shadow diving: pornography and addiction 

shadow diving: pornography and addiction

jungians say we all have a shadow side-- personality aspects and drives that are unacceptable to us, and thus split off. the more responsible we are for acknowledging and managing them, the more integrated we are as humans. the more offended and afraid we are of them, the more we project them onto others, force the world to act them out for us, or have to go shadow diving.

i was thinking about pornography. i know a man, a kind, gentle soul, who with great pain tells me about his attraction to the vilest, most debasing pornography imaginable. now in his life, he would never act out these interests. after viewing, he feels sick, guilty and dirty. re sex in general he barely can stand to have the light on when he makes love to his wife-- who he has never asked for sex, at least not in words. this man grew up thinking sex was shameful, dirty. and yet he is a sexual being, with a sexual drive and soul. so instead of responsibly managing his sexuality, he splits it off.

it reminded me of jimmy swaggart, the fundamentalist preacher, who had no problem telling us how vile and debased we were-- yet was caught getting a blow job from a crack whore in some alley somewhere.

when we don't accept our contradictions, we act them out. when we turn away from our true natures-- even those we are uncomfortable with-- we are asking others to act them out for us.

we are often drawn to our shadows, our opposing personality. the quiet one is drawn to the extrovert, who can be her wings, or the extrovert to the introvert, who can be the anchor. sooner or later we will rebel against that same opposition, because after all, the balance we really need is inside of us.

when we use alcohol or drugs to excess, we are living in shadow. our split off selves-- our pain, our anger-- refuse to keep quiet, so we drug them down. instead of learning from them, we try to run them off. and we create an even bigger mess.

how can we learn to look at ourselves with love and compassion? how can we accept the shadow without turning the reins over to it?

part of the work is in learning to sit with our discomfort (back to part one) without reaction. to just be with it. if we are lonely, to be lonely. if we are angry, to see our anger. not to feel we have to manage it, or even change it. when we are sad and someone starts to tell us all we have to be happy about, we feel compelled to defend our sadness, and explain why they are wrong. the shadow must have that same instinct of self-preservation. perhaps the battle is in befriending it. not feeding it, but not turning away from it either. just sitting with it.

i always liked the stories of jesus sitting with the sinners.

Return to Main Page



Wed Jul 7, 2004 4:48 pm MST by online casinos

Add Comment

On This Site

  • About this site
  • Main Page
  • Most Recent Comments
  • Complete Article List
  • Sponsors

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting