Carl Jung On The Shadow

“If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the “House of the Gathering.” Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.” – Carl Jung

What do you think of this quote? Can you tie astrology to it?

25 thoughts on “Carl Jung On The Shadow”

  1. I think it is a very powerful quote. Personally I struggle with this everyday. How can I provide care to someone I don’t like? I’m suppose to leave my prejudices at the door. Once you are aware of this it gets harder with age/experience.

    I don’t know about the astrology of the quote, but for me I think it is my pisces asc being inconj my neptune in libra in h8(equal)

    I have seen the dark side, it is ugly and it is in me.

  2. “he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the “House of the Gathering.”” Fantastic quote that tells a deep truth, and “House of the Gathering” is such a beautiful expression!

    “House of the gathering” makes me think of the virgo-pisces axis, where a man makes an effort to withdraw his shadow in everyday life and in doing so “he has done something real for the world”.

  3. I am totally mystified by what Jung is saying. It’s either over my head or off my radar. Could be a generational gap thing. Feel free to educate me, if anyone is so inclined.

  4. norah to me it means if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

    Can you think of just one thing either in your life or in this world that you consider a problem, are you part of the solution? If you are not then what is the problem within you?

    I know it is really pretty deep isn’t it?

  5. He speaks about a true Saint. When the Sun has become the whole zodiac with all planets at the center. I have never met a Saint, so I can only guess what that would be like. Illumination and Oneness. I do not know about the shadow thing. If you have overcome duality, where does that put light and dark?

  6. I picture a natal chart with Jupiter in Pisces in the 12th House, opposite a Leo Sun in the 6th House and the quest to go beyond the ego in the day to day. Our growth is uncomfortable to say the least; but once you’re capable of seeing people without projections, what’s next? Saturn’s fear, responsibility and eventually maturity.

    I think many of us hover at the door of the “House of the Gathering”.

  7. I met with a Jungian therapist for a few years who used this idea as the basis for our work together– tough love in a most seasoned and enlightened way. You may know that Dr. Jung constantly struggled with his own individuation, so his quotes are more than just quotes.

  8. @daisy..what you have explained above makes total sense to me, as I am Cardinal in both sun and rising signs, with a Pisces moon. That makes me by nature a can-do person, with empathy. But taken to extremes, the way I did…well, Saturn in Libra had to totally realign and balance out my boundaries. I no longer will sacrifice my wants and needs for others. It’s best illustrated for me by the admonition on the airlines. “Put on your own oxygen mask first, before you try to help another put on theirs.” Doing it any other way, and you both may die!

    @Blueststar….my chart ruler is Saturn and your words I also understand. Fear ruled my life for so many years. The root of my fear started earlyt…I feared my sadistic narcissistic father until the day he died. But taking responsibility for my own welfare and happiness… it has finally happened…and I fear no more. You both have increased my understanding of Jung’s point. Thank you.

  9. @BluestStar You’ve almost described Pres. Obama except he has Jupiter in Aquarius in the 12th, which highlights accepting and rejecting the shadow of humanity even more.

  10. I try to do this. I focus on myself. I am acutely aware of dark energy in myself and society as a whole. Sun conjunct Pluto. I am capable of great evil and great kindness, just like everyone else.

    I do believe we are all connected to eachother and connected to something larger than all of us. There is great power and understanding to be had in self reflection. Understanding ourselves is the first step to understanding the world.

    This quote is all about releasing the ego.

  11. I live there, but sometimes, I have to step outside of ‘the house’ to get some air; as it’s thick and stagnant. Liberation is the back door of the ‘house of the gathering’, so being able to continue breathing long enough to push your way to it and out of it; becomes the imperative.

    Handling humanity’s shadow, has always been a rough go for me. I am forever mystified by its capacity to harm and maim through violence; and feel certain that my liberation will bring me no closer to an answer.

  12. sounds like water and the collective unconscious. I’ve got Pisces Sun and 12th house moon, and Neptune in the 8th…know where that goes…to a world in holographic solitary confinement where people get to project on each other.

    But there is still a part of me that disagrees on some level, after all these years – it’s a pretty huge shadow to keep thinking that what is seen can be understood by everyone on some level. The older I get, the more I feel some people contain and do this work for others.

    And yes, I am aware this is “arrogant” to speak of Jung in this manner, and yes, I’m aware it’s my Sag big mouth, but I do think there is physical reality beyond perception that we all live – yes, it’s due Taurus and Cap. As an internal exercise, it’s great.

  13. What a great array of responses! Thank you.
    Someone posed this question to me and I had a different view. I did not think about it very deeply. Perhaps I don’t understand the quote.

  14. This sounds to me like the highest Aries vibration there is–brave, open to acknowledge difficulty and shortcomings, willingness to move forward with a solution-oriented approach.

  15. The difference between projection and perception can be very thin. We can’t live without perception, but inevitably some degree of projection creeps in, so I don’t think it is possible to withdraw all projection and survive, but we need to be aware of Buddha’s statement that much of our perception is mis-perception.

  16. It’s a heavy burden when you reach that stage of awareness, and very tricky to resolve.

    I don’t know if I would tie astrology to as much as the age of one’s soul.

  17. I agree with what he’s saying. It almost sounds religious in his statement – 9th house stuff.

    I have Jupiter there, in its natural home.

  18. I agree with Gemini 7! A certain amount of perception or objective judgement is necessary, but it can blur in with one’s own projections, which are constantly interrupting our perceptions/judgement. The thing is if you know it’s probably projection then you can at least own it and work with it.

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