Can we please find a place in our new mythology for the work of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung?
I believe he deserves a place, if only for his ideas on the human shadow.
“It is in the nature of political bodies always to see the evil in the opposite group…
“…just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know about himself by foisting it off on somebody else.”
In his popular book The Undiscovered Self, Jung states, again and again, that dealing with the human shadow is not just a problem for individuals…
…but also a problem for nations. Instead of looking within, we project our negative shadow unto others. We invent evil. We create enemies. We create wars.
In relation to various problems of national importance, I’m instructed by others to “write to your Congressperson”. So what should I tell him or her? “Stop projecting your negative shadow!”
Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll get the message—I say this with heavy heart.
The best that I can do, at this time, is to stop projecting my own negative shadow. Listening to my dreams will help keep me honest.
This work may do little to change the world situation, but one must start somewhere.
“…anyone who has insight into his own actions, and has thus found access to the unconscious, involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment.” — C.G. Jung
© 2011, Michael R. Patton