The Ego , 2023
48 x 25.5 x 1 in (h x w x d)
777 USD
Mixed media
for sale

In revisiting Dante's Divine Comedy, Inferno, in this case, I've thought a lot about how I feel about his vision of the devil in the last region of hell. Many religions suggest that the "devil" is an entity that solely exists outside of the self and makes us do things. However, this is where I see these visions in the more Jungian shadow work sense. Within all of us is our conscious mind, which could be a metaphor for light, and in the vast subconscious and unconscious mind exists the shadow self.

We all have the power to create as well as to destroy, the ability to give and take, as well as the ability to work on ourselves to be better people or not. The shadow self is what we must travel through if we're to ascend to a better place mentally, and when we resist examining that part of ourselves, we do ourselves a great disservice. What are you afraid of? What triggers your most intense reactions and why? Every powerful emotion is also a temporary force that exists to challenge us until we reach our own personal transformation to an even better version of ourselves.

Within us all, the shadow is there, but I don't believe something else is making us do anything. It's easier to assign blame to something or anyone outside of us. However, the fault is not entirely in the stars - or Mercury retrograde - but within ourselves. The shadow self is not something to run away from but to learn from and understand what's holding us back. The shadow self within us becomes a negative force when it is allowed to control the conscious mind.

Our growth begins when we recognize the shadow self, recognize what is hidden within, the ego, hubris, anger, sadness, and all that really does stand in the way of making a breakthrough. When left unexamined, the shadow self (ego) can manifest as horror, fear, confusion, anger, or someone who has hurt you.

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