Blog entry

Shadow & The Experiencer


Your definition: 

In alchemy, substance from which the elements developed
Stuart Davis


Shadow & The Experiencer

A simple definition of shadow is disowned aspects of self. These aspects can be of our lower or higher self. This is material that belongs to us, but which we are unaware of as being our own. Some of the greatest hits of shadow include anger, jealousy, aggression, but also importantly higher virtues such as insight, compassion, or empathy. Shadow can be any facet of our being which is dis-possessed. This occurs for humans individually and collectively, and today we are going to take a little tour of shadow as it manifests in the lives of experiencers. This is by no means an exhaustive survey. It’s an initial glimpse to help orient shadow work as it pertains to non-human contact and more generally, the anomalous.

We will look at resentment, aggression, sovereignty, safety, and much more. We’ll consider individual and collective shadow, how one person’s hyper vigilance scales to government black programs. We’ll start with disowned lower aspects, move onto disowned higher aspects, and finish with the shadow of the Cosmic Self. Namely, what is Selfhood with a capital ’S’? Could the manifest Cosmos be infinite aspects our very own dislocated Self, with that capital ’S’ ?

So, let’s start with Disowned Lower Aspects. By lower I don’t mean lesser, I mean more fundamental.

Shadow as Anger - Anger is an understandable response to much of what experiencers undergo. Contact events can involve the transgression of basic boundaries we hold dear, whether that be the violation of our bodies, the power to steer our own fate, or the stability of our home environment, our family systems. These events erode equilibrium as the reality of a non human presence is recognized. Let’s face it, our World Views -the way we organize and interpret reality- hang in the balance when we attempt to come to terms with a new plurality of beings. Anger in some of these scenarios can be a lever we pull to transfer the onus onto the non-human presence.

My intent here is not to blame the experiencer, or imply the non-human presence is without culpability. The point is to highlight an understandable maneuver humans make, which is rage in response to violation. In a negative sense, this allows us to avoid examining our role in the equation, by exporting the negative qualities to the Other, which I’ll use as a broad catch-all for non-human entities. Some of our anger is not unique. We would feel the same rage if human beings broke into our home, paralyzed us, harvested our bodies, and controlled our perceptions, our interpretations. But, some of the anger is unique. Because these are not prosaic violations. They call into question truths we inherit. They shake ouu foundations of meaning and existence.

Anger distilled may reveal more primary feelings of fear, desperation, or desire for control. This is why it’s sometimes characterized as a secondary emotion. Again, it’s understandable why many experiencers of abduction and contact cycle through periods of anger in relation to anomalous events. I have. The irony with much shadow -including anger- is that it often attracts what it’s intended to repel. For instance, in becoming angry at others, including non-humans, it can cause ‘agitation’ in them. As our anger escalates, it may trigger a downward modulation in the tenor of contact experiences. As we are perceived by the Visitors to be more dangerous, or reactive, the conditions of contact may adjust on the part of the non-humans, as they seek to protect themselves from our volatility or unpredictability. Again, I don’t say this to blame the human being. The anger is reasonable. My goal is just to map dynamics, as our ultimate objectives may be hindered by enlisting shadow responses, especially if they go unscrutinized.

There is a postive form of anger, a healthy form of anger as well, which we could consider the immune system of the soul. Of course there are virtuous reasons to feel fury in this world. Injustice, abuse of power, avarice. Healthy anger can be the mark of discernment, love, and Universal values. This is the human story in regards to outlawing slavery, fighting subjegation, exploitation, and recognizing the intrinsic value of all souls.

Shadow as Resentment is a close neighbor to anger. In the realm of shadow, resentment can occur when we’ve displaced our own unfinished work, mis-assigning it to others, again in this case, non-human entities. For instance if we feel our agency is undermined, we may resent the party in question instead of cultivating that same agency. Resentment ossifies the negative feeling into a shell, which closes the self system. A closed system makes superficial sense in response to a threat. But here we run into a baby and the bathwater condundrum, as an excessively closed system also expels allies, guides, and support that we may need to obtain true resilience. Deep resentment is the I as isolation. Since the human being is a supremely social creature, there’s no healthy I apart from a We. Even a quote ‘individual’ self is a Choir, as a multiplicity, populated with an endless perspectives. Each perspective is uniquely equipped with a piece of the puzzle that is the larger identity. The key is ensuring there is a choir Director overseeing the myriad voices and perspectives. But mutuality is built into the system, even when dealing with our ‘individuality’. Resentment toward non human entities can stem from a perceived lack of power, feeling exposed and vulnerable.

