Reminder to not ignore the shadow

Alexander Blum presents an interesting perspective on the Trump presidency viewed through the lens of Jungian archetypes.

This article  reminds us that it is not enough to just feed what we want to see flourish as we describe in our section on Feeding Your Own Story. We also must not disregard those parts of ourselves and our society that we push down, ignore, and/or pretend do not exist. That will only make those forces stronger.

During the Obama Presidency, American progressives became pacified, trading economic arguments for cultural dissatisfaction, forsaking the ideas of the New Deal for an emotional and ideological clamp upon the unconscious forces of racism and sexism. There was a pervasive sense that history had ended, that a centrist Democrat could potentially rule the West forever, and that the shadows of racism, sexism, and hate speech would finally be chased out of public society after the victory of Hillary Clinton, a female President.

Jung would not have been surprised by what followed. In The Philosophical Tree, he wrote:
Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

When we start to work with our own personal stories it is important to remember the Ordeal stage of the Hero’s Journey, (described well in this excerpt by Deb Peterson, from From Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure) where The hero stands in the deepest chamber of the inmost cave and faces a direct confrontation with his greatest fear.

Alexander Blum, Jung and the Trumpian Shadow” (2017)


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