About This Course

The Shadow is conceivably the most important concept that Jung’s psychology offers in our time. In a recent anthology, Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature, over 65 authors pivot off of Jung’s term and make use of it in provocative and relevant ways. This lecture will explore Jung’s original concept of the Shadow and will highlight its importance for individuals and the collective.

Shadow work is not for the faint of heart. Yet, Jungians often make reference to the GOLD in the shadow. What can this mean? We invite you to delve deeply along with us into this topic. 

Shadow as Double or Dark Twin

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are an oft-pointed to pair of classic literary/cinematic doubles used to illustrate the concept of the Shadow. Angelo Spoto describes the Shadow as: "the archetypal image coined by Jung to represent everything which the ego has no wish or desire to be. Most commonly, the shadow is taken to be the 'dark' side of the personality and so hidden or excluded from the 'light' of consciousness."

All Living Things Cast a Shadow

We frequently run away from becoming conscious of aspects of ourselves that we disdain, understandably so, but Shadow work gives the personality greater depth and dimension. Self-knowledge, including knowledge of one's Shadow is the painful pre-requisite of psychological maturity as well as any potential movement toward wholeness.

Enmity and Scapegoating

Shadow projection onto others, including scapegoating, vilifying, and demonizing one's neighbor, fellow human being, race, or foreign culture is the source of all violence in the world.

Why Identify and Own Your Shadow?

The commitment to understanding and acknowledging our Shadow, individually and collectively, is a social issue. The need to project what we refuse to see in ourselves is a defense mechanism that the ego uses to trick us into a myopic world view that designates heroes and enemies…i.e. us vs. them, you vs. me, unequivocal right vs. unequivocal wrong. This perpetuates further division and conflict between individuals, groups, and, even more tragically, within our own selves. There is then a bad side and a good side. Dark and light. Good and evil. Spirit and matter. Eternally separate. While this may soothe us and temporarily shield us from the chaotic contents that we encounter in the inner and outer worlds, it can keep us childlike, and worse childish in the face of painful wounds which need tending with a much higher level of psychological awareness. It takes courage to look into the shadow. And yet there is no more powerful way to bring light to our close relationships, broader community, and the planet. 

Library Members are Eligible for Discounts on Teachable Courses 

To learn more or sign up for membership, visit jungtampa.org.

Angelo Spoto, Course Instructor

Angelo Spoto, M.A., LMHC is a licensed mental health counselor with a Master’s degree in Analytical Psychology. He is co-founder of the C.G. Jung Library of Tampa Bay and author of Jung’s Typology in Perspective (Chiron Publications).