The Golden Shadow | INFJ Forum

The Golden Shadow

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Asa, Nov 20, 2021.

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  1. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    Jung described the Golden Shadow as our submerged creative potential. It is our hidden greatness. The qualities we admire in others, our idols and heroes, often represent aspects of our golden shadow. The people we admire, celebrities who cameo in our dreams, our mentors, and our dreams and goals for our lives all link to the golden shadow. Healing, personal development, positive growth, and strength are all linked to the golden shadow, too.




    So, let's talk about our golden shadows, who and what we would like to be, who we admire, and the steps we take, or can take, to develop this positive shadow and become who we really want to be.
     
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  2. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    I don't have heroes or idols. There are numerous artists, authors, musicians, scientists, and humanitarians I admire but I've never had one or even a few I put on a pedestal as people I'd like to emulate. I don't even have a favorite painting. Yes, there are many paintings I adore. Too many to have a favorite. My method is to cherry-pick aspects of others I adore and try to live up to those qualities within others, or try to capture the energy and skill of a specific piece of art or novel.

    Some members here have heroes or idols they wish to emulate and I'm curious about this focused golden shadow quality. I also want to encourage forum members to strive for personal goals.

    Please feel included in this conversation if you desire a political or public service career, or want to reach traditional career goals, too. It isn't just for creative people.

    If you are retired, please feel free to discuss aspects of your golden shadow you still want to reach, and that you did reach.

    Who and what do you want to be? How are you achieving it? What is holding you back?
     
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  3. Ginny

    Ginny AWOL

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    Either there are too many people I want to be, with too many things to acheive, or none at all, without any goal.

    I used to admire lots and lots of fictional characters as a child, from tv, books and movies alike. The only time I tried to acheive something of myself, I was writing. But I have no stories to tell and my skills are, ...well, you know my writing.

    The things I admire nowadays are a mere matter of growth. It's utterly removed from the world, as am I.

    My life outside of family consists only of projects and obtaining the means to get them going. Rarely do I finish any one of them.
     
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  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I have people I admire and characters I admire, but I didn't think I try to be like them. Or maybe I do and I just haven't given it too much thought.

    I guess when I think of my higher self, I want to identify with an archetype of warrior magician or something like that. Maybe those two or a combination guide me in a way. It's almost pathologically important for me to make every undertaking into a quest lol. I can't help it. The magician envisions transformation-- to do what seems impossible or at least very challenging. The warrior pushes to fight for what I want and to accomplish goals. The magician channels the aggression into something constructive to move forward. I just started a new job in a new field, very minimal experience just emphasized on transferrable skills. I have no idea how I pulled that off but it must have been some magician type shit lol. And I don't mean that I was not honest. I just spoke about how my career up to this point had prepared me for certain things. It's not an easy position and there's a lot to learn but I'm up for the challenge, actually excited about it-- excited to use my willpower to fight to prove myself and gain mastery.

    My first day I found myself thinking, "I am too stupid for this job oh my god everyone must see that already!" (In reality, EVERYONE has been great and helpful and welcoming.) Finally I got to a point where I had to tell myself it was part of the quest to gaining proficiency and then mastery. That you always start somewhere.
     
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  5. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    Why aren't you finishing your projects? What is holding you back?
    I have this hurdle with some projects. I've found that if I do some side projects with simple end goals and complete them it helps me feel more successful and working toward completion on bigger goals is easier. I'm not sure if that will work for you because everyone is different.

    I don't know how your writing is. I read your casual entries on the forum which isn't the same. Do you still have a dream or goal of writing?


    This is relatable. I see qualities in many people I want to emulate. Often, nobody seems relatable as an icon or hero. At points in my life, I've thought this was because so few older women were achieving goals I was interested in. It causes me to wonder how people find role models when there are so few they can identify with (whoever they are, for whatever reason)?

    Ginny said similar, and I also feel similarly. I wonder why this is. Why wouldn't you (or I, or @Ginny) try to achieve what we're capable of? The answer may be different for each of us. The belief there will be time later? Fear of failure? Distracted by responsibilities? Low self-esteem? Some of what I've read about golden shadows deals with positive things about us we've been conditioned to repress.

    I searched the forum for golden shadow and didn't find anything and wondered why we often discuss shadow traits and the grip, but not the golden shadow – the stuff that will encourage us to be better people and be who we want to be. So far we're saying we don't try. Why is that? I want to encourage people here to try. Sounds really lovely dovey for me, but in the time I've been here I've noticed many talented and capable people who haven't tried to reach the goals that would fulfill their potential.

    You are a magician. You took your skills and power and applied them to a goal you wanted. You are a warrior. You're using your strength and skill to venture into unknown "lands".

    This is really exciting because you've wanted this for so long and you're doing it!
     
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote S.V. Wyoyo
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    I've always admired funny people. I'm funny sometimes.
     
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  7. Ginny

    Ginny AWOL

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    Excuses that hinder progress to be performed well: time, energy, perfectionism, etc. If I knew what's behind those excuses, I might get through it.

    Every once in a while I get back to a thought or idea that I wanted to follow, but I don't remember the core of my artistry with words.
    I can't find joy in what I do.

    There are few enough women that broke free of the socially conditioned oppression of femininity. Even fewer that emerged less toxic than before.
    As for my role models: They're not real. They're flawed and damaged in ways we are not always shown.
     
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  8. Ren

    Ren Pin's android / Baroque Spinoza / ≅ INFP

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    Great thread, Asa.

    I'd say Marcus Aurelius (in history) and Prince Myshkin & Dale Cooper (in fiction) are three heroes of mine. They're wildly different people, of course, but there is definitely a quality they have which inspires me and which I seek to develop in myself. It's the complete absence of resentment, or anything like what Spinoza calls the "sad passions". These are good men who care about others whilst preserving a strong sense of identity and moral duty, even in the midst of many temptations. They never experience any desire to put others down. The idiosyncracy of their character does not come with self-centeredness.

    If the Devil were to show up at their doorstep and tempt them to do something evil in return for gain, they would not even understand his language. I find that very inspiring, and no doubt I do try to emulate it in my own life.
     
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    #8 Ren, Nov 21, 2021
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  9. Gu33

    Gu33 Newbie

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    I relate to that sentiment. I don’t like to really idolize an individual but more their accomplishments or what they’ve created. We only see a glimmer of the person. I really enjoy certain bands or authors and can gain so much from what they put out but I feel like there’s so much more to the person/people than what we know about them looking from the outside. That being said I truly respect people that allow their vulnerabilities to show and stand behind them. They dare to expose who they are, not expecting acceptance but hoping for true connection through it.
     
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  10. mintoots

    mintoots slow cooker
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    I tend to idolize people who are aware of the illnesses of living, whether in themselves or others, and who actively pursue to fight it. That said, I am appreciative of patriotism, servitude and selflessness, and quiet strength.
     
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  11. Wyote

    Wyote S.V. Wyoyo
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    Why do you consider these mutually exclusive :thonking:
     
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  12. mintoots

    mintoots slow cooker
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    They're not?
     
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  13. Wyote

    Wyote S.V. Wyoyo
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    :thonking::thonking:
     
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  14. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Community Member

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    Hmm, the people I most look up to are my parents. They're so utterly sincere, humble, good-natured, modest, honest, generous, and peaceful. I hope I turn out at least a little like them.
     
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  15. ESC2367

    ESC2367 Community Member

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    Side note... at first i read this as golden showers...

    but my personal Golden Shadow is a fairly long list... so i will go with the ones i have realized in my life so far... (realized meaning that i have started emulating them either instinctly or by practice.
    Sorabji, Faure, Cats, Xeno, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Kay Sage... for a few (in no specific order.)
     
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  16. John K

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    I don't really have big aspirations about who I'd like to be - it's more a case of rounding out who I am, weeding my inner garden and concentrating on being as opposed to doing in any big way. I have to watch I don't become physically, mentally or socially lazy and there are always things there to bring out of the shadows - new things I haven't done before, or could improve, but these are little things not lifetime ambitions. Maybe no so little, because joining the forum to explore my type was one of them, and that's been a fascinating and rewarding ride.

    It's in my photography that I express my creative side most intensively but I have no great ambition to make my work public except among family and friends, including here in the forum. What I aim to do is to capture the elusive spirit of the places and situations I photograph, and they are a diary of my emotional symbiosis with those places when I succeed. I find that as I go into later life, this is maturing in me like a wine laid down a long time ago. I don't really have any role models among the great photographers. I guess the nearest to a hero I have is Ansel Adams, but I take pictures spontaneously where he used painstaking and very considered technique and very different photographic technology to construct his images; so I can enjoy the sheer mastery of his work without the baggage of feeling I must try and emulate it in some way.

    At my age there is a bounce back - not what lies in the shadows that could be my future, but what could have happened if I'd taken a different path in the past. I don't have any regrets in the choices I made, but I'm extremely curious about how things would have worked out if I'd taken a different route at the big decision points of my life.

    The people I admire as possible role models?

    St Augustine of Hippo ranks high. He was both an intellectual giant, a true mystic and a great leader who's influence is still felt today, not just in spiritual terms but in the roots of philosophy too. I share the way he straddles the boundary between Enneagram 4 and 5 and he's a great fit for me as one of my heros. It's not just what he achieved, but in his writing he was so clearly continually searching, always learning, always experiencing right through his life, and he achieved such a lot in the face of great inner struggles too so it was not easily won. A great role model and someone who will always be far ahead of me, always pointing the road ahead.
    upload_2021-11-26_20-35-17.pngupload_2021-11-26_20-35-40.pngupload_2021-11-26_20-36-20.png

    upload_2021-11-26_20-37-3.png

    It's mainly other great mystics who also lie ahead of me on the road I'm trying to travel: for instance the anonymous wonderful man who wrote The Cloud of Unknowing, and of course Rumi.

