Through a Jungian Lens

See new site URL – http://rglongpre.ca/jungianlens/

Beyond Good and Evil – Apologies to F.W. Nietzsche

with 5 comments

Moments before dawn the moon descends behind the trees on a hill to the west.  With the dawn and sunlight, the ghosts and presences that hint at evil are banished so that the good will rightfully claim its place in the light of day.  As a child and in all the years since, the world has taught me that there is good and evil.  Good wears white and evil wears black.  Evil feeds at night while good celebrates in the sunshine.  Think of the white knight versus the black night.  Then I learned that what is called good and evil is just a view of the world.  One’s position in the world provides us with different understandings of good and evil.  Then I learned that the two aren’t really separate things, but polarities of the same thing.

One thing that highlights this good and evil as a perspective is found in the world of religion.  Each religion, by definition, sees is theology, its belief system based on good.  The value of the religion is as serving as a guide to living and being good.  The value of the church is found in its providing a place of temenos, a place of sacred safety for the soul of its people.  Knowing this, that each religion is based on these basic principles, why do we have these “good” religions go to war against each other?  Why is the “other” religion seen as being the holder of “evil?”  Why?  I think it has to do with seeing the world in black and white – “Either we are right, we are good, we are going in the direction of heaven, or else we are wrong and heading straight to hell.”

Again, it is the classic situation of projection. only this time it is a collective projection.  Withdraw the projections and everyone becomes ordinary with ordinary needs, living in patterns that transcend local place and time.

And for me?  Well, there is good and evil, of this I have no doubt.  But, both are hosted in my full self.  My conscious self is seen, for the most part as good and aware that I am able to be even better if …

And then there is my shadow.  The more I deny this shadow, the more damage I do to myself and others, the more that darkness, unconsciousness, controls and guides.  I am aware that I have a shadow, a heart of darkness buried deep within.  Being aware of that shadow and acknowledging its rightful place seems to lessen the pressure.  The shadow becomes less of a shadow, less of a chaotic negative force in my outer life.

While this happens, I give up the need to be saintly.  I know that I am neither a saint nor a demon.  I move beyond good and evil into a place of balance weighted down with both the dark and the light as I journey through life.

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5 Responses

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  1. There are many of us who want to take Jung back to Jung. You may want to take a look at: jung2,org/JungRedux

    Do you know of John Bett’s Podcasts that provide a great intro to Jung and his concepts?

    J. Ferric

    February 7, 2010 at 9:30 am

    • Hi. Thanks for showing up here and commenting. It has allowed me to link back to your site. So far, I have to say I am in full agreement with your idea of psychology not managing to move forward, including Jungian psychology. I am busy reading Matt Koeske’s article found through a link on the home page. This is especially interesting as I have recently joined the UselessScience forum that is run by Matt (I think). Perhaps that is where you found the link to my site.

      As an aside, no I haven’t heard any of John Bett’s Podcasts. Now that they are suggested, I will check them out. Note that I am going to add your site to my blogroll, as well as Matt’s UselessScience forum.

      I hope that you visit again and engage in more comments.

      Robert G. Longpré

      February 7, 2010 at 9:46 am

      • The Jung pod casts can be found at: http://www.jungian.ca/jung-podcasts/

        Is there a way to communicate with you other than via these comments?
        Cheers,
        JF

        J. Ferric

        February 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

      • Thanks for the URL, JF. As for contact, I have sent you an e-mail in order to open that door. I hope that you return to this site and continue to be a presence.

        Robert G. Longpré

        February 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  2. From F. W. Nietzsche, with apologies to R. C. Longpre`

    “Everything profound loves the mask, . . . It is not the worst things of which one is most ashamed: there is not only deceit behind a mask – there is so much goodness in cunning. I could believe that a man who had something fragile and valuable to conceal might roll through life thick and round as an old green thick-hooped wine barrel; the refinement of his shame would have it so. A man whose shame has depth, encounters his destinies and delicate decisions too on paths which very few ever reach and of whose existence his intimates and neighbours may not know: his mortal danger is concealed from their eyes, as is the fact that he has regained his sureness of life. . . .”

    John Ferric

    February 15, 2010 at 10:19 am


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