Shadow

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:04 pm

Tab wrote:Governments should employ thieves, perverts, gangsters, terrorists, embezllers and other assorted ne'er-do-wells to troubleshoot themselves perhaps lol.

Counter intelligence services do in part serve this purpose, even by virtue of them existing for the purpose of managing the state's clandestine interests and thus representing a clear and present danger to the "legitimate" order at all times. Deep State.

There is no thinkable world without clandestine services even merely because of the existence of weapons of mass destruction. They simply need to be managed.
The services existed aeons before the nuclear weapon, but only since its advent did they become absolutely necessary. There is a nice... well maybe not very nice but good metaphor in this regarding the human psyche and its own deep state.

And this points to the Shadow, and how it is different for different types and classes of people. Some people's shadow is less dangerous than other people's.
This is what troubles me about Freud - his concepts are very specific and yet are supposed to apply to everyone.
Jungs concept is less specific and allows for very different forms of it to apply to different people.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:31 pm

The shadow consists of everything about ourselves we are unaware of because such things conflict with our idealized self-image. Most people walk around thinking that they are basically good. To them evil belongs to other people not themselves. But by paying attention to the spontaneous images produced by one's unconscious psyche the dark side of one's personality may be revealed. That's what Jung referred to as the shadow.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:04 pm

felix dakat wrote:The shadow consists of everything about ourselves we are unaware of because such things conflict with our idealized self-image. Most people walk around thinking that they are basically good. To them evil belongs to other people not themselves. But by paying attention to the spontaneous images produced by one's unconscious psyche the dark side of one's personality may be revealed. That's what Jung referred to as the shadow.
Then the question becomes: how do I integrate the shadow? And I have to say I think the Jungian approach is too heady. You gotta really get in there and express that shadow. I don't mean run around with a machet in a supermarket. But the emotions and attitude cannot just be journaled or drawn or contemplated. You have to hand your body/voice/face over to them for a time, and then realize what you did by shoving natural and positive feelings/attitudes/emotions down. When you shoved them down, they got twisted. But you can't just realize this in your head, because you won't really know what those things are unless they can express themselves as you.

End up in patterns where something you can't stand is expressed by lovers, bosses, people on the street, whomever....? Well, that's the shadow having to move outside your body and come at you to get your attention...or

it's something that will trigger your shadow to such a degree you have to express it

or both.
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:54 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:The shadow consists of everything about ourselves we are unaware of because such things conflict with our idealized self-image. Most people walk around thinking that they are basically good. To them evil belongs to other people not themselves. But by paying attention to the spontaneous images produced by one's unconscious psyche the dark side of one's personality may be revealed. That's what Jung referred to as the shadow.
Then the question becomes: how do I integrate the shadow? And I have to say I think the Jungian approach is too heady. You gotta really get in there and express that shadow. I don't mean run around with a machet in a supermarket. But the emotions and attitude cannot just be journaled or drawn or contemplated. You have to hand your body/voice/face over to them for a time, and then realize what you did by shoving natural and positive feelings/attitudes/emotions down. When you shoved them down, they got twisted. But you can't just realize this in your head, because you won't really know what those things are unless they can express themselves as you.

End up in patterns where something you can't stand is expressed by lovers, bosses, people on the street, whomever....? Well, that's the shadow having to move outside your body and come at you to get your attention...or

it's something that will trigger your shadow to such a degree you have to express it

or both.


It seems to me that you make the process sound arduous and mechanical. You skip ahead to integration. That would be the last phase in the process if indeed it is achieved at all. Archetypal psychology is primarily about knowing oneself. What's the alternative? Remaining naive about what and who you are?