Resentment inverted can become a prompt, a beacon pointing to positive practices. These include metaphysical team building, and better spiritual hygiene. Eliminating what exacerbates unwanted exposure, and fortifying what provides stability, insulation. New patterns for the body, the mind, the spirit, the family, the social system, that produce new boundaries. An assemblage of new patterns, anchored in a healthy We can build authentic resilience. Some of these are outlined in my previous episode Ten Tools That Help Experiences, and also the post ET Presence and The Forfeiture of Human Sovereignty. I’ll link to those in the show notes. Moving on, resentment can lead to…

Shadow as Aggression - It’s not unusual for experiencers to fantasize about harming or killing the non-human Visitors in their lives. Whether it comes as a passing thought, or a long-term plan, some experiencers know a sincere desire to attack the intruders. Why? To stop the intrusions. To protect their family, to secure control, to gain safety. I’m not speaking in the abstract. I know first-hand what it is to marshal extreme coping mechanisms; Buy guns, put up security cameras around the house, get a big protection dog, alter one’s sleep cycle to mitigate risk of contact, use every petitionary measure to counter the unknown presence.

But Weaponizing can be a sign we’ve dis-owned the voice of the Protector in the choir of the Self. There are healthy and sick versions of each voice in the choir. Shadow and light. The shadow mode of our Protector runs on deficit. Because we perceive lack; insufficient safety, unpredictable circumstances, we resort to extremes. We may make the self into booby trap (we will cover this later as it links to addiction and substance abuse). Through aggression, we’re attempting to make our environment as inhospitable as possible. But shadow also magnetizes that which it seeks to repel. When we take a transitory state like paranoia, and make it into a permanent trait, like hyper vigilance, we can become the victim of our own strategy. The cost of constant hyper vigilance is exhaustion, diminishment of joy, curiosity, play. We increase fear in loved ones who feel concern for us. The shadow, put in charge of protection, creates a pall. It is imprecise. It permanently installs reactivity, and disables responsiveness. It leaves little bandwidth for creativity and genuine resilience. Aggression modifies the outward features of our environment instead of inwardly transforming the environment itself.

How many experiencers have fantasized about lashing out at their abductors? Strangling them, killing them, banishing them, punishing them? As we would any perceived threat to our life, our family. Experiencers as individuals often arrive at the futility of these impulses. Even if, by some extraordinary measure, we could physically battle a non-human Visitor, and win, it would do nothing to alter the larger dynamic in play between humans and non-humans. Collectively, we see this demonstrated again and again as the non human presence conducts its affairs with impunity, even when tracked and pursued by human tech, the best our military can offer. Whether military encounters off the coast of California, or the privacy of our bedrooms, we are dealing with an intelligence with capacities we can’t comprehend. They make confetti of our physics, and metaphysics. It’s not just that our human shadow aggression is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. It’s worse. Bringing a weapon at all is like cutting ourselves to get blood from the Others. Real equity, any kind of genuine parity between humans and non-humans only occurs though the elevation of human consciousness. That is more likely to be recognized. This move is not popular, especially in our larger social systems. But like it or not, best indications are that the high road is the only one leading anywhere we’d want to be. And so considering our aggressive shadow as an invitation, an opportunity to transmuute base drives, is the most viable path forward.

As we deepen and expand the Self, it becomes obvious that destruction is self destruction. Harm is self harm. Murder is suicide. In fact that’s a message repeated ad nauseum from non human to human through an incalculable number of interactions. Our aggressive shadow is understandable, and unsustainable.

