Loving Our Darkness

by Berenice Andrews

We were immersed in a “deep” conversation…that very rare kind…where there’s no sense of separation between two people. During that time of “oneness,” she gave me the gift of an idea that was new for me. She said:

“What my guides have taught me is that I am the whole spectrum…shadows and light. If I try to operate in only one part of the spectrum, I can get into trouble. I can be beyond that. I must honor my darkness…dance in my darkness.”

Her words plunged me into many hours of probing into and of pondering on being “the whole spectrum.”

Here’s a distilled version of that exploration.

An Incalculable Darkness

That “darkness” is our own multidimensional emotional body consciousness, an immense creative energy that’s comparable to a gigantic iceberg. Only a small portion is above the surface, while the remaining vastness floats and shifts in the depths below. Thus, while our emotional consciousness energy is a “subtle” body, it can often seem to have the volume and weight of tons of free-floating, frozen water.

And it can be just as dangerous.

For our emotional bodies are our “feelings” energies of consciousness, present even before we became homo sapiens. During each incarnation, those energies—partly “brought in” from our past lifetimes and partly generated in our current lifetime—have not kept up with the evolution of our other “bodies.” Thus, even after millions of years of evolving, our pre-human emotional bodies—our survival-fear-based energies existing mainly outside of our awareness—have essentially remained unchanged.

And that energy is much more powerful than either our physical or mental bodies of consciousness. Indeed, our “feelings” can cripple both of them by being the overwhelming power subtly impacting on their development. In other words, people are still “animal” souls. And, despite our firmest resolutions, we can, like the Titanic, be torn apart.

But the questions arise:  Why can’t we simply tame and control those primitive consciousness energies? And since we (obviously) can’t do that, why is it that those of us who are spiritual seekers, as well as those who aren’t, have such ongoing difficulties with them?

To answer those questions with another question: Are we as helpless as we assume?


We’ll begin by looking at a very “big” picture; namely, evolution.

While modern science has made us familiar with the physical evolutionary process, modern biblical scholarship has suggested that throughout the ages, the idea of “God”—as described in mankind’s myths, scriptures and religions—has also been evolving. And some people have become ready to let go of a “He” and/or a “She” anthropomorphic deity. Now some of us are ready to embrace the (r)evolutionary idea that a Creative Consciousness Energy has been at work in the universe.

We are realizing that right from the “beginning” there has been an ongoing two-fold evolution going on—that of “God” the Creator and that of Its creation, including “man.” This evolution has been an incredible journey, which, despite many detours and dead ends, has never ceased. It really couldn’t, because evolution has always been Spirit-in-action (Ken Wilber).

Yet at this time in mankind’s history there are some people whose hatreds are so intense that they are apparently quite willing to destroy all that the Spirit-in-action has created thus far. And we onlookers fearfully, angrily, and helplessly point to the resentments generated by social conditions, mainly political and economic deprivation, as the underlying “cause.”

But if we search deeper, we find emotional body consciousness energies at work—theirs and ours. Then, having identified the main problem, how do we proceed?

Could we allow ourselves to ask questions such as, “Why do so many of us go through life carrying an undercurrent of feelings that say we’re inadequate? that we’re guilty? that we’re unlovable? that we’re unworthy? Could feeling this way about ourselves have something to do with the hatred in the world? Could it have something to do with our beliefs? And if so, what?”

In the context of a twenty-first century shamanic spirituality that embraces both metaphysics and quantum physics, here are some ponderings:

Our Disowned Selves

Each one of us can be described as an evolutionary, microcosmic “i-am” consciousness energy that is an expression of the evolutionary macrocosmic “I-AM” Consciousness Energy—the Life, Light, Love, and Law—that is constantly expressing in, as, and through Its creation.

If we accept the idea that that Consciousness Energy is our “Life/Light source,” we can perceive that we are inside it because we can’t “be” anywhere else. Thus, we can be illumined by our own “life/light”—our own “higher” vibration.

Then what is it that interferes with that “life/light” and, thereby, creates our “shadows”?

Here we turn to modern Western psychology that has given us brilliant insights into the “inner workings” of our emotional bodies and made us aware that our “shadows” are created by our own disowned selves. Those “selves” are the aspects of our own beingness that we have labeled as “undesirable,” or  “lacking,” or “bad,” or even “evil.” They are the parts of us that we have rejected so thoroughly that they can “surface” (if at all) only in our dreams and as our “projections,” i.e., our perceptions of and reactions to other people.

And what has caused us to do that?

Within the past 25 years, there have been some remarkable psychological and philosophical studies that have indicated how mankind’s beliefs have shaped our destinies. And what has become increasingly clear is that by adhering (knowingly or unknowingly) to the belief that we are “fallen” creatures and unworthy of the kingdom of God, we are creating the conditions that make this true in our own lives and in our world.  In other words, individually and collectively people have been hiding from the “light” in which they actually exist by creating their shadows—their disowned selves—by means of their beliefs. (We’re quite capable of doing that because we are a microcosmic creative energy!)

But, do we have the “right” to continue to do that? Have we not been taught, at least during the past 3,000 years or so, that we are to let our light shine so that others will see it and glorify the Spirit (Matthew 5:16)?

And in view of the present world situation, isn’t it about time we considered starting out on a new path, one that allows (encourages) us to know who we (all of us) are and lovingly to accept that beingness?

But how do we (all of us) bring this about?

Loving Awareness

Many of this world’s spiritual teachers (including Jesus of Nazareth and Julian of Norwich) have informed us that it’s quite appropriate to offer loving service to ourselves. So, with (perhaps) a sense of relief, we can give ourselves permission to foster a loving awareness of all that we are, including our disowned selves. During that self-nurturing which, at first, is often quite difficult (at this point, we seem to be on our own), we can discover deep within us a consciousness that is a profound sense of connection—one that’s both thoughtful and mindful, i.e., both caring and wise.

With our indwelling Spirit-in-action to sustain us, we go about exploring our own darkness and slowly acknowledging, accepting, and allowing our disowned selves. Meanwhile, Spirit is in-forming our mental bodies of consciousnessAnd we actually begin to foster the loving beliefs that our being requires.

And, while that connection is healing all our disparate “parts” so that we’re becoming a whole human being (even our physicality can be changed), our loving awareness is expanding. We find that we are creating that wholeness for others…again, Spirit-in-action.

Thus we’re starting to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” And we’re becoming increasingly involved with the Love/love energies that have been steadily “quickening” in the cave of our heart(s). It’s the birthing place of each one of our “higher selves.”

Meanwhile, we are realizing both individually and collectively, that our spirituality and humanity are one and the same. Thus, we can increasingly connect with all our “i-am-ness” and finally recognize it for what it really is…an expression of the transcendent “I-AM”. In other words, we can become “transparent to [our] transcendence” (Joseph Campbell) and at the same time, be wonderfully human.


Our loving awareness will not only be our lifelong commitment (indeed, it will likely take several lifetimes!) but also our highest achievement. In this, we will be both generating ourselves and assisting the rest of mankind to move into the next stage of beingness. Thereby, we’ll be evolving our (human) emotional body consciousness and (symbolically) raising the Titanic.

And in co-creating that actualization, our major achievement will be our complete willingness to go into the darkness and dance in loving embrace with our shadows.

Berenice Andrews is a shamanic teacher/healer and a regular contributor to this magazine. To explore the ideas presented above in greater detail, please refer to her articles in back issues of Transformation Magazine and to her book: Rebirthing Into Androgyny: Your Quest for Wholeness…And Afterward. If you are interested in becoming her student, see her website:  thestonecircleclassroom.com.

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