Jung and Shadow Work – Silent Cedars

One of the great contributions in the work of Carl Jung was the delineation of “The Shadow,” a concept partly introduced by Freud in his conception of the “Id,” but given a fuller exposition in the work of Jung. One aspect of the Jungian shadow is “an unconscious aspect of the personality which the […]

via Jung, the Shadow, and Activism (Gandhi) — Silent Cedars

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2 thoughts on “Jung and Shadow Work – Silent Cedars

  1. I understand my “shadow” very well, I think, having studied it for more than 25 years now, and understanding that we (me and my shadow) couldn’t ever live without each other, because we were too much enmeshed with each other inside of one brain. I also learned not to project my darker qualities onto other people, not seeing in themselves what I disliked within myself. Nevertheless, I learned to recognize when they were frightened, or cruel, and were trying to project their anguish onto me. With fear, at least, I’m not always able to avoid feeling the fear that they project onto me.

    When the movie “Gandhi” was released in 1982, there was a debate on whether the methods of Gandhi or the methods of Churchill were more suitable for opposing Hitler. Most people believed that someone as extreme as Hitler could never be defeated with non-violent tactics, that it was necessary to use all of the might of Great Britain (and later others) to eliminate him. I was ambivalent at the time of which view was correct, but now I pretty much agree with the view that Churchill’s way was better. Gandhi was fortunate that he was opposing a people who didn’t want to think of themselves as mass murderers, something that didn’t bother Hitler.

    Gandhi was unique in his view of those who opposed him. I can never hope to come close to that, my brain isn’t wired in that way. I became a liberal because I witnessed so many colossal failures of conservatism over the last 20 years. Having failed so badly during this time, the conservatives no longer seem to argue the validity of their ideas, they just deny the reality of current problems that will be made worse by what they want to do. There is climate change. We aren’t the most taxed country on the planet. Unemployment did not go up under Mr. Obama. Keynesian economic principles were successful in reducing the economic upheaval in the USA, doing much better than austerity economics applied in the European Union. We’re constantly told that we have to dialogue with the other side and find a way to resolve our differences, but if people don’t believe in reality, I can’t have a dialogue with them – it’s useless. I don’t look on these people as enemies, necessarily, but I don’t want to be around them, either. Instead, I want to bring about a situation where their denial of reality ceases to influence developments in this country and around the world. There is a long way to go before that day arrives.

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