- 6 Strategies for Integrating the Shadow | HuffPost Life
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- Repression of the Shadow Self
We are all born pure, like blank canvases. But at some point during our childhood development, we learn knowledge that teaches us to separate things into good and evil. The moment we eat from this tree of knowledge, our shadows are born and we begin to divide ourselves. As Jung said:.
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What we call civilized consciousness has steadily separated itself from the basic instincts. But these instincts have not disappeared. They have merely lost their contact with our consciousness and are thus forced to assert themselves in an indirect fashion. This may be by means of physical symptoms in the case of a neurosis, or by means of incidents of various kinds, or by unaccountable moods, unexpected forgetfulness, or mistakes in speech… modern man protects himself against seeing his own split state by a system of compartments.
Certain areas of outer life and of his own behavior are kept, as it were, in separate drawers and are never confronted with one another.
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And so we continue on accumulating these dark desires, motivations and fears. This can be dangerous. This can lead to physical, emotional, psychological and interpersonal consequences that can last for a very long time. We are born whole and complete, but slowly we learn to live fractioned lives, accepting some parts of our nature but rejecting and ignoring other parts. A holiday to a different part of the world will show you how arbitrary some of these divisions are. These are just a few examples. Basically, the repression of our negative traits or emotions in society is one of the biggest barriers in any persons journey towards self-love and living authentically.
Yet by doing so, we ignore the entirety of what it is to be human! In fact, many of the spiritual and new age teachings out there provide an escape for those who do not want to be responsible for the entirety of themselves and their lives. Interestingly, many seekers of spiritual growth think that somehow all of the negative qualities within themselves will eventually be transcended.
Yet from my own experience, embracing your inner darkness allows for the creation of a psychological and spiritual balance, an integrated whole — whereas denying it creates chaos and disharmony. To integrate an inner quality is to take ownership and responsibility for it, rather than rejecting or denying it.
The benefits are many; sanity, healing, and wholeness are all found in integration. Throughout history, the left has always been associated with dark, radical or sinister elements. Also, in Muslim, Chinese, Judeo-Christian and even Hindu religions the left hand is associated with being the unclean one, which is most likely why some of these cultures use it to wipe their … behinds!
6 Strategies for Integrating the Shadow | HuffPost Life
The left-handed path, however, is associated with parts within us that are typically fought against, rejected, denied, feared, and thus it becomes our biggest inner hindrance, but at the same time, the key to our liberation. The truth is that we have both hands, not just one, and we must learn to use them in a balanced way if we seek to live a balanced life.
Just like in the Yin and Yang, when you reach a deep balance, suddenly the dichotomy of right and left will disappear. Personally, I like to think that first there was darkness. Unlike light, darkness is infinite. Under every rock, you will find darkness, but light and darkness need each other to come into existence. Unless you learn to first embrace that darkness within yourself, you can never pursue the light of self-love in a balanced way. Unless the foundation of your home is solid and stable, no matter how beautifully you decorate and work on the house itself, sooner or later your house will collapse and crumble down.
Many religions symbolize these experiences well. When I write about embracing or integrating your shadow self, I do not mean to indulge in any desire that arises within you. Indulging your anger, for instance, will simply result in more anger. Accepting your darkness will allow you to take responsibility for yourself, and once you truly acknowledge one of these dark traits instead of avoiding them, suddenly, they will stop having control over you.
By being honest with ourselves and accepting our shadow elements, it frees us up to truly witness the uncharted areas of our minds, allowing us to see that we are not these elements, but simply possess thoughts, feelings and drives that come and go. To completely experience self-love we must learn to experience our Shadow Selves, and voyage into the dark, murky waters of the unknown courageously. A whole and balanced self is a reconciliation of all parts, an inner unification. This is the entire opposite of many self-denying traditional spiritual methods of subduing, denying, or ascetically disciplining the self.
To live differently, as is the aim and motivation of LonerWolf, is to be authentic. And in order to be authentic we have to embrace our inner selves — that which is culturally uncommon or bizarre. In semiotics a sign whose form resembles its referent is called an icon , or an iconic sign. In analyzing the stylistic, dramatic, and symbolic function of cast shadows in artistic representations the iconic dimension is important, because shadows are not only physical extensions of their objects, but they can also resemble them in varying degrees.
