Transcending the shadow self
Has anyone ever confessed to you that they have a ‘dark passenger’? I know I’m getting a little bit ‘Dexter’ here. If you haven’t seen Dexter, it’s an American TV show about a really nice guy with a dark secret that he is a serial killer that only kills bad people, which makes him kinds of likeable, weirdly.
I’m asking as it’s something that isn’t talked about openly. Everyone who has confessed this to may have never told anyone else. They think they are the only one that holds this dark secret.
It’s a burden and it troubles them.
Interestingly, most of the people who tell me this are men. In my line of work, my job is to make people feel safe to open up to me about their shadow. Like Dexter, the dark passenger does go as far as having been a killer or having murderous thoughts. Right the way through to battling an internal negative voice that vomits bile over any opportunity for love, dream, plan or great business idea.
The problem many of us women have is we are often attracted to these men, because that neanderthal instinct often comes along with an attractive kind of masculine power that makes us feel safe in their company, but slightly wary of getting on the wrong side of them. This type of man is often looking for the kind of woman who inspires him to be a better man, he will be devoted (that doesn’t mean faithful) but when that relationship breaks down, he will fall harder into a dark place, as she was the woman who kept him in the light.
These men can often be on the psychopathic spectrum. Not all psychopaths will turn into killers.
It depends on if they had a balanced childhood or if there was abuse in childhood – these can be the things that flip the mental switch. Psychopaths on the highest part of the spectrum are often loveless and fearless and the way to tell the difference between the psychopath dark passenger and the non-psychopath, is if they tell you about their darkness with a touch of pride, or if they are trying to scare you.
Non-psychopaths fear it themselves.
If you want to know more I can highly recommend ‘The Psychopath Test’ by Jon Ronson. I met Jon at a radio studio and he really is more of a detective than simply a journalist, his books are often spot on and fascinating.
So what’s the cause of the dark passenger and is there a way to drop them off on the side of the road and hope they never find a taxi?
Humans are killers; we hunt, we fight and we rage war. It is part of the human condition. What’s exciting, is that these men who tell me this are becoming conscious. The have separated instinct and biological programming, to see that darkness as not WHO they are but who they have WITH them.
We are all made up of a monkey mind of archetypes, the voice in our head isn’t who we are, it’s not even our personality, it’s the constructs of personal defence and survival that keep us alive. It creates the drive for survival and creation. We are the thinker of our thoughts and it is the thinker that speaks of a dark passenger and not the thoughts. Seeing the dark passenger as a separate entity allows choice.
Some people have this dark passenger and have no idea. They just get drunk at weekends and cause fights and blame it on the booze. They join wars and find other like-minded thinkers as the darkness loves banding in groups for self-righteousness.
So you might be wondering why women don’t have a dark passenger? Sorry to tell you, we do.
But ours isn’t external world, it’s internal. Our dark passenger tells us we’re are not good enough, too fat, thin, old ugly or boring. It beats the crap out of us and sabotages us, if we allow it to. It attracts us to relationships and jobs where we lose ourselves to service. It makes us hold other women back too, as it hates to see any other woman whose value might be higher than our own. It’s taking us a little longer to see this separation between that dark passenger, as we have called it ‘fear’.
It’s fear for the guys too, but when a man feels fear he speaks to destroy the cause, and when a woman feels fear she looks to changing herself to never feel a negative emotion again.
Advertising hasn’t helped as it plays on the female darkness to get us to buy stuff. So it’s seen more as normal. But the male darkness, rather than being looked to be understood, it is being dehumanised and is shunned by society. I wonder how much of this leads to the suicide rate being three times higher in men. As women we can talk about our feelings about ourselves, sadly often being recommended a face cream for that! But for guys you couldn’t have a conversation about the darkness of your thoughts without raising alarm in the person you’re talking to.
I feel very grateful to have these conversations. We need more of them. We need to find a way to not box everything as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. A bad thought doesn’t make you a bad person, acting on it does. We are the sum of our actions and not the thoughts in our head. The more faith you can put into a person the more they can see themselves as light, light hearted, light spirited and lightened up!
For all the darkness in the world we live at a time of exciting change. As the darkness rises (wait… Batman!) the light in others is rising at a rapped rate, as we say ‘no more’ or ‘not in my name’. The power is coming to the people who stand lovingly in the face of fear. It’s the light we need to bring to the world, but it’s the light that starts in the way you love yourself first.
Humans have a choice of love over fear, and I’m so excited we are all getting so clear in that at this time.