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The pandemic: A blessing?

For the first time in our lifetime humanity is faced on a global level by a life-threatening virus. Some people have lost loved ones or all their material resources. So how can a crisis be a blessing?

Any type of personal tragedy is always followed by a period of grief, sorrow, procrastination and despair. Ignoring or suppressing such feelings will inevitably have long-term harmful effects.

Acknowledging anxiety and fear

The first step is thus always in acknowledging such feelings of grief or sorrow as part of a process you are currently going through in dealing with a situation that was caused by external events outside your control.

The flat-on-the-ground moments or the “dark moments of the soul times” however always herald at the same time the start of a new beginning in finding meaning or purpose in any type of challenge you are dealing with.

The gratitude mantra

An excellent way of dealing with a brokenness of the soul is love and acceptance of the self. From that energy can emanate the next step in finding gratitude for even the smallest of things in your life right now.

“I am so thankful for the food in front of me at the moment right now, to all the people and other living beings who have provided their energy to give me nourishment…”

Most unhappiness is caused by thoughts

Most unhappy mood situations are caused by lack of thought control. From thoughts spring words and images that have either a positive or negative effect on your vibrational energy. Neurotically inclined people for instance disproportionately use the phrase “sick of” or “depressed”, according to research conducted by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

The average person has between 50,000 and 70,000 different thoughts per day, which translates to between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute. Stress and a negative mindset always starts with a thought.

Finding a quiet space for introspection

The good news is that you can radically transform you life by focusing on good thoughts. The bad news. Its easier said than done. It takes practice for instance by taking a time out every day for a quiet space – best time first thing in the morning after getting up – and the last thing you do before you close your eyes in bed.

Find a form of meditation best suited for your needs: It could be a prayer, a mantra or deep walking in nature.

Amid the constant din of negative news information on the pandemic we are finding a growing number of people appreciating the value of friendships, the physical contact in hugging, community and sharing a common predicament. So many people are telling me that they are so much enjoying going a pace slower, working from home office, or simply having time to do the things they couldn’t do in years.

Running away from fear

When we become more aware we realize that the rat-race is really a constant running away from fear. It is the fear of losing everything and becoming nothing, especially becoming nothing when we die.

The external world is focused on the illusion that happiness only comes in the accumulation of things at some time in the future. At the same time there is constant fear of losing the people around us that we love, the things that we have already go or the job we currently have.

The Mystic traditions teach about the discovery of the pure land, or the Kingdom of God, the discovery of the preciousness of the present moment, connecting to the inner self and opening the senses to the subtle whispers from the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

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Walking in medieval lands

Day  5 on the Via Francigena – from Monteriggioni to Siena

The 20 kilometer walk from the hilltop town of Monteriggioni to the city of Siena is fairly easy, continuing on ancient tracks, bypassing medieval castles, fortress towers and Romanesque chapels.

At the Ponte Rosso we cross a humpback bridge common during the Middle Ages because of a wide span that were perfect for supporting pack mules of the time.

A pile of stones on a humpback bridge

Several stone pires have been left on the bridge by previous pilgrims. I love the tradition of placing gratitude stones or prayer stones along the way. It is common on the Camino de Santiago but it was the first time I saw them here on the Via Francigena.

Today I placed a pile of stones in memory and gratitude of my ancestors. We carry within us the collective memory of those that went before us. It is the reason why ancient cultures celebrate the connection in ritual and religion.

Placing stones for your ancestors at the side of the road and asking them for protection is a tradition I know very well from the Zulu culture in South Africa. I also like the thought of our ancestors guiding and protecting us with angel wings from another dimension.

Shortly before reaching Siena the trail takes the pilgrim through a forest with nature speaking through the aroma of fresh earth, walnut and fig trees.

The architectural marvels of Siena

The last stretch of a stage is often the hardest with a climb up a hill and a long walk through the dreary modern outskirts of town before reaching the old city of Siena through a 15th century gateway.

