All those qualities, capacities and tendencies which do not harmonize with the collective values everything that shuns the light of public opinion, in fact now come together to form the shadow, that dark region of the personality which is unknown and unrecognized by the ego. The endless series of shadow and doppelganger figures in mythology, fairy tales and literature ranges from Cain and Edom, by way of Judas and Hagen, to Stevensons Mr. Hyde in the ugliest man of Nietzsche; again and again such figures have appeared and made their bow before human consciousness, but the psychological meaning of this archetype of the adversary has not yet dawned upon mankind. (Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, Erich Neumann) The persona is the mask we wear in relation to the world and others. It is created through a combination of socialization, societal expectations, ones experience of the world, and the natural attributes and tendencies of the individual. It combines elements of how we want to see ourselves, ideally, and how we want the world to see us, as well as how the world does see us and wants us to be. Our persona defines our social identity; it is constructed in relation to the roles we play in our lives and in our world, how we want to look and be seen. It is the face we wear to be presentable and acceptable to our society. It is not necessarily who we really are, but who we want and pretend to be to others and, many times, to ourselves. (War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen) Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individuals conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions. (Carl Jung) This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine. (William Shakespeare) This confrontation is the first test of courage on the inner way, a test sufficient to frighten off most people, for the meeting with ourselves belongs to the more unpleasant things that can be avoided so long as we can project everything negative into the environment. But if we are able to see our own shadow and can bear knowing about it, then a small part of the problem has already been solved: we have at least brought up the personal unconscious. The shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness. This problem is exceedingly difficult, because it not only challenges the whole man, but reminds him at the same time of his helplessness and ineffectuality. (Carl Jung) this integration [of the shadow] cannot take place and be put to a useful purpose unless one can admit the tendencies bound up with the shadow and allow them some measure of realization tempered, of course, with the necessary criticism. This leads to disobedience and self disgust, but also to self- reliance, without which individuation is unthinkable. (A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, Carl Jung) In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it. And yet both have to deal with the same dragon. Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if once he saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the treasure hard to attain. He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself. This experience gives some faith and trust, the pistis in the ability of the self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own. He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means. He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance. (Carl Jung)
The enlargement of the light side of consciousness has the necessary consequence that the part of the psyche which is less light and less capable of consciousness is thrown into darkness to such an extent that sooner or later a rift occurs in the psychic system. At first, this is not recognized as such and is therefore projected i.e. it appears as a religious projection, in the form of a split between the powers of Light and Darkness. (The Symbolism of the Spirit, Carl Jung)
Closer examination of the dark characteristics that is, the inferiorities constituting the shadow reveals that they have an emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an obsessive or, better, possessive quality. (Carl Jung)
In these ways, the personal shadow reinforces, encourages, and becomes dependent upon the addictive behavior to express itself, to have any existence in the light outside of the closet, the attic, and the basement where it has been locked up and hidden for so long. Often the addictive behavior allows the personal shadow the only opportunities to live and to be. The more cut off and unconscious we are of our personal shadows, the more vulnerable we are to having those shadows break out and be set free for a time by addictive behaviors. (War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen)
Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle. “Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology” (1959). In CW 10.
279 Copy quote. Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness's of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
Aug 14, 2019 · It states: “The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung was forever saying that ‘wholeness for humans depends on the ability to own their own shadow’ because he recognised that only finding understanding of our dark side could end the underlying insecurity in us humans about our fundamental goodness and worth, and, in so doing, make us ‘whole’.”
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The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.Carl JungThe shadow is behind everything you say and do that you don’t want to say or do. It is that part of yourself that slips and says something negative about another person. The one who tells the little white lies. The shadow answers “no” to a question, when you. know the truth is “yes”.