The process of becoming aware of the Shadow as with all archetypal material from the unconscious is primarily phenomenological: becoming aware of fantasy images as they come into consciousness or working with the images as recalled through the process of active imagination. Short of integration which results in wholeness, the mere entertaining of archetypal images like the Shadow which is outside the narrow sphere of the ego can result in greater creativity, spontaneity, richer emotions and deeper insights. It’s not as if the ego must give way totally to express an inner monster bodily. The rational ego can still mediate and dialogue with the images.In fact, it seems to me, that interaction is central to the integration process. Anyway, the animal in us only becomes more vicious when repressed.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby MagsJ » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:11 am

surreptitious75 wrote:Eighteen years ago I went into a black hole that I had absolutely no control over that tried to kill me

I had gathered that you had been through something of this sort. Welcome back!

I am out of it now but I bet you my life my subconscious has retained the memory until the day I die

Yes.. but perhaps for future reference, on matters of self-preservation, in the likelihood that something similar may happen again. Though no-body wants such a thing to happen to them again, to go back into those dark days.

DJ Shadow said it best

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Re: Shadow

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 am

felix dakat wrote:It seems to me that you make the process sound arduous and mechanical.
I am not sure I would use the word 'arduous' but it ain't easy noticing, feeling and expressing the Shadow. 'Mechanical' does not fit at all. It is an extremely human, organic, expressive process that actually reduces mechanical aspect of living, habitual repression and suppression, mechanical responses, general stiffness in expression and the body. You don't know where you are going, it is exploratory, it is individual. IOW you cannot be mechanical about it. I summed it up very quickly, so I suppose it could seem like that, but my experience is that the process varies wildly, there is tremendous intuition involved regarding when and how much and in what way. Feeling your way forward.
You skip ahead to integration.
You can't skip the process of becoming aware. I was saying what I want to do at a certain point, which is go deeper than what I experience Jungian therapists, books and processes as doing.

That would be the last phase in the process if indeed it is achieved at all.
Yes, I was describing the later processes that I want in addition to what Jungians seems to do. I don't have a huge amount of experience of Jungian processes, therapy, etc. But quite a bit. Not enough to be certain, but my sense was they were not going as deep as I want and not aiming for the integration I watn.
Archetypal psychology is primarily about knowing oneself. What's the alternative? Remaining naive about what and who you are?
That's certainly not anything I am advocating for.

The process of becoming aware of the Shadow as with all archetypal material from the unconscious is primarily phenomenological: becoming aware of fantasy images as they come into consciousness or working with the images as recalled through the process of active imagination. Short of integration which results in wholeness, the mere entertaining of archetypal images like the Shadow which is outside the narrow sphere of the ego can result in greater creativity, spontaneity, richer emotions and deeper insights.
Sure, and I think all that is great. It's just not enough for me. I don't think active imagination does that much intregration.
It’s not as if the ego must give way totally to express an inner monster bodily.
Well, it depends on what this means. I did say that I don't want to run around with a machete. It is not killing the ego and it is not a sudden thing. But over time actually letting that monster, as you call it, control how the body moves - in the safety of the home or therapist's office or the like - to make the sounds it wants to make, to express the emotions it wants to make. Only then can one actually know, slowly over time, what it's role actually is. BEcause if it is held outside of emotional and physical expression one cannot be aware of it. Then you are aware of it mainly in the twisted and judged state it is in. If you judge rage, for example, and we all do. This creates a monster in the cellar. If we let it express, we are much more likely to understand how we have judged utterly healthy portions of the self. I think Jungian therapy can lead to some acceptance and integration and I do things that parallel or are like that, but I don't think it doesn't go deep enough for me.

The rational ego can still mediate and dialogue with the images.In fact, it seems to me, that interaction is central to the integration process.
Having that dialogue is not mutually exclusive with giving the monster voice. One can do both. But you haven't really met the monster, I experience, until you let it express more physically and emotionally, as me, because it is me, or better said, a facet of me.

Anyway, the animal in us only becomes more vicious when repressed.
No argument with that from me.

