February | LOST TWIN
DISCERNMENT IN THE DARK
By Tricia Stewart Shiu
“Introverted” – Marc Poppcke
“That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.” -Carl Jung
We all have a dark side, that’s how we can recognize the light. Some of us are just better at acknowledging those parts that occasionally (or maybe more frequently) rear up. After all, it’s much easier to handle what we acknowledge. But what if there were more to your “other” self than just darkness? What if you traveled to the “dark side” and stood, objectively at a distance to witness?
Carl Jung called it the “shadow self” and defined this nebulous area as, “the unknown dark side of the personality.”
ARTISTIC ALLEGORY | LE MOT JUSTE
“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole,” said Jung, “less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it.”
This doesn’t mean you are doomed to wander the earth as a shadowy mess.
His recommendation, which was unorthodox for his time, was to do “shadow work.” This work has, now, been woven into many personal psychological and spiritual practices, as a way to heal trauma and pain.
One way Jung suggest that anyone can access the shadow self, is by non-dominant hand writing. Just sit with a writing utensil in your opposing hand and write down whatever thoughts or feelings arise in the moment. Journaling, meditating and writing a letter to your “self,” are also ways to connect with and identify your shadow self.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,” said Jung, “but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”
Uncovering buried memories or not-so-pleasant parts of yourself isn’t for the faint of heart. The work can be truly rewarding and life-altering.
Jude Paler says, “Repressing or suppressing one’s shadow can result in addictions, low self-esteem, mental illness, chronic illnesses, and various neuroses.“ in “Shadow work: 8 steps to heal the wounded self.”
According to, “Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Hidden Power of Our Dark Side” in the “Academy of Ideas, ‘What is especially interesting is the idea that the shadow contains not just destructive aspects of the personality, but also potent, creative, and powerful capabilities. During our development, certain traits and impulses were condemned by our family, peers, and educators, not out of care but out of envy, fear, ignorance or jealousy. Our proclivity to abide by social expectations also caused us to repress talents, innate abilities, and impulses which if cultivated and developed had the potential to make us more effective beings in the world.’”
But, what if that separate part of yourself, the “shadow” or “twin” had its very own universe? What if your twin was living a parallel life—as a mirror to yourself, and all you had to do to access this new “universe” was to think or write about your shadow?
Perhaps, Jung’s shadow work offers us the chance to visit a place within ourselves that is, actually, an entirely new frontier?
Think of a time when you were deep in creative thought. As you fish for ideas or even threads of ideas, one may catch hold. You follow that thread to a logical conclusion and before you know it, you have identified a parallel existence.
But…but, you say…I did not physically go to the locations, speak with the people or act upon whatever events arose while on my imaginary journey.
The simple answer is: How do you know you didn’t?
Even if you don’t belief your own experience, science can it back up. In “Carl Gustav Jung, Quantum Physics and the Spiritual Mind: A Mystical Vision of the Twenty-First Century,” Carl Gustav Jung’s revolutionary views of the human mind are in perfect agreement with the discoveries of Quantum Physics, which, during the last century, also came as a shock, because they revealed the fundamental errors of Classical Physics and led to a radical change in the Western view of the world. Thoughts on quantum phenomena now force us to think that the basis of the material world is non-material, and that there is a realm of the world that we can’t see, because it doesn’t consist of material things, but of non-material forms.
So, the next time you find yourself judging or reacting negatively to a person or circumstance, remember your twin and imagine how they would feel. The difference could be very enlightening.