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The concept of The Shadow was developed by the famed Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who used it as a framework for understanding the human psyche and behaviour.
The Shadow refers to all the unconscious parts of ourselves, whether we label them as positive or negative. Essentially, it is anything that you can’t or don’t want to admit about yourself, like the things you find undesirable, embarrassing, or overwhelming. A lot of the shadow is made up of repressed emotions – greed, fear, anger, taboo desires, sexual or violent impulses, etc.
The Shadow starts forming in early childhood, through the process of learning what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior, which is dictated by the environment we grow up in. This process plays out in the life of each individual, but also in entire communities, nations, as well as on global level. Everyone has a shadow.
The process of becoming aware of these unconscious and rejected parts of ourselves and re-owning them is called integrating the shadow.
This process is very relevant and useful in today’s world, because it can help us better understand ourselves, each other, and the forces that shape our society. Most importantly, it can help us discover how we can work together to integrate our collective shadow that pushes our whole civilization into the risk of self-destruction and extinction.
In This Episode of Future Thinkers:
- Why we start suppressing and hiding emotions in early childhood
- Dominance, aggression, violence – some of the most controversial human traits in today’s world
- Demasculinization of Western society and how it affects both men and women
- Unprocessed emotions as the root of many physical and mental illnesses
- Meditation techniques for integrating the Shadow
- The 3-2-1 Shadow Integration Process by Ken Wilber
- Expressions of the Shadow in creative disciplines such as art, innovation and business
- Collective Shadow and how it manifests in politics and politicians
- The importance of integrating the Collective Shadow for the emergence of collective consciousness and collective intelligence
- Our insights from facilitating the first round of the Course in Personal Evolution
Mentions and Resources:
- A Course in Personal Evolution – Part 1: Cultivating Sovereignty, Part 2: Integrating The Shadow
- 3-2-1 Shadow integration process by Ken Wilber
- The populist tide and our collective shadow
- Modern Man in Search of a Soul by Carl Jung
- Owning Your Own Shadow by Robert A. Johnson