Possessed, Depressed, Obsessed – Attachment and the shadow side of addiction!

Possession is synonymous with bondage. Addiction is fed by or repressed from an unconscious possession!! 

Jung comments that in states of possession it comes down to, ‘the same age-old experience: something objectively psychic and strange to us, not under our control, is fixedly opposed to the sovereignty of our will.’

Possession means being supplanted by something stronger, being taken over and ‘owned’ by something other than ourselves. An invisible power, an uncontrollable urge, or a relentless force!

Attachments, whether this is through choices, vices, or through obsessions, these attachments form the basis for addictions which have their root cause, underneath that which is buried, in the unconscious. Our attachments and what they mean to us, can either make us, or break us.

Attachment is dualistic in that it causes suffering and suffering cause pain. Pain causes destruction, depending on the trigger, or trauma that was infected, from a time of the past. Yet as social creatures, we humans, seek attachment to form bonds. These bonds, if built from a false sense of self, or a false sense of reality, will inevitably lead to a painful destruction. If these bonds are built from a space of love and freedom, attachments have no power, and we discover our sovereignty. One side of the dualistic nature of attachment will cause our demise, and the other side of attachment, will be the making of our connection to the Divine.

Attachment leads to destruction! But is that good or bad

Jung stated – ‘Wherever we are still attached, we are still possessed; and when we are possessed, there is one stronger than us who possesses us.’ (An unseen, unconscious, psychic force)

Look at your addictions, and don’t limit the mind in thinking as addiction from the perspective of drug addict, alcoholic, smoker etc. Look at the bigger picture and see the true nature of yourself! Are you Addicted to pain, vanity, prescription drugs, food, damaged lovers?


We’ve all had moments where we’ve been possessed by something, where we’ve felt ‘not ourselves.’ Most of us have some uncomfortable memories under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substances and we’ve done things, completely out of character! Or reacted – in the heat of the moment, and regretted later, not realising the extent of our lack of self control.

Possessed by a lover is one of the most powerful possessions of all!

Some of us spend our whole lives living someone else’s life instead of our own. People pleasing!! Submissive and subservient to an over bearing, projecting spouse. We’ve all had moments where ‘something’ has gotten into us, where we feel out of sorts, beside ourselves. Obsessed with a lover! Bewitched!

When deeper, primordial archetypes seize us, Jung writes, ‘They easily catch hold of you and you are possessed as if they were lions or bears – primitive forces which are definitely stronger than you.’ At any moment any one of us can become possessed by the unconscious in a way such that a more powerful energy than our conscious ego, moves and animates us.

To be possessed by the shadow, is the disappearance and emancipation of a complex, which becomes a tyrannical usurper of consciousness, oppressing the whole man. It throws him off course and drives him to actions whose blind one-sidedness inevitably leads to self-destruction – Addictions!

Autonomous complexes are a psychological name for the demons in the archetypal process of addiction that animate us to compulsively act out our addictive behaviour.

We all have demons in the closet -so to speak, a dark side we don’t want to reveal.

This is a form of self-deception, dissociation and psychic blindness in which we are ultimately lying to and hiding from, ourselves. At a certain point this process entrenches itself within the psyche, that it develops sufficient momentum to seemingly become its own self-generating, autonomous entity.

A demon or autonomous complex, to quote Jung,  ‘behaves like an animated foreign body in the sphere of consciousness. The complex can usually be suppressed, with an effort of will, but not argued out of existence, and at the first suitable opportunity it reappears in all its original strength.’


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Possession  occurs due to a lack of association with the conscious ego, autonomous complexes are typically not open to being influenced, educated, nor corrected by reality. Anyone who is unaware of his shadow is too wonderful, too good, he has a false conception of himself, and to that extent such a person – is possessed. 

Jung writes,
‘The idea is like an autonomous being that wants a body so much that it even incarnates in the body; one begins to play, to perform the idea, and then people say one is completely mad. The idea has taken possession and it’s as if we are, out of our mind.’

Just like a vampire re-vitalizes itself by sucking our life-force, when we unconsciously identify with an activated autonomous complex, we are literally animating and en-livening the undead.


Complicit in our own victimization, we then unwittingly give away our freedom, power, and life-force in the process. The dark night of the soul is depression of a spiritual nature, forcing us to face, our dark side. The way to most effectively deal with a demon is to courageously turn our attention upon what it triggers, inside us. This allows us to re-create ourselves a new, and we can step into the archetypal figures of the ‘Wounded Healer or Creative Artist.’

Once we assimilate the anima and animus, (animal) we can only discover the self by facing and embracing the shadow. However, our shadow work isn’t an easy task, if we haven’t cleaned and cleared the inner demons and traumas, if these demons are not integrated, neither is the human soul, which is to say that embracing and integrating our demons is critical to the evolution of the soul. But also a difficult and challenging journey to take!

Beauty inside the beast!

Hidden in the demonic is our inner voice, our guiding spirit, our angel, and our genius. Jung refers to the demonic as the ‘not yet realized creative,’ which is creativity not yet actualized, by the ego. Developing a healthy and strong ego is crucially important in entering into a relationship with and creatively expressing the demonic energies within us.

One of the most destructive things in the human psyche is unrealized creativity.

Possessed, Obsessed, Repressed is Madness

In its negative form, which is a form of madness, because our unconsciousness, becomes a living conduit for the incarnation of an inhuman, malevolent, predatory, rapacious energy that only cares about feeding its own insatiable narcissism, ultimately victimizing, consuming, and cannibalizing both ourselves and others in the process.

Jung goes on to say; ‘The beast of prey seizes hold of him and soon makes him forget that he is a human being. His animal affects, hamper any reflection that might stand in the way of his infantile wish-fulfilments, filling him instead with a feeling of a right to existence and intoxicating him with the lust for booty and blood.

This intoxicating energy, which is the narcissistic ego running wild as it entrances itself, is the fuel which animates any form of addiction.

‘Intoxication is that most direct and dangerous form of possession….unless it is reflected upon, and therefore illuminated and transformed by the light of consciousness, it inevitably leads to self-destruction.

The shadow will either possess you, usurping the ego and persona, depress you, sinking you down into a dark night of the soul, or it will form the basis for your addictions, and your need to feed the beast within!!!

We ALL have a SHADOW, we all have NARCISSISM, and we all have ADDICTIONS, therefore, unless we can consolidate and purge trauma, we are essentially, possessed by our shadow, causing our own – self destruction.

We all have the gift of free will – Use yours wisely!

We are responsible for ourselves in this world, including our fall from grace!




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