It is a city that needs more than a day to explore. The medieval center is a UNESCO world heritage site. There are numerous architectural marvels such as the central square, Piazza del Campo, the 14th century Torre del Mangia tower, the Palazzo Salimbeni, The Palazzo Publico and the Loggia della Mercanzia to name just a few.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul” released as a paperback by Morgan James Publishing on August 11, 2020. It has some valuable tips on creating happiness and boosting your vibrational energy on many levels. You can order it at all major outlets such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or in my own store.  Check out the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

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“A breathtaking, captivating, transformative walk,” – Tom Dutta, Canada

“The book reminded me of my own journey in life I am walking and how bringing stillness to my busy life and mind is essential.” – Karin, France

“The book compresses on its slim 190 pages an extreme density of life wisdom.” Christina Germany

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Are you lost?

Are you finding yourself lost and alone? Just when you thought you were on the right track you find yourself hitting a wall and not knowing a way out.

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

We have all had those moments. At times I have not only found myself lost on a remote mountain on the Camino in northwestern Spain but also on life’s journey. Inevitably I would get lost when I missed an important way marker while daydreaming and avoiding the warning signs from the universe.

Heeding the early warning signs when something is wrong

The universe will always be whispering to you. Especially when you are on the wrong track the whispers could turn into a “shout out”. Inevitably there will be those early warning signs where you feel intuitively that something is wrong.

A person is asking you to lend them money. They tell you they will most certainly pay you back within a month. There is that first feeling that you shouldn’t be doing this but the person is so convincing that you push that first doubt aside. Of course you remember that thought again when the person never complies and you have lost your money.

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior

Despite a person’s charm the best predictor of a person’s future behavior is that person’s past behavior. Very few people can disguise for any length of time their true character traits. A pity then that falling in love often gets in the way of making a realistic assessment of a person’s character.

There are those small tell-tale signs. Small lies turn into big lies. Repeated assurances that it will not happen again. A change in the tone of voice, a look in the eye and you know something is just not right.

Trusting what the body is trying to tell you

The body is an excellent compass when it comes to trusting your intuition, and knowing. When does my energy expand? When is my energy getting depleted? Ignoring the inner voice of truth for any length of time will inevitably impact your mental and physical health.

Sleepless nights. A common cold not wanting to go away and pointing to a more serious underlying health issue? Regular high blood pressure problems indicating a high stress level and putting you at risk of a stroke or heart attack?

Very few crisis situations simply come out of the blue. Like getting lost on a walk it takes some time before you realize that you are on the wrong path. A call from a passing farmer might alert you to going back onto the right path. Advice from a good friend might prevent you from making a bad decision. But sometimes you do end up getting lost hopelessly. Such crisis situations however can be important lessons in the elevation of consciousness.

Lessons to be learning in a crisis

If you have the feeling that you have placed your ladder against the wrong wall, are unhappy with your situation, and maybe going through a period of sadness and depression, here is something you might consider doing:

  • What is my current situation trying to teach me?
  • What has the universe been trying to whisper to my soul?
  • What past experience feels similar and how did I get out of that situation?

If you feel lost or are finding yourself in a personal crisis situation it always means that something needs to change, has to be reconfigured, realigned, surrendered, let go-of.

But the fear of change and moving out of a comfort zone is one of the biggest human fears. The suffering in the silent misery of procrastination comes from the misconception that we are victims of external circumstance. But it is only half of the truth.

Our greatest freedom is the freedom of choice

The universe, or God, has at the same time given man the freedom of choice. The freedom of choice starts with your mindset. Am I programming myself into a victim mentality? Or am I programming myself to becoming a co-creator in the firm belief that whatever challenge I am confronted with is part of the lesson to be learned of an eternal soul on an evolutionary path of the human experience.

We make mistakes, take the wrong turns, trust the wrong people, make bad choices. It is part of the human condition. We are on a journey, picking up the cues and lessons while on the way.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul” released as a paperback by Morgan James Publishing on August 11, 2020. It has some valuable tips on creating happiness and boosting your vibrational energy on many levels. You can order it at all major outlets such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or in my own store.  Check out the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

BookCovers_Sideview

“A breathtaking, captivating, transformative walk,” – Tom Dutta, Canada

“The book reminded me of my own journey in life I am walking and how bringing stillness to my busy life and mind is essential.” – Karin, France

“The book compresses on its slim 190 pages an extreme density of life wisdom.” Christina, Germany

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Is it really true?

