Life is becoming increasingly more complex. With the rise of the internet we have access to more information than at any other time in recorded history. Social media has connected millions of people on a global network scale. Almost anywhere one finds themselves on the planet, they can plug into the internet, look up anything they are interested in researching, and “virtually” communicate with friends, family and strangers. 3 billion people are currently ‘wired’ into the internet, and this number is quickly increasing.
It is as if the internet has become a cyber collective data base that is operating in parallel to the collective consciousness of humanity. The information keeps increasing in a world that has become more and more unstable through economic meltdown, climate change, loss of privacy, and the inevitable corruption of government and authoritarian institutions. Despite these incredible technological advancements, most people in our world still live in poverty – and even in ‘developed’ countries, life has become a struggle, with many individuals facing great uncertainties regarding their future. The evolution of consciousness has not yet caught up with our technological progress.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you are drowning in this sea of information. Most people are living on autopilot, just trying to get by and ‘survive’. Technological progress has provided many solutions but created even more problems. People are glued to their smart phones, mostly communicating with others through texting and messaging. Their attention span seems to be decreasing, almost like an unconscious counter-reaction to the information boom, distracted by all the technological over-stimulation. Collectively, we seem to be at a breaking point. These are challenging times, but every challenge and struggle provides an opportunity to help awaken us from the collective slumber.
The struggle and internal friction experienced when trying to fit into a society that has become normalized with pathological values has pushed some of us into questioning our world and our cult-ure. Instead of drowning the little voice inside, engaging in avoidance strategies and jumping into the “consensus” rat race, we stop following the crowd and start seeking truth, trying to understand the world and ourselves in the process. Oftentimes, this journey is met with ridicule, resistance and attacks from others, and so it can become a lonely path to trod. There are forces at work who do not wish for humanity to awaken due to their own scarcity-consciousness interests – it’s the archetypal battle of Light vs. Dark; a spiritual war that is taking place both within and without ourselves.
Many of us do our best to speak out about the atrocities, injustices, oppressions, environmental issues, and corruption in our world. That is certainly needed, and shouldn’t be ignored. However, what I’ve also seen more and more of (in my interactions with others) is that many “truth seekers” and activists tend to focus only on these issues and get stuck on “fighting the system” on a 3D level. Many renegades who bring the darkness to light in our world – researchers and people in the alternative media realm – also fight each other over relatively minor points of disagreement, which quickly devolve in ways that shift into personal attacks. Be it on social media, message boards , or youtube comments (with people hiding behind screen names), they behave in ways they would probably never do when interacting in person – such is the price of living in the Internet Age. I don’t take myself out of the equation, for I have done the same in the past, being too harsh, projecting my own shadow and frustration onto others and the world at large.
If we recognize that shadow aspect in ourselves, without rationalizing it away by finding fault in others – and thus, take accountability for the way we communicate at all times – we can show more humility and have more compassion for others and ourselves. It’s OK to disagree and focus on the information itself so that we can get at the truth together, but personal attacks are just counterproductive. Life is hard as it is in this day and age, especially for the ones who can see through the lies of official culture and the matrix we live in. Frustration and anger are natural responses to the state of the world, and at time we feel helpless in our desire to help make this planet a better place, and just want to scream at the state of things-as-they-are, shaking our fists to heaven.
On the other hand, there are many times where people get triggered – not because of our failure to effectively communicate – but because of cognitive dissonance, that psychological state where people react in a defensive/close-minded/reactive way to information we are presenting which contradicts the beliefs which they identify with; this almost inevitably leads to them attacking us for it on a personal, ‘ad hominem’ level. At other times, people project meanings and emotions into the words we type that are simply not there, and therefore the observations/opinions presented are taken the wrong way.
This is an insightful video. Dealing with “critics” myself – most of them based in personal attack reactivity instead of critical thinking responses – I agree with his statement that many so-called critics project their own stuff, especially on the internet. These critics (and occasional outright ‘trolls’) hide behind screen names (often fake ones) and never really put themselves out there with their own work and words. They don’t write articles, make videos or share anything about their own personal process. Many of them just “shout” at the world and others for the most part, usually resorting to re-posting articles and videos without a single word of their own. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that from a preference perspective (and I disagree with JP’s judgment with regards to number of YouTube “subscribers”, which is actually an “appeal to popularity” fallacy), as everyone is free to explore their own callings and approaches. I’m not here to tell people what they “should” do, I’m just giving some food for thought and consideration when it comes to how much weight should be given to the content of their contributions when debate occurs.
Vulnerability and Compassion
There are many people doing great work exposing the lies which exist in our world. At the same time, I feel all of these efforts would be even more effective if these same people (prolific researchers, journalists or anyone who shares information) would also divulge some of their own vulnerable personal processes with regards to living life in the matrix while simultaneously trying to expose its inner workings; talking about their own shortcomings, mistakes and lessons, but not in a pity-me or poor-me victimized fashion. I would be thrilled to see these brave individuals reveal some of their own struggles – and deprogramming journeys – so that they may help other awakening individuals, allowing their audience to relate to the same difficulties we all experience, each in our own way.
