Shadow work

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Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior- C.G. Jung

C.G. Jung

Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist” – C G Jung

Excerpts from A Picture Scroll of the Dark by Kajii Motojirō

The dark! Therein we can discern nothing; blackness shrouds all in thick, oppressive waves. Who can even think in such a state? How can we possibly move forward when there is no knowing what lies ahead? We have no other choice, however, but to proceed somehow, step by reluctant step, the first step fraught with pangs of distress, anxiety, terror. To take that step we may have to muster the passionate desperation one needs . . . to trample thistles with bare feet! [梶井基次郎、「闇の絵巻」; translations by J. SCOTT MILLER ]

J. Scott Miller the translator further explains:
Kajii, who wrote his essay at a time when he was convalescing at a remote spa town, sees darkness as a very palpable representation of his impending death. He decides to try to make peace with the darkness by willfully walking at night without a lantern, journeying home from his friend’s inn alone in the gloom. [source]

Magic Lantern [Spirited Away film]

Along the way stood one solitary house with a tree in front . . . bathed in light like a magic lantern, it alone shining luxuriantly in that immense, dark landscape. The roadway itself brightened slightly at the spot, but this made the shadows ahead even darker as they swallowed up the path.

One evening I noticed a man—like me, without a lantern—walking farther up the road. I saw him because his figure suddenly appeared in the illuminated space in front of the house. The man, his back turned to the light, gradually receded into the darkness and vanished. I watched the entire scene, moved in a strange, singular way. Stirred by the man’s disappearing figure, I thought, “In a short time I’ll be walking into the darkness just like him. If someone were to stand here, observing, they’d probably see me vanish, the same way he did.” [source]

So how does one walk into the dark of his subconscious mind to find out what is in his shadow self? Jordan Peterson, a lecturer and professor explains how important it is to integrate your shadow.

Jordan Peterson – Integrating your Shadow

8:12 min watch

Final thought from C.G. Jung:


  1. vapg1974 says

    That’s why older versions of fairy tales used to be so gory, they were an expression of The Shadow while preparing kids to all the harshenesses of life in older times. Can you relate the modern harmelessness of of nowadays children’s literature with the current “Men without chests”?

    • bastiat says

      Yes you can. In the words of C. S. Lewis – “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

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