Jung on the Shadow: Let there be light

The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. “And God said, ‘Let there be light”‘ is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.

“The Psychology of the Child Archetype” (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.284

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3 Responses to Jung on the Shadow: Let there be light

  1. I might be completely wrong here, but I have a problem with the idea of the hero ‘overcoming’…..and wonder if I am interpreting it differently because I am female and Jung is male and the heroine’s journey is different. It seems to me that as long as any or either aspect dominates the schism is perpetuated – perhaps rather an integration is what is needed, accepting both equally.

  2. It may be that at some earlier adolescent/young adult stage that “overcoming” is a necessary heroic deed to separate one’s self from Mother and the regressive pull of the Unconscious. I think later tasks have much less to do with overcoming and more with integration and acceptance. This probably applies to both genders, but it sure would be nice to see more articles and comments about the differences between the masculine and the feminine journey. — Thanks Michelle — Steve

  3. It’s on my list of ‘blogs to do’……
    Yes, that explains it. But I think the process of individuating from the mother is different for women also because we ARE women. There might be a rejection of which type of woman, but somehow, to function as a female, a woman has to reconcile that. It is easier for men because they can just substitute a different woman – wife for mother. When you have to redesign the model so that it fits yourself, maybe it is different.

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