Embracing Our Neighbor’s Shadow

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by Kathleen Stilwell


Recently I wrote Another Open Letter to a man I’ve never met, a brilliant writer who uses the moniker Zen Gardner. I’ve never seen Zen Gardner in person and until the “bring Zen Gardner down” campaign started and the internet psychoanalysis of this man began, I hadn’t even seen any of the videos out there where he shares conversation with others. (CCN has some for viewing here).

I hadn’t read his book,  You Are the Awakening. I only had a vague idea of what he looked like. I had, however, read many articles by Zen. In fact, I’m sure I read everything he wrote that came my way after first stumbling upon his writing years ago. I didn’t always agree with his perspective but I was interested in what he had to say. His aliveness and deep insight fascinated me and uplifted my soul.

My intuition and my heart were drawn to pay attention to the brouhaha that was unfolding when the first open letter to Zen Gardner appeared in my inbox (there were several). An inner warning light came on when I read that first letter, but not a warning about Zen Gardner. It was an inner alert telling me to pay attention to something about how we use information, about what questions we ask, and about our perception of what was really true. I was also alerted to closely monitor my own reactions.

I’ve scanned through some of the ongoing analysis of the Zen Gardner phenomenon. Something very important is lacking as the chatter continues.

Conversation with Zen, as would naturally take place with anyone who is our friend, is noticeably missing here. An effigy of Zen is being tossed about as if this could possibly be the person so many have claimed to know personally.

There have been public video blogs and open conversations about Zen Gardner, all talking about him as if he’s not here, as if he’s not one of us. Zen is being talked at and talked to, but not with. We share our attacks, our fears, our projections and our charged questions in a public arena.

Apparently we don’t care what Zen thinks or care what he feels. Maybe we don’t care because we do know on some level that the Zen caricature we are tearing apart is not the real Zen Gardner.

Playing follow the leader

One thing I loved about reading Zen Gardner’s writing is that he knew it was, collectively and individually, all about us. He didn’t ask us to follow him or subtlety imply that we should. He said, “you are the awakening”, not “follow me if you want to live”.

Zen Gardner grew to be a big name both online and in those gatherings where people share all sorts of esoteric teachings, mystical wisdom, healing arts, alternative/free energy plans and devices, ET disclosure and calls for spiritual revolution.

From all I can see, Zen Gardner was/is certainly, as Jeff Rense is quoted on the back cover of Zen’s book, “…a sparkling and unusually clear voice in today’s information madness…with a thoroughly informed yet deeply perceptive outlook on a troubled world desperately in need of an honestly enlightened and empowering perspective.”

Unfortunately, Zen Gardner was also seen as a leader by those who still recreate their own worlds around the leader/follower paradigm.

It’s always puzzled me how, as people dedicated to exposing a hierarchical control system that is killing us, we still set up new, mini hierarchies.

We choose leaders and we choose our positions within the ranks of followers. Some followers are always more important than others. The closer to the leader, the more important the follower.

Something in us must like that dynamic. We need to talk about that, my friends. Seriously.

The Zen Gardner package was a sought-after commodity and his website and Facebook page were very popular places to stop by for daily insight and up-to-date news on the global uprising. His articles were re-posted onto websites throughout the alternative information world.

Yes, some people really loved Zen and a few responsible reporters, such as the Conscious Consumer Network folks and Jon Rappoport, responded with intelligence and compassion. For the few days that Zen’s website remained up, many readers posted comments of support and dismay at all that was happening. That he was receiving threats was simply unthinkable. But it was happening whether we could process it or not, and his website came down.

It seems that, because Zen had been put up on a pedestal, he was no longer real to us. He was no longer an amazing writer and speaker who was sharing all he knew (and probably things he didn’t know until he wrote them, as inspiration often flows through and teaches us as we write or as we speak). This exulted leader now owed us something, or so we thought. After all, we had put him where he was. In fact, this leader had better be who we wanted him to be or we would have to knock him down and put someone else up there.

Co-dependency and self-responsibility

We followers market our leaders as luminaries and visionaries. We lock them in a box, package them and put them up for sale. I know the leaders let us do it and might even egg us on. They might even have come up with the idea. But in this moment, I’m talking about our unconscious role as followers and our need to take responsibility for our own actions.

Our intentions are good. We want to spread the truth and save the world. Maybe we don’t know how to put our own knowledge into words, or we have stage fright, or we don’t want anyone looking too closely at us, so we line up behind those brave enough to get out there and say something.

What we  don’t see is how, unconsciously, we are reenacting the denial of our true power that got us here in the first place. We are doing exactly what’s always been done since the takeover. We are allowing, even asking, someone else to control us or to govern us or to speak on our behalf. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a spokesperson as long as we all know we are responsible for what comes out of her mouth.

And it’s not that these leaders aren’t amazingly brilliant, it’s just that, like the rest of us they aren’t always, haven’t always been, and won’t always be in luminary or visionary mode.

They are real. They can’t really teach us anything if they aren’t real. Real love and integrity come from living as a broken one and learning how to heal. They come from sticking with it long enough for the truth to reveal itself. They require constant questioning, regrouping and tons of humility.

Enlightenment does not come easy. Within this one incarnation, for those who are serious about their self-work to become as true as they can be, we experience many reincarnations as higher truths are revealed, old mind programs collapse, and we are reborn with newfound clarity.

These reincarnation experiences don’t happen just once or twice if you are focused enough and are tough enough to take it. When you get to be my age (I’m 64) you can no longer count the number of times you’ve reincarnated within this one incarnation. You never quite get used to those pull-the-rug-from-under-you-and-send-you-flying-into-the-unknown experiences (sometimes with a broken heart as a bonus as you try to figure out where to land next). You don’t get used to them, but you come to know the drill and you trust your resilience. You might even get to where you hear adventure music starting in the background when the universe has something up its sleeve.

