What is the Shadow?

What is the Shadow?


   A psychological poem from Wall Street Revolution and Other Poems by Dr. Charles Zeiders available at Fisher King Press https://fisherkingpress.com/n/product/wall-street-revolution


By not being aware of having a shadow, you declare a part of your personality to be non-existent.

From Carl Jung, Dream Analysis: Notes on a Seminar Given in 1928-1930




The Repressed

The Projected

The Antithesis of the Persona

The frustrating thing that keeps happening to you for which you are not responsible

The unofficial version

The version on the cutting room floor

The document buried by the minority Bishop at Nag Hammadi

The part in the desert

The heresies of identity

The skull on Jerome’s desk

The skull in the icebox


A neighborhood of your soul which you never visit


The star you decided not be

The little thing you never face

The big thing you did but don’t discuss

Face #2

The part that would emerge if you stopped eating so much

The part that you are not when you are intoxicated

The person you cut when you hide in the bathroom

The cake you shouldn’t eat

The film you never watch

The cause you oppose

The thing you are when you say “I shouldn’t do this”

The Paradoxical emotion you’re putting off

The ugly, beautiful necessary thing that completes you.


The Shadow is the Opposition Party, all other citizens, legal and illegal aliens, and people eating in tombs and burned cities, and islands you dare not call populated. And the gardens and verdant history that never stop existing and the elves in mineshafts and their perception of star light and darkness and their strange unpatented technology…


To the Yang,

The Shadow is Yin

If Prodigal, Dutiful

If Dirty, Clean

To the Player, the Worker

To the Promiscuous, the Prude

To Saint Martyr, Party Creature

To the Abhorrer, the Object of their Abhorrence.


The Shadow is the other guy and especially the one in you. And more.


(But to the Lover of Hosts, there is no Shadow. His celebration is bright with drunkenness lit sober.  His dancers tilt gracefully as his special needs son celebrates, and cerebrates, with the Harvard brother before an orchestra playing the anthems of all known and unknown political parties. His oriental rugs smell like pig farms and perfume and are cleaned and made dirty again by the feet of the dancers. But the Host never minds. He is always delighted. The Host is generous to Jerk, Jockey, Narcissist, and Neophyte. He pours amazing drinks and eases tense shoulders with a touch and dances with his daughters. He talks with everyone and loves their point of view. His guests never feel diminished–even if they require wheel chairs or only ride horses or can’t dance well. Even if they only know how to be right, they have a good time.


One time the Host said, “There is an Art to Science and a Science to Art. And there is never perfect balance, because everything is growing.” And everyone cheered “Bravo, Host! Bravo! Let us live happily despite ambiguity!” And the party continued.)


Anyway, if you want a formula,

The Shadow is measured by the total population of those living in your psychological tundra,

Plus the secret agents you pay to act unconstitutionally on behalf of your Persona.