The Persona and Shadow.pdf

The Persona and Shadow.pdf

Jung’s Landscape

Psyche refers to the totality of all psychological

processes. It “embraces all thought, feeling, and

behavior, both conscious and unconscious. It functions

as a guide which regulates and adapts the individual to

his social and physical environment.”

Jung's Model of the Psyche


Ego-Self Axis





















Adapted from Stevens, 1990, pg. 29

¡ In becoming civilized, we compromise between our

natural inclinations, instincts, and the patterns of

society – what is required

§ One’s public self

§ The mask we wear

§ We have many masks or can have

¡ The persona is oriented toward society in two


§ We create a mask(s) based on what society

expects of us

▪ Think about the masks you have worn from

kindergarten to now…

§ Why have we worn these?

¡ We wear a mask to meet our own

expectations to get society to look at us in a

particular way!

¡ How about here today in the classroom?

¡ What Persona are you portraying right now?

¡ Jung reporting in Singer pg. 159

“When we analyze the persona we strip off the mask,

and discover that what seemed individual is at bottom

collective; in other words, that the persona was only a

mask for the collective psyche. Fundamentally the

persona is nothing real… In a certain sense all this is

real, yet in relation to the essential individuality of the

person concerned it is only a secondary reality, a

product of compromise, in making which others often

have a greater share than he”.

¡ The Persona is nothing but a status symbol!

¡ And the danger is we believe that “I” am that!

¡ This may work well enough until something

happens to change or damage the mask that

interposed between the reality of the person

and the desired image. Then the person may

begin to wonder, “Who am I”.

Let’s Meet The Shadow

R.D. Laing

The Other Within Us…

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And

because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to

change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds”


“Within each woman and man, the dim

cavern of the unconscious holds our

forbidden feelings, secret wishes, and

creative urges. Over time, these ‘dark’

forces take on a life of their own, forming

an intuitively recognizable figure – the

Shadow. A recurring theme in literature

and legend, the Shadow is like an invisible

twin, a stranger that is us, yet is not us.

When it acts out in the public domain, we

witness our leaders, like hero-­‐villains, fall

from grace in scandal. Closer to home,

we may feel overcome with rage,

obsession, and shame or succumb to self-­destructive

lies, addiction, and

depression. These appearances of the

Shadow introduce us to the Other, a

powerful force that defies our efforts to

tame and control it.”



“[The Shadow] is everything in us that is

unconscious, repressed, undeveloped and denied.

These are dark rejected aspects of our being as

well as light, so there is positive undeveloped

potential in the Shadow that we don’t know about

because anything that is unconscious remains

hidden from our active conscious mind…

A confrontation with the Shadow is essential for

self awareness. We cannot learn about ourselves if

we do not learn about our Shadow, so, therefore,

we are going to attract it through the mirrors of

other people.”


¡ “The Shadow is difficult to perceive

consciously. Since an individual will

deny or ignore his or her Shadow side,

it is likely that it will be projected onto

others. Instead of acknowledging their

Shadow, the individual will

unconsciously see it in people they

encounter or even concepts, objects,

ethics or groups... These characteristics

that we find hideous in other people

could in fact be our own repressed

attributes… [we have] stumbled upon

parts of…[our] own Shadow.”


In literature and film, often the hero’s Shadow is embodied within a foil character.

But not every hero/villain pairing is a true Shadow relationship. When the hero’s

darker side exists within another character, there must also be a strong surface

connection evident between the protagonist and antagonist. They are similar, but

disparate. The similarities pull them together as the differences tear them asunder.

Within the Batman film The Dark Knight, the co-­‐dependent relationship between hero

and villain, light and dark, is pushed to center stage. The Joker repeatedly states that

the existence of Batman spurned the creation of the Joker, that each operates against

and because of the other. Every coin needs two sides and although the Joker states it

flippantly, there is a meaningful subtext when he says to Batman, “You complete


The Stars Wars universe is chock-­‐full of deliberate archetypes. The Shadow is no exception. The

promotional image to the left directly speaks to the fact that Anakin Skywalker will eventually grow

up to be swallowed by his Shadow; he will fall and rise anew as the black-­‐hearted Darth Vader. His

literal shadow foreshadows the eventual power his psychological Shadow will possess. The

promotional image on the right again highlights this duality, within Anakin, of both light and dark.

Tatters of the left portion remain human, but the majority of his face is covered in robotic darkness.

In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, a complex system of Self and Shadow is established. There are many surface

similarities between the halfling hero Frodo and his shadowy counterpart Gollum. Frodo Baggins is a hobbit, the

type of creature Gollum used to be. Both have intimate knowledge of the pain and power associated with the role

of a ring-­‐bearer. But Frodo has not yet been completely overcome by his Shadow while Gollum has almost been

defeated by the darkness within. Even within this Shadow representative, there is a further split between good

and evil. Gollum has two distinct personalities bearing several differing names – Smeagol/Slinker still remembers

shreds of his humanity while Gollum/Stinker no longer yearns for the touch of interior sunlight.









Eigen, Rebecca. "The Shadow Dance – Understanding Repetitive Patterns in

Relationships.” 09 June 2009. ShadowDance Unlimited. 27 Aug

2009 .

Jung, C. G.. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. 2 nd ed. New York:

Princeton University Press, 1959. Print.

Wilson, Kevin. "Confrontation With the Shadow.“ 27 Aug 2009


Zweig, Connie, and Steve Wolf. Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the

Soul. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1997. Print.

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