Carl Yung

There is a recurrent theme  across cultures of off-setting forces being required to achieve wholeness.  The feminine and masculine, light and dark, good and evil – all occupying their own dyad akin to the yin-yang of eastern culture. 

Jung felt that western culture/religion had unintentionally pursued a path that was fundamentally unbalanced: the masculine emphasized over the feminine; the light emphasized over the dark – so much so that western religions developed a male deity, entirely asexualized, entirely benevolent.  In fact, he felt they took it so far as to foist all evil onto a separate sub-deity (Lucifer, the devil – the ultimate scapegoat) which was entirely lacking in any goodness and require even purity of thought and desire in it’s practitioners. 

Jung felt that wholeness required acceptance of the fact that we are not wholly anything.  We are benevolence mixed with maleficence; we are masculine mixed with feminine; we are light mixed with dark.  To deny this, he felt, led people to project all of their “darkness” out onto scapegoats in the world at large.  Isn’t it easier to blame X (insert scapegoat group – immigrants, religious minorities, racial minorities, women, etc etc) than to take ownership of our own conflicting desires and drives? 

It should be noted though, accepting that we carry a level of “evil” within us does not mean we act on it.  It is about acceptance of our darkness so that we can manage it in a healthy way, not celebration or indulgence of that darkness. Acknowledging it is the prerequisite to behaving nobly.  As Jung said, “we are not what we say we are, we are what we do.”.

2 Comments

  1. You have expressed something that I think most of society actively deceives itself about, and may be at the root of most of the problems that we have. People allow themselves the luxury of being appalled by the behavior of others, which makes them feel ‘better than’ as a result (reality TV; the current political farce; etc).
    I know that I’m capable of behavior that would be shocking even if legal or justified. I can think of things worse that I wouldn’t do. There’s little different between us and the rest of the creatures on this planet except a little extra grey matter and opposable thumbs.
    It’s the knowing and the not doing that makes the difference, as CJ sez!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.