Carl Jung’s shadow, the dark side of the human mind?

The dreaded shadowy side of the mind

The famous ‘shadow’ theory was thought up by Carl Jung the famous psychologist. It was created first as a name to describe the subconscious mind. The word later morphed, however, to something more complex to describe the hidden depths of the mind. The shadow is the darkness in us from suppressed desires and attributes hidden away from the social mask and most times from  our social self-justifying mind, deep in our inner psyche. Possible good traits have also been said to found in the shadow, as it has some useful strengths and vital parts of the true self. 

The importance of the shadow is to give insight on why we do things, things we would normally not do. Our deepest wounds are hidden there, so it is easy to explain why our outbursts of anger occur in some situations than others by exploring the shadow. But the shadow is difficult to  view. people are mostly afraid to get to the depths of their shadowy self because the imagery is not pleasant. The shadow is avoided mainly as the courage taken to search oneself proves to be of a great realization and would peel back so many layers (as it has layers like an onion) that it would change the view of oneself. But we cannot afford not to explore our shadow and bring to light what needs to be addressed because if we do not do this, there would be problems and consequences. We also cannot do without a shadow, everyone always has one. Other psychologist after Carl Jung had talked about the shadow.    

                                           “The secret is out: all of us, no exceptions, have qualities we won’t let anyone see, including ourselves—our Shadow. If we face up to our dark side, our life can be energized. If not, there is the devil to pay. This is one of life’s most urgent projects.”

Larry Dossey, M.D., Author of “Healing Wounds” 

“Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. We meet our dark side, accept it for what it is, and we learn to use its powerful energies in productive ways. The Shadow knows why good people sometimes do “bad” things. Romancing the Shadow and learning to read the messages it encodes in daily life can deepen your consciousness, imagination, and soul.”-Financing the shadow.

” The shadow is both the awful thing that needs redemption,

and the suffering redeemer who can provide it-Liz Green

The Core of Shadow Work is this:  To KNOW YOURSELF FULLY, from as many angles as are required, in order that you might dare to let yourself go free.  Being neither judge, jury, prosecutor, nor defender—you give no explanations, nor do you require any.  You are AT HOME in your place between the sun and the moon. “

Jung continued:

    Everyone carries a Shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.”

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

The Shadow describes the part of the psyche that an individual would rather not acknowledge. It contains the denied parts of the self. Since the self contains these aspects, they surface in one way or another. Bringing Shadow material into consciousness drains its dark power, and can even recover valuable resources from it. The greatest power, however, comes from having accepted your shadow parts and integrated them as components of your Self.”

from John Elder


“Shadow wants to be heard, simply that.  But if it isn’t, it turns nasty.  It becomes a veritable demon, witch, or son-of-a-bitch, demanding its pound of flesh….in very painful real time, not dreamtime.  

Pay attention to your shadow.  If you keep distancing yourself, saying “Heavens, it’s not my fault!”—then heaven help you. Hell won’t.”

Katya Walter

  Like the picture at the beginning of the article the shadow is dark but contains colourful elements when explored, which brings one to full potential.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s