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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Carl Jung Quotations: The Shadow and Persona



Persona



The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual.
"The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious" (1928). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.305
Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face.
"Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.43
Every calling or profession has its own characteristic persona. It is easy to study these things nowadays, when the photographs of public personalities so frequently appear in the press. A certain kind of behaviour is forced on them by the world, and professional people endeavour to come up to these expectations. Only, the danger is that they become identical with their personas-the professor with his text-book, the tenor with his voice. Then the damage is done; henceforth he lives exclusively against the background of his own biography. . . . The garment of Deianeira has grown fast to his skin, and a desperate decision like that of Heracles is needed if he is to tear this Nessus shirt from his body and step into the consuming fire of the flame of immortality, in order to transform himself into what he really is. One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.
"Concerning Rebirth" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.221
I once made the acquaintance of a very venerable personage - in fact, one might easily call him a saint. I stalked round him for three whole days, but never a mortal failing did I find in him. My feeling of inferiority grew ominous, and I was beginning to think seriously of how I might better myself. Then, on the fourth day, his wife came to consult me.... Well, nothing of the sort has ever happened to me since. But this I did learn: that any man who becomes one with his persona can cheerfully let all disturbances manifest themselves through his wife without her noticing it, though she pays for her self-sacrifice with a bad neurosis.
"The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious" (1928). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.306
Since the differentiated consciousness of civilized man has been granted an effective instrument for the practical realization of its contents through the dynamics of his will, there is all the more danger, the more he trains his will, of his getting lost in one-sidedness and deviating further and further from the laws and roots of his being.
"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.276
When there is a marked change in the individual's state of consciousness, the unconscious contents which are thereby constellated will also change. And the further the conscious situation moves away from a certain point of equilibrium, the more forceful and accordingly the more dangerous become the unconscious contents that are struggling to restore the balance. This leads ultimately to a dissociation: on the one hand, ego-consciousness makes convulsive efforts to shake off an invisible opponent (if it does not suspect its next-door neighbour of being the devil!), while on the other hand it increasingly falls victim to the tyrannical will of an internal "Government opposition" which displays all the characteristics of a daemonic subman and superman combined. When a few million people get into this state, it produces the sort of situation which has afforded us such an edifying object-lesson every day for the last ten years.* These contemporary events betray their psychological background by their very singularity. The insensate destruction and devastation are a reaction against the deflection of consciousness from the point of equilibrium. For an equilibrium does in fact exist between the psychic ego and non-ego, and that equilibrium is a religion a "careful consideration" of ever-present unconscious forces which we neglect at our peril.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.394 *The years 1935-1945
Nothing is so apt to challenge our self-awareness and alertness as being at war with oneself. One can hardly think of any other or more effective means of waking humanity out of the irresponsible and innocent half-sleep of the primitive mentality and bringing it to a state of conscious responsibility.
"Psychological Typology" (1936). In CW 6: Psychological Types. P. 964
Hidden in the neurosis is a bit of still undeveloped personality, a precious fragment of the psyche lacking which a man is condemned to resignation, bitterness, and everything else that is hostile to life. A psychology of neurosis that sees only the negative elements empties out the baby with the bath-water, since it neglects the positive meaning and value of these "infantile' i.e., creative-fantasies.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.355
We yield too much to the ridiculous fear that we are at bottom quite impossible beings, that if everyone were to appear as he really is a frightful social catastrophe would ensue. Many people today take "man as he really is" to mean merely the eternally discontented, anarchic, rapacious element in human beings, quite forgetting that these same human beings have also erected those firmly established forms of civilization which possess greater strength and stability than all the anarchic undercurrents. The strengthening of his social personality is one of the essential conditions for man's existence. Were it not so, humanity would cease to be. The selfishness and rebelliousness we meet in the neurotic's psychology are not "man as he really is" but an infantile distortion. In reality the normal man is "civic minded and moral"; he created his laws and observes them, not because they are imposed on him from without-that is a childish delusion-but because he loves law and order more than he loves disorder and lawlessness.
"Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious" (1935). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.442
The true genius nearly always intrudes and disturbs. He speaks to a temporal world out of a world eternal. He says the wrong things at the right time. Eternal truths are never true at any given moment in history. The process of transformation has to make a halt in order to digest and assimilate the utterly impractical things that the genius has produced from the storehouse of eternity. Yet the genius is the healer of his time, because anything he reveals of eternal truth is healing.
"What India Can Teach Us" (1939). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 1004
The genius will come through despite everything, for there is something absolute and indomitable in his nature. The so-called "misunderstood genius" is rather a doubtful phenomenon. Generally he turns out to be a good-for-nothing who is forever seeking a soothing explanation of himself.
"The Gifted Child" (1943). In CW 17: The Development of Personality. P. 248
Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks with a thousand voices; he enthrals and overpowers, while at the same time he lifts the idea he is seeking to express out of the occasional and the transitory into the realm of the ever enduring. He transmutes our personal destiny into the destiny of mankind, and evokes in us all those beneficent forces that ever and anon have enabled humanity to find a refuge from every peril and to outlive the longest night.
"On the Relation of Analytical Psychology of Poetry" (1922). In CW 15: The Spirit in Man, Art and Literature. P.129
To be "normal" is the ideal aim for the unsuccessful, for all those who are still below the general level of adaptation. But for people of more than average ability, people who never found it difficult to gain successes and to accomplish their share of the world's work-for them the moral compulsion to be nothing but normal signifies the bed of Procrustes-deadly and insupportable boredom, a hell of sterility and hopelessness.
"Problems of Modern Psychotherapy" (1929). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P. 161
Nothing in us ever remains quite uncontradicted, and consciousness can take up no position which will not call up, somewhere in the dark corners of the psyche, a negation or a compensatory effect, approval or resentment. This process of coming to terms with the Other in us is well worth while, because in this way we get to know aspects of our nature which we would not allow anybody else to show us and which we ourselves would never have admitted.
Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955) CW 14: P. 706
The "other" in us always seems alien and unacceptable; but if we let ourselves be aggrieved the feeling sinks in, and we are the richer for this little bit of self-knowledge.
"Psychological Aspects of the Kore" (1941). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. P. 918
If we do not fashion for ourselves a picture of the world, we do not see ourselves either, who are the faithful reflections of that world. Only when mirrored in our picture of the world can we see ourselves in the round. Only in our creative acts do we step forth into the light and see ourselves whole and complete. Never shall we put any face on the world other than our own, and we have to do this precisely in order to find ourselves. For higher than science or art as an end in itself stands man, the creator of his instruments.
"Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung" (1928). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.737


The Shadow



Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131
It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.
"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35
We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.
"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425
If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the "House of the Gathering." Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140
There is a deep gulf between what a man is and what he represents, between what he is as an individual and what he is as a collective being. His function is developed at the expense of the individuality. Should he excel, he is merely identical with his collective function; but should he not, then, though he may be highly esteemed as a function in society, his individuality is wholly on the level of his inferior, undeveloped functions, and he is simply a barbarian, while in the former case he has happily deceived himself as to his actual barbarism.
Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P.III
Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.
The Integration of the Personality. (1939)
How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious? Primitive man's perception of objects is conditioned only partly by the objective behaviour of the things themselves, whereas a much greater part is often played by intrapsychic facts which are not related to the external objects except by way of projection. This is due to the simple fact that the primitive has not yet experienced that ascetic discipline of mind known to us as the critique of knowledge. To him the world is a more or less fluid phenomenon within the stream of his own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration.
"Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype" (1939) In CW 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P. 187
We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.
"Answer to Job" (1952). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.12
The world is as it ever has been, but our consciousness undergoes peculiar changes. First, in remote times (which can still be observed among primitives living today), the main body of psychic life was apparently in human and in nonhuman objects: it was projected, as we should say now. Consciousness can hardly exist in a state of complete projection. At most it would be a heap of emotions. Through the withdrawal of projections, conscious knowledge slowly developed. Science, curiously enough, began with the discovery of astronomical laws, and hence with the withdrawal, so to speak, of the most distant projections. This was the first stage in the despiritualization of the world. One step followed another: already in antiquity the gods were withdrawn from mountains and rivers, from trees and animals. Modern science has subtilized its projections to an almost unrecognizable degree, but our ordinary life still swarms with them. You can find them spread out in the newspapers, in books, rumours, and ordinary social gossip. All gaps in our actual knowledge are still filled out with projections. We are still so sure we know what other people think or what their true character is.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938) In CW II: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 140
When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.
