By acknowledging that we have certain shadows buried deep within us, we are
able to prevent such involuntary choices. Because we are already aware of our
tendencies, our shadows are brought to light, allowing us to deal with them accordingly.
At some point, engaging in the whole healing and understanding of oneself
requires us to come face-to-face with our shadows. In order to fully reconcile our
conscious self with the unconscious one, we need to constantly do this process of
unraveling our shadows.
Meaning, in order to comprehensively understand our dynamic self, this process of
pointing out our shadows is something that we must constantly do. Like a black king
that must be kept in check, the only way to deal with your shadows is to realize that
you'll never be able to fully run away from it.
Thus, whether it is some form of negative trait or addiction, facing it is the only
way to go. By recognizing that you need help or therapy through shadow work, it
becomes far easier for you to be healed.
The Jungian concept of Collective Unconscious
With our basic understanding of the shadow and the personal unconscious, we
move further in understanding the deepest part of our unconscious. Although it would
be quite impossible to fully comprehend the collective unconscious, having a grasp of it
is more than enough for us to understand its meaning.
In this case, the collective unconscious serves as the transcultural basis of symbols
that emerges from our psyche. With certain elements that go beyond the bounds of
rational understanding, it is the ultimate space where we can gain access to
transcendental and mystical meanings and symbols.
However, such symbols can be quite useless to us. Since its usually beyond our
capacity to interpret them, they barely contribute anything in this search for healing and
Instead, we should shift our focus to the concept of the archetypes. As a set of
universal responses and roles, the archetypes act as a blueprint to our personality.
Transcending the idea of the shadow, the archetype is even far deeper in its influence
of who we are.
As such, Jung points out a couple of primordial archetypes such as the Great
Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Self, the Anima/Animus, and even the Shadow
archetype. In general, these universal images and symbols that are transculturally
shared show how archetypes can be shared across various spaces in the world.
More importantly, this concept of archetypes has been furthered by Jung.
Claiming that the archetypes are never limited and will always evolve, the emergence of
the 12 archetypes characterizes such evolution.