Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shadows of the Objects

In the morning the light is quite warm and today for a few minutes it picked out this interesting shadow on the wall. I dug out the camera and tried a low shutter speed shot. Not only Jungians talk about the shadow. Indeed, Christopher Bollas published an interesting book entitled The shadow of the object. Many analysts, including Freud, recognised this aspect of the self. The ego, the centre of the self, finds it difficult to either recognise or integrate certain parts of the unconscious. We would rather reject or disown these parts and throw them outwards onto others in a process known as projection. Yet that does allow for recognition. We can learn to become aware of those unconscious parts of the self thrown outwards. But like the shadow on the wall, our own shadow may be beguiling and illusory since, being a projection, it has little in the way of concrete substance. The shadow in the photograph cannot be physically grasped. Nonetheless, even lacking a direct reality the projection's consequences can be very real indeed. If you project unwanted bits of yourself onto others and allow that to determine how you act towards them, what does one say about one's self?