Shadow

Have you swallowed another’s shadow?

Have you ever met one of those couples, where the one is just perfect and fantastic and their partner is a walking disaster? One is incompetent, inappropriate, a total bitch or bastard, etc. Yet their partner is charismatic, socially skilled, an all round good person. And you think to yourself what on earth is he doing with her (or vice versa). Whilst I was doing research on Persona, I came across a story told by Jung which illustrates this very [...]

The Dark Side of getting to know yourself

Sia, an Australian singer, recently brought out a video that disturbed some people and drew a fair amount of criticism. The video is of an adult male and a young girl fighting in a cage. Sia responded to this criticism by saying that the two actors portray a single person, namely herself, and represent her two warring-self states. It is a wonderful depiction of the war between shadow and ego. Coming to terms with your shadow is hard, unpleasant and [...]

Did mommy & daddy neglect to mention that you are a freak?

Yes I am afraid it is quite true, you are a freak. This short communication should remove any lingering doubts you may have and dash any hope that you are not a freak. Let me spell it out for you, to avoid any unintended ambiguity. You are not a normal, well adjusted, respectable member of society.  You are not a pillar of the community, someone to whom others should look as an example to model themselves on.  You are [...]

The encounter with the Shadow: a key moment on the journey to individuation

The shadow, Applied Jungian Psychology, The Wolf of Wall Street Discussion about the shadow can be split into three broad categories: Everything has a shadow – more specifically, every choice, every action, and every encounter, carries within itself a shadow. This is the simple idea that what is explicit, what is seen, what is manifest holds an implicit opposite. Our intentionality is directed to the “object” in a specific fashion. The philosopher John Searle describes it as consciousness having an “aspectual” [...]

Yes I know your mother is a bitch…

Recently a young man (well not that young really, late thirties) came to see me for some coaching. He was fairly distressed; he felt a certain lack of direction, an absence of meaning in his life perhaps. Looking back on his life he saw a litany of failures, missed opportunities, could-have-been’s, should-have-been’s, mistakes, wrong turns, unfortunate turn of events and a few regrets thrown in for good measure. The young man was familiar with some pop-psychology and understood the importance [...]

On the Darker Side of Life

I have thinking quite a bit lately about the issue of relationships. The thing that concerns me is the level of aggression that comes into our relationships. Not only aggression, or at least not only patently aggressive behaviour, but all the various subtle manifestations of this: social one-up-man-ship, character assassination, power struggles and so on. A particularly vivid example of this was pointed out to me a few months ago. When anyone in a social gathering tells a story, how shortly [...]

The Irrational Psyche and the Shadow.

In considering the psyche it is important to take into account that the psyche is fundamentally an irrational entity. What I mean by this is that the psyche is not at heart driven by rational forces. The concept of reason is a cultural concept which whilst immensely valuable does not describe our psychology. This was in part the great breakthrough that Sigmund Freud made. He saw through the illusion of man as a reasonable and respectable creature. Freud recognised that [...]