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4 Carl Jung Theories Explained: Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus, The Self

The Shadow

The 'shadow self' is everything a person has denied in themselves, such as spontaneity, aggression, cowardice, carelessness, passion, enthusiasm. It embraces all the thoughts and moods for which we feel guilt and shame.

The shadow is emotional, for it must oppose the rigidness of the ego. It is prone to psychological projection, where we attribute to others the inferior qualities we do not want to admit are in ourselves. When we perceive a moral deficiency in others, we can be sure there is similar inferiority within ourselves. If we take note of our resentment towards ourselves and others, we have the opportunity to bring the shadow into consciousness.

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4 Carl Jung Theories Explained: Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus, The Self

4 Carl Jung Theories Explained: Persona, Shadow, Anima/Animus, The Self

https://medium.com/personal-growth/4-carl-jung-theories-explained-persona-shadow-anima-animus-the-self-4ab6df8f7971

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Key Ideas

The Persona

In a public situation, we present a different version of ourselves than from the one at home. Every profession has unspoken agreements about which manners are acceptable, and which are not.

It is then the purpose of the persona to suppress the impulses and emotions that are not considered socially acceptable. The difficulty is when one becomes so identified with his persona that he loses all sense of self. The result is an inflated persona with excessive concern for what people think and a lack of courage to endure conflict and refuse others' wishes.

The Shadow

The 'shadow self' is everything a person has denied in themselves, such as spontaneity, aggression, cowardice, carelessness, passion, enthusiasm. It embraces all the thoughts and moods for which we feel guilt and shame.

The shadow is emotional, for it must oppose the rigidness of the ego. It is prone to psychological projection, where we attribute to others the inferior qualities we do not want to admit are in ourselves. When we perceive a moral deficiency in others, we can be sure there is similar inferiority within ourselves. If we take note of our resentment towards ourselves and others, we have the opportunity to bring the shadow into consciousness.

Anima/Animus

  • Jung believed that inside the shadow are the qualities of our opposite gender. The anima expresses the feminine qualities within a man, and the animus indicates the masculine qualities within women.
  • Jung presented the concepts of the anima and animus as the archetypes of Eros and Logos. Eros (the female) is identified with receptivity, creativity, relationships, and wholeness. Logos (the male) is associated with power, thought, and action.
  • The archetypes of the anima/animus have their own autonomy, and are independent from our conscious mind.

Carl Jung's Archetypes

In the psychology of Carl Jung, the archetypes represent universal patterns and images that are part of the collective unconscious.
The four main archetypes described by Jung are:

  • The Persona
  • The Shadow
  • The Anima/Animus
  • The Self.

The Self

The self is the sum of everything we are now, everything we once were, and everything we could potentially become.

The archetype of the self is the start of our impulse toward self-realization. Carl Jung believed the end purpose of human life is to experience this coming together of the whole.

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