I could have personalized my first take more, and worded as my personal preference. At the same time I would like to be a bit provocative. I think there may be others who would want to go deeper than the Jungian approach does. But I do realize that individual goals may not match mine nor individual needs. And it is a process one needs to take careful steps in over a long period of time.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:30 am

It is crazy to me that we use "animal" to represent the shadow, especially if it is supposed to be "evil". That, alone, speaks to how much in the shadow our own nature is.

Do animals build concentration camps? Do they industrially slaughter trillions of other animals? Okay, certain insects do that kind of thing. Is the shadow our insect-nature?
It might be the case. Like us, the crueler insects have societies, on whose behalf they kill and destroy like automatons.

I agree with Karpel that imagination and images do no suffice to bring the shadow to consciousness. It is, as Jung says, an arduous moral struggle. It lasts a lifetime, I think Jung would say the enlightened life is that moral struggle.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:36 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:Do animals build concentration camps? Do they industrially slaughter trillions of other animals? Okay, certain insects do that kind of thing. Is the shadow our insect-nature?
It might be the case. Like us, the crueler insects have societies, on whose behalf they kill and destroy like automatons.
Yes, the emotions and passions often get blamed for violence and evil, but emotions and passions alone might lead to single acts of violence, but only detached and diseased tip top of the cortex can come up with cold holocausts and exterminations of the serfs, for examples. And the ones who carry that stuff out have long, dark shadows, because so much is suppressed and denied.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:43 pm

I don't think 99% of people's shadows are really very important, on an individual basis. There's no point romanticising it, or blaming it, or believing it gives you super powers. It's a 'talent' - a subset of abilities and psychological drivers used in extremis. And we all have one, but nor do I think there is much value either way whether people accept or deny it is a part of of them.

What matters is how it manifests, which is something we can control, and under what circumstances it becomes manifest which is largely something we cannot.

I've read a few books on behaviour. One covered mob psychology. What turns a bunch of peaceful protesters into molotov cocktail throwing, window-smashing looters..? It's nothing much. Everybody has a threshold for violence. Some lower than others. Think of them as empty glasses that fill, and errupt into violence when they overflow. Listening to a speech will fill them a little. What fills them the most is seeing other people become violent, especially if a context exists where that violence is even remotely justified. It's dominoes. A protester with a low threshold tips, charges the police shields - if this was shopping he or she would be termed an 'early adopter'. This is enough to tip a whole secondry tier of people into violent action. The actions of those will tip almost everyone else. It works with bees too. :D

We are basically lazy, some more than others, some less so. But we all see the logic of working just hard enough to achieve a given reward. Going against ingrained habits of thoughtfulness and non-violence is difficult. So we tend to count that into our subconscious formula of cost/gain - which is why we don't usually let the shadow out very often. Cognitive dissonance - roughly equivalent to 'acting out of character' - kinda hurts.

There is 1% that does matter though. Psychopaths. People with very low thresholds, or no thresholds, for letting their shadows out. These people are almost always the early adopters of 'evil', whether physical, corporate, or institutional. 7.7 billion people last time I checked. That's a whole lot of people with psychopathic tendencies. When a psychopath does a cost/gain analysis regarding a goal, they don't have to figure in the cognitive dissonance of bad behaviour, to them instinctively, going to the shop and buying a chocolate bar is exactly the same as punching a kid in the face and taking theirs. The end is the same. They may learn not to eventually. In the same way someone dyslexic can learn to read. Difficult though.

But these guys, if they are in positions of power, can and will draw out other people's shadows through (bad) example. Which is why you sometimes end up with your otherwise spectacularly normal Mum working at Auschwitz, planing to spend next month's wages on kitchen appliances.

