As Carl Jung said, there are 2 kinds of shadows:

  • The Personal Shadow - The unknown / unconscious dark side of an individual personality.
  • The Collective Shadow - The unknown / unconscious dark side of society.

The Personal shadow

Your personal shadow is the sum of all the unpleasant qualities you like to hide from yourself.

It represents inferiorities which everybody has, but prefer to not know about, and shows its face, when you're anxious, influenced by drugs or alchohol, when your "gentleman" filters are inhibited.

Then, out of nowhere (unconsciously), it bursts into an evil response or chose to ignore a morale act.

When you don't want to assimilate with what you despise, you project it on to others, which is when it reveals itself.

The Collective shadow

The collective shadow, is the unknown dark side of society, like when most germans joined the Nazi party, even as children, and ignored the mass cruelty done by individuals and their bloodthirsty society.


World Wars

WW2 (1939 - 1945) / Nazism
  • Killed = ~11 million, including Jews, Soviet civilians. Soviet prisoners of war, Serb civilians, Jehovah's  Witnesses, Repeat criminal offenders, Homosexuals, Mentally ill and disabled people.
WW1 (1914 - 1918)
  •  Killed: ~40 million.



Lenin era (1870 – 1924)
  • Killed = ~100+ million.
Stalin era (1928 - 1953)
  • Killed = ~7 – 10 million.
Mao (1958 - 1962) - The Great Leap Forward policy
  • Killed = ~45 million.



Crusades (1095 to 1291)
  • Killed ~1 - 3 million.
Witch hunting (1450 - 1750 in Early Modern Europe & America)
  • Killed = ? (This still goes on in Africa and Asia).


By default, your shadow has been enclosed inside your unconscious mind, to avoid external exposure.

To befriend your shadow, accept it being a part of your personality, with powers that can be of great benefit to you, if you can manage to make your shadow feel content and appreciated, just like the case with the Inner Chimp Paradox personality, explained in the blog post: BUILDING GREAT HABITS.

In ancient myths, the shadow was visualized as a dragon, the beast inside every human being, that will challenge your persona and ego, but also protect you agains dangers.

You need to master your inner dragon, and use it when absolutely necessary (when you need to defend yourself), even though it might be scary.


This exercise will help you to get a dialog started with your shadow. For this exercise, write down your answers, so you can remember, refine and track your progress integrating with your shadow.

Now, try having a dialog with your shadow, by answering these questions (with total honesty):

  • What are some aspects of myself that I try to hide or deny?
  • What triggers these aspects of myself to come to the surface?
  • What emotions or thoughts do I experience when I encounter my shadow traits?
  • How have these shadow traits affected my relationships or my life goals?
  • What beliefs or values do I hold that may be contributing to my shadow traits?
  • How can I acknowledge and integrate these shadow aspects of myself in a healthy way?
  • What messages or criticisms did I receive from others growing up that may have contributed to my shadow traits?
  • How do I feel when I see others exhibiting similar shadow traits to mine?
  • How do my shadow traits manifest in different areas of my life, such as work, relationships, or self-care?
  • What fears do I have about integrating my shadow traits into my conscious self?
  • What positive qualities or strengths might be hidden within my shadow?
  • How can I cultivate self-compassion and acceptance as I explore my shadow?
  • How do my shadow traits affect my behavior and decision-making?
  • What patterns or themes have I noticed in my shadow traits over time?
  • How do my shadow traits relate to my values and goals in life?
  • How have my relationships been impacted by my shadow traits?
  • How can I begin to express my shadow in a healthy and constructive way?
  • What insights or lessons can I learn from my shadow self?



“All those qualities, capacities and tendencies which do not harmonize with the collective values – everything that shuns the light of public opinion, in fact – now come together to form the shadow, that dark region of the personality which is unknown and unrecognized by the ego.

The endless series of shadow and doppelgänger figures in mythology, fairy tales and literature ranges from Cain and Edom, by way of Judas and Hagen, to Stevenson’s Mr. Hyde in the ugliest man of Nietzsche; again and again such figures have appeared and made their bow before human consciousness, but the psychological meaning of this archetype of the adversary has not yet dawned upon mankind.”

(Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, Erich Neumann)


“The persona is the mask we wear in relation to the world and others.

It is created through a combination of socialization, societal expectations, one’s experience of the world, and the natural attributes and tendencies of the individual. It combines elements of how we want to see ourselves, ideally, and how we want the world to see us, as well as how the world does see us and wants us to be.

Our persona defines our social identity; it is constructed in relation to the roles we play in our lives and in our world, how we want to look and be seen. It is the face we wear to be presentable and acceptable to our society. It is not necessarily who we really are, but who we want and pretend to be to others and, many times, to ourselves.”

(War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen)


“The enlargement of the light side of consciousness has the necessary consequence that the part of the psyche which is less light and less capable of consciousness is thrown into darkness to such an extent that sooner or later a rift occurs in the psychic system.

At first, this is not recognized as such and is therefore projected – i.e. it appears as a religious projection, in the form of a split between the powers of Light and Darkness.”

(The Symbolism of the Spirit, Carl Jung)


“The situation which is more common and more familiar to the average man is that in which the ego identifies itself with the ethical values.

The identification takes place by means of an identification of the ego with the persona. The ego confuses itself with the façade personality (which is of course in reality only that part of the personality that is tailored to fit the collective), and forgets that it possesses aspects which run counter to the persona.

This means that the ego has repressed the shadow side and lost touch with the dark contents, which are negative and for this reason split off from the conscious sector.”

(A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, Carl Jung)


“Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.”

(Carl Jung)


“Closer examination of the dark characteristics – that is, the inferiorities constituting the shadow – reveals that they have an emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an obsessive or, better, possessive quality.”

(Carl Jung)


“In these ways, the personal shadow reinforces, encourages, and becomes dependent upon the addictive behavior to express itself, to have any existence in the light outside of the closet, the attic, and the basement where it has been locked up and hidden for so long.

Often the addictive behavior allows the personal shadow the only opportunities to live and to be. The more cut off and unconscious we are of our personal shadows, the more vulnerable we are to having those shadows break out and be set free for a time by addictive behaviors.”

(War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen)


“This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine.”

(William Shakespeare)


“This confrontation is the first test of courage on the inner way, a test sufficient to frighten off most people, for the meeting with ourselves belongs to the more unpleasant things that can be avoided so long as we can project everything negative into the environment.

But if we are able to see our own shadow and can bear knowing about it, then a small part of the problem has already been solved: we have at least brought up the personal unconscious.

The shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized into harmlessness. This problem is exceedingly difficult, because it not only challenges the whole man, but reminds him at the same time of his helplessness and ineffectuality.”

(Carl Jung)


“…this integration [of the shadow] cannot take place and be put to a useful purpose unless one can admit the tendencies bound up with the shadow and allow them some measure of realization – tempered, of course, with the necessary criticism. This leads to disobedience and self disgust, but also to self- reliance, without which individuation is unthinkable.”

(A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity, Carl Jung)


“In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.

And yet both have to deal with the same dragon. Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if once he saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing.

Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the “treasure hard to attain”. He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself. This experience gives some faith and trust, the pistis in the ability of the self to sustain him, for everything that menaced him from inside he has made his own.

He has acquired the right to believe that he will be able to overcome all future threats by the same means. He has arrived at an inner certainty which makes him capable of self-reliance.”

(Carl Jung)

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