Of course, everyone has a different definition of how “good” and “bad” people act—and those moral definitions are to some extent irreducibly subjective and arbitrary—but when it comes to the general consensus of “goodness,” you can make mistakes and hurt others without having an awareness of what you’re doing and still be a good person. Jack E Othon is the creator of the blog, Radically Enlightened, which is dedicated to expanding global consciousness. Thanks for the great writing. These connections rebuild fragmented communities, helping us to overcome our isolation and tap into a collective or community mentality. The world desperately needs more kindness, more trust, and more cooperation to heal divisions, address pressing global issues, and avoid catastrophes that could lead to the extinction of humanity and many other species. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. The shadow is your dark potential that goes unacknowledged which can exert will over your behaviour through projection.. He was grounded, while I became his “savior.”. Carl Jung is essentially the great-grandfather of Star Wars, as Joseph Campbell included much of Jung’s psychological research in his work. This is where Carl Jung’s shadow work is so essential. [14], "The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself"[15]:284 and represents "a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well. This doesn’t make those thoughts, memories, and emotions go away, but it does put them somewhere we don’t have to “see” them. Identifying triggers can be a difficult process due to our natural desire to avoid acknowledging the shadow self. Your conscious awareness is like a light enabling you to observe what is happening inside your mind. Jung indicates that under certain circumstances, all human beings have the capacity to do horrible, brutal things. I caught this one all the time when I worked as a cashier, and it is the bane of all customer service employees. "Psychology of the Transference." I share them at length because I think it’s important to honor Jung’s work with his own words: Dream 1 When two people connect, they form a relationship. Juni 1961 in Küsnacht/Kanton Zürich), meist kurz C. G. Jung, war ein Schweizer Psychiater und der Begründer der analytischen Psychologie Leben. Der Schatten ist in der Analytischen Psychologie nach Carl Gustav Jung einer der wichtigsten Persönlichkeitsanteile und zugleich, in seinem überpersönlichen Aspekt, ein Archetyp des kollektiven Unbewussten. He described people as introverts and extroverts in their dominant approach to the world. In the world of psychology, this is known as confirmation bias: humans tend to interpret and ignore information in ways that confirm what they already believe. Enter the ego. As Jung wrote in Psychology of the Unconscious: “It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. 1997. Welcome to the Star Wars in Mythology series. When our cultures were in their infancies, past humans beheld their more animalistic tendencies (murder, rape, war, etc.) We packed our blue Sesame Street suitcase with all the essentials: cookies, toys, and juice boxes. People form assumptions about others based on their appearance all the time—in fact, it’s a pretty natural (and often useful—e.g. In this case, being in the wrong was the thing I rejected in myself. I’d love to rip these teachings a new one in another article, but for now, it is good to be wary of anyone who insists that you can reach enlightenment without working on those parts of yourself that are messy and painful. Beneath that conscious “light” is a whole world of “darkness” containing those very aspects of ourselves that we have strived to ignore. Psychologist Carl Jung's concept of the shadow is being revived in modern psychology and used at popular ayahuasca healing retreats for good reason. Each of us is responsible for forming the social codes of our communities. We all do it, either by participating in the entities directly involved in the conflicts, or by allowing them to continue through our own inaction. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. the most beneficial and interesting article i have ever read,,,, thank you …keep going <3. Scan any comments section and you’ll find an abundance of trolls calling the author and other commenters “stupid,” “moron,” “idiot,” “untalented,” “brainwashed,” and so on. However, this wave can be countered with a conscious effort to breed trust, connection, and kindness. Jung’s proposed solution to this schism is for the individual to undergo “shadow work.” What we repress never stays repressed, it lives on in the unconscious—and, despite what our egos would have us believe, the unconscious mind is the one really running the show. Jung described this deeper layer as "a psychic activity which goes on independently of the conscious mind and is not dependent even on the upper layers of the unconscious—untouched, and perhaps untouchable—by personal experience. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who changed the way we think about the human psyche, or personality. What if much of what you have come to believe about yourself, your morality, and what drives you is not an accurate reflection of who you truly are? Roberts, Gwilym Wyn, and Andrew Machon. Doing deep inner work may seem like a self-absorbed process, but you’ll come to find that, at its core, it truly becomes about so much more than just you. Read Part Two of this series by Jack E. Othon. We begin this process when we take a step back from our normal patterns of behavior and observe what is happening within us. The proposed solution within these philosophies seems to be to actively ignore unconscious impulses rather than to dig in and understand them. Young-Eisendrath, P. and T. Dawson. Without the integration of the shadow, individuation is unthinkable. Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. Click here to learn more.. Jung and Dreams - a 12-lesson course approaching Jung's method of dream interpretation. "Non-identification demands considerable moral effort [which] prevents a descent into that darkness"; and though "the conscious mind is liable to be submerged at any moment in the unconscious...understanding acts like a life-saver. People judge us, condemn us, gossip about us, and the unpleasant emotions that come with this experience can quickly become overwhelming. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”. Unfettered greed leads to a stop-at-nothing drive to boost profits, which takes its toll on the Earth as we alter ecosystems and climate patterns to exhaust natural resources. Early in our childhood development, we find where the line between what is socially “acceptable” and “unacceptable” is, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to toe it. Sign In or Create an Account, This is a very brilliantly written article,i must say. As he crouched behind the thorny hedge just beneath the window, I swung my leg outside and sat poised between the safety of my bedroom and the open air of the outside world. In order to live a balanced life, we have to acknowledge the shadow. It integrates the unconscious. We can even find the 1906-1913 correspondence between Jung and Freud. 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. Deep down, you would hate to be singled out this way, so doing it to another reassures you that you’re smart enough not to take the same risks as the other person. From one perspective, the shadow "is roughly equivalent to the whole of the Freudian unconscious;"[1] and Carl Jung himself asserted that "the result of the Freudian method of elucidation is a minute elaboration of man's shadow-side unexampled in any previous age. The ideal individual in any society is one who lives up to impossible standards. "[17], Individuation inevitably raises that very possibility. (Milarepa, Tibetan Buddhism)(The Shadowissue), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shadow_(psychology)&oldid=999255312, Articles with incomplete citations from August 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 07:06. We understand how others feel and respond to them with compassion, knowing that they are being triggered themselves. Enantiodromia launches a different perspective. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”. Some people think they’re so “enlightened” that they can do no wrong. Have a comment? In short, the shadow is the unknown side. and how my deeds actually are contributing to the very same thing that I complain about the world. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. Carolyn Kaufman wrote that "in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity;"[24] so that for some, it may be that "the dark side of his being, his sinister shadow...represents the true spirit of life as against the arid scholar. While these large-scale problems may seem impossible for any one person to influence, we each have more power in this game than we may think. The Jungian Shadow: Its Phenomenology, Detection and Conscious Integration. Beyond that, once you acknowledge the massive potential for both light and darkness within each human being, the dichotomy of “good” people vs “bad” people begins to seem reductive and misleading. Our society teaches us that certain behaviors, emotional patterns, sexual desires, lifestyle choices, etc. Cultivating an awareness of the shadow is the first step to identifying our triggers—but before we can do that, we must first overcome our instinctive fear of our shadows. People who hurt each other stop trusting one another, and without trust, communities fall apart and individuals become isolated. Shadow work, then, is the process of making the unconscious conscious. As in do not “rock the boat”! "[4] It may be, in part, one's link to more primitive animal instincts,[5] which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind. As soon as I realized that my brother and I were doing something that wasn’t the fun and brazen endeavor I imagined and would actually land us in a massive heap of trouble, I had to devise a way to protect myself from the consequences. So, in order to avoid being cast out, we do whatever it takes to fit in. Jung, C.G. These letters delve deeper into the development of the psychoanalytical movement and the relationship between these two figures. Now, before you launch into a, “Hey, you don’t know me, you don’t know my life, you don’t know what I’ve been through!”-style defense, ponder this for a second: Have you ever said or done something really shitty, mostly on an impulse, that you later regretted? People fall short of others’ expectations, have a temper flare-up, are excessively gassy, etc. The look of betrayal contorted his features as he gaped at me, and I parried with a self-righteous stare. 2015. When Christ withstood Satan’s temptation, that was the fatal moment when the shadow was cut off. In. For one reason or another, we all have parts of ourselves that we don’t like—or that we think society won’t like—so we push those parts down into our unconscious psyches. But with so much social pressure to eradicate prejudice, people often find it easier to “pretend” that they’re not racist/homophobic/xenophobic/sexist, etc., than to do the deep work it would take to override or offset particularly destructive stereotypes they may be harboring. In short, the shadow is the unknown side. “I love everything about me.”. These behaviors are not exclusive to the Western world, or to the Middle East, or South America, Africa, or any one region or people. 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. It’s that “Why?” question that indicates the presence of a blind spot. This is something that all human beings have in common regardless of their culture, biological sex, or the period that they lived in, according to the Swiss psychoanalyst and disciple turned enemy of the controversial Sigmund Freud. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against… Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. Carl Jung > Archetypes: Shadow. Our tendency is to justify our actions after the fact, when really the best thing we can do is avoid acting reactively or unconsciously in the first place. She spends most of her free time in the Colorado mountains, communing with the forest spirits and making love to nature gods. You just have to read Jeremy Griffith’s stuff on Jung, I think you’ll love it https://www.humancondition.com/own-your-own-shadow/. Ironically, internet trolls are some of the most insecure people of all. When you have a large group of people living in close proximity all projecting and acting out their unconscious impulses on one another, the result is a toxic culture. I suspect that my unconscious mind wanted to see the consequences of that wrongness played out in order to learn the lesson of how to avoid the trouble in the future… I just maybe didn’t want to experience those consequences for myself. Jung suggested that the shadow can appear in dreams or visions and may take a variety of forms. In, International Psychoanalytical Association, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, Three-Dimensional Villains: Finding Your Character's Shadow, Discussion of the Shadow for Individuals and Groups, The Shadow Muse – Gifts of Your Dark Side, Inviting the demon. If there is any one thing you can know in this universe, surely it is who you are. