What would be a practical approach to developing your shadow Well that’s a good one Let’s do a little review of Jungian Psychology. The first thing is, if you want to know about this The proper source is Carl Jung’s collected works volume 9 And there’s two parts to volume 9
A and B published as separate texts And volume 9 is called “archetypes of the collective unconscious” The other one is called Ion In archetypes of the collective unconscious there’s a good discussion of the persona and the shadow The persona you could say is… A good way of thinking about it
You know, you watch all those romcoms Where there’s always some kind of a beta male guy who is being real friendly And is always failing miserably with women because basically he’s lying to himself and to them He’s a persona And a persona is the face you show to the world when you’re trying to pretend To convince yourself and other’s that, I’d say, harmless, but we could say a good person But a good person isn’t harmless, a good person is capable of Well, maybe a good person is capable of anything But is willing to hold that in abeyance I read this interesting commentary a little while ago on a statement by christ in the new testament The statement generally interpreted is that the meek shall inherit the earth I was looking up the multiple translations of the word meek Meek is actually derived from a Greek word of course Because the bible, at least some of the original forms of the original bible were in Greek And that word didn’t exactly mean meek, it meant something like Those who have weapons and the ability to use them but determine to keep them sheathed will inherit the world And that means that people who are capable of force, let’s say But decide not to use it are in the proper moral position Nietzsche commented a fair bit on that too He thought of most morality as cowardes
Not because morality itself was cowardes But because most people who are cowards disguise their cowardes as morality And they claim that their harmlessness, which is actually a consequence of their fear And inability to be harmfull, say, or to be dangerous is actually a sign of their moral integrity And that’s a really bad idea If you’re an ex-murderer but you don’t have an axe, that doesn’t mean that you’re moral So that’s the persona And the persona is the mask that you wear, and that’s what persona means It’s the mask that you wear to convince yourself and the world that you’re not a terrible monster So that when you look at yourself in the mirror you don’t have to run away screaming And you might think, well, that’s a bit of an overstatement But Jung was very interested in phenomena such as The psychological phenomena that would characterise the actions of someone who might be An Auschwitz camp guard for example That’s a pretty monstrous form of behaviour The thing about Auschwitz camp guards is that there’s no reason to assume Really, that they were much different than normal people Now there would have been exceptions obviously And what that means is that, perhaps you too can be an Auschwitz camp guard And perhaps you would even derive some enjoyment out of it And you might think not, but you shouldn’t think not so quickly What that also implies is that if you could see what that meant When you looked in the mirror and looked at yourself You might run away screaming Because you’d have a revelation of just exactly what a human being is capable of And that’s a very unpleasant revelation and also one of the things that stops people from being enlightened Because that revelation of the evil of the self is part of the journey to enlightenment, and an early part Now the shadow would be all the parts of the personality that the persona rejects And that might be the aggressive elements Certainly that’s the case for people who are hyper agreeable There’s two pathways to the development of the shadow And they’re tightly allied with one another The fundamental pathway is truth And that’s to face the bitter truth about yourself To break that down more particularly you might think about that As the capacity to observe your own resentment You’re going to be resentful and bitter in many situations Because you don’t get what you want And if you watch that resentment and bitterness you’ll see that It produces fantasies that can be unbelievably dark And that can be very frightning You might not want to admit to yourself that you’re actually capable of having fantasies like that Or impulses like that or aggressive feelings like that If those aggressive feelings and impulses and fantasies are integrated into your character It’s like you’re opening up a dialogue with a part of yourself that can be very forceful and strong And dangerous
And it’s really usefull to be dangerous Because if you can be dangerous, you often don’t have to be And it’s often weak people, for example it’s weak men who generally rape That’s a very common occurrence And it’s a very violent act, but it’s borne out of weakness not out of strength, that’s for sure You attend to your resentment honestly And you observe yourself and what you’re actually like You gotta pay attention as if you don’t know yourself As if you might harbor hidden devils
And then maybe they’ll emerge Jung also felt that sort of embedded inside the shadow were the contrasexual tendencies And so for example Sometimes you see people are well developed Men, let’s say, and we can also talk about women in this regard Men who’ve integrated their shadow also often develop a kind of peculiar grace That would be a consequence of not only allowing their aggressive side to step forward But also their feminine and compassionate side That they may have kept squelcht because of embarrassment about it Or because they may have been harassed for being weak or any number of things But the practical approach for developing your shadow, I would say Is to contemplate and consider your resentment And notice what it says Because your resentment will also tell you what you have to say So look at what happened at Google this weekend Jame Damore wrote that memo and you can imagine he was pretty angry And perhaps even some what resentful at having to attend that diversity seminar I am really just using it as an example But, what he did was to decide that that man he had something he had to say Look at the consequences of that, man It is absolutely unbelievable And so you know if you are feeling oppressed at work or You are oppressed in your life Or you are oppressing yourself Then you gonna notice that you are feeling oppressed Then you have to notice that you are feeling resentful and angry and bitter and maybe even like Cain The story of Cain enable Because Cain is the sort of archetypal bitter man And you have to decide what is you need to do in order to remove from yourself that bitterness And that usually means that there is something you have to say And you have to say it Because your soul depends on it And it is not only your soul that depends on it I would like to say the fate of the world depends on it Because you might be wrong and then you should be straight out, or maybe you are just being wining, You have to talk to somebody about that Or maybe you are actually detecting something wrong Some tearing is directed towards you and another people And it is like your moral obligation to speak up about it And so many world places become toxic used the terrible cliche Because the people in them won’t speak up for what they actually want Or they speak up too late and then they are all twisted up about it And you know they torturing other people Because they are so unhappy and so forth and so on So Practical approach for developing shadow fundamentally is radical honesty Jung said that genuine moral effort was a good substitute for psychotherapy.