If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.”

The quote above often attributed to Russian revolutionist Vladimir Lenin was in fact first written by the 19th century woman writer Isa Blagden and is more applicable than ever in an age where the truth becomes ever more blurred in social media bubbles.

I grew up in apartheid South Africa where the truth was hidden behind a thick veil of censorship laws. Anti-apartheid activists such as Nelson Mandela, or dissident theologian Beyers Naude could not be quoted in any publication. They were vilified by state-owned media as dangerous terrorists. Like all white South Africans I believed the narrative that the government was fighting dangerous communists bent on controlling the world.

As a young man I began my career as a cadet reporter for an opposition newspaper where an entirely different world began to open up before my eyes. I interviewed opposition activists who had been brutally tortured by white security policemen. Normal, decent black people came to the newsroom on a daily basis telling us about forced removals, police brutality in the townships and how the discriminatory laws shattered their lives.

Nelson Mandela statue, Sandton, South Africa

Defining the truth

My older very experienced deputy news editor chided me for my initial naive outlook on life. I have never forgotten the fundamentals of news journalism that he instilled in me:

  • Is it really true?
  • Have you reliably sourced the story?
  • Has your source got a track record of trustworthiness?
  • Have you heard the other side?

Truth always wins the day

After moving to Germany in the 1980s and then witnessing the fall of the Iron Curtain, the dark side of the corrupt communist regime and the machinations of its secret Stasi police were open for all to see. I also had the opportunity of going back to South Africa and meeting personally such remarkable personalities as Nelson Mandela and Beyers Naude.

The current global events, especially in the United States, have me deeply concerned. How is it possible that a man of such toxic character can become president? How is it possible that a solid base of 42 per cent of Americans still blindly follow this man whose administration openly admits that the violent protests, fanned by the divisive language of the man in chief, will benefit him in the upcoming elections? If only he had addressed the nation calling upon every responsible citizen to abide by social distancing and to wear a mask, ten thousands of lives could have been saved?

Much like in the South Africa of my childhood the white rulers peddled the narrative of the “swart gevaar” or danger of black majority rule supported by the communist Soviet Union so often that any alternative argument was simply not heard and terrible human rights abuses were shrugged off as necessary collateral damage in the fight against the bigger evil.

Truth is being buried in a swamp of conspiracy theories and different reality bubbles. A general consensus on democratic norms and values is being eroded in much of the western world. Beliefs and interpretation of truth are affirmed in parallel universes. When basic facts, knowledge, history and sound science are dismissed dialogue becomes impossible, and confrontation is inevitable.

Democracy thrives on the foundation of common values, and consensus building in a culture of differing opinion.

Trump as the only person capable of establishing law and order, reviving the economy and restoring the proud nation to its former glory, introducing a miracle vaccine against Corona. And even if he loses the election, he will shout “fraud and manipulation”. Millions of perfectly decent, ordinary law-abiding citizens are believing the narrative. It is the same fear strategy employed by Adolf Hitler where many scholars today are posing the question: How could a highly educated society, civilized society, the land of Goethe, Schiller and Bach fall prey to such a madman. Now we know why. We are seeing the demolition of a democracy being played out before our very eyes.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my new book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul” released as a paperback by Morgan James Publishing on August 11, 2020. It has some valuable tips on creating happiness and boosting your vibrational energy on many levels. You can order it at all major outlets such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble or in my own store.  Check out the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

BookCovers_Sideview

“A breathtaking, captivating, transformative walk,” – Tom Dutta, Canada

“The book reminded me of my own journey in life I am walking and how bringing stillness to my busy life and mind is essential.” – Karin, France

“The book compresses on its slim 190 pages an extreme density of life wisdom.” Christina, Germany

Leave a comment

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Where are you going?

Greetings,

this week I would like to share with you two really important ways on how you can stay focused and boost your vibrational energy, despite all the things happening out there in the external world.

Check out my video:

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Discovering the sacred within

The crisis triggered by a dangerous virus has not only shut down economies around the world but has also revealed a major mental health pandemic of fear, anxiety, and depression that has been simmering under the surface.

Ancient cultures were rooted in a unity between the external and inner worlds with the natural surroundings revered as sacred and infusing the inner world with meaning and purpose.

