To find your shadow energy, you have to be dedicated to a journey of descent. Think of this journey as going back to retrieve parts of your life that have been abandoned because you felt so ashamed or guilty about them. The anger that erupts from the shadow is attached to past events that were never resolved. Now those events are over and gone, but their emotional residue isn’t.
Shame, guilt, and fear cannot be accessed by thinking. The shadow isn’t a region of thoughts and words. Even when you have a flash of memory and recall such emotions, you are using a part of the higher brain–the cortex–that cannot touch the shadow. The journey of descent begins only when you find the doorway to the lower brain, where experience is sorted out not according to reason but according to intense feelings.
No matter how free you feel from shadow energies, they exist inside you. If they didn’t, you would be in a state of total freedom, joy, and unboundedness. You would be in unity, the state of innocence regained when the hidden energy of the shadow has been purified.
Shadow energies make themselves known whenever a controlled situation turns unexpectedly anxious or causes unexpected anger or dread. If you feel guilty or ashamed of yourself after you experience these, then you have touched, however briefly, on the shadow.
An eruption of irrational feeling isn’t he same as releasing them. Venting is not purification. So don’t mistake an outburst for catharsis. When a shadow energy truly leaves, there is no resistance anymore, and you see something you didn’t see before.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).