Shadow Aspect

According to Wikipedia, in Jungian Psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative or everything of which a person is not fully conscious. Contrary to a Freudian definition of shadow, the Jungian shadow can include everything outside the light of consciousness, and may be positive or negative. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Jung writes that if these projections remain hidden, “The projection-making factor (the Shadow archetype) then has a free hand and can realize its object—if it has one—or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power.” These projections insulate and harm individuals by acting as a constantly thickening veil of illusion between the ego and the real world. Jung also believed that “in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.” 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.”

Let’s request that the living light illuminate whatever lies in the shadow aspect:

           The shadow aspect of the human spirit is a partial system of energy that provides influence in some form, such as thoughts, feelings, impulses, or impressions. The shadow aspect cannot independently drive free will, so this aspect does not offer the same duality as light and dark. It is simply an energy that exists with the function of giving the individual a contrast that serves as something to push away from and toward the light of higher consciousness.

          Without the shadow aspect, life would be more mechanized in form and function. What lives in the shadow for every human is dependent on many factors such as karma, childhood events, life experiences, general outlook, and family or social programming. The shadow self offers a greater ability to sense danger, to find passion, to discern the truth, to know compassion, and to create what is beyond conscious imagination.

         You cannot separate yourself from your shadow aspect’s shadow. With wisdom and knowledge comes greater awareness of what lives in the shadows, and a greater ability to distinguish the voice of ego. Enlightenment doesn’t come when the shadow aspect is eliminated, but instead is realized in the emergence from the space of darkness.

         There are divine appointments in every life experience, and with this awareness one can find peace with life on planet Earth. The knowing that each day is a gift, whether the perception is good or bad, marks the path of enlightenment and the balance of energies needed to sustain spiritual growth, ascension in the physical body, and the capacity to love.