When there is a radical public response to the behavior, or words of a leader, politician, or public figure, it usually indicates the need for closer investigation into the collective psyche and what it means to every individual on earth.
Carl Gustav Jung spoke about the ‘personal shadow’ and the ‘collective shadow’, which according to the Wikipedia definition, ‘Carl Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality. According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to psychological projection, in which a perceived personal inferiority is recognized as a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.’
In other words, the shadow is that part of psyche that we deny, ignore, or suppress in ourselves, and then project onto others as their issue.
What happens in our environment is important and gives us clues for personal and collective awareness. The recent flurry of revelations in sexual misconduct incidents, is an indication of a long ongoing suppressed collective shadow of fear, and therefore disregard, of the feminine principle. The feminine principle is not about gender, but about the psychological quality of holding, nurturing, loving, being a vessel that contains lifegiving shelter and all that is unconscious and creative life-giving patterns to secure and transform life, in both men and woman. The feminine tends to be accepting and submissive and giving. The Masculine principle is about calculable measures, facts and form, and action taken to confirm power and territory. This masculine principle also exists in both men and woman. Take notice of the fact that these are complex concepts that are expressed only briefly here. The point however is that generally, history reveals to us that the feminine principle in both men and woman has been shunned and disrespected, bullied, and humiliated. It seems as if women are the victim, but as I said in my book The Riddle in the Mirror, the victim and perpetrator are intimately connected in an emotional repetitive behavior cycle that feeds the fear and defenses of both participants. We need a deeper understanding of this issue to transform this madness. There are many examples we may recall that describes this kind of dance between victims and perpetrators, but in the specific case of sexual misconduct right now, it is important to understand the responsibility of each sides in the healing process of this issue. A long time becoming known, the sexual misconduct seems to be performed against mostly woman, but as a therapist I am aware of men who were horribly violated in equal ways than women. Symbolically, it is women who are inspired to start the claim for retribution for the Feminine Archetype right now. This re-connection to respecting the Feminine is important to everyone; all genders.
The collective shadow of sexual misconduct, means that every one of us on earth need to re-connect with the feminine principles with regard. That means that we honor our bodies, Mother Earth, Nature, our unconscious, the mystical, the magic in life, acceptance of what is, and symbolism; everything that goes beyond the measurable, calculable, formal information, dogma and the unknown. Just think honestly how we have ‘raped’ the feminine/spiritual/numinous/mystical side in life up till now. Respect and regard for the Feminine Principle means that we include it with a healthy Masculine principle. These two principles need to work in harmony with each other. The collective masculine principle is also deeply wounded, because of a skewed perception of it. Because of the oppression of the Feminine principle, the masculine principle in our psyches is out of balance and became righteous, arrogant, power hungry, and self-governing, which creates imbalance in gender relationships, and our relationship with our Earth home. We have lost ourselves completely and urgently need to re-connect internally to balance these principles within. Balance means that we tame the masculine principle by giving the feminine a rightful equal place in our psyches and in life. What you have done too mush of need to be less and what you have done too little of need to be more. If you have been too submissive, you need to own your internal power and if you have been overruling and controlling others, you need to regard them more. That is just a very simplistic answer for a very complex situation. A lot more can be said and will be said about this dynamic.
The second part of the revealed collective shadow we see these days are that of overt racism and judgement of others. This shadow of racism, also appears in many forms, but essentially comes down to a fear of the ‘other’. Fearing others happen when we are conditioned to believe that differences in color culture and beliefs are wrong. Inevitably hostilities and conflict rise in such circumstances.
In her book, Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche; Von Franz, Marie-Louise describes how Jung advises the taking back of projections. “In this process, we awaken to the insight that certain presumptions and judgments of ours about other people do not apply to them but rather to ourselves. However, insights of this nature remain quite rare, and it seems that we are only in the initial stages of this global realization. Especially in cases where great differences exist, as for example, between man and woman, or between quite foreign ethnic groups and ourselves, the discernment and realization of projections is of capital importance. Only when projections are taken back does relationship—as opposed to archaic identity—become possible. A deeper respect for the real differences of other people or other national groups is just as necessary as the intimacy of a feeling of identity.”
Von Franz describes Jung’s suggestion to find a “relationship with the Self in the other person, with his or her wholeness, with the unity of opposites within him or her. Only love, not intellect, can apprehend another person in this way. This form of love, Jung writes, is not transference and not friendship in the usual sense, nor sympathy either. It is more primitive, more primordial, and more spiritual than anything we are capable of describing.”
Perhaps we can describe that spiritual relationship as “a timeless connection in eternity, which appears as a mystery in this world, in our space-time, yet is that which makes possible any true and profound encounter between two people. This mystery also comes into play when we have the feeling with someone we are meeting for the first time that we have already always “known” him—and it turns out to be true, not a mistake, as is sometimes the case with normal archaic identity.”
So, it seems we all have some inner soul work to do and need to support each other in this personal work in order to transform our collective consciousness.
“He who is capable of bearing the highest and the lowest together is hallowed, holy, whole.”
Love and Blessings,