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  The shadow is a Jungian term for the dark side of the personality. Jung thought that people were afraid of the idea of the unconscious because of the presence of this shadow self. We can plainly see this shadow in other people in egotism, laziness, sloppiness, unreal fantasies, cowardice things obvious to others but unnoticed by the subject. Jung believed that overwhelming rage at criticism of some aspect of ourselves probably indicated that part of our shadow selves had been touched upon.

The shadow plays a vital role in Jung\'s analytical psychology because it contains the hidden, repressed and unfavoured aspects of the personality. But the shadow is not just the converse of the conscious ego; it has good aspects as well. Nevertheless the ego is in conflict with the shadow. The theme appears frequently in dreams as a mysterious figure or the true hero. This battle Jung called the battle for deliverance and saw it as symbolized by heroes and monsters. Shadow selves, representing these unacknowledged attributes, usually appear in dreams as members of the same sex. Jung noted that, possibly as a consequence of this, that we are more tolerant of the shadow in the opposite sex than in people of the same sex. He believed that this shadow side was vulnerable from what he called the collective infections which are part of mob activities. MJ

Further reading Jolande Jacobi, The Psychology of C.G. Jung.



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