Saturday, March 4, 2017

Me and My Shadow, Part 3

     In the last post, we were discussing how we may be repelled by the events and personalities in our political sphere, but we need to recognize that they function as shadows of ourselves and our country.

     Capitalism and the American dream have shadow sides (see the list from the last post).  But what can we do about it?  Carl Jung gives us a hint:
To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light.  Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self.  Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.  (1959)
      I think what we need to do as individuals, and as a country, is to look at both what we value in the ideal (justice, equality, equal opportunity, valuing each person, caring for earthly home, etc.) and what is manifested as its shadow (ego, possessiveness, devaluing others and using them, competition, focusing on the short-term, abusing the environment, and so on).  By saying, "Yes, both parts are who we are right now" is a good first step.  The next step, I believe, is to ask, "What do we want ourselves, and our country, to become?"

     Once we focus on that question, I think the answers will guide who we elect, how we treat others in our country, how we treat the Earth, how we educate our young, and what we choose to spend our money on. 

     We have work to do.

(photo courtesy of

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