Please share here your observations on shadow areas (or blind spots).
It seems to me that the exact vocabulary in French to translate “blind spot” is blind spot rather than shadow area. It is by definition something you don’t see. That’s why a group is so important, because it acts as a mirror that allows us to see our blind spots. It’s something about yourself that you don’t see and don’t want to see. It would be associated with the mechanism of denial. When you point a blind spot, it generates resistance. Can there be resistance without a blind spot, I’m not sure.
I am looking for concrete examples of my experience, and it is hard to find any. Recently, I realized that I lacked humility and that I still had many reflexes of pride (judgment, comparison, denial of certain errors, willingness to be right). It was not pointed out to me directly but I recognized it through testimonies and discussions on these subjects “humility/vanity”. I had identified the perfectionist in me and the difficulty in accepting mistakes, but not this blind spot of pride.
I often observe blind spots in others. After trying several times to point a blind spot at someone, I realized that it often required a lot of energy to overcome resistance, and that it was unlikely to help the person.
A concrete example: some time ago, I explained to a student in my martial arts class that every time I made a suggestion, he would answer me by telling me that he already knew what I was talking about and that he couldn’t do what I was suggesting for this or that reason. I suggested that he simply listen and consider what I was saying, without reacting as usual. He replied that he already knew that this was the right thing to do, and gave me the reasons why my advice did not suit him. I realized at that moment that I had to accept the fact that I too had blind spots.
Blind spots are unconscious, they act as a mega buffer and are activated to defend or prevent the feeling of necessary suffering, they have been set up unconsciously and are all the harder to detect because they appear natural. Faced with an uncomfortable situation, we react “naturally” through this mechanism, and as long as it is unconscious, we cannot see it, hence the interest of working in a group to get the light of others. At our last meeting, a grey area was discovered in myself, a mechanism that prevents me from feeling the necessary suffering. Since then, I have the impression that having become conscientious acts to prevent the mechanism from being put in place, when necessary, there is like a reminder.
At first, I remained doubtful about this proposal because by definition a blind spot is something that we do not see, that we cannot observe, at least not in ourselves. But it is possible to see it in another person and to observe it. It is difficult for me to say precisely whether it is a blind spot or a resistance, which is why this subject requires caution. Caution because it acts unconsciously and it is difficult to reveal it to others directly. It seems to me that this requires some experience in human psychology to deal with a blind spot.
From my self-observation, and if I have understood what it is, shadow zones are “hidden” identity mechanisms, of which we are not aware, like mines in a field, and which have not yet been activated. For these mines to be activated, my assumption is that a particular event must occur, or have already “cleared” the ground.
Of course, group interactions (with our favorite opportunity creator), can bring these particular events, these opportunities to discover these hidden mines. This causes a surprise effect, a shock, because we were not expecting to discover this mechanism in ourselves at all. Absorbing the shock as little as possible, or even not at all, allows the transformation resulting from the reception of the necessary suffering associated with this discovery. Otherwise, the mine stays.
About the opportunity creator: it is life that provides us with opportunities. I see my role as being to “highlight” them when I see them and/or when I feel the need to do so. I often do this in the 2nd or 3rd degree or indirectly.
Blind spots can remain blind for a lifetime, if there is no commitment, no risk, of exposing oneself to the projector; the projector being for us the work that we activate in a group, and that we constantly pursue. In my case, I have the impression that a blind spot is revealed by the “little part”, in the functional, through a remark, or a “flagrant delicto” noted by someone, and that I then discover the extent of this task. For example, I think of the hierarchy between things, which seemed so natural to me, and which, when it was pointed out to me in “small” things, seemed to me like a huge pretension that permeated most of my thoughts. And it’s a shock, and the others are necessary for that.
What is curious is that these shadows, these blind spots, seem obvious to others except for oneself. For me it would be impossible to realize this without the help of the instructor and the group. Trusting the teacher, the teaching and the group is the first step. To accept to expose oneself, the second, to look in the mirror at what is sent back to me, and to accept the suffering that goes with it, again and again, is the third. Until the angle becomes visible and detectable by oneself.
In my experience, the shadows zones are revealed by others (hence the interest of the group) but also by myself through exercises. I remember very well the exercises on meta models during my first year of NLP training: “I never do/I always do” for example; they had shaken me up a lot and I had the impression to be exposed, to be readable by others and finally by myself. My first beliefs were falling. Making myself permeable by observing my thoughts, words and actions is just as much a way to reveal the blacks, greys and blurred areas of my shadows.
The shadows zones, the blind spots, the dark side of myself. These may be unconscious things that I can’t see, that I can’t hear or that I haven’t yet let blossom in me. The opportunities of life, the interactions, the challenges, act as a lamppost, a spot, which highlights this dark side, to reveal it, to transcend it, to let divine creativity flourish through listening, availability, welcome.
