The shadow, said celebrated Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung (see my prior post on A Dangerous Method), is the unknown ''dark side'' of our personality–-dark both because it tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially or religiously depreciated human emotions and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, anger or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature, completely obscured from consciousness. (See my prior posts on anger and greed.) Whatever we deem evil, inferior or unacceptable and deny in ourselves becomes part of the shadow, the counterpoint to what Jung called the persona or conscious ego personality. According to Jungian analyst Aniela Jaffe, the shadow is the ''sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life'

What is the shadow? And how do we as people contend with the mysterious and powerful forces that is the counterpoint to our ego? I wonder if this is the psychoanalytic reinterpretation of the tension between Apollo and Dioynsus, our orderly and our chaotic sides. The sides of us that follows rules and conforms to society's expectations vs the chaos beneath.

How balanced do you think you are? This, more than most aspects of our being, creates the most tension and anxiety. There is so much about ourselves that we fear.


(pic is The Nightmare by Fuselli)