Depressed? consider Rumi’s view of our shadow self

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MINDFULNESS BREATH-MANTRA:
With the in-breath –    I breathe in wholeness
With the out-breath –  letting go negatives
or simply
Wholeness     (in-breath)
Negatives      (out-breath
MEDITATION: Many people suffer from the belief that they are ‘bad’, defective, cursed or some such thing because the shadow side throws up thoughts that are violent, inappropriately sexual or otherwise ‘wrong’.
We now know that our brains are each a history of human evolution and that they contain a part that people refer to as the reptilian brain.  This most ancient part of the brain is solely concerned with the Four Fs = flight, fighting, feeding or mating.  That’s the animal in us.   The unbridled animal pops up in dreams or in the conscious mind.    It’s not a defect, but it is the lower self which in civilized people is socialized into socially acceptable forms.
The question arises as to how to reduce the effects of the lower self. Repression, suppression and destruction are likely to produce distortion or even perversion. The first and most important thing is to recognize that all four are part of our history and part of our nature and more to the point God-given – not to indulge but to learn from as with all dualities, sorrow teaches us to appreciate happiness.
The key is first acceptance, secondly recognition that it is all part of God’s great learning plan and thirdly an accentuation of the positive – dilution not suppression.
One way to work at this process of balanced integration is to not repress what comes up but just to say ‘high, welcome, thanks and goodbye’ – as if the though was a character that appeared from stage left – and exits stage-right.
It is always astonishing and delightful to find that great teachers in earlier times understood these phenomena of the human heart-mind and gave solutions. Here is Rumi on welcoming visitors from the negative side;
THE GUEST HOUSE 
This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 
A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor. 
Welcome and entertain them all! 
even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be cleaning you out 
for some new delight. 
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 
Be grateful for whoever comes, 
Because each has been sent 
As a guide from beyond. 
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RUMI
(Translation by Coleman Barks)
Published by:Harper San Francisco, 2004, ISBN  0-06-250959-4Karen Armstrong writes wonderfully in Shambhala magazine about this area;

From “The Four Fs” to The Four Immeasurables

How might we control destructive impulses and promote positive emotions? Religious historian and compassion activist Karen Armstrong explains, in an excerpt of her article, “The Golden Rule,” from our March 2011 magazine.Why do we find it so difficult to make compassion our reality? I did some reading on the neuroscience of compassion, and what I understood the science to say made a lot of sense to me, because I recognized it in myself. We’ve inherited a sort of reptilian brain from our distant ancestors, which still contains a lot of ferocious drives that helped our species survive. Often these drives are called the four Fs: fighting, fleeing, feeding, and… reproduction (laughter).These drives are automatic, and they are powerful. If a lion suddenly ran into this theater, we’d be right to immediately abandon our high-minded deliberations and run for our lives. These drives are about survival, and they are all about “me.” When people were freed from the desperate struggle for daily survival that dominated the species for thousands of years and had the leisure to reflect upon their experience, they began to explore ways to enhance the more positive emotions of the so-called mammalian brain and put the four Fs in their place, to keep them under control. Because we have a duty to protect each other from our destructive impulses, whether that involves killing somebody or uttering an unkind word that remains lodged like a piece of ice in the heart for years to come.Go HERE to read more of her article. The picture SOURCE and the top of this post?

it is Abraham offering hospitality to angels – the trick is to see apparent negatives as angels, because through them we progress and learn to grow more into our true Self.All is God – the dangly bits, the squidgy bits as well as our highest thoughts and our most self-less acts!   All parts point to the Whole – that infinity of which we are an infinitesimal, temporary, form.  But the Self is eternal – now.Step into heaven.
MINDFULNESS BREATH-MANTRA:
With the in-breath –    I breathe in wholeness
With the out-breath –  letting go negatives
or simply
Wholeness     (in-breath)
Negatives      (out-breath
-0-

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