The inversion of shadow aggression is resilience. Sustainable strength from internal position. A deep I, a strong We. Yes, metaphysical shielding, and also curated permeability that allows in the good surpises. Let’s move to…

Self Harm as Shadow. When we realize that -given the incommensurate nature of the relationship- it is ineffectual to go to war with the Others, or when we recognize that shadow aggression poisons the Self and the intended target, we sometimes change lanes to self soothing or self harm. If we feel powerless to harm the Others, we may instead choose coping mechanisms that harm us. Perhaps we hope to make ourselves unappealing, or un-useable to the Others. Here we have addiction, substance abuse, and other strategies designed to mollify pain or poison the well. Granted, many people use entheogens to open themselves to a bigger reality, and even establish contact with non-human intelligences. But others use substances to shut down that larger reality, and mute the anomalous intensity in their lives. There is a logic here. If the levels are too high, what brings the levels down? Alcohol? Marijuana? Xanex? If the pain is too severe, what blunts it? Cutting? Marijuana? If the loss of power is insufferable, what provides a modicum of control? Starvation? Vomitting? Social isolation? Or inversely, perhaps grandiosity, exhibitionism, public self sabotage? When we feel we have few tools left to change the dynamic, we use them. However unpallatable, such obstructions can be seen as preferable to the alternative.

For instance, if rendering oneself black out drunk means the Others cannot, or will not, abduct them in that state, that can be tempting. We play the hand we’re dealt, and we can see self harm as a wild card. Fight shadow with shadow. If our lives are on fire, why not pour gas? Maybe self injury will confuse or frustrate the Others long enough to grant us a reprieve. We’re already contending with amnesia, why not self administer a pre-emptive black out, to one up them? We’re already enduring bodily harm, why not grab the wheel and head for the ditch? If hit with sexual trauma, reproductive harvesting, why not add promiscuity, and sex addiction to muddy the waters for our foe? If we’re painted as marginalized freaks and weirdos by society, then how about some full on fucking ostracization from our families, our professions, our religions? I’ll show you an outcast, mother fucker. The perennial question for experiencers is ‘How can I be healthy in a sick culture?’ Sometims it seems like that’s impossible. Self harm as shadow is scorched Earth warfare, 101. Before you flee the village, burn the buildings, poison the crops, so the enemy cannot gain any advantage from the spoils. If our body is a battle field, we know nuclear measures.

The flip of self-harm is healing, transcendence. Genuine integration marshals mind, body, and spirit into new patterning. Sleep to counter fatigue, exercise for malaise, nutrition for grounding, a healthy micro culture of support, contemplative practices, creativity & humor to strengthen our spiritual immune system. These are first steps to becoming healthy in a sick culture.

Self harm, aggression, resentment, anger are some of the greatest hits in the disowned lower self.


Now let’s look at shadow as aspects of a Disowned Higher Self as it relates to the path of experiencers. Our unclaimed exalted attributes. Empathy, compassion, equanimity, access to perspectives, exotic capacities, the Cosmic self. Let’s start with…

The Disowned Savior. A central narrative in the human / non-human dyad is that the non-human presence is here to save us. A more evolved intelligence is intervening to stave off a cataclysmic demise for humanity. Maybe they are our future selves arriving through time, or another dimension, a distant galaxy, maybe they are local allies from a fold in the fabric of Earth’s local reality - in any event, they possess superior wisdom, technology, and seek to avert human calamity. Even if that is the case in some instances, it doesn’t negate the risk our collective shadow poses when projected onto these beings. Let’s look at some qualities we extoll in the Visitors.

Benificent Restraint. Ostensibly, they could destroy us, and they haven’t. They could conquer us, and they don’t.

Coherence. At least some Visitors work in concert, efficiently coordinated around a shared objective.

Exotic Capacities. In their hands, time is malleabe, as is human perception, the supposed laws of physics. They communicate telepathically, and can heal through exotic means.

They are Farsighted, prophesying dire outcomes from biocidic human behaviors. If this is a planetary game of chess, they cast forward many moves. Their present moment is like a 10,000 year NOW.

They have Perspectival Fluidity, entering our minds via scans, incarnational seeding, telepathic union. They control animals and insects as proxies.

They have an elevated relation to Death as a mode of Creativity. Death not as end, but as a generative inflection. Death as a Liminal lever, an indispensable principal in Cosmic ingenuity.

