The Persona as described by Carl Jung is the social face the individual presents to the world. In Latin, the persona is translated as a “mask, character.” So the object of the mask is to make an impression on the outside world, at the same time conceal the true nature of the individual. In the realms of consciousness, within the context of “not a human being with a soul but a soul having a human experience,” the persona is our human nature. When we identify with our persona exclusively, we come into problems. Simply because we could never be our mask. The persona is created around the ages of 6 – 12 years old when we are figuring out the attention we want to avoid versus the attention we want to seek. Understanding the persona as a mask and human nature, you have to recognize the danger of committing to the persona 100%. Ninety-nine percent of the population has little or no concept of themselves being distinct from what this world expects. We have to think of the Ego in this three-phase model: Persona, Consciousness, and Shadow. The unexamined persona is the outward symbol of ourselves and it has to be broken down, to be recreated new. By developing a more personal persona relative to your consciousness, that does not hide your true self but doesn’t eliminate you from a social existence. When we think we embody our best qualities and hide our worst, this creates the shadow. When we think we are our job, when people think of themselves as celebrities, or since they have wealth they are better off. So whenever we don’t deal with the things we dislike or the things we want to ignore, these things form the Shadow. The Shadow is not all bad, it’s good to know the things we dislike about our lives and the things we want to change. This is what is called a challenge, the solution is in every problem. The question is are you strong enough to say and do what is necessary. Shadows create definition and character. With proper balance, you can create beautiful art. Without developing the shadow people become shallow and preoccupied with what others think about them. Balancing the light and dark is necessary for personal growth.
Keeping it Conscious Episode 3 (The Persona and The Shadow)