Flowers.jpg

The disconnect from the inner world

Our modern world is dominated by a sharp duality with an emphasis on the short-term gratifications extracted from the external world and a disconnect from the inner yearnings of the soul.

As we get caught up in the web of the 10,000 distractions the whispers from the inner world become ever greater. But the voice is suppressed in the smokescreen of illusory blasts from the media world. You feel that something is missing in your life when you find that the shine from the new outfit or car you bought fades shortly after the purchase. So what do you do? You go out to buy more “things.”

Exploitation and extraction versus sustainability and caring responsibility

Our consumer culture is a reflection of collective consciousness. The economy is based on the exploitation and extraction of resources from the natural surroundings. In Western culture, this mindset has mainly been created by a false understanding of the Bible scriptures in Genesis 1:28, in which man is given the cultural mandate to subdue and rule over the Earth.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that (Heb. creepeth) moveth upon the earth.”

Especially the translations of “subdue” and “dominion” from Hebrew and the Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, have different meanings. Instead of exploitation, the call to humanity by God is like that to a king to take care of the weaker and the poor in his kingdom. Man is called to preserve the natural beauty of the environment entrusted to him.

How will we survive as a species?

We will only survive as a species when we rediscover the sacred within and regain that unity between the external and internal worlds. The duality we find ourselves in has led to an environmental crisis of unprecedented proportions. We are emptying the seas from fish and polluting it with plastic junk. The extraction of fossil fuels has led to a man-made climate crisis with the highest concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in human history.

The duality between the internal and external has also led to a mental health crisis in much of the industrial world. “The burden of depression and other mental health conditions is on the rise globally,” according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

We have lost something elementary in the sacrifice on the altar of materialism. Our mental and physical health is dependent on how we take care of both the inner and external world.

One positive side-effect of the pandemic seems to be that a lot of people are awakening to these realities and seeking solutions. There is a growing sense of introspection and the realization that our problems can only be solved when we all work together as humanity.

Finding solace in the quiet spaces of nature is one way of reconnecting and learning to perceive the whispers of the soul. The current pandemic crisis we find ourselves in is an opportunity to reach out to the core of BEING.

External belief structures are not providing the answers. There is a whole new world within that is waiting to be discovered on the deep walk within.
Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

https://www.reinogevers.com

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Shifting from the blame game

Sam went into early retirement some years ago and is battling financially in making ends meet with his small pension. I’ve known Sam for several years and decided some time ago to shift him from friends to a distant associate.

Who is abusing you as an emotional garbage bag? 

It took me a while to understand that spending time with Sam was emotionally draining because he spent most of the time blaming all that went wrong in his life on his family history. He is still dumping all his emotional baggage onto anyone willing to offer a sympathetic ear because unsurprisingly he has few real friends left.

Sam has spent most of his life living in quiet misery after a therapist told him that his authoritarian father and siblings were to blame for his depression.  Over the years he spent a fortune on different therapies with no noticeable change to his mental health.

I have a particular gripe against a certain school of therapy that seems to absolve the client of all responsibility for the circumstances they find themselves in, particularly when it comes to blaming family circumstances, bosses at work, former teachers, and former marriage partners for everything that has gone wrong.

The blame game is meanwhile becoming a collective behavior pattern where the heads of government, educational and religious institutions, big business, and global organizations are becoming the targets for venting toxic emotions. The vile language in some of the social media chats is revealing of the culture of entitlement.

 Just don’t take responsibility for your own life!

Divorce, separation, and early childhood trauma and neglect is almost everybody’s history. So what is the big deal? Get over it and move on and stop spending the rest of your life wallowing in self-pity like Sam. If you have suffered a major personal loss, the big question to ask is: What have I got left?

The first step in moving forward is acceptance

When famous British physicist Stephen Hawking was diagnosed early in his career with motor neuron disease that gradually paralyzed him, he did not fall into self-pity. All his mental capacity remained. When he was confined to a wheelchair and eventually lost his speech he could only communicate with a speech-generating device. Yet he continued traveling widely and working on numerous scientific studies. When Hawking died at the age of 76, he had become one of the world’s most renowned physicists.

