The Shadow helps in Spiritual Maturation

What is healing?

Those words in German jumped off the page from a brochure I couldn’t read, but by the end of a presentation in Freiburg, Germany, I got a better handle on who does the healing.

I do! And you do!

We all achieve healing individually and not through the intervention of another, be it a psychologist, a priest or an aging mother praying for your redemption of your wicked ways.

Ingo Benjamin Jahrsetz, a psychologist who championed the symposium on March 5th, 2016, spent a good deal of time explaining the types of healing. There is social as well as societal healings. He spoke to a hundred participants about a healing needed when you feel something is lacking in your life. Your life is incomplete, and you want more than what the daily forms of activities, thoughts and deeds are offering you.

He explained how he realized this as a child, having been born during World War II when fear and trauma swept through his native Germany. “It affected the adults and the children around me. I wanted so much to have a mother to love me and a father to give me strength. I didn’t have it.”

He remembered one night when a mystical experience occurred. Little Ingo was ushered out of his home to look at the night skies above to see the stars. The bombing had stopped.There was an “incredible peace.” He said that at that moment the individual, the collective and the eternal healing took place and he never forgot it.

The eternal healing refers to the Divine, to whatever label you give God or the Source outside of yourself. How does one achieve it? By going to church and through outward actions? Or is it through one’s private affairs?

shadow embrace

Find and embrace the shadow to bring healing to what ails it

And what about a collective healing? he asked. As an example, Ingo spoke of a healer who came to a small village. People asked for help and he build a hut outside the village. Over the next week or two, many who visited him left in harmony and goodwill. They discovered a peace that was lacking.

“What happened? There was a healing. But the man did nothing special. I simply brought myself into order,”the man told the villagers. “I believe that this is what a shaman does when he practices healing” Jahrsetz added.

Persons were encouraged to heal themselves. The villagers healed themselves by themselves!

“Healing is making you whole,” Jahrsetz said. For example, “If there is a cut, you put a bandage on it. If you develop a broken heart you seek a way to heal it. Some people need to get away from the other person. Some may tell you to find another woman”

The group attending the symposium laughed heartily. The sponsor for the two-day workshop was the International Institute for Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy. The lead psychologist — a former student of the ground-breaking psychologist Stanislav Grof —  has been speaking to groups and providing healing through Holotropic Breathwork, also known as transpersonal breathwork, for more than 20 years. He is to conduct a ten-day workshop on the subject in three days and the weekend was to some a warm-up for that engagement.

He said that psychotherapy dealt with many concepts from the 19th Century. In addition, spirituality in the postmodern World is very subjective. It is based on personal experiences which are nearly impossible to quantify scientifically. But one way of bringing the two together is by viewing the shadow side of oneself. The dark side within each of us first identified by Carl G. Jung.


“There is fear, jealousy, anger and hate below us” he said. It exists in the subconscious.”People tell you to simply ‘let it go.’ But, how can I let go of something when I don’t even know what it is?”

Most want to be in harmony with the world, to love and to find happiness. We often seek it through changing something in our lives. We want to feel accepted, to feel integrated, to be part of the whole. “You can be very friendly and learn from the outside world when you’re with people who share your interests. You can have deep encounters as long as the other person feels the same way that you do. But too often you hear ‘I should do this, I should do that.'”

“Narcissistic entanglements can’t be healed by narcissistic ways,” he said. Instead, he suggested we “Be brave enough to feel ourself.” To feel the shame, to feel the mistrust.

“And with experienced teacher who will not condemn those feelings, you can find healing.”

“Healing means opening the heart to whatever you are feeling at that moment — be it jealousy, envy or acceptance of the energy of love.”

It comes from within. And not through someone else.

Healing is the force within each person, an inner healing that might be hidden or  covered over. By trusting in the process one can confront oneself.

“Healing is a way of bringing a person’s shadow to the Light.”

In other words, find the shadow, embrace it,  and bring healing to it.

3 comments on “The Shadow helps in Spiritual Maturation

  1. contoveros says:

    A woman from Germany — Barbara Wiehl — posted this Blog post at her site . . .

    Check it out!


  2. Agreed. But sometimes we can’t figure it out, right? Sometimes I think I’m so “in it” that I can’t see what may be the easiest way to heal myself. Finding the shadow is key — and that, is unfortunately, sometimes the harder part. I guess I’m more of a fan of collective healing. Just because, at times, I just need a little guidance… a little trigger or sorts, to find my way through…. Hmmm.. certainly making me think on it!


    • contoveros says:

      Thinking about it may just be the first step to seeing the shadow and trying to understand where it got its power over oneself. It’s an elusive sonofabitch. (I see my shadow as a little bastard boy, but you can call yours a sassy skank, if you like!)

      I hope to bring him out to the light and let experienced teachers suggest ways to confront him. Who knows. He might need a little compassion and love from the higher self that resides in the same body . . .

      Michael J

      Liked by 1 person

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