Research on psychopathy, and mandatory programs of early detection both wannabe parants and infants/children, would go a long way to solving some of our problems.
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:39 pm

It was Jung himself writing in 1918 at the end of World War 1 who observed that the “ animal in us only becomes more beast-like” when it is repressed. He went on to say “ that is no doubt the reason why no religion is so defiled with the spilling of innocent blood as Christianity and why the world has never seen a bloodier war than that of the Christian nations” (Vol. 10, p.22)

It will be ironic indeed if this thread becomes a virtue signalling competition. But, yeah, yeah as the famous misanthropist Mark Twain wrote ‘Man’ is the lowest form of animal. https://www.cusd80.com/cms/lib/AZ010011 ... 0Twain.pdf

And it may be the very split of the split of consciousness into light and shadow, and the repression of the latter that results in the projection that makes us the lowest. Jung thought if only he could get the practice of uncovering the Shadow to the masses he could save the world from self-destruction. But, how to do that?

Jung knew the process involved risks. As he said quoting Holderin, "Where danger is there is salvation also”. Still “ In so far as analytical treatment makes the “shadow” consciousness it causes a cleavage and a tension of opposites which in their turn seek compensation in unity.” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p335)
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Tab » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:23 pm

Re. Repression -> Beast-like.

I think if you repress your innate will to violence you are necessarily utterly inexperienced in its use, and therefore find that when circumstance does conspire to summon forth that violence, you have zero control - neither over your own fear at that moment, nor the amount of violence or agression required to achieve your goal. So, driven back into a wholly animalistic, instinctive state, you lash out and only come back to yourself when everyone's down and/or dead.

Everyone should do some full-contact self-defence at some point perhaps.

Re. Christians and bloody wars.

Well duh. Christianity is a psychological battle program for societies. It does its job well. So perhaps it's not a surprise that it's helped generate the worst wars. It's like accusing ferraris of causing speeding...
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:39 pm

Donald Trump--America's shadow.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:03 pm

felix dakat wrote:Donald Trump--America's shadow.
And he does an impression, sometimes, of The ID. But the neo-cons, who had at best mixed feelings about him, they got long dark shadows, and Clinton was right in there.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:09 pm

Tab wrote:Re. Repression -> Beast-like.

I think if you repress your innate will to violence you are necessarily utterly inexperienced in its use, and therefore find that when circumstance does conspire to summon forth that violence, you have zero control - neither over your own fear at that moment, nor the amount of violence or agression required to achieve your goal.

Certainly repressing anger can lead to violence when is comes screaming out. But think more violence is caused by repressed fear. Battering husbands are moving towards yang and aggression, because to go into their fear - that they are not lovable, that they are not in control, that they are not adequate, is too much for them. So, they flip to fear, because there anger has no fear to allow for a more nuanced reaction to when they feel disrespected, for example.

So, we get a leap from clenched anger expression with words to violence. This is a leap.

There is a huge space there in between verbal anger and violence,w hich would be to express both the fear and the rage in sound. To really show all that to yourself and the other person. But that feels dangerous, because the other will see your vulnerability. So they make the leap. Women obviously can do this also, though the tendency is not so strong.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:22 pm

Tab wrote:Re. Repression -> Beast-like.

I think if you repress your innate will to violence you are necessarily utterly inexperienced in its use, and therefore find that when circumstance does conspire to summon forth that violence, you have zero control - neither over your own fear at that moment, nor the amount of violence or agression required to achieve your goal. So, driven back into a wholly animalistic, instinctive state, you lash out and only come back to yourself when everyone's down and/or dead.

Everyone should do some full-contact self-defence at some point perhaps.

I share this view.

The main difference between views is in value judgments of the shadow. The above and Jordan Peterson's views have a positive value judgment, see the shadow a resource.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:29 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Donald Trump--America's shadow.
And he does an impression, sometimes, of The ID. But the neo-cons, who had at best mixed feelings about him, they got long dark shadows, and Clinton was right in there.

Trump is an integrated Shadow.
He has about a ten-thousandth of the number of deaths on his record as what would be the low average for US presidents. Yet, what little darkness there is in him is fully visible.
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:49 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Donald Trump--America's shadow.
And he does an impression, sometimes, of The ID. But the neo-cons, who had at best mixed feelings about him, they got long dark shadows, and Clinton was right in there.

