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Reply To: The Shadow


    As Stephen pointed out there is hardly any aspect of human life the Shadow does not reach. And as this virus continues to unfold the affects it has on individuals; (which is definitely underlined in intensity if one is confined); encourages more than the usual engagement with it; (especially concerning one’s dreams). Why? Because there is no place to hide by outside activity. And the feeling of powerlessness; the loss of control; and the vulnerability to it’s negative dark side influences can conjure up all kinds of threatening and depressive dimensions of the personality from the landfill of the psyche. And because it’s so powerful as one of the most dominant of all the archetypes it’s influence on dreamlife is deep and far ranging. But as Joseph states: “it also encloses values, positive goals – that you have not allowed to come into your life.”

    As we were discussing earlier paying attention to it; trying to understand what it is saying so that as Stephen mentioned: we can expand it; bring it into the light; try to make the unconscious conscious; or in Jungian terms to integrate it. This “blind spot of the ego” is difficult to get a grip on because it is directly tied to our emotions; and emotions don’t always respond to reason because they are tied to experience and feeling; not thinking. But in connection to dreaming this is not a conscious relationship; so getting in touch with this aspect of the unconscious and trying to figure out what it’s saying means reading it another way. Images, symbols, and tone and the way they surface in a kind of dance performance may or may not make sense at first glance because they are metaphoric in nature; they point past the image to something else. And what that something else presents is for you to figure out within your own context. But there are other times when the Self is trying to get your attention; and may offer a more specific message with a more insistent tone.

    Stephen mentioned some of his latest: “dream noir” series and wonderfully elaborate descriptions.

    And one of the preferred methods of deciphering this very personal code is writing them down for later scrutiny.

    Sometimes there may be a series where a certain theme may connect their meaning. In my own case they may actually wake me up with a specific image of some sort that ties to another one. I’ve been having a series of synchronistic events; both waking and dreaming; where something will happened of coincidence that is tied to something else I have been directly dealing with of stronger and stronger intensity and insistence.

    I’ve been reading a lot of different material lately on Art, Jung, Campbell, and inner work; so much so that I would read, eat, and sleep; with a little timeout for internet breaks with Facebook and the JCF Forums; all in short 3 or 4 hour spurts for days and days at a time. This has been going on for months. Lately I have been having anxiety because of the news reports concerning the virus and our current lockdown situation. Sometimes I would have anxiety about posts I put up and would then take them down. But in my dreams there would be something a little different; the other night I was walking a path and a bright light appeared in the middle blocking my way but the tone was affirmative and supportive.

    So yesterday I came across a quote concerning the Gnostic Gospels of Thomas that was one Joseph referred to: “What you bring forth from within you will save you; and what you deny within you will destroy you.” I was stunned at it’s relevance to my situation. Then last night I had another dream that woke me up with one word; that’s all: “Invictus“. I had not read this poem since high school back almost 60 years ago. Like a message in a bottle from some distant shore; perhaps my Shadow is trying to tell me something?