The 19th cent. West was increasingly intrigued by the notion of what had come to be called “the double”: stories with names like Frankenstein and The Secret Sharer, and many more began to appear. In occult circles, this figure was named, “The Dweller on the Threshold”. This threshold was considered to be the entrance to “the other world” by some.
At this same time, as the new field of psychology was being born, Carl Jung, William James and others realized that much natural phenomena that had hitherto been labeled esoteric and occult was actually or also psychological, most famously, “mediumship”. The “royal road” in this new field was found by the new psychoanalysts in dreams. Jung researched approximately 1400 dreams of his patients and those of his students each year and found there were recurring structures with consistent aspects, who appeared as the “persons” of the psyche in dreams.
In his researches in psyche, he began to see a topology, much as Freud had discovered ego, super-ego, and id. Jung found persona-ego-shadow-anima/animus-and Self. These often appeared often as objects or persons in dreams, and were often projected on to people and situations in the outer world.
Shadow is everywhere, yet, as we see in the model it often is buried in our studies, given less attention than it deserves, its importance and its archetypal depth overlooked.
Shadow’s location in the Jungian model will be explored until we reach the depths where we find its connection to the Self.
Note to readers: this introduction will be expanded upon in my 5 week course at the C.G.Jung Foundation to be held at the Jung Center, 28 E. 39thSt. in New York City.
(Please see the Foundations website for details on how to sign up)
Dates – 5 Monday evenings at 6 pm beginning October 1.