Here are two quotes from Carl Jung, taken from Lecture 4 of this course:
“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.” [“On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35]
Jung was speaking of individual lives, but I would like to take his concept of “the shadow” and apply it in a wider sense to our own culture. Jung believed that in order to grow psychologically- as opposed to stagnate – an individual must confront his or her own shadow. This is one of the great tasks of authentic human development. To quote Jung again:
“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) Part II: P.14].
You are asked to write a Viewpoint Essay that considers one of the following four readings with a discussion of Jung’s concept of the shadow, briefly described above. For each reading, how can Jung’s concept of the shadow provide deeper insight into the specific reading you have chosen to treat. Possible Essay topics: 1) Erich Fromm Syndrome of growth vs. Syndrome of decay/ Jung’s shadow
Erich Fromm Syndrome of growth vs. Syndrome of decay/ Jung’s shadow
Q: What does Fromm mean by The Syndrome of Growth? The Syndrome of Decay? (pp. 114-115) In what way does Fromm’s use of the concept of incest differ from Freud’s? (from p. 98)
Q: What does Fromm mean by saying that “mother as a person is often replaced or complemented by the family, the clan, by all who share the same blood and have been born on the same soil? (pp. 98-99)
Can you give specific instances of events taking place right now in American society that Fromm’s analysis might throw light on? If so, explain.