“… man is an enigma to himself.”
(Jung, The Undiscovered Self)
Recent media attention on a certain so-called ‘vile’ radio personality brings to mind Jung’s idea that what we repress, whether individually or collectively, will eventually out. There is always someone who stands for what we ourselves cannot stand. There will always be one who’ll say the things we cannot say (for us). In the absence of an actual person to project our collective shadow onto, we’ll find something – an ‘other’ of some kind. We have to have a bad guy, or we cannot have heroes.
We humans are so blind to ourselves. We try so hard to be good – to be acceptable to others. We deny our darkness and the harder we try to do so, the more fearful and fearsome it becomes.
The irony is that unless we stand in complete darkness, we will always have a shadow – and the brighter the light we attempt to bask in the longer and deeper our shadow will be. No matter how we try to pretend it isn’t there – that it belongs to someone else – it will be there.
We will always have known and unknown parts of ourselves unless we remain in complete ignorance.
Why are we so afraid? Why do we fear darkness, death and other things that go bump? (The mortality rate here on Earth is 100% – yet our own mortality is taboo; hidden, sanitised and abnormal.)
What if we were to accept the mystery of our darkest selves instead of blinkering and blaming?
We might be less ‘good’ – but we may also be more compassionate and understanding toward others. We might be less guilt-laden… we might not hate and fear one another as much…we might not worry about there not being enough to go around.
We might be happier.