I don’t know whether to distinguish between “shadow zones” and “blind spots”, or whether they are synonyms. By taking the decision to distinguish them, in the case of shadow zones, it would be a question of highlighting, by oneself, mechanisms that operate clandestinely. While a blind spot is impossible to highlight by itself. A little like a point between the shoulder blades, no matter how much you twist yourself in all directions, you can never see it. The group acts as a mirror, the acuity and/or intuition of some allows exhuming deep mechanisms. It often remains powerful for the person in whom it is highlighted! Secondly, the simple fact of having highlighted a blind spot helps to devitalize the mechanism. It seems that there is nothing more to do than to keep the existence of this one in mind. Its strength is to remain invisible. Put the light of conscience on it and maintain it allows it to disintegrate. I suppose that a mechanism located in a blind spot is like a wall carrying identity. Hence the importance of accepting to be exposed and to be totally sincere in your answers.
I agree, blind spots seem to me different from the unconscious mechanisms (beliefs, judgments, identifications) that self-observation can reveal, and lead to consciousness. They seem to act from a deeper level of the psyche. The other mechanisms gradually reveal themselves with vigilance when an opportunity arises, it is enough to scratch a little (life takes care of it), they act at a level just below consciousness, sometimes half conscious. The blind spot is really unconscious and invisible.
It seems to me that shadows zones have their origin in the birth of the original belief, and the feeling of helplessness felt in early childhood, the consciousness of the separation and the suffering of the loneliness returned. Blind spots correspond to the construction of zones of defense of identity to avoid unavoidable, unbearable suffering, where the emotional is combined with a lack of discernment, or even obstinacy without reflection, in order to avoid the necessary suffering. Concrete areas, enclosed since childhood, made invisible by the identity mechanisms built into ramparts. Seizing opportunities to expose oneself can be an opportunity to shed light on them, by others effectively, or by certain events in life.
The highlighting of a blind spot can also have this flash of lucidity effect, something stunning that brings a deep non-mental understanding, such as “eureka”. Lately I have indeed experienced a shock, but it was very positive, without triggering any suffering. Then it all depends on what is highlighted and how well it is received. If it’s too dangerous, I suppose that even pointing it out, it will remain in the background, simply by raising the denial. What is not ripe, not ready to be welcomed, cannot be seen. We can’t force the other to see.
N. discovered in her a blind spot that was linked to the desire for ecstasy/joyment:
“Having put your finger on it makes it possible to pull on the wire and go back far enough, it’s incredibly branched, there are so many expectations and demands there! To wonder if all desires are not the result of this desire…. »
What lucidity! Moreover, without having gone so far in exploring a blind spot, I really feel that N. is right when talking about the multiple ramifications of this blind spot I just wanted to add that suffering can occur, in my experience, during the process of updating when the group’s “snipers” point in the right direction but that indeed realization, comprehension/awareness is a shock that shakes but where it is no longer really a question of suffering.
I agree with what N. describes, it is about hearing the intention that gives birth to words, which remain words that we hear either with our resistance to denial, or in listening to what touches the heart (non-mental understanding). When we talk about useful suffering, which I will describe (to avoid any confusion about the word suffering) as a silent listening to understanding, it is indeed a question of relaxation in the acceptance of what is, and letting this reflection mature without intervention from the mind in the deepest part of oneself, devoid of any expectation of result. Let it mature to go in the direction of the most just of what dwells within us, with sincerity, humility, innocence to welcome what is revealed.
When I read N.’s testimony, I realized that I no longer had any great desire, except to remain in this teaching accompanied by the teacher and by all of us; the more I empty myself and my life (objects, letting thoughts come and go, social relationships, no longer procrastinating, trying to remain in body consciousness and divided attention…) the more I let myself welcome new insights. And it becomes clear to me that all desires came from: “I have to feel vibrated to feel alive” and that many gestures, acts, thoughts in my life came from there. The dark areas have thus become light: erroneous beliefs fall, satisfactions appear temporary and therefore illusory. Today I feel alive, vibrant but it is no longer fuelled by these desires. I feel alive, vibrant in the energy I feel, the gratitude for life, in the being without appearing.
What is the difference between an illusion and a blind spot? Could it be that with an illusion you see something that is not there and with a blind spot you do not see what is there? Or does an illusion, by its very existence, create a blind spot? How are blind spots and illusions connected?
I had the illusion that “people would understand”. I was aware of this idea; I thought I had to change my communication and be tenacious, sincere, and that over time the other would choose a “win-win” relationship. BUT….. after spending a lot of time getting almost no results when I was sure it would work, I admitted that there had to be a blind spot that prevented me from recognizing reality: most people are only open to a superficial understanding, and only if it works in their favour in order to manipulate the other.
What you describe is for me an illusion: too much expectation in people’s ability to change their minds, or in their ability to endure the suffering that the changes necessarily involve. Concerning the question: “Does an illusion, by its very existence, create a blind spot? “I feel the opposite, that is, a blind spot can create an illusion with the objective (unconscious) of not feeling the associated pain of being wrong. I can suspect that it’s a blind spot in you because to recognize reality, you needed a lot of attempts.
“What is the difference between an illusion and a blind spot?” For me, a blind spot is something inside me: a belief or mechanism that is rooted somewhere in my original belief. The illusion is a projection. A metaphor would be that the blind spot is a stain or distortion on my lens, while the illusion is the result of everything I see through this lens (on others or on myself). When you realize that you have an illusion about yourself or others, I think it’s important to look at what’s underneath. For example, believing that “all human beings are fundamentally good and that they can improve if they are properly helped” can be a way to avoid the necessary suffering to admit that life can be cruel and unjust, and that we are powerless in the face of it.