Are we just tiny impotent beings attempting to negotiate an enormous, unfathomable, and often terrifying universe? This is the clear message of our senses. Despite this constant messaging from our bodies and its consistent reinforcement by our culture, it is now becoming apparent that our true nature might be quite different. Beginning about one hundred years ago, this rational, but quite numbing, perspective of our relationship to the universe began to be completely reevaluated because of two life-changing scientific discoveries: relativity and quantum physics. Through these two transformative revelations, we are now beginning to understand, as many traditions have long foretold, how the entire universe can also be found within everything in existence, including a grain of sand and each of us. Today, as more scientists discover surprising new patterns of interconnectedness throughout our universe, what seems to be emerging is the recognition of a deeply intertwined relationship that some scientists and philosophers describe as an expression of “oneness.” While it may seem that we are only a small part of an enormous universe, today we are realizing that the truth may be just the opposite: everything that we once experienced as being outside or external to ourselves, originates from within. We don’t just live in our universe, the entire universe also lives within each of us.
Our culture is relentless in its messaging about the need to improve ourselves, to constantly strive to become better at something or just better individuals. We find that no matter how hard we work at this, the difficulties we experience in our lives rarely seem to subside, at least for long. This onslaught of difficulties isn’t because we aren’t yet “good enough.” It happens, instead, because our conscious awareness is incomplete and not integrated, leaving most of our activity to the large unconscious, or “dark,” parts of our being. When we operate through this unconsciousness, as most of us do continuously, we just repeat our old familiar, but often disruptive, patterns. Growing beyond these dysfunctional patterns is not about focusing upon or choosing the “good” parts of ourselves and rejecting the parts we think of as “bad.” It also does not require that we learn more or something new. Instead, to dissolve these old automatic patterns, we must first become more whole and integrated. We can only do this by bringing new illumination to the uncomfortable darkness hiding within all of us, a shadow world dividing our naturally whole being into many broken, isolated, and incommunicative fragments. Our most important journey involves a process of discovering, welcoming, and honoring all parts of our authentic and complete being, especially the vast areas of inner darkness that we fear and avoid the most. While our new science may help us to understand the relevance of this inner journey, the only way to have a different type of experience is to become more aware and conscious of our inner shadow world. Because we are all so different, there are as many unique variations for this type of growth as there are individuals, yet each personalized path can only be discovered from within each individual’s journey. This book describes one such path: the very successful process that radically changed my life through the discovery and conscious illumination of my personal shadows. Today, instead of life appearing to work against me, I experience a world that always works in joyful harmony with my entire being. I still see and observe the many great problems throughout our world, but now I recognize that they are only the messengers reminding me of the continuing need for this type of inner work. My life today is powerfully energized and filled with satisfaction and joy, but it has not always been this way; for most of my seventy years, my experience was the complete opposite.