Why is it that we are so afraid of our own vulnerability at times, especially with regards to showing it? What keeps us from sharing our deeper fears and personal struggles? Is it fear of what others may think, fear of being shamed and judged, of being seen as weak and damaged? Maybe that’s part of it. Fear is natural. A warrior is not fearless, but accepts fear as natural and acts anyway, understanding that fear is part of the journey – not necessarily as a frequency to be conquered, but as a companion on that adventure into the embrace of the unknown; gaining strength by stepping out of one’s comfort zone. I have fears and worries, which my mind usually makes up, and they can certainly act as self-defeating mechanisms. Shame and guilt has been a big part of some people’s make-up for all of their lives, starting in childhood, when their parents didn’t respond with compassion when they screwed up, opting instead for punishment and reactions like “you should be ashamed of yourself”. Naturally, as a result of this imprinting, we have developed masks and defense mechanisms due to fear of getting hurt again, and therefore possess a lack of confidence and courage in our magnificent abilities.
I’ve always been hard on myself (and because of that I can be hard on others as well) and this can be traced to dealing with guilt and shame programming for most of my life – constantly self-analyzing (to the point of diminishing myself constantly), always finding something wrong with me, repeating the “not good enough” mantra. My inner critic has always been way harder on myself than any of my external critics. For the longest time, up into my early thirties, I even felt guilty for feeling good and happy. When I was in a more positive state of being, my mind came up with self-diminishing thoughts, telling me that something bad is going to happen soon because life can’t be that good and I don’t deserve it anyway. It was an unconscious mechanism, I wasn’t really aware of it at all – I didn’t question the negative introvert of my mind, but instead just accepted it as “truth”. This resulted in me self-sabotaging relationships and things I wanted to accomplish at times. I remember clearly the day when I consciously realized how I felt guilty for feeling good, and how I was my own worst enemy.
My lack of healthy self love – and my negative introverted nature – has also been mirrored back on me by others, who would shame and attack me for my shortcomings, or for things that have nothing to do with me, but are rather their own unconscious shadow projections. Ironically, in those moments, the universe was showing me how I, unconsciously felt about myself, which I then took on as my “truth”, pulling me deeper into the downward spiral of shame/guilt. There have been many times in my life where I have internalized things based solely on what others “pushed” onto me, without ever questioning why, always finding fault within me, telling me that I was the one to blame. The lesson in all of this involved me not trying to prove or explain myself all the time in order to be understood or “liked”, but rather to develop healthy self-love (which is not narcissism), self-acceptance, and self-respect – and to simply be good to myself first and foremost, expressing myself in an authentic manner.
In short, it was a project built around having compassion for myself – even if I made mistakes or poor choices – and to not take on the projected shame or guilt of others or the culture at large; to not care how others may perceive me; and to also show compassion for others who do not act with kindness towards me. That’s not easy to accomplish at times, because the ego loves to get into a fight and engage with our incessant feelings of righteousness, our attack/defensive modes, our need to criticize and put others down, our desire to “punish” them. This is not to say that we should abandon the principle of standing up for ourselves when needed, or just “turn the other cheek”, but I do think that it requires all of us to find a space wherein we can come from a more compassionate place in our personal dealings with one another.
People who hurt us oftentimes project their own pain onto us, and occasionally in turn, we project our own unconscious pain and hurt onto others. Sometimes the compassionate response is simply to remove yourself completely from the connection and not engage in it any longer, which basically means taking care of yourself and not trying to convince another person of anything in any way. Sometimes, there simply can’t be a resolution, and thus the “resolution” actually involves a non-resolution. That’s been a tough lesson for me, because I usually want to “talk things out” and come to a common, compassionate understanding and resolve things. I have learned the hard way that this is not always possible.
“I accept that no one is trying to hurt me whenever hurtful words or cruel behavior come my way. I accept unconsciousness occurs as a way for others to show me how deeply they suffer. I further accept the unconsciousness of others does not require me to lash out and match their vibration, nor does it reflect back anything unconscious about me.
Instead, I allow every act of unconsciousness to inspire a more loving response, as I witness an unconscious world helping me evolve, at the rate in which I act out the very choices I’ve waited for others to embrace.
This doesn’t justify anyone’s unconscious behavior, or mean that I should put myself in situations that compromise my well-being. It allows me to go wherever my qualities and talents are honored, while acting upon my soul’s highest wisdom, as a way of energetically helping those who suffer to find their way home.”
