• Michelle L Geldenhuys

Temptation of The Shadow

Throughout religion and mythology the concept of good and evil can be seen. In some cases as in Monotheism it is easier to observe God and the Devil, however in Polytheism it is not as easy however there is still the presence of adversaries and the playing out of good (order) and evil (chaos).


It is believed that this interaction between good and evil, or God and the Devil, is a depiction of our own inner psyche and the conflict between our own ego and shadow self.


Just like the Devil, our own Shadow can present us with temptations such as that of giving in to the darker and more destructive parts of our personality... such as the temptation of abusing substances, sex or power.


In the Bible the Devil, or temptation in the form of a serpent, tempts Eve to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge which in turn gives mankind the knowledge of sin, or the darker parts of our psyche, which awakens mankind to the knowledge of the whole. Through this process mankind was made aware of the unconscious and delivered out of the primal animalistic drives so as to become aware of our dualistic nature and reality.


This type of temptation from the Devil can also be seen in Jesus' experience in the Bible which was later interpreted as our own struggle with the ego and its inclination towards power and control. These temptations presented to us by our own Ego can bring chaos and destruction into our lives if left unacknowledged in our unconscious mind, or the Shadow.


Another mythological story depicting temptation derived from the Ancient Greeks is that of "Pandora's Box". Pandora was given a box by Zeus and warned never to open it. Pandora's curiosity grew stronger over time and one day she opened the box and all hardships and turmoil were unleashed into the world.


Could these stories of Eve and Pandora reflect that it is our own inner feminine, or creative and expressive, nature that drives us to explore the forbidden or 'hidden' aspects of self? Whatever it is, there is a part of our psyche that desires to explore and expand and these stories depict how giving in to the temptation of the unknown expands our knowledge of the whole. Only once the unconscious is made conscious can we work with it and overcome the challenges related to it.


Carl Jung published a book called "The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga" where he believed the awakening of our Chakras, such as the heart chakra, is integral in the journey towards wholeness and the realization of self. In Hinduism 'Kundalini' is the name given to the Divine Feminine energy within all of us resting as a coiled snake at the bottom of the spine. It is known as "the innate intelligence of embodied Consciousness". And once awakened it is said to release our own inner power... and what can be defined as our own inner power? Our full awareness of self, and acceptance of the whole.


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