Jan 23, 2018 · Here are 15 Carl Jung quotes for a better understanding of yourself and others around you: A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
“That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.” (Carl Jung) (Academy Of Ideas) Carl Jung is famous for formulating the concept of the shadow, the portion of our personality which, through the course of our life, is relegated to the darkness of the unconscious. The Nature of the Shadow
Carl Jung is famous for formulating the concept of the shadow, the portion of our personality which, through the course of our life, is relegated to the darkness of the unconscious. While Jung is known for bringing the concept of the shadow to public awareness in the modern day, this aspect of ourselves has long been recognized as a ubiquitous feature of human beings. In 1886, before Jung made his mark, Robert Louis Stevenson created the now famous story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In his story Dr. Jekyll represents the respectable part of ones personality, but when he transforms into Mr. Hyde, his shadow personality gains dominance over him and wrecks havoc on his life. Although the shadow is an innate part of the human being, the vast majority of us are willfully blind regarding its existence. We hide our negative qualities, not only from others but from ourselves. To do this we often criticize and condemn others to ensure our focus does not fall on our own faults and destructive tendencies. We go through life with a false air of moral superiority and a belief that while others act immorally and destructively, we ourselves are wholly virtuous and always in the right. When our shadow remains unconscious, it wrecks havoc in our life. Repressed contents do not merely disappear, but rather they function independently of our conscious awareness. In other words, the shadow has the capacity to override our conscious ego and take possession of our being, exerting control over our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When this happens we can be unconsciously driven into hard times, all the while remaining ignorant that these troubled periods were self-imposed, and not the product of bad luck or fate. For the sake of our personal development, we must, therefore, become more aware of our shadow and open our mind to the possibility that maybe we are not so friendly, righteous, and moral as we think. We must consider that perhaps there are unconscious aspects of ourselves driving our behavior behind the scenes. We must look down into our depths and realize that our conscious ego is not always in control, but is often overtaken by the power of our shadow. Once we become more aware of these dark aspects of ourselves, we must honor them and find a way to integrate them into our life. In failing to do so, one will become weak and scattered. One cannot serve two inner drives without dissipating his strength and energies. The shadow must become a part of ones conscious personality. If we can find a way to negotiate with our shadow, and allow it to live in our conscious personality rather than repressing it, we will not only attain a more secure sense of selfhood, but also more knowledge about what it is we really want in life. We will be more capable of ignoring what others think we should be doing, more able to deviate from the masses, and thus more prepared to commence on a path to fulfill our own personal destiny. The shadow, as Jung mentioned, is the doorway to our Self. The many dare not descend into their depths, but this is exactly what we must do if we are to become who we really are.
Some aspects of our shadow are the product of our evolution. We contain, like all animals, instincts for sex and aggression that we tend to repress in order to adapt to the social mores of the day. Some aspects of our shadow are the product of our upbringing. Personality traits and impulses that elicited fear or anxiety in our parents or teachers, for example, caused them to punish or criticize us; and so we reacted by repressing these characteristics. We put up psychological defences to ensure they were not allowed expression, and thus these characteristics were repressed into the unconscious. As all humans have a shadow, what differentiates us from others is the degree to which we are conscious of it.
The unconscious control which our shadow can exert upon us also accounts for the self destructive behaviors so many individuals struggle with and are unable to control despite consciously knowing they would be better off not engaging in such actions. Many addicts are driven by their shadow, which accounts for the internal war which exists within them. One moment they tell themselves they are going to give up their addiction and live a clean life, and the next moment their shadow overrides their conscious ego and they enthusiastically seek out the next drink, hit, or sexual release. As Robert Louis Stevenson notes in his book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, man is not one, but truly two; he has a conscious personality and a shadow, each of which often battle for supremacy within his mind.
In order to avoid being the victim of shadow-possession, we must become conscious of our shadow qualities and integrate them into our conscious personality; accepting them with open arms not as abhorrent aspects of our self, but as necessary and vital parts of our being. Toward this end it is useful to realize that the task in life is not to become perfect, but to become whole. And as wholeness entails both good and evil, light and darkness, the achievement of wholeness in personality development requires we assimilate our shadow into our conscious personality.
For example, it is becoming more prevalent today for psychologists to diagnose individuals who question authority and show signs of extreme self reliance as being pathological, suffering from a condition they call anti-authoritarian (see an article by Bruce Levine here). Individuals who are too self-reliant in our increasingly collective and dependent society are viewed by many as a threat. They are lone wolves amidst a flock of sheep, and they are attacked and ridiculed by the herd because of it. This is just one example of many regarding how our socialization into modern society handicaps our development. The bottom line is that with our higher energies trapped, labeled by others and our conscious ego as negative and bad, our growth can become blocked, and life, a wasteland.
As Jung notes in the passage above, there is no general technique to integrate the shadow. Our shadow is unique, and thus, to integrate it requires we adopt our own unique approach. No matter the approach we adopt, to properly integrate our shadow it is necessary to behave in ways which run counter to the mores of society and our own conscious moral compass. Most of our shadow qualities, after all, were repressed into our unconscious because we believed they were unacceptable, either socially or according to our family or peers. A common technique in shadow integration is to find a healthy, productive, or at the very least, controlled outlet for either repressed aggression or sexual urges. Another is to ignore customs one thought to be superficial or pointless, but previously conformed to in order to fit in. Another is to pursue a passion despite all those around you pressuring you otherwise. These tactics can help us separate ourself from the expectations and conforming-eye of others, and allow us to look within, without judgment or condemnation, to discover who and what we really are.
Check out our 32 minute in depth video course on the shadow, and along with your purchase receive a 23 page collection of some of the deepest and most profound passages on the shadow from Carl Jung and other great minds of the past.
- “Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness?
- “Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth. If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.”
- “"... the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” ― Carl Jung.
- “To become—in Jung’s terms—individuated, to live as a released individual, one has to know how and when to put on and to put off the masks of one’s various life roles. ‘