am and exactly who I am not.
Aliveness is not something to learn to become or a condition to arrive at. Werner would say that we all work toward our purpose of aliveness in different ways and that regardless of those different paths, we all work toward the same purpose. So for myself and which I offer as a possible path for you, I have the opportunity to experience my own aliveness each time I let go of the blocks to that aliveness which show up for me as my shadows.

What is Shadow?
My own personal discovery of shadow in my life began with my participation in a weekend long training called The New Warrior Training Adventure™, the primary initiatory process into deep and meaningful inner work as men with an international organization known as The Mankind Project™.

The term shadow was first introduced by the late Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. Carl G. Jung as everything in us that is unconscious, repressed, undeveloped and denied. Poet and author Robert Bly further describes how one can discover one’s own shadow in his book A Little Book on the Human Shadow by looking at what pushes our buttons in what we see in another person that repels or even attracts us. I believe that I have been, like many others, of the opinion that shadow is synonymous with a sinister dark side, like the dark side of "the force" as in the StarWars movies. I now hold that shadow and light together makes for a whole and complete human being. Shadow is therefore defined as:

simply that which is unconscious or hidden from myself, by my ego. My ego is that which I will identity with as myself and which I will defend at all costs, the ultimate cost being my authentic self-expression of who I am.
To find my shadow, all I have to do is see where I have a strong emotional charge with another person, something that presses buttons of both revulsion and attraction in me.

By noticing an emotional charge when it shows up and taking ownership of the charge, that is, by not projecting on another or making them the false cause of my charge, I have the opportunity to take a stand for that shadow rather than taking a stand for my three-year old made-up story about an emotionally-charged event, where my shadow originated and which I have since kept hidden from myself and, as a course, from others as well.

In this blog...
I will not so much be trying to tell you what your shadow is or that you have one, for that is in and of itself a notion that is often fueled by shadow, by those hidden parts of myself and of you, the reader. Since this blog reflects my own journey into the morass of often conflicting parts of my being, I will focus on myself with the underlying intention that what I have learned for myself might be of value to you... or it won't!  Either way, as I speak to you and it does or doesn't ring true, then my responsibility is ended at the point that it enters your ear and your mind.  From that point, I must leave it up to you to take full responsibility for your own body, mind and heart, just as I am taking responsibility for mine in sharing with you, the reader.

I wish each of you the blessings of Aliveness and the full authentic and masterful self-expression that I believe is possible when you see your shadows for what they are, what is projected on the ground behind you when you are turned face front towards the Light.

David Hallmark