Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Transmutation and the Path of the Shadow

The tumultuous path of the human condition is full of potential pitfalls. Some of these dangers can be clearly seen and acknowledged as dysfunctional and dangerous, where as other encounters are more subtle but equally perilous. In this instance I would like to focus on the later, and how our formative years shape our relational patterns to the wider world. As infants we are shaped from the legacy of our parents (or caregivers) and the generations that went directly before them. Within this continuity of consciousness there are inevitable blind spots and family traits that will become our unique and possibly challenging inheritance. Due to the ongoing generational inheritance of the traits, our consciousness can become imbued with an emotional time bomb that sits so ‘closely’ within our psyche that we are unable to even see it. The danger of this psychological blindness is that it can lead to an unconscious transmutation of the psyche’s energy. This energy can form as the shadow of the psyche, eventually feeding from darker, unhealthy relational habits, to compensate its natural outlet in the conscious world. The individual is gifted a unique opportunity to overcome the shadow aspect of their psyche however. The shadow acts as a form of evolutionary impulse which guides individuals to become more conscious of their psychological inheritance through the relational patterns that they create. It’s only by seeing the pattern that the individual can bring their shadow into the light of conscious awareness and transcend the legacy that has formed through them.

This all sounds very dramatic, but paradoxically the transmutation of the psyche is often caused by seemingly insignificant behaviours that gradually build over time. For example a child named Terry may have a very dominant parent who inadvertently dictates his activities and schedule when growing up. Within this Terry loses the natural capacity to ask for what he wants and this becomes a re-occurring theme in his life. To compensate the loss of being able to initiate his natural desires, ‘part’ of Terry’s psyche will begin to transmute and develop a set of compensatory behaviour patterns. Perhaps Terry feels undermined in the office due to a lack of being able to address his needs and as a result he unconsciously seeks out a submissive partner that allows him to vent his anger in a violent and abusive manner. Within this he may also form addictions with drink and drugs to compensate the lack of personal power in his conscious exchanges. The problem itself in this instance is very simple. Terry cannot ask for what he wants, but the ramifications of this and the transmutation of the blocked energy can lead to very damaging behaviours.

The transmuted energy often plays out into the world and typically develops the reverse of what is actually needed in any given situation. This allows the outcome to reflect back to the mirror mind of the unconscious instigator, so they can hopefully heal and transcend their wounds. A classic example of this, which unfortunately blights much of the world, is the political leaders or large-scale businessmen, who constantly deny their lack of inherent personal power. As a result a very powerful transmutation takes place that sees them seek positions of power for their own validation, and engage in many unsavoury decisions and actions to ensure their ‘success’. Another dangerous and often over looked transmutation comes from the role of individuals who are not taught to care for themselves. To compensate this personal lack, they will unconsciously seek roles in caring professions to validate the needs of the transmuted energy. Quite often the ‘helping’ can be the reverse of what is actually needed for the situation, stopping the other person from doing what they are already capable of doing. If this is not met through the role it can form in other unhealthy relationships with lethargic or dysfunctional partners. Within the double binding feedback loop of our co-created world we all have to be vigilant and as conscious as possible. The dark, transmuted energy can often trigger unhealed aspect of our own psyche where we inadvertently become the victim or helpless in the shadow persons desire to validate their unconscious desires. It’s only through our continually growing self-awareness that we can unlock our true potential and recognise the potentially damaging processes of those around us.

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