With so many people at the moment suffering financial, health, and personal loss as a result of the pandemic, the first step is acceptance. Be true to yourself and accept that you are not responsible for external circumstances but very well responsible for your attitude toward those circumstances that are out of your control.

  • What can I learn from the new situation?
  • What resources, knowledge, networks can I activate?
  • What is the first step that I can take today to change my situation?
  • What are the things that I can still truly be grateful for?
  • What habits, attitude, and mindset can I change that will improve my vibrational energy that will in turn attract from the universe what I need?

Gratitude, self-care, humility, and self-respect is the antidote to blaming external circumstances and going into entitlement. By blaming the abuser you are giving that abuser power over you that he does not deserve. By accepting responsibility for your own life you are consciously regaining your self-respect and motivational energy to move forward.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

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How do you start your day?

How you start your day determines how you end your day.

A typical start of the day for many people in the modern digital age is stumbling out of bed, grabbing the i-Phone to check for important emails with the news channels blaring negativity in the background.

Are you in control of your own agenda?

It means external forces are setting the agenda. You are not in control. Your thoughts and emotions are running the rollercoaster of stressful thoughts and fears. Without a set anchor point or agenda for the day you will be bouncing around like a cork in the ocean.

Pebbles

Learning from the monastic traditions

The monastic traditions were very much aware of the inner demons and had set rituals for the day. In the Benedectine Order, the monastery rule dating back to about 500 AD, prayer, service, study, and physical labor were all essential parts of spiritual growth.

The monk Benedict was convinced that God had given Man the freedom of choice with the heart a constant battleground of choosing between good and evil.  To avoid the temptation of evil the monks committed themselves to four hours of prayer, four hours of studying scripture, and manual labor. In the Order there are fixed times for rising in the morning, prayer, study, work,  break times, and recuperation.

Such a disciplined life made the monasteries the research laboratories and centers of learning for hundreds of years. We know from modern neurological research that such structures teach the brain from falling into procrastination and the pitfalls of dark thought. It in the quiet moments that we have the “aha” inspirations.

Determining your own agenda

What is your first thought of the day? Are you being overwhelmed by all the negativity and external conditions caused by the pandemic? Be aware that no matter how bad your personal situation might be, there are always at least three things a day you can be grateful for. There will always be persons better off and worse off than you are. Meditate and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. By focusing on your breathing you are bringing yourself back to the present moment. What are you feeling? Anger, sadness or fear? Accept that feeling. It is the way it is. Once you have accepted how you feel you can start emotionally shifting to another emotional level: Joy, abundance, confidence, courage, and trust.

We live in a world of polarity. The forces of yin and yang are in constant flux with the universal force moving in a cycle comparable to the seasonal changes. There is a time for expansion and growth and there is a time for withdrawal and recuperation. COVID-19 is teaching mankind to take a pause. It is a time of introspection and realignment, comparable to the “winter of the soul”.

It is a good time to realign your own personal agenda, starting by creating a structure for your day. It will make a huge difference on your stress-coping strategy during this time of crisis.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

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Be kind to yourself

A key measurement of your stress-coping strategy or resilience level during times of crisis is how kind you are to yourself. It is an ancient wisdom that is often confused with narcissism and vanity.

In our performance-driven society success is mostly defined in material terms. Those personalities held up as high-flying examples in the yellow press are often deeply-flawed and unhappy characters.

Are you living your own life or the life of another?

Yet so many people consume every snippet of information from other people’s lives, forgetting to live their own life.

self_love

Being kind to yourself is accepting yourself with all your negative and positive traits. Much of the high expectations you put onto yourself in “wanting to be perfect” stems from a childhood where parents with overly high expectations gave love in return for “good behavior”.

If you have the feeling that “nobody loves me” then start loving yourself.  A healing mantra could be: “I love and accept myself the way I am.” Whisper or say it aloud to yourself whenever you have self-doubts and feelings of recrimination toward yourself.

The high-achieving perfectionist waiting for a reward

Among the various types of “burnout” personalities is the high-achieving perfectionist. There is an almost obsessive drive to achieve a goal. But when that goal is achieved there is a general feeling of emptiness. It is never enough and the subconscious wish for the “reward” never comes. It can eventually lead to complete mental and physical exhaustion.

