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Shadow (Analytical Psychology)

SHADOW (ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY)

In Carl Gustav Jung's analytical psychology, the shadow as a concept comprises everything the conscious personality experiences as negative. In dreams and fantasies the shadow appears with the characteristics of a personality of the same sex as the ego, but in a very different configuration. It is presented as the eternal antagonist of an individual or group, or the dark brother within, who always accompanies one, the way Mephistopheles accompanied Goethe's Faust.

The role of the shadow within is sometimes hidden, and sometimes rejected or repressed, by the conscious ego. In the latter case it is pushed into the unconscious, where, because of its energy, it acts as a complex. People can, for example, be fully aware that they are avaricious, greedy, or aggressive and still manage to hide these truths from others beneath the mask of the persona. But they can also repress those characteristics. Then they are no longer conscious of them at all, and their moral ego is reestablished.

The shadow in everyone varies considerably depending on the guidelines in force within the family, the community, and the culture in which they grow up. Moreover, the shadow is not only made up of aspects of personality experienced as disagreeable or negative, but it can also have a positive side.

When the shadow is not integrated into the conscious personality and remains unconscious, it can manifest itself in two different forms. On the one hand, it can project itself onto another person in one's immediate or distant circle, leading to serious conflicts among siblings, couples, or colleagues that have a tendency to recur and lead to lasting misunderstandings. On the other hand, it can also cause deflation, so that those involved find themselves subjugated and thus inferior, bad, or clumsy. In fact, the shadow corresponds to what one does not want to become but still is, within the self. It is even something necessary, for just as a painting needs shadow to give it life and depth, each human needs a shadowas illustrated by Peter Schlemihl de Chamisso (1824)to become a true human being with all the genuine weaknesses and defects, qualities which can even make them likeable.

Jung developed and enriched the concept of the shadow throughout the 1930s, when he began studying closely alchemical literature and iconography in relation to his experience and conception of the process of individuation. He compared the "black work" of the alchemists (the nigredo ) with the often highly critical involvement experienced by the ego, until it accepts the new equilibrium brought about by the creation of the self.

In the work he did after World War II, Jung developed the distinction between the personal shadow and the collective shadow, emphasizing the fact that while recognition and analysis of the shadow lead to a confrontation with the drives and the most intimate representations, they also lead to a confrontation with the collective unconscious. It is this that gives rise to projections of the shadow onto other cultures, other peoples, and other racessomething that occurred during the twentieth century to an alarming extent.

Hans Dieckmann

See also: Analytical psychology; Collective unconscious (analytical psychology); Ego (analytical psychology); Jung, Carl Gustav; Projection and "mystical participation" (analytical psychology).

Bibliography

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1921). Psychological types. Collected works, v. 6. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).

. (1928d). Instinct and the unconscious. Collected works, v. 8. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).

. (1944). Psychology and alchemy. Collected works, v. 12. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).

. (1951). Aïon: researches into the phenomenology of the self. Collected works, v. 9. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).

. (1955-1956). Mysterium conjunctionis: an inquiry into the separation and synthesis of psychic opposites in alchemy. Collected works, v. 14. Princeton: Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).

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shadow

shad·ow / ˈshadō/ • n. 1. a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface: trees cast long shadows. ∎  partial or complete darkness, esp. as produced in this way: the north side of the cathedral was deep in shadow | (shadows) a stranger slowly approached from the shadows. ∎  the shaded part of a picture. ∎  a dark patch or area on a surface: there are dark shadows beneath your eyes. ∎  a region of opacity on a radiograph: shadows on his lungs. ∎ short for eyeshadow. 2. fig. used in reference to proximity, ominous oppressiveness, or sadness and gloom: the shadow of war fell across Europe only one shadow lay over Sally's life. ∎  used in reference to something insubstantial or fleeting: a freedom that was more shadow than substance. ∎  used in reference to a position of relative inferiority or obscurity: he lived in the shadow of his father. ∎  the slightest trace of something: she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was lying. ∎  a weak or inferior remnant or version of something: this fine-looking, commanding man had become a shadow of his former self. ∎  an expression of perplexity or sadness: a shadow crossed Maria's face. 3. an inseparable attendant or companion: her faithful shadow, a Yorkshire terrier called Heathcliffe. ∎  a person secretly following and observing another. ∎  a person who accompanies someone in their daily activities at work in order to gain experience at or insight into a job. ∎  [as adj.] unofficial or alternative: the Committee of Twenty-Five, a shadow government of unelected businessmen. • v. [tr.] 1. (often be shadowed) envelop in shadow; cast a shadow over: the market is shadowed by St. Margaret's church a hood shadowed her face. 2. follow and observe (someone) closely and typically secretly: he had been up all night shadowing a team of poachers. ∎  accompany (someone) in their daily activities at work in order to gain experience at or insight into a job. PHRASES: be frightened of one's shadow be very timid or nervous.DERIVATIVES: shad·ow·er n. shad·ow·less adj.

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shadow

shadow shadow Cabinet the opposition counterpart of government ministers; the term is first recorded in a letter of 1906 from the Conservative statesman Arthur James Balfour (1848–1930).
the shadow of death a place or period of intense gloom or peril; often with reference to Psalm 23:4. The term in biblical usage represents a Hebrew expression which is a poetic word for intense darkness; in English, however, it is likely to be used in a context denoting the sorrow and fear associated with approaching death.

See also five o'clock shadow, old sins cast long shadows.

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shadow

shadow comparative darkness; image cast by a body intercepting light; shelter from light and heat. XII. ME. sceadewe, shadewe, repr. obl. forms, sċead(u)we, of OE. sċeadu SHADE, corr. to OS. skado (Du. schaduw), OHG. scato(G. schatte, later schatten), Goth. skadus :- Gmc. *skaðwaz, *skaðwō; cf. Gr. skótos darkness, OIr. scāth shadow.
So vb. OE. sċeadwian = OS. skadowan, skadoian (Du. schaduwen), OHG. scatewen, Goth. -skadwjan. Hence shadowy (-Y1) XIV.

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shadow

shadow Area screened from a light source and therefore relatively dark. It differs in size depending on the distance between the light source and the screening object. When the light source is extended, the outline of the shadow is blurred; where the source is partly visible, there is an area of mid-shadow (penumbra) lying outside the darker shadow itself (umbra).

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shadow

shadowforeshadow, shadow •Faldo •accelerando, bandeau, Brando, glissando, Orlando •eyeshadow •aficionado, amontillado, avocado, Bardo, Barnardo, bastinado, bravado, Colorado, desperado, Dorado, eldorado, incommunicado, Leonardo, Mikado, muscovado, Prado, renegado, Ricardo, stifado •commando •eddo, Edo, meadow •crescendo, diminuendo, innuendo, kendo •carbonado, dado, Feydeau, gambado, Oviedo, Toledo, tornado •aikido, bushido, credo, Guido, Ido, libido, lido, speedo, teredo, torpedo, tuxedo •widow • dildo • window •Dido, Fido, Hokkaidocondo, rondeau, rondo, secondo, tondo •Waldo •dodo, Komodo, Quasimodo •escudo, judo, ludo, pseudo, testudo, Trudeau •weirdo • sourdough • fricandeau •tournedos • Murdo

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