– Matt Kahn
Many of us tend to be very hard on ourselves when we use spiritual/esoteric teachings (or psychology) to keep pulling out the emotional weeds whilst forgetting to water the existing soul-flowers. The same observation can be applied when speaking about the ‘social justice’ individuals who speak out about the issues of the world, to the point where they can become so preoccupied with the pathology of the planet – the corruption, atrocities, etc. – that they project their own shadow (internal unconscious anger, frustration, repression) onto both the world and others, and thus don’t see anything good anymore.
We need positive reinforcement from time to time, especially from within ourselves. In the end, it’s about love – and by “love”, I am not referring to avoidance strategies or living in denial by forcing ourselves to be nice and positive all the time. I am referring to the love that allows everything to arise and be felt without judgement from the self or others, and allowing it to be transmuted through the power of its grace-full harmonic. This obviously also ties into compassion and forgiveness for self and others.
When we get in touch with our vulnerability without judging ourselves, we heal the wounded child within and discover that we all have the same fears, the same “issues” and struggles with ourselves; and the more we share our deeply-vulnerable moments with each other, the more others can actually relate to us (and vice versa) in a genuinely-authentic and compassionate manner. In this way, we are co-creatively helping to heal ourselves and the world we live in, while simultaneously creating more authentic relationships which possess a more compassionate approach which transcend intellectual information warfare.
In this digital day and age, it’s so easy to get distracted by the world “out there”, and we wind up losing our human connection to each other for long periods of time. This is not to say that we should ignore the outside world and become pre-occupied with ourselves and our “inner journey”. It is, after all, about balance and authenticity – inner and outer work go hand in hand. It surely can be scary to “go inside” the regions of the human psyche, and some people will always judge us or project their shadow onto us instead of receiving us with acceptance and compassion when we seek to find a mirror of relational understanding.
I feel that the “rulers” of the world – hyperdimensional, political, and otherwise – are actually feeding off of this quiet desperation, and want us to stay silent and withdrawn, to not show our vulnerability but rather to be pre-occupied with the artificially-presented outside world, keeping us in a lower frequency of fear and battling with each other. They feed off of the (unconscious) fear we have of showing ourselves as vulnerable – of expressing ourselves without masks – because behind all of that deception, buried in our vulnerability, is true love and energetic power. This power represents the deeper human connection we all possess towards one another, a heart-based frequency which vibrates at a level which they cannot touch.
At the same time, many people have a very hard time accessing their vulnerability and expressing their feelings. If we are not comfortable with our own vulnerability, we cannot fully receive the vulnerability of another person. It takes sincere self-work to access our deeper emotions, which lie hidden behind layers of armor and buffers built up over years of having lost connection with our bodies. Our body is constantly giving us clues. The more we are in touch with our bodies, the more we can receive these messages, which also put us in touch with our vulnerability.
Modern life desensitizes us and keeps us imprisoned in our heads. Many people have cunning intellects and are well versed in articulating their thoughts when it comes to topics of the external world, but when it comes to accessing their deeper feelings and expressing themselves through their “emotional IQ”, things can be very challenging for them. The psyche also has its own healing schedule, and deeper aspects of this process reveal themselves over time. Astrological transits can give some insights into that calendar. It’s a process of ‘peeling back the layers’ that cannot be forced nor rushed, and it is different for each individual.
“Our soul’s voice reveals our deepest wisdom and our deepest wounds, which is why unleashing our soul’s voice is often our deepest desire and our deepest fear. We ache to be self-expressed, to be authentic, to totally let ‘er rip and yet we are terrified of being that vulnerable, that raw, that real. So we edit, shape or even shut up our unique soul’s voice in order to be accepted, successful, and even loved. But deep down in our bellies, where our power burns the brightest, we know we cannot be of service, we cannot be free, we cannot truly come alive if we aren’t sharing the truth of who we are.”
– Sera Beack
However, sharing our more personal stuff and internal struggles – or speaking out about “taboo” topics – can be a scary proposition, so I understand why people are reluctant to do all of this more often. Others can misinterpret things being expressed, take things out of context (cherry picking fallacy), or have their own shadow-side triggered, which leads to them ridiculing or shaming us. Based on my own experience, these reactions (and the people involved) are definitely in the minority, and in the end their (unconscious) behavior teaches us to stand up for ourselves, and to not be concerned about what others think of us. Such scenarios may also reveal the identities of those whom you can consider to be “true friends”.
It’s important keep in mind that these people (who are not a part of our lives) don’t really know us at all: what we do or how we live on a day-to-day basis; nor do they have any understanding with regards to our personal inner process. They don’t know our whole life story, or even the whole picture (in terms of the things we share with relative strangers), so projections and distortions are inevitable. Obviously, what we see of the people we interact with online is just a fraction of who they are as a whole individual. Words on a screen can easily be misinterpreted or projected in false and misleading patterns onto ‘the Other’ when there is a lack of face-to-face , ‘felt presence’ interaction.
