"While we have largely described the shadow personality in negative terms, in fact the Shadow contains many vital qualities that can add to our life and strength if we are related to them in the correct way. In Faust's case, for instance, the unused energies of his shadow personality brought him back to life and gave him renewed vitality. We especially need the energies of our unlived lives when we reach our middle years, for at that time the energies we have been using for a long time are beginning to run out. (Of course this contact must be achieved by a psychological recognition of the shadow personality and integration of the Shadow and not through giving license to the darker side of our personality to live itself out concretely.)
"But at other times, too, the shadow personality may be a boon to our personality if we can relate to it in the correct way. It may be, for instance, that a man who has tried to be kind and 'Christian' in his relations with people has repressed his anger, and it now appears as part of his shadow personality. Yet if he is able to integrate some of that capacity for anger, it may help him become a stronger, more resolute person, for anger can be, as James Hillman once said, a healthy reaction to an intolerable situation. Without our Shadow, then, we may lack the capacity for a healthy reaction to life situations that are becoming intolerable to our sprit. An example of this healthy anger would be Jesus driving out the money changers in the Temple. It was intolerable to Jesus' spirit that the holy Temple of God should be profaned by the people who were using it for crass commercial reasons, and so he became angry and drove them out. Obviously Jesus' capacity for controlled anger gave his personality a strength that he would not have had had he lacked the capacity for such a response.
"Or, a man or woman cut off form instinctual sexual — erotic feelings may need a contact with them in order to get vital life energies they need for a healthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
"Even the thief in us can be helpful. If, for instance, we are in touch with our own cunning thief side, we are not so likely to be taken in by other people, for our own thief — Shadow will let us in on how people dupe and cheat each other. To give an example, I once knew a man who retired from 20 years in the military service, a sincere, honest, but naïve man with little experience in the tough world of business. He had a little nest egg of several thousand dollars and with this went into three business ventures within a year. In each case he was duped, not by this competitors, but by his business partners, and at the end of the year he had lost all his money. Here is a case in which it would have been to his advantage to have been in touch with his own crafty side. This would not have meant that he would have acted dishonestly, but it would have given him the necessary insight into the craftiness of other people to have protected him from their rapacity. So Jesus says, 'Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.'
"Another important help we get from the Shadow is a sense of humor. An analysis of humor shows that it is usually the shadow personality who laughs. This is because humor expresses so many of our hidden, inferior, or feared emotions. For this reason another way to get at a knowledge of our Shadow is to observe what it is that strikes out sense of humor, for in our laughter we can often see our Shadow being harmlessly released."