Understanding the Dark Side
I am in need of some clarification regarding the dark-side/shadow aspect of human beings. I am confused as to whether a person’s shadow side is a permanent fixture of their awareness—to be accepted and integrated—or whether it is something that is to be eventually transcended and/or dissolved through diligent meditation practice. I seem lately to regularly encounter seemingly contradictory viewpoints on this matter where sometimes the dark/shadow side is spoken about in terms of past conditioning or accumulated stress and karma wherein the implicit understanding is that, given enough time and due diligence with meditation, one would eventually tread past their negativity and emerge into unconditional love. Other times though it seems that the shadow is portrayed as being a permanent, inescapable fixture of the human condition (love and hate coexist always) wherein the goal is simply to acknowledge it, accept it, and learn to live with it. If one tends to favor their positive aspects over their negative ones does that necessarily mean that they are denying and suppressing parts of themselves? I can’t imagine not preferring love over hate.
Anyway, I can’t help but see the above two points of view as being utterly contradictory. Do enlightened individuals really have the same dark aspects as everyone else? If so, what is it exactly that makes them enlightened? Or have they indeed let go of and moved beyond all negativity.