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature.”. Let’s talk about Carl Jung’s theory of the Self, which is concerned with the microcosm, and explore how it might correspond to the collective manifestation in the macrocosm. "[2]:63 Contrary to a Freudian definition of shadow, however, the Jungian shadow can include everything outside the light of consciousness and may be positive or negative. "We begin to travel [up] through the healing spirals...straight up. We hoard resources, ignore the suffering of others, and continue the patterns of behavior that pollute the world we all call home. Rather than admit wrongdoing, people go to amazing lengths to paint themselves as the poor, innocent bystander who never has to take responsibility. Whereas previously racism was a way to structure American society, modern Americans have decided this racial hierarchy is no longer appropriate. Perhaps the biggest issue people face when confronted with the shadow is the question, “Am I a bad person?” Acknowledging the shadow means acknowledging that we contain darkness, a capacity for malevolence. — Carl Jung, Aion (1951) The “shadow” is a concept first coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung that describes those aspects of the personality that we choose to reject and repress. You hold within you the power to catalyze a ripple that will vibrate through the lives of the people around you. The collective shadow houses society’s basest impulses: those of greed, hatred, and violence. Exercising power over another is the shadow’s way of compensating for one’s own feelings of helplessness in the face of greater force. You build trust in your relationships, and the people whose lives you touch open themselves to others, building even more healthy relationships. Truth be told, we revel in it. Its signposts and milestones are various archetypal symbols" marking its stages; and of these "the first stage leads to the experience of the shadow. Aggressive impulses, taboo mental images, shameful experiences, immoral urges, fears, irrational wishes, unacceptable sexual desires—these are a few examples of shadow aspects, things people contain but do not admit to themselves that they contain. When we cross that line, as we all frequently do, we suffer the pain of society’s backlash. Carl Jung’s “Shadow,” is a symbol that represents the hidden side of every human psyche. Anyone who is too challenging becomes outcast, and everyone else moves on. The internet is notorious for hosting this. repressed fear, pain, aggression, etc. However, our collective moral codes fall short because they only offer ideals. We project our own worst qualities onto our enemies to justify the violence against them. These “inappropriate” qualities are usually those that disrupt the flow of a functioning society—even if that disruption means challenging people to accept things that make them uncomfortable. The poor become poorer as corporate interests sway public opinion to form policies that benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else—especially those who are most disadvantaged. Unfortunately, our impulse to avoid the unpleasant confrontation with the truth is so strong that we remain completely unaware of what’s happening. “I don’t reject myself,” you might be thinking. By projecting the deviant behavior onto my poor little brother (whom, I assure you, I spoil to death in our older age as penance), I avoided having to confront the dangerous behavior in myself. Unfriendly communities are not hostile because of just one or two people, but because the majority of people act that way. "[8]:175 The shadow's appearance and role depend greatly on the living experience of the individual because much of the shadow develops in the individual's mind rather than simply being inherited in the collective unconscious. First we reject, then we project. The top layers contain the meaningful flow and manifestations of direct personal experiences. "[25] Nevertheless, Jungians warn that "acknowledgement of the shadow must be a continuous process throughout one's life;"[26] and even after the focus of individuation has moved on to the animus/anima, "the later stages of shadow integration" will continue to take place—the grim "process of washing one's dirty linen in private,"[27] of accepting one's shadow. What no one wants to admit to others is that we are all secretly failing to meet those standards. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. Jung’s Understanding of the Meaning of the Shadow pages 205-229 from Jung and the Story of Our Time by Laurens van der ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. As we embark on this work, we begin to understand that much of our shadow is the result of being hurt and trying to protect ourselves from re-experiencing that hurt. Even random acts of kindness to strangers will increase the likelihood that they will be kind to strangers in turn, which will lighten the mood of a community overall. Psychiatrist Carl Jung’s construct of the shadow, comprised of the denied aspects of the self (Jung 1959, p. 20), conceals within itself the golden key not only to understanding the agency by which wars and feuds of all kinds tend to start, but the very solution to preventing their emergence in the first place. "[11] If "the breakdown of the persona constitutes the typical Jungian moment both in therapy and in development,"[12] it is this that opens the road to the shadow within, coming about when "beneath the surface a person is suffering from a deadly boredom that makes everything seem meaningless and empty...as if the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time. Ironically, this need to avoid things that make us and others uncomfortable undermines our ability to confront and either heal or integrate them. Yet it had to be cut off in order to enable man to become morally conscious. "[22][full citation needed] This reincorporates the shadow into the personality, producing a stronger, wider consciousness than before. People are quick to cop an attitude with people who don’t have the power to fight back. These are made unconscious in the individual by such things as the change of attention from one thing to another, simple forgetfulness, or a repression. 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