Trump is an integrated Shadow.
He has about a ten-thousandth of the number of deaths on his record as what would be the low average for US presidents. Yet, what little darkness there is in him is fully visible.


Given the opportunity, Abraxas forbid, Trump will surpass them all.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:57 pm

I think Americans have a very long unintegrated shadow and, despairing of it, project their dark stuff on Trump now. It is rather upsetting to see the nation reach so deep in darkness to cast off its moral shadow on such a convenient scapegoat, who in effect is doing really good work around the globe, handling the 'darkness' of US capacity for violence with elegant precision and, as far as Im concerned, highly sophisticated priorities. But ... Trump plays it this way. It's his method. I am in awe.

The moral struggle of integration is very much related to judging reality by what really happens, rather than what it makes you feel.

Ill shift to a more human-sized shadow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIkK-XH6TG8 - it just appeared in my suggestions and it is elementary shadow play.
"Every time this shit is coming, I turn this into a joke. I don't want to go too deep. Because Im gonna get - maybe Im gonna understand. And Im gonna get scared for real."
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:15 pm

Is this thread going to be a vice signaling competition?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:17 pm

Yes lol I was gonna say.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:18 pm

Politics, dude.

Its the most complex shadow play there is in this world, wouldn't you think?

What do you think of the comparison I made of clandestine services and the Shadow?



Again - I feel the Key, if there is any, to Jung, is the paradoxical relationship of the individual shadow with societal shadow.
Its almost like an LSD trip to contemplate them together.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:22 pm

For example, it is a common pattern to see musicians celebrate the individual shadow in one song and denounce the societal shadow in the next.
Sex drugs and rock and roll, and then preaching of peace and love and social order. Eminem, who becomes famous by rapping about violence and then uses this fame to help enforce moral restrictions on less wealthy people.

Meaning such celebration of the shadow as what he is famed for is what Jung attributes to monkeys.
Its almost as if art has yet to be born.
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Re: Shadow

Postby Fixed Cross » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:31 pm

It may be necessary to know a bit of Nietzsche in order to wade through Jung's murky shadow concept, which appears to exist beyond the distinction of individual and society.

The individual as a polis of drives inside of a larger polis of drives, without a clear distinction.

This explains much of camp-guard type behaviour. Violence is displaced. And also on the other side, excessive meekness is cultivated.
Both go hand in hand to create death-camps. The US was set up almost to enforce a bit of capacity for violence upon everyone, to push for integration of the shadow.
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Re: Shadow

Postby felix dakat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:44 pm

"When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is distinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain to the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and, therefore, at the same time, from the evil and the ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution." ( From" Septem Sermones ad Mortuos" by Carl Gustav Jung, 1916)

You want it darker? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0nmHymgM7Y
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: Shadow

Postby derleydoo » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:18 am

Fixed Cross wrote:Let me lift one out to study.

"Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it."

How does one amputate the shadow?
What does it mean to carefully amputate the shadow?

And what does it mean to parade with it?

Am I parading with my shadow when I talk down on people whom I think are being stupid?

Is rap music parading with the shadow, or is it rather the healing serpent?
Or both?

What precisely is the fucking shadow?
What is your shadow, if I may ask?


"What precisely is the fucking shadow?"

He may have changed his mind - since - (these chaps were renowned for writing lots of books). However, from what I hear, Mister Young said, in the IotP:

The character that summarizes a person's uncontrolled emotional manifestations consists, in the first place, of his inferior qualities or peculiarities. Even people we like and appreciate suffer from certain imperfections of character that have to be taken into the bargain. When people are not at their best, such flaws become clearly visible. I have called the inferior and less commendable part of a person the shadow.

My hat is off to those who skip through the process! :lol:
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derleydoo
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