Embracing the shadows with Jung…

I have long been  interested in the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, and am trying to find time to read more. But recently I have been focusing on his thoughts concerning the shadow aspect of human beings. Jung said:

Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

From Psychology and Religion by C.G. Jung (1938)

I like Jung because he always holds hope for the individual. He believes we can heal ourselves by contacting our unconscious through symbols such as archetypes and myths and facing our darker side. My long relationship with the Tarot started partly because of learning about Jung and archetypes as a teenager. Bt umostly I think it came about from my love of the darker side of life. oddly I no longer consider The Tarot as at all “dark”, on the contrary it can be a journey to enlightenment.

Here is another quote from Jung:

To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.

“Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology” (1959)