For example, when the light falls on an object from an angle of forty-five degrees it produces on even ground an accurate dark silhouette of that object.
A Definitive Guide to Shadow Work: How to Contact, Get to Know, and Integrate Your Dark Side
When falling from other angles light creates shadows that distort the shape of the object: a low-angle light, such as produced by the sun at dawn or sunset, casts shadows that are grotesquely elongated Fig. Regardless of the degree of distortion, as long as the shadow silhouette resembles an outline of the object and thereby defines its character to some degree, we are talking about the iconic quality of the shadow. In Friedrich W. But the iconicity of indexes such as natural shadows is of course not of the same kind as the iconicity of figurative arts.
Insofar as an index resembles its object in a perceptual mostly visual sense, it can be called an iconic index. The reliance on an indexical, physical extension of the represented object makes the shadow theater, an image created by the camera obscura, a photograph or a film clip so much more efficacious in reflecting the outside world, and consequently so much more powerful in their emotive effect on viewers than purely iconic media, with their imagined rather than real connection with the world.
The iconic indexicality of a shadow or a photograph means that the images created by these media not only resemble their objects with a resemblance often much higher than in most realistic painting , but that they are also physically consubstantial with the objects they represent in a way never attained by painting.
German cinema from the Weimar period — , especially in the films inspired for their horror plots by Gothic fiction and indebted for their visual style to contemporary Expressionist art, offers classic examples of cinematic appropriation of older indexical-iconic media such as cast shadows. It is interesting for example to see that in the artistically ground-breaking The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari dir. After Dr. Friedrich W.
What Are Shadow People? These Supernatural Entities Are Scarier Than Any Horror Movie
Towards the end of the Weimar period folk supernaturalism and the occult return to the screen in Carl Th. Intentional shadows, suggestive darkness, atmospheric or symbolic chiaroscuro lighting as part of the visual semiotics of film continue to be employed in Weimar cinema from mids onward in the urban dramas conceived in a more realistic style of the New Objectivity. Typically in the German urban films of the late s light tends to be associated with modernity, wealth and success, and darkness with backwardness, poverty and failure.
As in the Hollywood film noir decades later, in Weimar cinema the symbolic cast shadow always remains an esthetic choice as part of the Expressionist repertoire of visual tricks to provoke symbolic meanings, create poetic mood and heighten emotion. Back in in Friedrich W. Detailed and erudite, the author traces the use of the shadow as communication back to the ancient Greeks, through Caravaggio and Rembrandt, to Berlin in the s.
Always careful to contextualize, Sadowski interweaves a discussion of key historical events and artistic movements with intricate textual analysis. Thoughtfully argued and beautifully illustrated, this is an important contribution to semiotics as a discipline and to the history of film as art. What makes shadows solid? How do artists manipulate them? It combines insightful aesthetic analysis and nuanced discussion of the socio-cultural background of Weimar Germany. After reading the book it is impossible to see cinematic light and shadows in the same way again, not only in viewing the movies of the Weimar period, but those which follow to the present day.
Piotr Sadowski www. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Home Uncategorized In the kingdom of shadows: the semiotics of cinema By Piotr Sadowski When we are watching a film everything we see consists technically of shadows—insubstantial, fleeting photographic representations of life projected as light effects on a flat rectangular surface of the screen. The healing power of St. Painting by Masaccio The shadow of Dr. Caligari Dupont A self-shadow in Citizen Kane, dir. Orson Welles Melancholy and mystery of a street, painting by Giorgio de Chirico Long-angle light produces a grotesquely elongated shadow.
Repression of the Shadow Self
The shadow of a vampire in Nosferatu, dir. Murnau A man drawing a shadow silhouette of a seated woman. Etching by J. Schellenberg The shadow of a murderer in The Cabinet of Dr.
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Caligari, dir. Robert Wiene Paul Wegener Arthur Robison