Most of us are familiar with the “Shadow” in our dreams – the character who has no redeeming features, who does evil, who threatens us, chases us, and even harms us. Ironically the Shadow holds what we most need since it is the container for every thing we dislike about ourselves and wish to disown. It is unconscious material and the Shadow always carries with it the very thing that is lacking from consciousness, the very thing that has been missing and is required for further growth and development.
What is less well known is the dynamic of the “Bright Shadow.” Bright Shadow like Dark Shadow is unconsciously projected, both individually and collectively, but Bright Shadow is composed of all the gifts, talents, genius, and extraordinary abilities that lie within the authentic and whole self, but which, (like the dark shadow elements), are so much easier to see in others than to see, recognize consciously, and take mature responsibility for expressing as parts of my own being.
It’s seductively easy to think we are the sum of our conscious, waking life desires. It is hard, as Jung said “making the darkness conscious…it is disagreeable and therefore not popular.” I would add that becoming aware of the “Bright Shadow” can be just as unpopular. We may find demons in our dreams, but we are just as likely to find the Trickster and the Willing Sacrifice, and that can be unsettling.