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Masks of Existence: The Demystification of Shadow-self Absorption
This paper presents a case for the demystification of counselling approaches for Aposymbiot individuals who exhibit psychic trauma associated with fear of the phenomenon known psychologically as shadow-self absorption and commonly as the "Undertow".
Whilst acknowledgement must be given to religious organisations and lay therapists and their work with Aposymbiot individuals, psychologists cannot ignore the continuing religious stigmatisation of Aposymbiots within society and within the therapeutic community itself. Therapists who themselves, either tacitly or (in rare cases) overtly, subscribe to the idea of Aposymbiots as "animalled" or "zoos" and shadow-self absorption as "Hell's Undertow" or "The Black Judgement" perpetuate this stigmatisation and very often fail to see the very real trauma that Aposymbiots experience as a result of lifelong anticipation of shadow-self absorption.
This trauma, most often experienced as an irrefutable and ever-increasing sense of oblivion, commonly manifests as an intense obsession with self-annihilation, acted out through extreme hedonism and criminal behaviour, or as a sexualised fetish with self-destruction, as in the well-documented bacchanalia of cults such as the Blood for Severance group, who engage in mass culling of their own animals to actively invoke the terror and rapture of shadow-self absorption.
Whilst the sensationalism of animal sex and death has provoked the media into ever-increasing coverage of the exoticism of "zoos", society has largely ignored the true meaning of these acts: a desperate rallying cry from Aposymbiots who wish to take charge of their own existence rather than waiting to be led like the proverbial lamb, duck or llama to the divine slaughter.
Clinicians have a responsibility to heed these calls
and to change their approach to a more objective, empathetic and scientific understanding of shadow-self absorption, one that will ultimately result in the delivery of more effective forms of treatment.
Current scientific thought tends toward an understanding of the "Undertow" as a quantum manifestation of non-existence, a psychic equivalent of dark matter that indeed serves as a counterpoint to, and bedrock for, the principle of existence. The process of shadow-self absorption is, in fact, such an integral part of life as we know it, that in Dark Matter, Black Judgement (2005), physicist Nareem Jazaar states: "were intelligent life to be found elsewhere in the universe, it would be impossible to imagine that society without some form of the Undertow."
This type of understanding of the "Undertow", not as divine judgement but rather as a necessary part of the fabric of the physical universe, can only serve to relieve Aposymbiot individuals of the intense burden of guilt they often carry.
Van Meer amp; Reeves et al. (2002) in fact document robust differences in behavioural function between religious and secular Aposymbiot groups and their response to therapy. In the course of their two-year study, the religious group showed markedly increased levels of guilt, aggression and suicidal ideation when compared to the secular and control groups.
Such studies form the basis for a shift in the clinical and ethical framework with which therapists, and ultimately society as a whole, approach Aposymbiot interaction.