Shadow Work

Jungian Shadow Work takes Healing to New Levels.
By Laura Castanza and Julia George © 2008

Psychologist Carl Jung is renowned for his work involving dream analysis and the Subconscious mind; but perhaps one of the most important areas of his work is that of the Shadow.

As a young student of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung followed Freud’s models until he matured more fully in the field of psychology and found Freud’s definitive and structured nature limiting.  There were areas of the human psyche that Jung longed to explore more fully, so he ventured and progressed in to what became Shadow work and the Subconscious mind.

The Shadow is identified as the “darker or hidden sides” of our self; that which is not yet brought to light.  More specifically, the emotions and aspects of our self less appealing to our nature:  greed, jealousy, lust, hatred, etc.  Although these aspects are prevalent in our world today, we personally tend to chastise, criticize, and bury these emotions until they unleash themselves through unconscious action and reaction.  Dictators, murderers, and child molesters become the target monsters for the media, all the while as we judge them for behaviors that we would “never” do ourselves.  The unhealthy and damaging actions of those on the most wanted posters stems from a denial system that reaches critical mass; but these atrocities occur even at a local level of which we are all capable.

The reality is that these darker aspects and emotions live within all of us as the human condition, and it is when they go unacknowledged that “hell breaks loose”.  Part of this philosophy/psychology is that we are (become) what we believe, thus “He who believes in the devil is the devil.”  And all those things we find shocking and appalling, exist within our very own human nature.

A concept such as this one is not easy to digest, because it means that we must take full responsibility for our self entirely. It can be easy and acceptable to be “the lover”, “the teacher”, and “the friend”.  However it is difficult to accept “the sexual deviate”, “the liar”, and “the manipulator”, traits that each one of us possesses on some level.

This awareness is not meant to scare or frighten, but instead intended for us to embrace.  Through acceptance comes true healing, from the core of our inner most being.  It is within the core of our self that both love and hate reside.  If we do not accept and integrate these oppositions into our consciousness, we are imbalanced as human beings and therefore end up making choices and feeling our emotions from our unconscious dark side we try so desperately to deny.  The energy of our planet today is primarily working from these shadow energies so evident in the times in which we are living.  We are now in a period of intense awareness of the need to heal, and the collective consciousness which is the power of mass positive or negative thinking is beginning to shift to higher levels.

To integrate the dark (unconscious) into the light (conscious), we must first acknowledge all of our emotions as they happen, gauging them with each experience.  Without an aggressive intervention of our own self defeating patterns, there is little chance of being liberated from our self made denial system no matter how many healing modalities we practice. It is also imperative that we closely connect with others who are interested in reaching higher levels of consciousness and begin to live our truth while sharing it with all of mankind… Taking conscious steps to further our own evolution and healing, and adapting an unselfish, loving, forgiving nature is the only way we can begin to change the world: One person at a time.

For those interested in Shadow Workshops and/or one-on-one Soul Sessions, please call Julia George @ 561.750.9292

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