I don't notice it much anymore, but at one point in my life my shadow fascinated me. It captured my attention, because it moved when I moved and followed me everywhere I went. Though it disappeared for a while it always managed to return. Certain shapes became distinctly recognizable, while others mystified me by their random vagueness or shifting projection. Slowly, I made the connection, even learning how to control my shadow by manipulating its form and causing it to appear as something altogether different.
Why am I not preoccupied with my shadow anymore, or why does it not capture my attention as it once did? Simply because I now understand its relationship with the substance from which it is projected. That substance would be ME - that is, my body.
I didn't have to focus any attention on why I shouldn't focus on my shadow, I just stopped paying attention to it because its appearance no longer mystified me. I didn't even have to seek out any Shadow-Withdrawal support groups to help me make the transition. Why not? Because my cognizance of the reality removed any sense that the shadow ever had any true substance of its own to begin with.
Consider something with me here. What can my shadow reveal about who I truly am? If you were to follow me around and make observations based on my various shadowy shapes you might one moment see me as a monster, the next as a super-hero, or even as a mystical apparition. No, there is only one true revelation made by the presence of my shadow: it demands that I am there.
Even though many true things may be attributed to me based upon the appearance of my shadow, just as many false representations may be as well. One may see greatness, while another sees failure, or even contradiction. But those who see me by looking at me and not by looking at my shadow are the ones who truly see me. You see, once the connection has been made between substance and shadow the projection is understood to conform to the reality - and not the other way around.
Consider the first rabbit shadow you ever saw as a child. Do you think you actually figured out right away that someone's hand caused it? I don't think so. Chances are that you were convinced it really was a rabbit. But once you understood the connection you came to realize that the rabbit shadow had no rabbit in it - that was merely a perception based on a projection. When you know what you're looking at because you've seen the actual hand that makes the shadow you're no longer confused by the shadow. The fact is that you can now even see the hand in that shadow ... even though you really can't see it in the projection.
What if we were to understand that the things found in the Law were merely projections of a true substance that could not be truly seen apart from seeing the reality itself? What if we discovered that we have been fascinated by shadows of rabbits because the religious world around us keeps insisting on their genuine rabbit-ness? You know, we might also discover that the writers of those NT letters were making connections between shadow and reality in order to make known how far superior the reality was to a shadow.
Still more to come ...