Saturday, February 25, 2017

Me and My Shadow, Part 2

     Last time we were discussing how the events in the political realm over the last few months, as painful and abhorrent as they may be, are aspects of our shadow self.  Jung described the shadow self as that part in us which we don't recognize until we see that our projections on others are merely manifestations of ourselves.  We see in others what we don't like in ourselves.  As Jung wrote:
A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbor.  ("The Philosophical Tree", 1945).
     I would like to take this a step further and submit the idea that our country has a shadow side.  We value capitalism and business success, don't we?  Isn't that the American dream -- to make it big?  But what is the shadow side of that?  How about:
  • greed
  • competitiveness
  • doing anything (including abandoning a moral code) to win
  • looking at others as winners or losers, not as fellow humans
  • using people, not valuing them
  • measuring one's value by external means (money, possessions, etc.) rather than by one's character 
  • focusing on short-term gains rather than the benefit of future generations
  • seeing Nature as something to be exploited rather than cherished and taken care of
I'm sure you could add to that list as well.  But, the question awaits, what can we do about it?

     More on that next time. 

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