    These three guys, and others too, are the guides on my never-ending journey
     
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  17. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    Two that come to mind...

    Celebrity: Growing up, I watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. He was so open with people, so real. I wanted to make connections like that, and to believe his words about the world. He also followed his words about empathy, compassion, understanding, progress, patience, etc. with his actions. He pushed the boundaries of what others were willing to do, or were too afraid to do in order to prove he meant what he said. He approached the difficult topics that adults often skirted around, so I found him intriguing, and learned so much about life, death, love, loss, grief, divorce, hatred, etc. from him. There are a lot of celebrities who put on personas on camera, and off-camera they reveal their true nature, which is unfortunately not at all what they demonstrate to their audience. Mr. Rogers wasn't like that. He was the same on screen, and off screen. I admired him as a child, and now that I am an adult, I respect his legacy immensely. I'm not saying that I am like him, but he influenced me a lot.

    Family Member: My Papaw was my hero. He loved my Nanny (grandmother) fiercely, and provided for her and others with a spirit of generosity. He helped raise myself, my sister, and my cousins when our own fathers fell short of their responsibility. He taught me the value of finances and hard work. He would tell me if you don't have to work hard for it, then you will never fully know the value of it (he ensured that I'd never have a heightened view of entitlement to things which I am not owed without effort). He also told me never to borrow from anyone who expects interest or more than they are owed, because you'll never be free of them. He's one of the reasons why I don't have crippling debt like most people my age. He helped me to be reasonable about my expectations on others and what they are capable of, and to be gracious. One of the examples that he lived out, was in helping an immigrant family with a rent house. He gave them a reduced rate because he said they just got here to the States, and that he wanted to make sure they had the ability to provide for their children without being burdened from the onset. Coming from a man who was raised in the 30s/40s in a highly racist area of the South-- his actions moved me deeply. I loved him more than I can express, and the imprint of his character is imbued on me to my core. I hear his laugh when I close my eyes, and it fills me with happiness. I miss him.

    ----
    Edited due to Asa's new reply about things repressed:

    Given the notion of parts that are good that we repress, I'm not entirely sure. I think it's difficult to recognize what you repress in yourself. I suppose it would be the things that you grew up feeling shamed about, that others might consider 'good' who knew you well. I was often told that I was too zealous or overly affectionate when I was younger. These things I've tempered (believe it or not), and choose to only demonstrate them to certain people in the amount that would be considered my 'norm'. However, I would prefer not feeling shamed for loving other people, or for telling them openly what I know to be true of them deep down. I think other people feel uncomfortable with this because they maybe aren't as open, so they use a comparative judgment and then project shame. It's happened all my life, so not really something I know how not to be wary of or to repress around most.
     
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  18. OP
    Asa

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    I want everyone to ponder that the Golden Shadow isn't something outside of you, foreign, that you aspire to be like. It's a positive part of you that you repress.

    --------------

    Everyone is flawed and damaged. Maybe accepting that about our heroes is the first step in accepting that we can still embody our own greatness despite our flaws.


    This seems like the archetype of the ideal man as he is presented in both history and fiction. It's definitely an iconic archetype to live up to and I see "striving for this ideal" within you.


    Like Wyote, I'm going to point out that these are not mutually exclusive. :) Do you think you embody (any of) these traits, even deep-down?

    I was waiting for somebody to mention this.
    It isn't the first time I've authored a thread with a title people perceive to be naughty, but isn't. You're welcome.

    This is how I perceive the Golden Shadow. This is also what I'm personally after. I'm just trying to spread my own wings as far as they'll go and embody who I am.

    I'm at the crossroads. Hopefully I have time ahead to complete a few journeys, but I think everyone at around age 50 looks back and thinks about what would have happened if different choices had been made.

    This sounds like you. It's relatable, too.

    Don't forget that we see only one side of heroes and other great people in history and the flaws and complexities are rarely recorded and passed along. It makes it impossible to live up to heroes because we don't know how real they really were.
     
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  19. Gu33

    Gu33 Newbie

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    Nice post Asa. In response, I see my strength is in spreading positivity in encouragement and acknowledging the strengths of others. My goal in life is to plant little seeds of goodness in the people I meet everyday or to water the flower that is already grown. In 100 years nobody will remember my name and I’m totally ok with that but if I can just enhance the lives of everyday contacts then mission accomplished.
     
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  20. Anomaly

    Anomaly Selah.

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    Okay, edited with this new understanding. I think I misinterpreted what you meant, originally. I thought it was more so those who have positive characteristics that you recognize in yourself or values that you seek to emulate.
     
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