There's a secret saboteur,
hidden within everyone
Fashioning his cloak and dagger
for a twisted bit of fun
The use of his first artifact is
to eclipse the Inner Sun
The purpose of the second is for
tearing holes so light may run
Through an ever looming darkness
which obscures the thought of hope
Extending brittle olive branches
or frayed lengths of climbing rope, so
That his ploys will surely tempt you
that you'll try, and that you'll fail
Til his sadistic plotting leaves you
feeling withered, weak, and frail
So joyously, he toys with thee,
to watch his sullen victim
And thrives upon the notion that
thou never wilt evict him
For how such lavish luxury
couldst ever thou afford
When thou art but a lowly serf
and He, a mighty Lord?
But if you only knew the truth
it'd surely set you free!
That deep below the surface
he is you, and you are he.
So, discipline this phantom
tell him that you've had enough!
He struggles in control of you
but you have called his bluff!
So now, you shatter chains that bind you
now you break the psychic yoke
So now, you seize from him the dagger
now you rip to shreds the cloak.
This is a poem is loosely based upon the Jungian archetype of the shadow. In analytical psychology, the shadow is the dark side of the psyche, which is typically repressed, and must be faced in order for the psyche to mature into individuation.
In Jung's own words: "The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore,. as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period."
In the context of this poem, the shadow plays the role of the saboteur, who undermines the efforts of the ego below the level of consciousness, and ultimately deludes the ego into self deprecation. However, as the ego enters into a period of reflection, it comes to recognize the shadow and its effects on the process of psychic life, ultimately taking the first steps toward confronting the shadow and breaking its negative conditioning.
It is also worth noting that this piece is highly experimental for me, especially in its oscillation between archaic and contemporary usage. I will continue to edit, revise, amend, and re-write it as I see fit. And, after all, I still have quite a bit of Jungian theory to catch up on. However, I think this is a good start.