Notably, none of the higher qualities we ascribe to non humans are unattainable for human beings. We are capable of benificent restraint, coherence, exotic capacities, far-sightedness, perspectival fluidity, and knowing Death as cosmic creativity, and cosmic consciousness. We just don’t attain these traits often. When we do it’s as individuals and not as a population. When we find these qualities fully reified in a population of Others, we can confer unearned superiority. But a humans are capable of realizing these traits. Imagine Ramana Maharshi and Hilma af Klint fucked, and made a baby. And made that baby micro dosed frog venom atop the pyramid Khufu. Or… something. When we locate these potentials outside ourselves, and attach them to the Others, we put the onus on them and forfeit our potential as good Cosmic neighbors. Again, understandable, but not ultimately helpful.

As a thought experiment, ask yourself what qualities your ideal exemplar, or intecessor would possess. Then ask yourself if those qualities are truly unreachable for you, in the long arc of a soul’s development.

It’s convenient, and comforting, to interpret the Others as saviors with the means and motive to intervene on our behalf. Phew, they won’t allow us to annihilate a paradise world with nukes, or environmental degradation. But the trade off is more subjegation. Humans exploit and subjegat one another, and the biosphere. Is the solution really further subjegation? ‘Sub’ means under control of, yes, but also under the auspices of. If our liberation and release is under the auspices of a putative higher species, we’re just kicking the Karmic can down the street. If we can’t become stewards of one another, or the biosphere, what makes us imagine we deserve rescuing, or that the outcome will leave our luxurious station in tact?

We also see our disowned higher self manifest in black programs, where low levels of consciousness fetishize high levels of technology. We keep using ethno-centric world views to tackle Cosmo-centric puzzles. Which means we can either collapse the phenomenon to our limits, distorting much and excluding more, or we can develop ourselves to try and meet the beings as they actually are. There’s reason to believe they’ve done much to accommodate us, to present the enigma in symbols we can work with. But real mutuality requires us to deepen our game of being.

It’s tricky. We need to disrupt our stagnant, flat systems, but also put a new order of coherence in their place. Transcend and include, as the integral axiom goes.

Imagine your self as the Others. Would you rather have stable, wise neighbors, or cross-eyed dependents pounding on a cosmic vending machine? While it’s romantic to transfer our higher selves onto the Others, in the long run it weakens us and burdens them. We have to gather our shit together, old school. A more integral approach to shadow work involves;

Waking Up to new states of being, including both relative and ultimate modes of awareness

Growing Up into higher levels of consciousness

Cleaning Up defense mechanisms in each stage and state of our being

Showing Up for our self, our cultures, and the biosphere

Opening Up to the Visitors, the Others, from this deeper, healthier place

This is how we begin to distribute shadow work. I would argue the Others who are worth having a relationship with, would prefer a relationship with this potential version of us.


Having looked at disowned lower and higher aspects, let’s finish by ending at the start. Our origin, the origin of shadow itself.

What if all of manifest reality is the shadow of a Cosmic Self? What if this self, with a capital S, is our native our primordial nature. I call it the Point of All Places. A gestating void of pure potential which has no qualities but from which all qualities emerge. When we sense this ground of being as a Self which en-selves all selves, then it’s fair to wonder if the inner and outer Cosmos is simpy the disowned aspects of our Original Face. Yes, that’s right, I’m trying to start a fucking cult here. Stick around there will be robes and orgies.

Since shadow is disowned self-ness, to be dis-owned, it must have been owned at some point. Was, for instance, the collective unconscious ever owned? If so, by whom? When, where, how - let’s Scooby Do this fo a sec. Reality is so creative it creates creators. The Point of All Places is Void, but not lack. There is no absence in its Emptiness. Without quality itself, it gives birth to duration, feature, intensity, span, depth, dimension. We in turn mistake qualities for their source. But what is it that’s aware of qualities? How can awareness of death… die? How can awareness of birth… be born? How can awareness of creation… be created? Whatever it is, it’s unmade, unborn, undying. A Self that en-selves each self. That dispossessed original Self explores, encounters, and reclaims ipseity through the game of being. An indesctructable, yet infinitely mutable Being complecting self and other, over and over. Self and other, human-alien, incarnate-discarnate, born-reborn, lost and found. Because if you are one, you two. If you are two, you one. That’s the game of Being. If we seek our shadow, survey the stars. Be the game, game the being.

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