A simple exercise to boost your self-worth

One of the simplest exercises in being kind to yourself is the gratitude ritual. It is the first thing you can do after getting up in the morning: Find just three things that you can be grateful for from the events of the past 24 hours.

This immediately leads to an emotional shift. There will always be humans in your vicinity who will be better off and worse off than you. It is just a fact of life.

The difference between self-love and narcissism

But what is the difference between self-love, kindness, and compassion towards yourself and narcissism?  Narcissists primarily revolve around their own needs and have an inflated sense of their own importance. They are in constant need of attention and validation from the world around them but often themselves completely lack compassion. Social media has unfortunately provided a perfect platform for this type of personality disorder.

Joy and grief are part of the human condition

The resilient personality is well aware that joy and grief, abundance, and loss are part of the human conditions that can and should both be lived.  From this grows authenticity, compassion, and love.

The saying “Love they neighbor as yourself”, first found in the Old Testament of the Bible, and amplified by Jesus in the New Testament defines God as love. But the precondition to doing good unto others is the kindness and acceptance of self. Without self-reflection comes projection and condition. It is also an acceptance that you are part of a bigger whole and that kindness to self is transmuted into kindness for others and mindfulness toward all living beings.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

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Accepting the enemy within

Societal divisions along cultural, racial, gender, financial, political, and religious friction points become particularly pronounced during times of crisis when the fear demon gets stoked by the professional deceiver.

In the confrontation with the opposite, identity and belief are defined. There is good and bad, black and white, rich and poor, Christian and Muslim. Reality is far more complex and in myriad colors and shades of grey.

Neither yin or yang is absolute 

This is why the yin and yang symbol from the Daoist/Taoist tradition is such a beautiful concept of two halves forming the whole. Neither yin or yang is absolute. Each contains the beginning aspect of the other in a constant flow like night turning into day and day turning into night. The female aspect also has male aspects and the male aspect something of the female.

Too much yin or too much yang in any system creates an imbalance, whether in nature, body functions, or economic or political structures.

Accepting the shadow

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung wrote, “Unfortunately, there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants himself to be.  Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

We are all susceptible to burying parts of our character that we find unacceptable in the subconscious mind. The problem is that if we don’t face the shadow aspect at the doorway to our mind, it becomes too big to control.

For millennia the question arises: “If there is a God, why does he allow evil?”  Defining evil and recognizing evil can also be a difficult undertaking where the lie is sold as truth and truth gets turned into a lie.

Self-love and the acceptance of the human condition

When going into a meditation on the self you will soon find at least half a dozen positive as well as negative attributes of your own character. This is why it is so dangerous to fall into the trap of labeling an individual, a nation, a race, or a religious grouping. What Jung tried to tell us is that if you don’t accept this duality of light and shadow within, you will soon find yourself on a path of much self-created pain and suffering.

Only in unconditional acceptance of the imperfect human condition, and self-love of all aspects of the personality can grow the seeds of forgiveness, tolerance, and compassion.  This is at the heart of the teachings of Jesus and the ancient Mystics. The fundamentalist Christian concept of original sin meanwhile has been distorted into a culture of guilt and self-mortification. It is the perfect breeding ground for hypocrisy and intolerance.

The enemy is also the teacher 

In the pull between the identity of the opposites, spiritual growth and the evolution of character takes place. Are you kind, generous, compassionate, and loving?  Or are you rude, greedy, inconsiderate, spewing hate and anger? The decisions and habits we make on a daily and hourly basis can tip the scales in either direction.

We need the enemy, and the opposite perspective to gain clarity on our own core values and choices. Humankind has been given the power of choice. Are you falling into the shadow or going with the light?

The tragedy is that the character once held by the stranglehold of the shadow finds himself incapable of self-reflection. The phenomenon is widespread in some of the populist leaders of our time, trapped by their own ego and narcissism.

The image of self has become so clouded that the narrative is turned into its own truth. The deception of the emperor’s new clothes is revealed when it’s too late, and tragedy is upon us. At times it can be useful to turn the pages of that old history book to understand the events of recent months.

Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant

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“Resilience: What makes you strong during times of crisis?

     

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