Using discernment, with all due respect

The experts who are doing the armchair analysis of Zen Gardner are talking, not just because they think they know something, but because we are listening. They are giving their opinions because we asked them to tell us what to think. Co-dependence at it’s finest.

We knew they’d tell us to use our own discernment. That’s what we truthers tell one another now when sharing news (or gossip). We knew they’d tell us to take the information they set before us and draw our own conclusions. But they also made sure we knew what they, the brilliant ones, who we see as smarter than us (and they do get this dynamic), concluded about this man called Zen.

With all due respect to the experts, and they are due respect for their years of dedicated research and their generosity in sharing their insights and discoveries with us, they are not Zen Gardner.  They can’t possibly know what he knows about himself.

The fear of being fooled revisited

With the wonderful help of these experts we have learned about the sociopaths, psychopaths, and schizophrenics who seem to rise to positions of power in this world. These experts have also created a list of symptoms or characteristics for us to check if we wonder whether our jerk neighbor is one of them.

With the aid of researchers and experts, we have become more aware of how our bodies don’t lie and reveal all sorts of things about our inner turmoil. We study hard so that we can identify the malfunction in ourselves and in one another, and we need to do this as part of our awareness training.

H o w e v e r,  we have to be very, very careful. Not all physical manifestations have the same meaning. I am not you and you are not me. If we start using our list of external clues to reconstruct another person’s inner world, we are asking for trouble. We are going to misjudge and seriously hurt each other.

Here’s the thing about our co-dependence and our need for experts:  It takes away our personal power and really dumbs us down. It deadens our true inner knowing. We stop talking with one another because the expert has it all covered. We start to fear one another without an expert to tell us we are all okay. We think following an expert lets us off the hook for our actions (the doctor told me to take that medicine that killed me, the government told me I had to put my children in those prison schools, the orders came in for us to bomb that village…) but it doesn’t. Nothing lets us off the hook. We all have to take radical responsibility for all of this or we’ll just keep repeating the same old patterns.

If it’s true, and it is, that we are the ones we are looking for, then we’d best start standing up now. Even though time is just a construct of the hijackers, there’s no time like the present to shift gears and set ourselves free of this nonsense.

Embracing the shadow of others

If we love someone, we need to talk with them. We need to hear them. Moreover, if we love someone, we want to talk with them and we want to listen.

To connect with wisdom, we need to know that our loved ones have a shadow and that we will need to embrace it. Embracing our own shadow is taught everywhere now, but what about the shadow of others? How can we create heaven together if we don’t understand the importance of this?

What is this shadow anyway? It appears to be all the debris left over from having our souls hijacked, from having been taken over. It is all the distorted and shamed aspects of ourselves. The shadow is not the demons who take us over, but they can use the shadow to sneak their way in.

If the people we love don’t have a shadow and are only love and light or brilliant intellect,  then perhaps we should ask a few questions, starting with whether or not they are real.

Instead of dancing in the dark with our own shadow, wouldn’t it be more fun to have our shadow ask the shadow of our loved one “shall we dance?” Of course, the music would have to be a love song.

And if that shadow (ours or theirs) does not want to be seen just yet, then we already know that the only answer is to love.  Love is the only thing that eventually draws the shadow out of hiding.

Liars and other beautiful souls

I’ve heard it said that Zen Gardner is a liar because he didn’t reveal his past.

WE ALL LIE.  We are all liars.

If we love someone and they lie to us, we must first understand that we all lie and then we must ask ourselves why they need to lie to us about this.

If we love someone, we will certainly understand that this lie is there for a reason. This lie serves a purpose. It could be that they are lying to us because they’ve come to understand that revealing the truth brings condemnation and shuts everything down. Or it could be that they know we do not have the love or the foundation to understand where they’ve been.

If we love someone and if we love ourselves, we won’t make a lie a crime.

This upside-down, inside-out world is based on lies. We’ve all had to lie to survive. We cheer on liars when they are doing a sting operation to reveal a con and a expose a bigger lie.

We know the controllers are nothing but liars. But these archons, reptilians or whoever these ultra-evil, zombie-heart creeps are, have convinced us, through our religions and governments, that if we lie we are sinners or lawbreakers. They tell us we should be ashamed to lie. But that’s total bullshit.

We need to look at our lies, understand why we lie, and then love one another. That’s how we stop lying.

Calling down heaven

Wouldn’t it be sweet to look into the eyes of a loved one, knowing that they know you are lying, and still feel completely loved?

Can you imagine yourself looking into the eyes of someone who is lying to you and thinking, “You are so beautiful. I love you. I understand why you lie.”?

Wouldn’t it be heaven to have your neighbor find out your deepest moment of shame and have her come up and tell you all the mistakes she’s ever made? And wouldn’t it be bliss as you hugged each other and said, “I love you” with tears flowing down your faces? Wouldn’t it feel as if heaven had found you?

The quote from David Icke on the back cover of  You Are the Awakening  says, “Zen Gardner’s book is a welcome contribution to a gathering challenge to the Matrix of deceit, illusion and programmed perception. Lies got us into this mess – only truth can get us out of it.”

It is true, and I’m absolutely certain of this, that only Zen Gardner and those who really love him know who he is.  Another truth is that we all have shadows. Every single one of us. With the exception, of course, of those who have never been real.

The absolute, eternal truth is that only Love can show us the way home. Only Love.

“Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat.” ~ Ben Hecht

We do have it in us. We can figure this out. We can be and we are the awakening. We are the eternal Love we are looking for.

This article may be freely shared as long as the text is unaltered and the original author, Kathleen Stilwell, is clearly identified with a hyperlink back to the original article.

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