"The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.752
Everything that man should, and yet cannot, be or do- be it in a positive or negative sense - lives on as a mythological figure and anticipation alongside his consciousness, either as a religious projection or-what is still more dangerous - as unconscious contents which then project themselves spontaneously into incongruous objects, e.g., hygienic and other "salvationist" doctrines or practices. All these are so many rationalized substitutes for mythology, and their unnaturalness does more harm than good.
"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.287
The hero's main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. "And God said, 'Let there be light"' is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.
"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.284
The symbol is a living body, corpus et anima; hence the "child" is such an apt formula for the symbol. The uniqueness of the psyche can never enter wholly into reality, it can only be realized approximately, though it still remains the absolute basis of all consciousness. The deeper "layers" of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. "Lower down," that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon is simply carbon. Hence "at bottom" the psyche is simply "world." In this sense I hold Kerenyi to be absolutely right when he says that in the symbol the world itself is speaking. The more archaic and "deeper," that is the more physiological, the symbol is, the more collective and universal, the more "material" it is. The more abstract, differentiated, and specified it is, and the more its nature approximates to conscious uniqueness and individuality, the more it sloughs off its universal character. Having finally attained full consciousness, it runs the risk of becoming a mere allegory which nowhere oversteps the bounds of conscious comprehension, and is then exposed to all sorts of attempts at rationalistic and therefore inadequate explanation.
"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.291
The masculinity of the woman and the femininity of the man are inferior, and it is regrettable that the full value of their personalities should be contaminated by something that is less valuable. On the other hand, the shadow belongs to the wholeness of the personality: the strong man must somewhere be weak, somewhere the clever man must be stupid, otherwise he is too good to be true and falls back on pose and bluff. Is it not an old truth that woman loves the weaknesses of the strong man more than his strength, and the stupidity of the clever man more than his cleverness ?
Die Anima als Schicksalsproblem des Mannes (1963) Foreward by C.G. Jung. In CW 18 261
To remain a child too long is childish, but it is just as childish to move away and then assume that childhood no longer exists because we do not see it. But if we return to the "children's land" we succumb to the fear of becoming childish, because we do not understand that everything of psychic origin has a double face. One face looks forward, the other back. It is ambivalent and therefore symbolic, like all living reality.
Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12. P.74
No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey.... We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.
"The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans" (1945) *Written 1945.
Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.
"General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.507
The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach. It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy? There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.25
It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.
Man and His Symbols. In CW 18: P.85
Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and contusion ensues. If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual's hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality. This state would be pathological. If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned. Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis.
"The Psychological Foundation for the Belief in Spirits (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.595
The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environments war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature. Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else. The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event.
"Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung" (1928) In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.693
If a man is endowed with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness. A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and thereby to discover the shadow.
Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. (1949). In CW 18. P.17
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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.
"Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology" (1959). In CW 10. Civilization in Transition. P.872
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.
"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335
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 neighbour.
"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335
The "other" may be just as one-sided in one way as the ego is in another. And yet the conflict between them may give rise to truth and meaning-but only if the ego is willing to grant the other its rightful personality.
"Concerning Rebirth" (1940) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. P.237
Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist.
"A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity" (1942) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.286
We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.
"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425
In reality, the acceptance of the shadow-side of human nature verges on the impossible. Consider for a moment what it means to grant the right of existence to what is unreasonable, senseless, and evil! Yet it is just this that the modern man insists upon. He wants to live with every side of himself-to know what he is. That is why he casts history aside. He wants to break with tradition so that he can experiment with his life and determine what value and meaning things have in themselves, apart from traditional resuppositions.
"Psychotherapist or the Clergy" (1932). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East.