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Persona and Shadow - part 2

The Persona is a complex system of relations between individual consciousness and society, a mask designed, on one hand, to make a definite impression upon others and, on the other hand, to conceal the true nature of the individual. It is all the roles we should have on our personal or professional life.


The Persona is an adaptation of the life in society, and at the same time, the way we perceive ourselves.


A well constructed and flexible Persona is necessary for a healthy life, we need to adapt to different roles, we need to have different personas and to be able to interchange different roles in life. However, when we identify ourselves with the Persona, it leads automatically to an unconscious identity with the anima because, when the ego is not distinguished from the persona, it can have no conscious relation to the unconscious process. At this point, the anima will carry the aspects of the shadow and will be inevitably projected upon a real object.

The Shadow represents the unknown or little-known attributes and qualities of the ego, aspects that mostly belong to the personal sphere and that could just as well be conscious. The shadow is a living part of the personality and therefore wants to live with it in some form. It cannot be argued out of existence or rationalized with safety. In some aspects, the shadow consists of collective factors that roots from a source outside the individual's personal life.


The Shadow can be normal or pathological. The normal Shadow consists in the unconscious aspects of the personality, that when becomes conscious will be integrated by the personality without conflict or suffering. The pathological Shadow have aspects that will encounter resistances to become conscious, these aspects will be protected by defenses, projections or denials, it means that a complex was constellated and an emotional response is expected, the feeling-tone indicates that a complex was constellated.


The Shadow manifests through the inferior function and is projected onto others.


Solange Bertolotto Schneider

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Medusa looking at the mirror
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