I make mistakes, learn my lessons, and figure things out as I go along, and in this undertaking I occasionally will share some of it, but not all of it. I’ve been quite open about my personal process and short-comings over the years – I would say that sometimes I was even too open, and I learned the hard way that just “wearing your heart on the sleeve” is not always well-received by others. We still need to be discerning with our expressiveness, and to ‘check in’ with ourselves when it comes to sharing our personal approach, so that we can feel safe in doing so. Obviously, we can’t be totally open about our own personal trials and vulnerabilities, as we need our own safe private container to work through stuff; we also don’t want to fall into “poor-me” victim mentalities or self-pity, trying to get attention from others in a pseudo-narcissistic fashion.
The Dark Side of the Internet
Carl Gustav Jung suggested that everything we feel about (or see in) another person is comprised of about 75% of our own “stuff”, our infamous shadow (i.e., the unconscious aspects of ourselves) – which we project, in either positive or negative ways, onto others; but in reality, such perceptions really have nothing to do with the other person. A more accurate indicator of an individual’s character and intentions are based on one-on-one interactions with them in real life, from a place of grounded awareness of self and the experiences which accompany that ‘work’.
As you can probably guess, shadow projection is even more amplified within the sheltered realms of the online world in comparison to “real”, face-to-face interactions. All of us can engage in shadow projection at any given moment, without exception. Ask yourself, how many times have you looked at photos of a person and projected qualities (good or bad) onto her/him that are actually completely off-base? How often have you been “attracted to” or “infatuated” with – or “repelled” and “offended” by – a person, based solely on the content of his/her posts or their appearance in pics? How often do we project emotions and “tone” onto other people’s posts that are not really there in the context of the content, but are merely arising out of our own unconscious shadow?
Consider, also, that the mood/frame of mind we are in (when an attempt at communication takes place) can distort the interpretation of that message. For example, a person who is sending an online text or writing a social media post may be smiling whilst doing so, and is offering it to others from a genuinely good heartspace, grounded in positive feelings; but the receiver/reader is on a different vibrational wavelength, and misreads the context of the content, seeing it as full of resentment, or perhaps finds it offensive – the misunderstanding, in such circumstances, is based on assumptions which are grounded in the reader’s own issues and stories.
Sometimes, when I’ve met people in real life with whom I had previously connected via Facebook, I can see how my perception of them (be it positive or negative) was off in parts, and I come to realize how much I had projected qualities onto that person – based completely on facebook interactions/posts/pics and nothing more – which were not true.
“The shadow is, so to say, the blind spot in your nature. It’s that which you won’t look at about yourself. …You can recognize who it is by simply thinking of the people you don’t like. They correspond to that person whom you might have been—otherwise they wouldn’t mean very much to you. People who excite you either positively or negatively have caught something projected from yourself…I don’t know whether you’ve had similar experiences in your life, but there are people I despise the minute I see them. These people represent those aspects of myself, the existence of which I refuse to admit to myself.”
– Joseph Campbell
Facebook (or any social media portal, and the internet in general) is a great tool to connect with people and share information, but understanding shadow projection – and how we really don’t see others as they truly are at times – is worth thinking about. Let’s be clear here: It’s ok to not “like” a person; nor is there any need to become “best friends” with everyone. However, if we get triggered by someone out of proportion (and attack him/her personally or engage in gossiping), then there is usually more at play than just the “other” person’s behavior and attitude. But even if we see “negative” traits in another person that are true (without us becoming heavily triggered in response), can we still come to a place of compassion and empathy about their demeanour? Most of the time, people who act this way are deeply wounded and hurt individuals, compensating for their low self-esteem (due to childhood wounding and other trauma) by lashing out or goading others into reactivity. By the way, I’m talking here about everyday people in everyday interactions, not full blown psychopaths or sociopaths who have no conscience.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
– Carl G. Jung
“In shadow projecting, we split-off from and try to get rid of a part of ourselves, which is a self-mutilation that is actually an act of violence. In the act of shadow projecting, we disassociate from a part of ourselves and “split” (in two), turning away in revulsion from and severing our association with our darker half, as if we have never met it before in our entire life. We throw our own darkness outside of ourselves and see it as if it exists only in others. We then react violently when we encounter an embodied reflection of our shadow in the outer world, wanting to destroy it, as it reminds us of something dark within ourselves that we’d rather have nothing to do with.
In the act of shadow projecting, we perpetrate violence (both psychic and/or physical) not only on ourselves, but on the “other” who is the recipient of our shadow projection. This act of external violence is nothing other than our inner process of doing violence to a part of ourselves changing channels and expressing itself in, as and through the external world. In trying to destroy our projected shadow in the outer world, however, we act out, become possessed by and incarnate the very shadow we are trying to destroy.