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  • Writer's pictureRob Allaert

The dark cloak

Even the roughest of us hide a soft heart under their cloak. It's this rough world that convinces us to do so. What shall we do with our dark shadow?

We have a good soul. Yea, even the roughest of us hide under their dark cloak a meek heart. It is the rough world in which we eventually awaken that makes us hide the goodness. We hide our original innocence in the hope that we can save it for a later moment.

That soul - that is our well-oriented instinct that we miraculously carry with us - knows perfectly what Life (with a capital letter!) expects of us. We should not be taught to rush to each other's aid. Every child will play and dance with every other child without any hesitation as if no one is watching.

Such a shame this doesn't last. And because not everyone leaves innocence at the same time, every child will at some point face a group of children who pretend they don't need that feeble innocence anymore.

That's when you first feel that there's a price tag attached to your own innocence. If you want to keep this one, you will stand out. Your name will be called and placed with the weak. Before you know it, you're being bullied.

There seems to be only one solution and that in turn is to change camp. You have to do what you hate: hide your innocence deep down. You are looking for a dark cloak. Will you ever bring out that meek heart again?

Blood Sweat and tears

Do you recognise those phases in life? First the innocence; then the discovery of wickedness in the world; and finally your own moment of capitulation.

The dream is over. You have arrived in the so-called real world. You adopt an attitude to force yourself into the world of blood, sweat and tears. Other friends. Aggression through the loudspeakers. A prickly appearance. Tough patterns on the skin. Casual smoke from the corners of your mouth. The night beats the day. Facade. Bolster behaviour. With that white pit inside.

It is clear that some are quick to fully embrace this hardening. After a few years, they excel in self-confidence and quickly reaped the necessary success in the world of possession, seduction and power.

But what about the others? What about you? You've always felt you played a part. You felt the weight of the dark cloak. Your success failed to materialise, or you could not appreciate it as the others seem to do.

Escape routes

There are a number of escape routes. Some go in search of a gentle partner; one that offers support or that can comfort you after the working day. It doesn't cure it, but the plaster is good.

Others, usually to their own surprise, choose religion. They go for the divine magnification of the nurturing they so lack. Because if love is gone, it may be in heaven. They even accept the imposed moral code that goes with it. The obedient reorganisation of life brings a moment of peace and it tempers potential derailment.

Some distance themselves from the traditional forms of religion but prefer to reach for the multicoloured new-age basket. The solution offered there is that of the numbing of the mind or ego. For example, you learn from the much-listened Eckhart Tolle that you must 'give up the hypnosis of the curse of thought'. The drug offered here is not a substance but paralysing the quest to really understand yourself.

Others avoid the malaise through monofocus: practicing extreme sports or pursuing an ideal with which they may not save themselves but then save the world.

Our shadow

Ultimately, fleeing is not the solution, because the weight of the dark cloak that you put on again despite all your efforts has not disappeared.

Would it be possible to brave the darkness, without fear, in the hope that the confrontation will suddenly be the exposure of this evil?

The well-known psychologist Carl Jung thought deeply about this and concluded that 'if we will manage to face and endure our own shadow, at least a small part of the problem (of the human struggle) will be gone'. .

Could it be that there is no evil source flowing within us? And that our behaviour is in fact an immense lack of agility? Can our shadow be traced simply because the sun is shining over our unexplained existence?

Our shadow is in fact compensatory behaviour and a result of the growth of our human species. Our acquired mind or consciousness propelled us out into the wide world with the aim of exploring the planet and especially understanding ourselves. That is a mission impossible to accomplish without terror, adversity, and even despair. But this historical quest is equally impossible without heroism. Let that soak in for a second.


The real way forward is that of self-forgiveness. After all, the evil in your life is your response to not understanding yourself and your response to the critical state of the world. "God is not angry with us." The universe is not hostile. The people are not devils. Your thinking should not be turned off. The child who bullied you back then was equally horrified when it became self-conscious and chose a destructive way out.

Forgive yourself. Or better: understand yourself and leave the horror behind. Use your heroism - not to survive this time, but now to build something. Take off the dark cloak and bring out your meek heart again. Then forgive those around you and help them in the process of understanding themselves. Place them along the road where the sun shines as the true explanation for our shadow.

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