“INTEGRATE YOUR SHADOW” has become the battle cry of spiritual growth. Shadow integration is now seen as essential to personal development, success, and fulfillment. The centrality of shadow integration in these areas is most certainly a welcome evolution of enormous significance.

The only problem is that people, teachers included, often throw around highly charged words like “darkness” and “shadow” without actually explaining them or having a genuine understanding of what the words actually mean.

The reason the shadow conversation works at all, even without clear understanding, is that people have some natural idea of what “shadow” means. The word “shadow” automatically associates certain images, feelings, and ideas. When Shakespeare talks about “This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine,” you understand he is talking about shadow, even if you can’t fully articulate it.

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