The Shadow

          Shadow Man
Shadow Man

We did persona and the anima/animus earlier this week. I will talk a little bit about my progress with those archetypes next week, but before Friday bleeds to the weekend, I thought I would put another archetype out there for you to mull over.

This one is the most intense, in my very humble opinion.

Let me know what you come up with.

Terminology and Names

Archetype: Universal, primordial images

C.G. Jung: Born July 26, 1875, Jung was a Swiss psychologist who founded analytical psychologist, as well as coined the terms “archetype,” “collective unconscious,” and “extroversion and introversion.”

Collective Unconsciousness: A shared unconsciousness, different than a personal unconsciousness

Projection: A process of placing a shadow trait on someone else, or something else

Shadow: Archetype that embodies that dark or negative

In his book on primitive mythology, Joseph Campbell explains that “a polarity of light and dark, above and below, guidance and loss of bearings, confidence and fears (a polarity that we all know from our own traditions of thought and feeling and can find matched in many parts of the world) must be reckoned as inevitable in the way of a structuring principle of human thought.”. Jung, much more succinctly, says that man “ought never to forget that the world exists only because opposing forces are held in equilibrium” (Jung).

There is light and there is dark. There is God and there is the Devil; such is duality of nature. In his Red Book, Jung says that it was only by recognizing his shadow (which he calls the serpent), uniting himself with it as a man would with a woman, does he negate the influence the shadow has on his person.

“Thus I built a firm structure. Through this I myself gained stability and duration and could withstand the fluctuations of the personal. Therefore the immortal in me is saed. Through drawing the darkness from my beyond over into the day, I emptied my beyond” (Jung)

The Shadow

“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is” (Jung).

The Shadow is one of the hardest archetypes to confront, as the very definition of the soul’s archetype are those things that remain hidden in the darkness. The shadow is those things that we do not like in other people; the slips of tongue that cause embarrassment; the flashes of darkness that everyone of us experience at points in our lives.

“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges that whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance” (Jung).

Jung speaks specifically of the idea of projection; the process of projecting on others and the world an illusion-based reality.

So, what do you fear?

What do you dislike in others?

Where is your shadow?

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