I recently saw a quote by Karl Jung: "to confront a person with his own shadow is to show him in his own light".
There is an area of mind, we all have it, which could be called our shadow aspect, our shadow side. The idea of shadow is that a shadow is joined to us, follows us, is part of us....but, is not actually us. It pretty much is revealed according to the sun, where we physically are in relation to it, how much sun there is. And, according to the angle of the sun, it can be short, long, dark, lighter, & it moves as we physically move. So we could perhaps think that it's like a sun-ny, lovely part of us. But, no.
Our shadow side is part of us. And it's hidden, deep within. Looking like everything does during the evening, in natural light of night...or natural darkness. And truly....everything is in shadow. Most people in a lifetime will not realise, come to know it, on the deeper spiritual levels..
So what is it? Well, all spiritual seekers would find it helpful to know that it is an area of mind that we all have. Some people call it the astral area of mind, but in yoga the astral aspect is actually to do with one of our bodies, where the chakras proper are housed. This astral body has an 'awakening' as we progress through the spiritual realms: this is a profound & fortuitous spiritual happening.
I feel that our shadow side is to do with the 2 lower chakras: base/root = mooladhara; lower spine/sacral = swadisthana. As we stimulate these 2 chakras......& at the same time we are stimulating the unawakened spiritual spine (sushumna), we come to the place of shadow within us. I feel this way because that was my experience, &, if that's where it was in me....that's where it'll be in you. In so many ways, we are not so different from one another. And, as these 2 chakras are housed in the illustrious 'astral body' (vigyanamaya kosha)....the maybe we could actually say our shadow side is in the astral body. But, I don't think so: our astral body is the body of symbols, which our shadow side is not. Well, not completely.
It's an area of mind where we are a bit lost. We can't find our way home. And where is home? Home is our true Inner Light ( as opposed to true inner shadows). Our true Inner Light is obscured by the darkness, the inner darkness & shadows which we all have, the darker, more so-called negative aspects of our personality, which are not of our Inner Light.
As amazing & progressive as Jung was, he really only came to a certain part of the Inner Psyche. A profound part, to be sure. But, there is more, far more, that he didn't know about. For example, if one's own illumined inner light is way past the area of shadows.....then the shadow aspect cannot be where we find our own light.
Perhaps Jung is suggesting that our inner light is revealed through our shadow, hidden, darker side. It could be that he is saying: face your shadow, go past it, to your own majestic higher nature.
But I am wondering if there is a more negative slant to what Jung was saying: is he thinking that those dark aspects are who we really are?
We all have darker aspects...this is part of the human experience. Some seem to have more than others'. Managing these aspects & going past them is an important part of what yoga is about.