shed one's own shadow

Hello everyone

I’d like to ask about the meaning “shed one’s own shadow” in the following context:

Having gone through university training in experimental
physics, as well as many years of research and teaching in the general
area of surface physics and surface chemistry, using sophisticated
techniques such as electron spectroscopy and ultra-high vacuum
electron microscopy to detect details down to the atomic level of
optical resolution, I have previously had—and published—insights
regarding the world beyond the physical. I had joined the ranks of
those scientists who profess that there is more to existence than what
we can see, touch, smell, hear, measure, and calculate with our stateof-
the-art scientific means.

However, it is difficult to shed one’s own shadow, and for many
years my preoccupation has been to reconcile my acquired belief system,
which had moved far beyond the confines of the physical reality,
with what the laws of the physical universe tell me can and cannot

Does “shed one’s own shadow” mean to have one’s own opinion, no the one you’ve been taught?

Hello KL,

“To shed one’s shadow” would mean “to detach oneself from an intrinsic part of oneself”; with the implication that such an act would be as difficult as detaching oneself from one’s shadow.

In this example, the “shadow” seems to be “scientific method”. The speaker has changed his way of looking at the world; but nonetheless, he finds it difficult to discard his scientific habits of thought.

Best wishes,


Thank you very much, MrPedantic.